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Digital marketing channels

Now that you own an eCommerce, the very first thing you must be wondering is: where do I get traffic from? Once you’ve known sources of your customers, that’s where your digital marketing strategies need to be targeted at.

How do you market your brick and mortar business? Print! Pamphlets! Word-of-mouth! And that’s it. You’ve reached the ‘maximum storage limit.’ Well, for eCommerce, you aren’t getting that annoying message. There’s no end to getting the prospects for your business. 

You can say a full-fledged digital marketing solution can get you lots of leads and conversion, big enough to turn you into the giant of the industry. But which digital marketing channel to choose? Which one is rightly-suitable for your eCommerce? 

Well, I’d say not just one, but you might have to apply these tactics on the multiple fronts. Don’t worry! I’ll give you several alternatives through this blog post that you can apply in 2020. 

 You have to follow a hierarchy— brand awareness, lead generation, and direct sales.

For converting any consumer, we have to follow a hierarchy.

  • First, we’ll make them aware of our brands. That’s brand awareness!
  • Second, we’ll compel these leads to take some actions. That’s lead generations.
  • Third, we’ll eye for selling our USP. That’s direct selling.

Your users can be on any stage of the sales funnel. One thing that needed to be kept in mind is: we’re not using all the channels for the similar purpose. If one platform is suitable for brand awareness, we might have to try another for lead generation.

Take this quick example: when you put a targeted ad on Instagram or Facebook, that’s a type of brand awareness. You’re giving the idea of your existence. Once users have gotten into your website, learnt about you, and subscribed to your business, you have the list of their email handles. 

Now you’ll use email for either lead generation or selling your product. This mix and match variety of marketing lets you complete the loop for one customer and push them in their eCommerce purchase journey.

 But before we pick our digital marketing channels, we’ll consider three essential things.

  • Your buyer’s personas. Do you know who your targeted customers are? Where do they spend most of their time? What devices do they use? What’s their favorite social media channel? Finding these out will let you relevantly target the relevant audience group.
  • Your budget. Promoting your eCommerce on digital marketing channels is a good thought. But a good thought should follow up with a reasonable budget. The limited budget would mean you’d want to target the most sought-after channel, which could give top results in proportion to your budget.
  • Your competitors. It doesn’t matter if you’re conducting a business in sheath mode or space. Competitors will come after you. And you’d do the same with your competitors. Isn’t it? So researching their marketing channels and gaining useful insight into ‘worked-upon’ strategies will save time and confirm campaign success.

Assuming you’ve worked on the three requisites of digital marketing, we’ll now learn about these digital marketing channels. Are you ready? Tighten your gears; it’s not a roller coaster. It’s a free fall!

 11 digital marketing channels list for eCommerce

 

Digital marketing channel #1: Organic traffic

 

Remember when Yahoo was born? I don’t either. But this digital marketing technique has been working since then. Google and Bing took this channel to a whole new ballpark. 

Two decades ago, it was easier for brands to rank on search engines. The competition was bleak, customers’ came up with serious buying intent, and their attention span was pretty good. Keyword targeting was not as important. All this resulted in the higher conversion rates. 

But with over millions of eCommerce and billions of web pages in 2020 alone, getting organic traffic has gotten a real tough ask. I mean… you publish any content, and someone has most probably posted it already. However, it has still not gotten out of our hands.

With the whole migrating to the internet and pouring their inputs, the idea of unique content for organic traffic has gotten quite vital. Users still search for businesses, products, and services based on specific keywords and phrases. 

If you’re resolving their problems, giving unique solutions, and practising effective seo techniques, chances are high you’ll end up ranking on the search engine. These engines have crawlers. You know… they’re like bots who have specific criteria. Yeah, yeah! Like you have preferences choosing a partner.

When you promise to follow these criteria, the algo-bots feel happy! They index and rank you on the search engine. Result? Organic visibility that magnets audiences and generates revenues.

Digital marketing channel #2: eMail marketing
Email marketing illustration

eMail marketing is older than most of you’ve been reading the blog post. Marketers consider it dead, but I still consider it one of the best channels for reminders, notifications, and newsletters.

Ask yourself: have you ever deactivated a social media account? Sure you must have at least thought of it once. But did you ever think of signing off from eMail? It’s still one of the few digital marketing channels that everyone uses at least once a day, yes, even on off-days 

And eMail gives you endless opportunities to market your eCommerce. eMail signatures, banners, lead magnet eMails, curated newsletters, cold eMail campaign, etc. these mail marketing techniques have proven effective, as good as reaping 3,800 per cent ROIs.

