Many businesses expect ads to be a silver bullet for success. And while ads can be a fantastic way to generate buzz for your business and progress leads down your marketing funnel, there’s way more to the puzzle.
The truth is that a silver bullet of any kind is extremely unlikely when it comes to success. It takes a combination of tactics to gain traction, drive growth and build brand loyalty.
In this article, we discuss five elements of marketing to consider, other than ads. In fact, by paying attention to these marketing factors, you can boost the performance of your ad strategy.
Here are 5 marketing elements (other than ads) to consider:
1. A simple purchase experience.
Don’t underestimate the power of a simple purchase experience.
A study by Corporate Executive Board examined what makes a consumer “sticky”. A consumer’s stickiness depends on a few factors: how likely they are to follow through with a planned purchase, repurchase the product, and recommend the product to others. Out of over 40 variables that influence stickiness, the biggest factor by far was “decision simplicity”. Decision simplicity is the ease with which consumers can find trustworthy information about a product and can quickly evaluate their purchase options with confidence.
Here are some ways that you can simplify the purchasing journey:
- Make it easy for your customers to find the information that helps them understand your product and weigh their options. Let’s take an online vacuum retailer as an example. A chart that compares the specs of the most popular vacuums would help buyers easily understand their choices and find the vacuum that suits their needs.
- Build trust by including user-generated content on the product page, such as reviews or unboxing videos.
- Be transparent about pricing, including the cost of shipping.
- Take advantage of technology that helps streamline and improve the purchase experience. For example, you could add an app to your online store that gives your buyers personal upsell recommendations based on their browsing activity.
2. Strategic email marketing.
Email is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep in touch with your existing customers and prospects. For every $1 spent, email generates $42. That’s a massive ROI!
Here are some ideas for how you can enhance your email marketing strategy:
Don’t just sell. Connect.
There’s more to email marketing than promotions. Use email to establish a connection with your audience. For instance, you could engage customers by sharing blog content, newsletters, interviews, holiday wishes, and event invitations.
Automation is a necessity.
Automation increases conversions, segments your audience, reduces workload and improves efficiency. Automated email flows include trigger emails sent automatically after a customer takes a specific action. Some examples of automated email campaigns are abandoned cart emails, a welcome email after signing up, and a special thank you email to a repeat buyer.
Segment and cater.
Segmenting your audience means grouping customers with certain attributes in common. Segmenting gives you better results because you’re able to tailor customer journeys to a specific group. You can also create personalised content that a particular group may be interested in.
A few ways you can segment your audience are:
- Stage of the customer journey.
Put it to the A/B test.
Sometimes we make assumptions about our customers. We think we know what they want to see from us, but we won’t know for sure until we test it out. And sometimes the results will surprise you!
A/B test email campaigns to see what is working with your audience. Here are some elements you could test:
- Subject lines.
- Call to action buttons.
- The tone of voice in your content.
- Types of email content.
3. Optimised landing pages.
A landing page is a webpage designed with a specific goal in mind - usually to capture visitors’ information and drive conversions. Visitors will often be sent to a landing page after clicking on an ad, promotional link, or search result.
Landing pages are a clever way to keep your visitor’s attention focused. Landing pages can help increase conversions by growing your audience quickly. They also lower marketing costs since they’re a low-effort way to get high returns.
Here are some landing page best practices:
- A simple and clean design.
- Each distinct offer should have its own landing page.
- Add social proof and product reviews.
- Include an irresistible CTA.
- Measure the landing page’s results and improve over time.
4. Stellar product images.
For an e-commerce store, product images have the power to make or break a sale.
Product images need to be accurate and clear. They should enhance the product’s description and fit in with your branding.
When taking your product images, think of the product’s use case. It can be super valuable to have clear images of your product on a white background and photos demonstrating the product in use. For example, if you’re selling action cameras, you could have clear and simple product images and photos showing the camera in water, skiing, and hiking.
