Marketing Channels for Ecommerce Brands

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Effective Marketing channels for ecommerce businesses

When marketing for an ecommerce brand, it is important to select the right channel mix for highest impact. Which marketing channels will work for you depends on the type of products you sell as well as the resources you have,

A marketing channel is used to attract new customers as well as engage with existing and new customers. As digital technology has continued to evolve, digital marketing channels are now among the most used channels for ecommerce marketing. However, that does not mean companies do not use traditional channels any more. They are also used for promotions. However, there are also free and paid channels used by ecommerce brands for marketing and promotions.

Selecting the right channel mix for marketing will affect the success of your overall marketing strategy. Content also has an important role in terms of marketing for ecommerce brands since the quality of content whether you are using a digital channel or traditional channel affects the engagement rate.

Free vs paid marketing channels

Ecommerce brands can select from a wide range of free and paid marketing channels. The free marketing channels can be especially useful for the small businesses with a limited marketing budget. For example, small businesses selling online must select from the free channels like social media channels including facebook, X, Instagram and tiktok to promote their products and brand. Apart from that, they can select from email marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, events or a combination of these for promotions and customer engagement.

A large number of small businesses selling online have turned to blogging and content marketing to engage customers and attract new ones. Email marketing and content marketing have been found to be highly effective for marketing to a large audience without having to incur large expenses.

Ecommerce businesses that have a somewhat larger marketing budget can use a combination of free and paid channels for marketing. They can spend on search advertising, social media advertising, Tv and radio commercials as well as print ads like ads in newspapers and magazines. Which one is the most effective depends on the products the business sells as well as the geographical reach it is trying to achieve. Radio ads are still used by a lot of brands that want to reach local customers.

Digital vs traditional marketing channels

Digital marketing channels are considered to be the most effective channels for marketing to a vast audience. With time digital technology has evolved a lot and the popularity of digital marketing channels has also grown a lot. The digital advertising and marketing market that was estimated to be worth $531 billion dollars in 2022 is expected to reach $1.5 Trillion by 2030 according to sources. Ecommerce businesses can choose from several digital marketing channels that include email marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, content marketing and mobile marketing which includes SMS and apps.

However, the traditional marketing channels are also used by ecommerce businesses for reaching certain demographics and for local reach. For example, billboards, ads in newspapers and magazines as well as other traditional forms of marketing are still used by businesses and are also very effective in certain scenarios.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective marketing channels that ecommerce businesses can use to grow their reach and promote their products and brand to their target audiences. There are a large number of marketing channels for ecommerce brands to choose from. However, to gain the highest impact they must not depend on just one but use a mix of channels to reach customers from various segments effectively and achieve their marketing objectives.

Marketing channels for Ecommerce Businesses

Email marketing:

For a large number of ecommerce brands, email marketing is a priority. There are several reasons behind it. First of all, it is among the most affordable marketing channels that ecommerce brands both big and small can utilize successfully to attract and engage customers as well as expand their customer base. Email marketing also provides excellent reach.

You can run diverse types of email marketing campaigns and use automation tools to automate your email marketing. For example, if you want you can alert your entire customer base about a promotional sale with a few clicks. Similarly, you can send an email to all the prospective customers when they first subscribe. You can also use email marketing effectively when launching a new product or service. All you need is an email list of your customers and email software. You can also personalize your emails for customers and use excellent templates and designs that drive higher engagement.

Email marketing can drive high conversion rates and can also help you lure back customers having abandoned their carts.

However, sending targeted messages and consistently doing email marketing is critical to making your email marketing campaign a success. According to a 2023 research by Hubspot, 31% of marketers are using email marketing.

Paid advertising means paying to advertise on various platforms including social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok. It can help you find new customers as well as grow your brand awareness and reach more prospective customers. However, as the name implies paid advertising is after all paid. The costs of paid advertising have also increased a lot over time.

Advertising on Facebook, Tiktok and other social media platforms can help you bring in targeted traffic and yet it is not as stable a solution as organic traffic or email marketing or even content marketing. It is because each time you need to run a paid advertising campaign on any of the social media channels, it is going to cost you. If you are on a limited budget, you must try the free or more affordable marketing channels for marketing your ecommerce brand, growing brand awareness and to expand your customer base.

Paid ads work well in several scenarios and you can complement your social media ads with radio and television ads as well as other traditional forms of advertising. These can also help you grow brand awareness and trust and help you reach some segments of consumers who may not be easily found on social media channels like YouTube, Facebook or Tiktok.

Paid advertising is effective in a large number of scenarios but less reliable and stable when compared to the other more stable marketing channels like content marketing or organic search traffic.

Social media marketing:

Social media marketing is one of the best free marketing channels where you post content on social media channels to maximize reach, brand awareness and customer engagement. You do not have to pay as in the case of display advertising or paid social media advertising, You only use your social media accounts to post content that engages users and improves brand awareness.

Many businesses have found a lot of success through social media marketing. Businesses need to establish a strong social media following to grow a following, to work with the influencers on social media channels and even sell through these social media channels. There are a large number of brands that are selling through social media channels including Facebook and Instagram. When done consistently, social media marketing can help businesses quickly grow their number of followers and maximize their reach. Social media marketing can also boost brand recall and sales. Even the leading brands use social media to their benefit and grow sales. Brands like Coca Cola and Nike are highly active along the social media channels and utilize them to run campaigns regularly.