All you have to do is practice three critical things:

  • Strong subject line: It’s the entry point of any eMail. Why should the users click the mail if it’s not enjoyable? Create a killing subject copy and increase the open rates.

Example, How to save 2000 dollars in one week.

  • Emotionally-moving body: Readers have gotten into the eMail. What next? You want them to be reading a body that’s beneficial to them. Add value in the body, and you have their attention.

Example, Are you ready to save money so that you can enjoy the other luxuries? I created a brand new product, especially for you. And just like my other products, it is to make life easier for you. 🙂

  • Link to your website: While readers are reading the eMail, you want ’em to act on your message. Giving links to your eCommerce website will get you traffic and probable conversion.

Example, Getting started – here’s how you can make your baby happy and save pennies at the same time. <add a link>

 To make eMails more engaging, work around images, flyers, and banners and give users something visual to retain.

 

Digital marketing channel #3: Social Media

Social media marketing Did you know people spend about 2 hours, 24 minutes every day on social media? I’m talking about the average time. Obsessed social media followers may spend up to 7 hours a day! Count me in.

 Engagement on social media is much more than search engines and eMails; there’s no doubt about it. The thirst for socializing has spiked up. Brands are using the opportunity to enter into their socializing space and target customers where they spend most of the time.

 If you’re not catching the fish through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, to name a few, you’re missing out on significant traffic on your website.

 So big a part has become social media for digital marketing channels that marketers are allocating hefty resources behind individual channels. Let me warn you: please don’t invest in each half-heartedly. 

 Not all channels have the same traffic flow. You have to analyze your business and what channel suits it the most, provided you have an endless budget to capture leads from all the platforms.

 The best part about social media marketing is: they allow organic and paid marketing features. It’s relatively easy to viral your content for free and gets a hold of a dynamic audience group. And laser targeting is getting more accurate with paid ads.

 

Digital marketing channel #4: Pay-per-click advertising

Let’s say you want to rank a page on Google tomorrow, can you? Or you want to be targeting the most relevant audience with your post, can you? Absolutely no! There are lots of uncertainties lurking around your organic campaigns. They may take time, and results are not necessarily what you’re looking for.  

You have very less control with organic marketing overreach and conversion. Search engine algorithms change almost every day! Keeping your content compliant with these criteria may be a tough nut to crack. What’s ranking today, may stale tomorrow!

Fortunately, search engines and other publishers follow the second ad model: pay-per-click advertising or paid advertising. It means— every time a user clicks on the advertisement— you’ve got to pay the publisher. Remember those first two ad links every time you search something on Google? They are pay-per-click ads that show the above organic results.

I know where you’re going! What if multiple people in the same industry pay for their ads? Whom will the search engines rank? Well, these publishers follow the bidding-model.

You and your competitors will bid on the keywords. Of course, content quality and domain score come into play— but bidding strategically on keywords of your preference will let you rank within a two-days time. That’s the luxury you certainly don’t enjoy with organic marketing. You might have to wait for a good six months until you start scoring consistent traffic.  

You need this into your digital marketing plans because you can modulate your budget and stop as and when you like— the channel handover tremendous control over marketing in addition to the analytics report for improvisation.

 

Digital marketing channel #5: Referrals

How do you drive traffic on your eCommerce? Search engine optimization is not the only way! Most businesses want to have organic traffic, and then they wonder, why aren’t they getting desired traffic.

As I mentioned, if you’re trying to group traffic through seo, this might take some time, months or two, and in some cases, even half a year! You can’t rely on naturalism all the time. Having your content pushed through additional methods is called referrals.

So when a user enters your website using a social media link, or through another website, search engines report this as a referral. I mean… their tracking system considers this as referral traffic. It could be backlinks, press releases, guest posts, etc.

 

Thinking how to rock the chart with referral marketing? Don’t worry! Here’s the quick list to gain traffic from search engines.

  • Online directories: You want to use directories as a great source of referral traffic. Publish your website to these directories and have traffic from these sources. Example: Google and Bing My Business, Yelp, Yellow pages.
  • Review websites: Review websites do two tricks for you: build credibility and get traffic to your store. Getting published on these websites is a cherry on the cake. Example: Google, Amazon, Facebook reviews.
  • Comment on blogs: Following the well-known blogs and pages of your niches will not only help you in analyzing the latest fad but also get you traffic. Posting relevant comments as user-generated content and keeping experiential-opinion work as an effective digital marketing strategy.
  • Stay active on industry forums: Again, industry’s forums and communities are a great way to link with bright prospects. Keeping your ideas, looking to resolve problems, and being a keen listener to someone’s grievances will surely do the referral trick.