In addition to great product images, a product explainer video can elevate your product page and help your brand stand out.
5. Product copywriting that packs a punch.
Marketing without quality copywriting is like a restaurant in a beautiful setting with terrible food. It fails to live up to its full potential, and no one’s going back for more.
Copywriting is powerful. It captures attention, alters perspectives, and resonates with the reader. But ultimately, the goal of great copywriting is to drive action.
Great product copywriting is a necessity for e-commerce businesses. It should concisely describe the product’s benefits and address any of the buyer’s concerns. Ultimately, product copywriting should eloquently strike a balance between information and persuasion.
Here are some ways that exceptional copy can help your product pages convert:
- Will boost your sales by presenting benefits rather than just product features.
- Helps you establish your product’s unique value proposition.
- Copywriters will understand your audience and how to connect to them.
- Presents complicated information in a straightforward yet educational way.
- You can measure copywriting results and gain valuable learnings.
As the saying goes “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” For most businesses, ads are incredibly effective at attracting the buyer, but it takes a combination of other factors to make that coveted sale.
Optimising other elements of your marketing strategy can ensure that your business is strong on all fronts. Some of the most important elements to consider are a simple purchase experience, excellent email marketing, optimised landing pages, great product images, and quality product copywriting. With these, you’ll be well-positioned to amplify the efficacy of your ad campaigns.
When it comes to running ads, Blend can be your secret weapon. Blend connects to your online store and helps you measure the impact your ads have on revenue. With the ability to test your ads across new channels, you can find out which is right for your brand and audience. Try Blend out here to start maximising your ad spend!
Advertising across various online channels gives you the best chance to create awareness of your product offering, something that is sure to take your store to the next level. By taking a multi-channel approach to your marketing campaign, you're giving your store the best chance to succeed.
You can begin to measure success of your campaigns more effectively by determining the type of content that you will produce and what channels they will be delivered on.
You should examine your competitors' strategies and decide which platforms they're using to gain traction in your industry. From here, you can also use tools like Google Trends to quickly see the popularity of certain topics you feel will match the interest of your audience. Once you know which topics and channels you should target, you can start to build a strategy.
Although your chosen channels will form the backbone of your content strategy, you don't necessarily need to limit your reach to just these platforms. You can also create a greater online presence through relevant websites, social media channels, email campaigns or customer reviews. The content you produce here is easily transferable to ads, and in this way, your ads will feel more natural and organic as they are more reflective of your brand image.
By creating a presence for your brand across multiple channels, your store will have the best chance of increasing conversions.
For example, imagine you're running an e-commerce store and your main audience are customers in the United States. You could consider running an ad on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram as they have the largest audiences grouping in that country. If you're a small business owner looking to attract customers from local communities, you may want to consider choosing a platform that you know these audiences are more familiar with like Microsoft Ads, Pinterest or TikTok
5 Places To Publish Your Store Ads
It may seem obvious, but advertising on Google is critical for online advertising. A company likely has a Google Ads campaign underway when you see it ranking rather high in the landing page rankings on the search engine. With Google Ads, your business only pays for measurable results (such as clicks ie. cost-per-click), and directs more people to your store by showcasing your business as relevant to their search.
Google can run a variety of ad campaigns conducted through Google Ads Manager, including:
- Dynamic Search Ads
- Display Ads
- Shopping Ads (Now 'Performance Max')
- Video Ads(through Youtube); and
- App Ads
- Responsive Search Ads
Acting as one of the best ad platforms for lead generation and return on investment, the transparent results and budget utilisation features continue to make Google an effective option for online advertising. Blend takes the challenge out of running such campaigns automatically finding the right mix of content and ad types across platforms such as Google, creating custom audiences to target specific demographics that resonate with your brand through your Google Ads Account.
