Advertising is a crucial component of any eCommerce store's success. It allows brands to reach new customers and drive sales through targeted campaigns and promotions. However, with so many different advertising options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. From email marketing to influencer partnerships, the choices can seem endless.
To help you navigate the world of eCommerce advertising in 2023, we've compiled a list of the top 9 eCommerce advertising strategies you will need to drive traffic, increase conversions, and grow online sales. Whether you're a seasoned eCommerce veteran or just getting started, these strategies can help you take your brand to the next level.
Referral marketing, also known as word-of-mouth marketing or affiliate marketing, is the process of encouraging your customers to tell their friends and family about your products or services with incentives. This can be an incredibly powerful form of advertising, as people are often more likely to trust recommendations from people they know.
Affiliate marketing can be an especially effective strategy for eCommerce businesses, as it allows you to tap into the power of personal connections and build a network of loyal customers. By offering incentives for customers who refer new business to your store, you can encourage your existing customer base to act as brand ambassadors and help spread the word about your products.
Outway Socks, a Canada-based performance sock company does a great job at leveraging their customers to drive referrals for their eCommerce store. They incentivize their customers to share their love for Outway by giving them $15 for every referral they make. Outway generates over 9% of their total revenue through referral marketing alone.
To implement a successful referral marketing campaign for your eCommerce business:
Influencer marketing is the process of partnering with influencers in your industry to promote your products or services. Influencers can range from nano influencers (>10k followers), to mega macro-influencers (1M+ followers). They have large and engaged followings on social media or other platforms, and they can be highly effective in reaching a new audience and driving traffic to your store.
Influencer marketing allows you to tap into the trust and credibility that they have built with their followers. When an influencer recommends a product or service, their followers are more likely to take action and make a purchase. They also create a sense of brand awareness.
Native, an eCommerce brand selling clean deodorant and personal care products, turned to influencers as a way to find potential customers. As influencers shared their deodorants with their audiences on social media, Native saw that their influencer content ROAS performed over 44% better than the rest of their content.
To get started with influencer marketing, it's important to do your research and find influencers who align with your brand's niche and target audience. Look for influencers with an engaged following, and be sure to set clear goals and expectations for the partnership.
Tip: send your product out to influencers as a gift. If they like your product and are willing to share it with their audience on their social media platforms, stir up a partnership! That way, the partnership looks more organic and less transactional (i.e. their audience can tell if they like your brand or not).
Community building is the process of fostering a sense of community and belonging among your customers and audience and providing them with a platform to engage on. This can be especially important for eCommerce businesses, as online communities can help create a sense of connection and loyalty among customers who have interacted with your brand.
Having a community also increases your retention and will help build your brand.
Obvi, a collagen supplement brand, uses the power of community to fuel their brand's marketing. They regularly involve their customers in the release of new flavors and products, and in turn, have created a strong brand that members of their community keep coming back for.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, play a huge role in community building. They allow you to connect with your customers. Create a home base (such as a Facebook group or Discord) to engage with your customers and act as a home base for them to connect with each other and share their experiences with your brand.
Advertise the community on your website, on the package inserts in your packaging, and in post-purchase emails! Your community will slowly become an army that will advocate for your product.
TikTok's reach seems limitless right now, and eCommerce brands should take advantage of it. TikTok's algorithm can be extremely effective for achieving massive reach, and most posts are able to reach their target audience without the need for hashtags or elaborate captions.
Purdy and Figg, an eCommerce store focused on cleaning products, uses TikTok organic to reach their desired audience.
Although hashtags and elaborate captions aren't prerequisites for a viral TikTok, there are some things to keep in mind when filming TikToks:
Recently, due to TikTok's hold on the market, Instagram began investing in its Reels feature. Similarly to TikTok organic, posting on Instagram Reels can grow your brand's reach. It's definitely one of the less popular marketing channels and is particularly successful if your brand targets an older generation.
Instagram Reels can help you reach a new audience. Reels have a very high reach, and they can be a great way to increase traffic to your online store, without spending any dollars on ads.
Here's an example from Olipop, a low-sugar soda alternative eCommerce store. Olipop regularly posts on Instagram Reels to widen their reach.
As an eCommerce brand, you can take advantage of the cost-effective platform by reposting your TikToks (without any TikTok-generated texts or sounds) onto Instagram Reels.
Keep the basics in mind, always have a good hook, and post consistently. After all, these platforms are free. These organic methods are best for small businesses looking to test their creatives before throwing spend behind them.
Facebook ads are one of the most popular ways to advertise your eCommerce brand. Although the more recent years have been marked with the platform's dwindling targeting due to the iOS 14.5 update, Facebook is still one of the most effective advertising platforms for eCommerce brands.
Facebook ads are essential in eCommerce marketing as it allows brands to reach a large and targeted audience. You can e target a broad audience, an interest-based audience, a lookalike audience based on past purchasers, and more. It might be harder to pinpoint your exact target market on Facebook manually, but Facebook's strong automation can push your creatives to your target market automatically.
