Getting your products in front of the right people online can be a minefield. There are different routes to selling, so which one is best for your business and products?
1. Paid Listings in Search
This is arguably the most well-known form of paid advertising online. When users input a keyword or term into a search engine, you can be there – if you can afford it!
These range from a few pence a click to tens of pounds per click, and this doesn’t guarantee a conversion.
2. Google Shopping
Similar to the above, but these bids and listings are for specific products to buy rather than services or lead generation.
By exactly matching search terms you can be found for incredibly niche products or get found for related terms if people are still browsing and not yet decided.
YouTube is the second most used search engine, so make sure you’re hitting this rich source of users. It may be used differently to a regular search engine, but you can still gain some great conversions with the right targeting.
This often relies more on user data and demographics than regular paid search, but this just means better targeting. Specific product review videos or informational videos can target users close to conversion. This can also be used as remarketing, so you only target those users who’ve already visited your site.
Alternatively, you can go for a wider sweeping method. Setting targeting wider and aiming to reach as many users as possible is a great way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your site.
4. Banner Advertising
Banner adverts are about the oldest form around online. Just find a relevant site with advertising space and get your banner or video on there. This can be done on a one-off basis, or you can use networks such as Google’s display network to reach users on popular, trustworthy websites.
Reddit is an ever-growing community and there are more niche subreddits than you could probably imagine. For example, cat pictures are everywhere online, but what if you specifically want to find pictures of cats on their hind legs? Easy, just click here!
Cat pictures aside, you’ll be able to advertise on specific groups which directly match your audience. DIY, car mods, clothing brands, nutrition – there’s a sub-reddit for everyone, and a sub-reddit for every product advertisement.
Facebook advertising often invokes a love/hate feeling. It’s a great way to target specific demographics and interests, but at the same time it can sometimes feel invasive.
Rather than going for a catch-all advertising campaign that can rack up costs quickly, stick to targeted campaigns that are well managed to reduce waste and increase conversions. Facebook advertising should feel natural, not invasive.
Although widely used, LinkedIn targeting is still niche. It is predominantly B2B, but you can get B2C success on there if have the right product.
This is great for targeting specific job titles, but it isn’t fool proof. You might want to target a few certain job titles, but this might not match up if they brand themselves as an “Ideas Wizard”, “Thought Guru” or similar!
Twitter advertising works like a cross between Google Ads and Facebook advertising. It has the targeting of specific users, hashtags and interests like Facebook, but works on a cost per click basis, so you don’t pay for dis-engaged users.
This is very useful when used in conjunction with larger campaigns and when you are gaining some traction though hashtags, online reviews and endorsements. If you know someone is going to push your product on Twitter, you can pay to show under specific hashtags and make your own trending terms.
Some Instagram influencers and followers may be fake, but the results of advertising on Insta are definitely real!
Like other social based advertising, you can target followers of specific accounts and demographics to really tailor your ads. This can help with various forms of A/B testing and making your ads incredibly specific for different users.
Locations are also very important to Instagram. You can easily use location data to serve your ads to people as they go past your shop, or if they are in a popular tourist area in your city.
10. Email Marketing
This feels old fashioned, but when set up right it has great potential. Rather than the standard monthly newsletter, make your emails dynamic and deliver content after users interact – or if they haven’t visited in a while.
Reminders for abandoned carts, notices of products coming back in stock and other emails are all beneficial to repeat customers as they are already invested in your brand and product.
Sponsorships are more involved, and generally form wider campaigns, but they are great for brand awareness.
You could sponsor local events and encourage clicks to your site online, or encourage real visits to your store. Larger national campaigns are harder to set up and often involved combining efforts online and across TV and radio, but these see huge spikes in traffic and benefit from increased sales for weeks or months afterwards.
12. PR Stunts
This can be linked to sponsorships, or it ca just be a fun news story which ends up going viral!
Many of the more lighthearted news stories you read about probably started as a PR stunt which grew, was talked about and got links, traffic and wider coverage. There are sometimes higher risks with PR stunts and campaigns, but when they work, they can easily push you past your competition.
13. Affiliate Marketing
Not suitable for everyone, but if you are in the position to work out an affiliate marketing deal with a bigger website, then it can be a steady and reliable stream of income.
You have to be prepared to share your profits with third part websites, but affiliate marketing in the right places can drive pre-qualified traffic with little to no effort on your part.
14. TV & Radio
Classic television and radio advertising is still popular, but quantifying it has always been a guessing game. Just because a TV or radio is on, do you know who is watching or listening?
Linking your TV and radio campaigns back to your website is a great way to get real interaction data and figures of who visits your site.
You should also make sure that your efforts to direct customers work beforehand. If you have a common word for your brand name then make sure that you are position one, have a PPC campaign set up to capture these terms or use a more unique term for a landing page. The last thing you want to do is generate interest only to have users become frustrated by search results or land on your competitor’s website!
15. Organic Listings
The old-fashioned way! Make your product pages and then wait for people to find it.
Let’s be honest, it probably won’t happen like that. You’ll need to understand your competitors, keyword landscape and have some idea of how search engines crawl and index sites. Even then you’ll rank for branded terms, but how do you compete against the e-commerce giants, or get people to search for your product when there is little to zero awareness?
Combining all of the above is ideal, but often out of reach. A great place to start is at number 1 and 15 – Tightly controlled paid campaigns coupled with a well optimized site will get you on your feet, letting you expand into other forms of advertising once your revenue is stable.