Meta Ads - Facebook & Instagram
During the first quarter of 2022, Facebook reported having 1.96 billion daily active users, and with the acquisition of Instagram in 2012, Facebook Ads are now seen and accessible to even more people. The highly customisable affordances, and exceedingly fast delivery mean that Facebook Ads Manager, like Google, allows you more time to curate your audiences, campaign goals and ad creative formatting (re. media, text and placement) to achieve maximum ROAS (return on ad spend).
Social media allows for retargeting people on platforms that they are consistently using (and leading them to purchase your stores items through call-to-action's on your ads), and Meta encourages a variety of customisable targeting options to reach your audiences in the most effective manner. When you advertise on Facebook and Instagram, your social media accounts are exposed to potential growth, too.
According to TikTok, 92% of users take action after watching a TikTok video, and with an estimated 1 billion+ active global TikTok users it has become evident that it is the newest frontier for online promotion, and proves why you should consider how your business can advertise on TikTok. TikTok has a variety of ad options ranging from:
- 'In-Feed' Posts, wherein seamless integration of ads throughout the 'For You Page' feed means that audiences are engaging with sponsored posts, more often than not, subconsciously
- 'Top-View' ads, where your ad would be placed first in the slew of videos a user sees when they open the app, encouraging them to move away from the app before they are too engrossed; and
- 'Spark Ads', a feature that boosts different types of videos to maximise the impact and spread of videos that mention your brand.
Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads)
Bing allows advertisers to reach an older and more educated audience. Multiple studies show that the average Bing user has a higher income per user compared to Google, allowing ads promoted on Bing to be delivered to more specific demographics of customers. It is also exceedingly transparent with ad partners regarding where leads are coming from and can even target users based on device type and OS!
How Blend Streamlines the Ad Creation Process
Showcase your products on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Bing and TikTok and say goodbye to platform fatigue and start testing new channels for your digital marketing. Create one version of your ad and publish it across multiple advertising channels with a few simple clicks. Blend integrates your store's inventory with major advertising platforms by creating a high-converting product feed. To drive even more revenue to the store we analyse your products and implement sales strategies best suited for your current inventory and allow space for you to create and explore the best ad format.
- Multi Currency / Multi Country support
- Real Time Updates
- Accurate Measurement Tools to Calculate ROAS.
- Unlimited SKUs
Create your content once and deliver across multiple channels to reach your target audience. We will handle the rest.
For many businesses, a slow period is bittersweet. It’s a break from the frenzy of the peak season and a chance to breathe again. But it can also be challenging as revenue drastically slows or comes to an outright halt.
Many seasonal businesses have to get savvy to survive. During the slow season, you want to boost demand and take the time you have to implement the strategies that will pay off in the peak. In this article, we will give you the tips your seasonal business needs to thrive all year long.
How to boost demand during the slow season
Did you know that 82% of small businesses fail because of poor cash flow management? In seasonal businesses, inconsistent cash flow is, of course, a more significant risk.
While you need an excellent cash flow management strategy, you can help make operating your business easier in the slow season by getting more people to your site.
Boost demand in the slow season with these 3 tips:
1. Make an offer they can’t refuse.
One of the best ways to increase demand in slow periods is to offer promotions and sales on your products or services. With promotion campaigns, you can attract attention to your business, boost revenue and profit, reach a new audience, and increase your margins.
Imagine you own a high-end sunglasses company that thrives all summer long. When winter comes, you host a series of promotions to sell out all of your summer stock. You’ll reach a new market of customers who may have been unable to pay full price for your products. Plus, you’re keeping the revenue incoming all year long.
2. Target new audiences.
You probably have a strong understanding of your typical customer. However, during the slow season, you could benefit significantly from targeting a new segment of the market.
Let’s say you sell scuba gear in a popular tourist destination. If the peak season is half the year, you could target locals in your area for the other half of the year. You can offer promotions and discounts specific to locals, which will create great relationships with the community. You’ll boost demand in this slow period and help your local community out.
Or, for instance, if you design beach umbrellas in Sydney, during the Australian winter you could target people in the northern hemisphere enjoying summer.