Content marketing:

Content marketing is also a priority for several online businesses because it allows them to build higher trust and user engagement. It generally includes creating organic content like blog posts, videos, podcasts etc and publishing them on owned channels or social media accounts. A large number of businesses are using blogs to grow brand awareness and organic reach. It allows companies to attract new customers as well as engage existing ones.

Many businesses also muse blogging and content marketing to address common questions and concerns regarding their products and services. They publish education and informative content for their users. The content helps build trust and can also drive organic traffic to the website. Businesses also include a call to action in their content to encourage customers to become subscribers or make purchases.

Affiliate marketing:

Affiliate marketing is also a common marketing channel used by ecommerce businesses to grow sales and customer base. It involves making affiliates or people who use their own blogs and websites or social media presence to promote and sell your products and services. Affiliates generally receive a commission when you make a purchase through a link on their website. Some affiliate marketers also disclose it on their websites that they earn commissions for purchases you make through their websites.

Affiliate marketing can also be a great marketing channel for maximizing sales and revenue and is used commonly by brands selling through digital channels. These affiliate marketers have large and targeted audiences before which they promote products and services related to their content. For example, a food blogger might promote baking related products on his website and earn a commission and a fashion blogger might promote fashion brands and products. These affiliate marketers are generally considered experts in their niches and therefore trusted by their customers. It benefits the brand using them for marketing since it can find a reliable channel through which to promote its products and services.

SEO and organic search are key to growing sales and boosting revenue in a highly competitive environment. It is crucial to optimize your website for search engines, a process known as search engine optimization since that will drive organic traffic to your website without you having to pay anything. In most cases, organic search is the single largest source of website traffic for ecommerce brands.

Therefore, optimizing the website and content for ranking higher in searches is critical for these businesses.

Organic search drives targeted traffic to your website and therefore is a valuable source of traffic and revenue. Compared to most other marketing channels, organic search is a more stable source of traffic and revenue for ecommerce businesses.

SMS marketing:

SMS marketing is also an effective marketing channel for ecommerce brands to reach new or existing customers. What makes SMS marketing most effective is that you can reach your customers immediately and in real time. A large number of businesses use it to drive sales and repeat purchases. However, you must only send SMS when you have something important to say because sending useless messages repeatedly may lead to users blocking your number or ignoring messages. However, when it comes to sending promotional alerts to drive purchases like special offers, brands safely rely on SMS marketing to reach customers.

Search advertising:

Search engine advertising is different from SEO. While SEO drives organic traffic to your website, without you having to pay anything, in the case of search advertising, you pay a search engine like Google to show your results in searches above the other posts.

You must have seen sponsored results at the top of the searches when you are searching for specific queries. These are paid results and can be very useful in certain scenarios to drive traffic and encourage customers to buy. It can also help drive higher brand awareness.

Many ecommerce or even physical businesses use it for seasonal sales or for running campaigns during the holidays. Paid search advertising can be effective for running short term campaigns aimed at driving higher sales.

However, paid search advertising is not a substitute for organic traffic or SEO which is a more stable sales and marketing channel. Mixing paid search advertising with other marketing channels however, can help ecommerce brands improve brand awareness and expand their customer base.

Referral marketing:

Referral marketing has also become common across various industry sectors including ecommerce. A large number of ecommerce businesses provide incentives to customers to refer their friends and family.

Some offer financial incentives like money in their wallet or certain discounts on next purchases, many offer other types of incentives like free subscriptions etc for referring others.

Referral marketing is also effective at driving sales growth. The effectiveness of referral programs is higher because a large percentage of customers trust recommendations made by family and friends over other forms of promotions. According to research, more than 90% of customers trust their friends and family to select a brand to shop from.

Public Relations:

Public Relations can sometimes help you get excellent coverage and grow your brand awareness sharply and can be more effective in this regard compared to most other marketing channels. However, it works best when you have a very unique product to offer. You have something new that will impress the users as well as media networks, then public relations might be the way to go.

Public relations involves contacting media networks so that they cover your product and business. PR professionals use mainly press releases and sponsored content to promote their brand and its products and services. You might have come across such sponsored content online a lot of times. There are some established networks that mainly specialize in distributing press releases. While press releases are a more traditional form of content, sponsored content highlights the brand, its products and the ideas it supports in a more effective and attractive manner.

Direct Mail:

Direct mail marketing might not be so common nowadays since companies are utilizing email marketing in place of direct mail to contact their customers. However, in specific scenarios, direct mail marketing can still be an effective idea for driving sales and popularity. Many brands still send customers cars with coupons or full product catalog through direct mail. It has its own attraction and can be effective at driving sales and customer loyalty.

Partnership Marketing:

Partnership Marketing involves partnering other brands or personalities to develop special products or carry out marketing efforts jointly. Ecommerce brands can collaborate with creators and sell their products online which can be beneficial for both the creator and ecommerce brands. Such collaborations can also be highly advantageous in terms of promotions and driving brand awareness higher.