 

Digital marketing channel #6: Affiliate marketing 

 We have been conducting affiliate marketing for over a century now. Don’t believe me? Those salesmen knocking on everyone’s door to sell a dollar pen is kind of affiliate marketing. You kind of reward them with a commission for their marketing efforts.

 The same concept applies to eCommerce. You can’t reach everyone! How about reaching an affiliate marketer and asking him to sell your products/services? For each click or sales he gets, you’ll pass on some values for the efforts. 

 It’s a pure form of performance-based marketing. And it’s never getting out of the industry. These affiliates have the audience ready; they have the traffic ready! They simply have to promote your product and there you’re, getting leads and conversion.

 So you can be a part of affiliate programs where these sales associates will send over some traffic to your website, and you’ll pay according to the particular agreement. Here’s the list of popular affiliate networks that you’d want to connect with: AffiliateNetwork, CJ by Conversant, ClickBank, ShareASale, AvantLink, LinkConnector, FlexOffers, RevenueWire, etc. 

 

Digital marketing channel #7: Direct marketing 

 So when you have to search for something, what do you do? Either you tap on the Google icon or type the web url of Google. Right? That’s a process where you’re directly entering into the website. In this case, it’s Google. It’s called direct marketing!

Similarly, when users type in your web address on the browser or click on the bookmark, they’re trying to add to your traffic directly. It’s quite a rare thing to have unless you’re a giant in the industry or you’ve loyal customers.

Since you’ll be making loyal customers in the future, your branding should be done smartly beforehand. Keep your url short and memory-retaining. Make it meaningful so that your users know what you deal with.

One good way to differentiate direct marketing with others is that you’re promoting the information about your company, product, and service without relying on any advertising middleman.

Other direct marketing methods are Brochures, Fliers, Postcards, Newsletters, Catalogs, Emails, Coupons, Phone calls, Text messages, Targeted online display ads, etc. Nailing half of these would tap on the desires of the users.

 

Digital marketing channel #8: Make your website user-friendly

Honestly, everything you do with your eCommerce is marketing! Customer service, supply and chain, engagement, whatever you can think of. But one thing that demands your special attention is your store.

What happens in brick and mortar stores? Distributing pamphlets and displaying billboards are easy, but how would you deal when customers more than anticipated enter to your premises? What about the seating arrangement? And the waiting space? Marketing is not enough if you’re not ready to please the customers they want.

 It could happen with your website too. Imagine you’ve got traffic from multiple sources and your eCommerce crashed! They aren’t coming back until you’ve something serious to sell. And does your store tick all the criteria of good navigation?

Let me give you a stat: the average time spent on websites is 45 seconds. That’s not even a minute. And with attention span shrinking to a mere 8 seconds from 30 seconds in the past few decades, 45 seconds is when you’re outstanding in your field.

So you have to grab their attention, check on their interest, tap on their desires, and compel them to take action, everything in less than a minute. How scary does this sound? Well, you can still make the most of this with a user-friendly website.

Think of yourself as a user. When you visit an eCommerce, what do you expect from them? Easy searches. Okay! Product filtration. Okay! Sorting. Okay! To-the-point copies. Okay! These are the few things of the many criteria that make any eCommerce tolerable.  

If you want to work on a user-friendly website, get this list done asap:

  • Make your website mobile compatible
  • Keep it accessible to everyone
  • Plan out a well-structured information architecture
  • Format your content that’s easy to skim through for both, readers and crawlers
  • Place the most important information in the first fold of the store
  • Don’t compromise with a slow loading store
  • Maintain effective navigation

Digital marketing channel #9: Word of mouth marketing

This will blow up your mind. 9 out of 10 customers believe in reviews and feedback by family and relatives. That’s huge. And I’m surprised not many marketers use this as a digital marketing channel.

Word-of-mouth marketing is a brand advocacy right from the horse’s mouth. I mean… your customer’s mouth. Pre-digital marketing era, it was just about promoting a business through positive references.

But we are into a digital word-of-mouth marketing era! It’s no more just about product or service. Even the content you produce adds to the digital word of mouth marketing. They’re so infectious that your targeted groups share and make them viral.