Think about the segments of the market that your business hasn’t tapped into yet. Opening up to new demographic or geographic markets can impact your business massively.
With Blend's multiple region capabilities, advertising your business in new markets is effortless. In just a few clicks, you can launch high-converting campaigns to multiple locations. Learn more here.
3. Pivot pivot pivot.
In the slow season, your standard service or product may not be desirable or necessary. However, there may be an opportunity for you to get creative and come up with new and exciting ways you can serve customers.
Let’s say you own an online store that sells BBQ equipment. After the summer, you notice your sales drastically fall. Think about products you could add to your storefront that would help your customers enjoy their BBQ area throughout winter. You could add BBQ gloves, outdoor heaters, cozy blankets, outdoor lights, and a fire pit. You could also write a blog for your site that shows your grill-master customers how BBQing in the winter can be just as much fun as in the summer.
Think outside the box and see how your business could create a special offering that caters to the needs of the slow season.
Marketing strategies that will pay off in the peak season
Seasonal business owners know that the work isn’t seasonal. It takes a year-long effort to make a business flourish. It’s kind of like a professional sports team. During the off-season, athletes train hard so that they can perform at their best during the season.
You should use your slow stretches to your advantage too. It’s the perfect time to refine your marketing strategies and carry out a game plan that will benefit your business all year long.
Here are strategies you can implement in the slow season:
1. Use the power of social media.
A great way to generate leads and excitement for the busy period is to create a clever social media marketing plan in the slow season. If you already have a social media marketing plan, look at the data from the past peak season. Where can you improve, and how can you refine your marketing plan to help achieve your goals?
Here are a few things to think about when going over your social media marketing plan:
- What platforms will your target market be on?
- What type of content does your audience like?
- How often can you post per week?
- Do you have a budget for social media advertising?
- What are your goals?
For instance, let’s say you sell custom gift boxes through your online storefront. When it’s not the holidays, your business is pretty slow. Your audience is on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and they love learning about gift-giving tips and tricks. You have time to post about 3-4 times per week and your monthly advertising budget is $600/month. Your primary goals are building brand awareness and generating new leads for the peak season. By answering these questions, you can create an outline for your social media marketing strategy and understand the actions required to execute it.
If you want to make your advertising budget go further, try out Blend. Through automation of the entire online advertising process, Blend’s platform makes digital advertising easy as can be. Consolidated reporting across your ad channels helps you better understand what is working to minimise waste and maximise revenue. It’s perfect for seasonal businesses because Blend helps your ad spend go farther and takes the guesswork out of online advertising. If you use the time saved to go drink pina coladas on the beach, we won’t judge!
2. Get on top of SEO.
SEO is the practice of improving your website to increase its visibility in search engine results. It’s a long-term investment, so the slow season is the perfect time to put in the time and effort required.
Here are some steps you can take to better your SEO in time for the next peak season:
- Keyword research is the process of discovering the search terms that people enter when looking for topics relevant to your business. You’ll want to conduct keyword research and use the results throughout your website.
- Update and flush out the content on your website. Maybe you can add valuable information such as product reviews or FAQs.
- Write engaging blog articles that incorporate your brand’s tone of voice and are relevant to your business offering.
- Create a backlog of blog articles so you can continue to post when you’re in the busy season.
3. Make the most of your loyal customers.
It’s important to stay in touch with leads and loyal customers all year long. Stay top-of-mind by using email marketing to your advantage. It’s a cost-effective way to ramp up excitement for the peak season and keep your audience in the know.
A great way to capitalise on your loyal customer base and the fantastic experience you’ve provided in the past is to get their testimonials. User-generated content is king! You can send an email asking if they wouldn’t mind giving your business a Google review. Be honest and explain how reviews are critical to the success of your business.