The main control you will have over your Facebook ads is your ad creatives. Almost all your Facebook marketing efforts should be around creative testing, analyzing, and iterating. When you feed the algorithm good creatives, it will be able to target your target audience more effectively, regardless of the limited & accurate targeting options.
Sheertex, an eCommerce store that sells rip-resistant tights, uses social media ads, particularly Facebook and Instagram ads, to advertise their product. They use a variety of creative assets, including both static and video creatives.
Your brand's main focus in 2023 should be around creative testing. Create an array of creative types, including static images, carousel ads, and videos, and test to see which creatives your audience responds the most to.
Pro tip: those organic TikTok and Instagram Reel user-generated content that did well? Run them through Facebook as ads.
In 2022, we saw the take-off of TikTok as a paid social platform. Since it was rather new, not a lot of brands were advertising on it, and costs were low. In 2023, expect it to be even more popular among big brands and small businesses alike.
TikTok's role in social media marketing is to create videos as native as possible to the platform. That is when you'll see the biggest return on investment (ROI).
Here is an example of Ridge Wallet’s advertising on TikTok.
Your main focus here is to develop high-quality user-generated video content. The videos should be relatable and should follow the style of organic videos on the platform. The more native your ads look, the better they will perform, and the better user experience you'll get.
Again, those videos that did well organically? Throw some spend behind them. Keep testing and iterating your video creatives based on the analytics of your videos.
Google Ads, with the array of placements it offers, is an important marketing tool for any eCommerce brand in 2023. The pay-per-click (PPC) platform allows brands to reach certain audience segments through different ad formats, such as Search, Shopping, YouTube, Gmail, and Display ads. The kicker? Performance Max ads combine all of these formats under one campaign type and will spearhead your marketing efforts.
In general, Google ads are more bottom-of-funnel ads that capture customers at the right time to convert. This means that ads on the platform, especially via Search campaigns, will have a higher conversion rate than paid social ads. The downside is that Google ads are generally more expensive than social media ads.
Performance Max campaigns are particularly successful for eCommerce brands, as Google uses all its marketing formats as advertising placements. This is particularly useful if you're running Google shopping ads, and want to reach smart shopping, the campaign type that's been upgraded to Performance Max.
Google Shopping Ads is a type of Google Ads format that allows eCommerce websites to showcase their products directly on Google search results page. These ads include an image of the product, its price, and the name of the store. When clicked, they take the user to the product page on the eCommerce website. It increases the visibility of the product.
For example, ASOS, an online fashion retailer, uses Google Shopping ads to advertise their products.
Google ads is particularly useful for bidding on your own brand keywords, and for running shopping or Performance Max campaigns.
If your product has noticed a rise in competitors that are bidding on your keywords, then you might be losing impressions to them. This is when you need to bid on your own branded keywords, to not lose clicks to competitors.
For upper funnel activities, look towards Performance Max to help you push your conversion goals. Upload an optimized merchant center feed, and high-performing creatives (tip: take the best-performing creatives from your paid social ads), and let Performance Max get you those conversions!
Retention marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing activities that brands can do. Email and SMS marketing are powerful tools that allow eCommerce brands to reach customers directly and drive sales. By collecting customer information such as email addresses and phone numbers, brands can create targeted campaigns that reach specific segments of their audience.
Email marketing allows businesses to send targeted email campaigns to a large number of customers at once. These campaigns can include product promotions, special discounts, and other offers. With detailed analytics and tracking tools, such as Triple Whale, a platform you can use for tracking orders, conversion value, CPA, AOV, new customer data, add to carts, and so much more! Businesses can measure the success of their email campaigns and make adjustments as needed. You're also targeting a customer list that is already interested in your brand. Maybe they bought from your site already, or maybe they were browsing. Either way, it's easier than pitching to cold traffic through other forms of online marketing.
On the other hand, we have SMS marketing, where brands reach out to customers via text message. Everyone is always on their phones, and because of that, SMS marketing generally has high open rates and click-through rates. Like email marketing, you can send targeted messages to specific segments of your audience, and these messages can be for product promotions, special discounts, and other offers, as well as providing customer service and support.
Nudestix, a cosmetic DTC brand, uses email marketing and SMS marketing to target interested customers. Emails include new product and collection releases, and sales notifications.
To start building your email list and start email marketing, you need to have an email capturing tool. This could be a pop-up on your eCommerce website with an incentive such as a dollar or percent off their first order.
In conclusion, eCommerce businesses looking to boost their online sales in 2023 should consider implementing a variety of advertising strategies, many of which are outlined in this blog post. From social media advertising to email marketing, these tactics can help eCommerce businesses reach their target audiences and increase revenue. It’s important to note that different marketing strategies work better for different brands, and the safest way to ensure growth is by testing as many strategies as you can, and sticking with the ones that work for you.
As eCommerce continues to grow and evolve, it's important for marketers to stay informed about the latest digital marketing strategies and trends. By experimenting with different tactics and testing their effectiveness, brands can gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of the game.
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