There are ideas you can implement to set-up word of mouth marketing for your eCommerce. Have a look at them:

  • You’ll have to begin with a setting-up word of mouth triggers.
  • Add visual triggers to these strategies.
  • Create a unique content which can go viral.
  • Stir emotional provocation smartly.
  • Post controversial posts that get more user-generated content.
  • Ask for honest ratings and reviews.
  • Arrange a referral program. Reward customers for a referral. 

 

Digital marketing channel #10: Content marketing

Earlier, the content industry was centralized. New channels, print media, authors, you could count all the content creators on your fingertips. But let’s be honest with ourselves. Why’re we on the internet? So that we all can produce content. 

The internet has given everyone the power to express their opinions and views. You can say, we all are the crucial nodes in the content fabric of the world. And this has benefited businesses and eCommerce the most.

They don’t necessarily have to rely on a marketing intermediary or a centralized system. Blog posts, pdfs, guides, pictures, and videos— eCommerce stores have power over all the sharable content that could increase crowd on their websites and enhance the ROIs.

For me, every information we litter on the internet is a part of content marketing. No seriously! They’re. When you engage on public forums like Quora and reddit, they’re a part of the plan. When you interact with your audience on social media, it’s a part of the content marketing.

The actionable campaigns like share a coke is also a part of content marketing. Here’s one of the critical things that you need to focus on: content marketing is more about adding value to your customers than boasting about your company. No one cares what the features of your company are unless you don’t have exact words on the benefits— the content marketing campaign will keep on failing.

A strong content marketing should fight a social cause, add means-add chain value to customer’s life, or invoke an emotional response. It’s because you want to build a two-way link with your customers and influence them for the informed-decisions they make.

 

Digital marketing channel #11: Influencer marketing

Most brands enjoy building a new audience and then plan to target. What if I told you— you can target the existing audience without wasting much time and start generating income right from the word go?

Influencer marketing is one such digital marketing channel that lets you cater your product or service to the relevant audience without spending your time in building your niche audience.

It involves three parties: you, the influencer on social media, and the audience. So the influencer with her colossal following will place your product through stories or social posts and siphon some of the traffic to your website or social media page.

It’s quite useful in generating quick income; however, the effect of marketing may fade away in a few days. Letting these influencers expose the audience to your brand not only gets your traffic on the website but also builds credibility and trust. 

As always, people trust influencers and celebrities more than businesses. Subtle placement is a smart way to make the audiences aware of your brand. Once they’ve entered that phase— repeated partnership with these influencers will push these potentials in the purchase journey.

 

The wrapping words— key takeaways

  • It’s obvious you’ll have a hard time understanding the relevant digital marketing channels for your eCommerce. Mix matching these digital channels is the key to start with your marketing journey.
  • If you’re short on budget, hire digital marketing agencies to help you figure out the ideal source of traffic and conversion for you. You want to be putting the best bet on the relevant channels.
  • If you have a bloated budget, make sure you’re strategizing your digital marketing techniques properly. Over-budget can get overwhelming for your campaigns. And that may not lead to desirable results.
  • Measure your digital marketing efforts with metrics and KPIs. Don’t go to the battlefield without data in your hand. All the marketing channels have their reporting tools that give detailed insight to improvise and re-strategize.
  • And yeah, remember to track your expenses. As a marketer, you want to be knowing how much a penny spent is returning you. Same with the ROI. Don’t ignore it.
  • Whatever marketing channel you choose, ensure you’re analyzing them regularly. These channels do have bots, but not smart enough to do your job. They’ll analyze the performance for you. But spinning the marketing tactic in the spur of the moment is in your hand.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. More so because you’re not experimenting cluelessly with digital marketing. Since you’ll have access to data, keep churning your campaign, so it gets out to be unique. If the campaign doesn’t work, you know what to do! 
  • Check the trends that might emerge out in the market. Fear of missing out is not wrong with digital marketing! You should have this fear so you can act upon the new trend that surfaces.
  • And last but not least, follow our advice and tips on all the spheres. We’re happy to resolve your queries as our experts vet out optimized digital marketing solutions to boost your eCommerce visibility and sales.
Anjana Ratadiya

Anjana Ratadiya

Anjana Ratadiya is an enthusiastic Digital Marketer in the areas of eCommerce SEO, Local SEO, B2B & B2C marketing. She is passionate about exploring her knowledge in latest revenue-generating digital marketing trends, account-based marketing and technical SEO. She is certified in Google Analytics, Adwords, SEMRush & more.

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