You can also create a survey for your customers to provide feedback on their experience. Ask them what they liked, what they didn’t, and what they would love to see from you. Take this feedback to heart. The slow stretches are the perfect time to make moves that improve your business and give the customer what they want.
Whether your business makes Christmas shopping less stressful or helps create life-long memories on the ski slopes, seasonal businesses deliver incredible value. With creative tips to boost demand and marketing strategies to ensure your peak season thrives, you can use this guide as a blueprint to success for your business.
Understanding the role of customers in the buying process is integral to accurately create success for your company through advertising campaigns. Testing alternative advertising copywriting is the most effective and affordable mode of generating renewed interest in your product offering and creating new audiences.
As Father's Day quickly approaches, test out some of the following ideas to strengthen your ad copies:
1. Share New Trends or Research on Spending Habits
Audiences are intrigued by statistics and facts. But more so, they are concerned with data affirming their own circumstances and choices.
For example, new studies indicate that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, fathers have taken on more domestic work, shifting traditional notions of fathers as strictly economic providers toward identifying and accepting the role of fathers as more present caregivers.
Targeting your product offering so as to reflect these changing social norms, and acknowledging that your clientele may be faced with these changes (and other factual, societal changes), is important to not only legitimatise your brand image, but to target your product to a more appropriate audience. Try gearing your content and copy toward these statistical changes, and your products will feel more approachable and necessary for consumers.
2. Produce Less Gendered and Generic Content
As we know, father-figures come in a variety of shapes and sizes with familial bonds no longer adhering to the traditional notion of the 'nuclear' family. Making sure your content is accessible to a variety of people during the slew of father's day marketing campaigns (especially if your product offering is not geared toward a predominately male or middle-aged audience i.e. the typical 'Dad' image) will set your business apart. Acknowledging non-paternal figures, mothers, grandparents, uncles and friends are good ways to keep things inclusive - and may even aid you in gearing your product toward the right audience more effectively!
3. Run a Giveaway or Provide a Discount
Reward power is a lucrative tactic to gain interest from consumers in your company. Offering a discount or giveaway will prompt a drive in conversions and profits, allowing you to retain existing customers and attract new ones. The psychology behind this is very simple, by providing some form of recognition or 'prize', customers feel more engaged in the product offering, they are more inclined to choose your product over other competitors who are not providing a reward, and there is deeper engagement that may occur wherein customers become loyal to your business. Running promotions during important trade dates, such as Father's Day, allows a greater chance for attention as there will undoubtedly be a myriad of other advertising campaigns for competing companies circulating.
4. Market with Emotion
Eliciting emotional responses in consumers is integral to effectively persuading them. Attention bias suggests that consumers pay more attention to emotionally stimulating content that evokes a sense of surprise, excitement and nostalgia. By prompting consumers to reflect on their own experiences and feelings, a variety of persuasion tactics can be used to engage users in your product offering. For example, during Father's Day, brands could choose to focus on sentimentality to promote - eliciting feelings of sadness and nostalgia, or they could use humour as a tool to appeal to an audience that would otherwise not be a target of their campaigns.
5. Create Urgency and Demand
Amplifying feelings of urgency relies on a present feeling by consumers of wanting something. During Father's Day there is, and will be, a want for your product offering and as such, there is an integral need to turn that want in to a need. Creating scarcity, and setting deadlines are important to sway audiences, but to truly persuade, your ad copy has to truly convince the psyche. Using words and terms such as 'hurry', 'limited time' and 'last chance' create this sense of urgency in the buying process and prompts consumers to quickly necessitate a purchase. Other ways to aid consumers to shop with you include providing classic gift guide, or showcasing last minute gift ideas with some sort of reward like free delivery.
As always, remember that the images that accompany your copies are additionally important - so choose bright, clear and informative graphics to captivate your audiences and reinforce the copy ideas.
Blend helps by preparing you ahead of time, and providing your business with new and innovative copy and content ideas. Subscribe now to receive alerts about all upcoming marketing events and trade sale dates - in advance!