Digital Channels to Pivot Growth
The modern age of digital marketing provides plenty of opportunities to reach your customers. One thing to remember is that not all channels are created equally. This is why you need to define your digital strategy and use the various channels as a tool to reach customers.
Organic Search (SEO)
The first channel many are aware of is driving traffic via organic search. This means making the most of brand traffic or finding new customers with specific keywords. Many small businesses rave about SEO as it can drive a substantial amount of new customers, it tends to convert well and it has a low customer acquisition cost.
There are many ways to drive search traffic, frequent blogging is a common strategy and is great for finding ‘interest searchers’ who may not know about your brand but will do if you’re answering their questions. However blogging alone won’t do, a rigorous outreach campaign is best, especially if you’re in a competitive niche or own an ecommerce business.
Paid Search (PPC)
For ecommerce there is no better start to a digital campaign than paid search. Not only is it highly targeted but it provides a stream of traffic that you can instantly control. As an ecommerce website you also have the option to administer product listing adverts. PLAs give you the opportunity to convert people who are keenly interested in a specific product and are more or less at the last stage of the purchasing cycle.
Display marketing is also another option for your business. If undertaken effectively it will provide an opportunity for brand awareness and highly engagement visitors. However, you may need to test display as it’s not effective for every campaign and relies heavily on the creative copy and the website it’s placed on.
There are two main ways to drive traffic via social media, the first is by building a fan base, the second is by paying for the traffic. In the first case driving organic is a time intensive activity that also requires a lot of creative output. Constantly thinking of promotable content is a challenge and it can sometimes be for very little. Viewing it from another angle, it’s a fantastic tool for brand awareness and may help seal conversions later down the funnel.
Running competitions, giveaways and coupons is a good way to not only drive this awareness but will also increase loyalty for the fans that are familiar with you.
If you have an extensive marketing budget then paying for social traffic is a good tester for future campaigns. Not only is it currently very cheap compared to ppc but it has a good engagement rate if you’re promoting the right campaign. Sponsored Twitter posts are good for competitions and causes while Facebook is better for product related ads as you’ll be allowed to use a photo.
Affiliates can be a source of extremely profitable revenue. They are actively working to promote your products and are incentivised by the opportunity to get paid from a sale. However many merchants make the mistake of just signing up to an affiliate program and just relying on the affiliates to come through there. To have a successful affiliate program that is not going to fly. To really attract the best affiliates you’re going to have to establish a relationship with them and persuade them to join. This can be achieved by offering them a higher commission structure or the opportunity to review the products they’re promoting.
Still a very under utilised marketing strategy but very effective when it works. Unfortunately budget constraints often prevent businesses/clients from undertaking this strategy. The amount of creative, design and distribution effort can be quite substantial but it doesn’t have to be. If you own your own e-commerce website then even a simple product demonstration could work wonders to not only get your brand out there but potentially increase on-site conversion rates.
Since the rise of social media, email marketing has been put on the back-burner by companies chasing the shiny new light. It would be bad to totally forget about emails use as a marketing channel, when administered correctly the ROI gain can be substantial and be used as a strategy to retain customers.
Try giving your visitors an opportunity to sign up to your email list by providing them with an incentive. A common tactic that works very well is to offer them money off their next purchase. They then benefit from this offer and so do you as they’re more likely to shop and come back again.
As a channel for your customers to find you direct is often a sign of how strong your brand is. If people are constantly bookmarking your website or typing it into the address bar directly, that’s a good sign you have a healthy business. However direct traffic can come from a recent Television campaign or a direct flyer campaign where you had an offer going on. When looking at this channel try and tie it to any offline activities that you have undertaken recently.
Referral traffic can be a fantastic indicator to how well your link-building activities are influencing new visitors to explore your website. You can do this by going into the analytical reports and putting a barrel (A barrel is: |) in-between each site you’ve got a link from. Also referral traffic can be an opportunity to grow by contacting websites that are driving quality traffic based on their engagement (bounce rate, time on site, pages viewed) and if they’ve contributed any revenue.
Hopefully from the above a couple of ideas have sparked and you have new avenues to find your customers. If you want to recommend any new blog ideas be sure to get in touch.