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Most marketers already understand that growing consumer concerns over data privacy have prompted new regulations. Now, the issue has even sparked device updates from manufacturers. Beyond regulations, these companies want to satisfy their customers by offering additional privacy protection. This has an effect on your integrated digital campaigns in more ways than one.

For a recent example, Apple announced that they would soon roll out a new privacy update for iOS 14. This change focuses on limiting the amount of cross-website data marketing companies can track on smartphones. Where Apple leads, other phone and computer manufacturers will probably follow.

Why Consider Changes to an Existing Integrated Digital Campaign?

Apparently, Apple’s news has generated new concerns from marketers and some of the largest advertising platforms. According to CNET, even Facebook admitted that recent changes would hamper their ad targeting abilities. At the same time, Google started to modify its advertising platform to comply with new standards.

More safeguards may represent a win for consumers. Still, they present additional issues for digital marketers who already struggle with increased competition and bid prices. Of course, marketers can explore other marketing sandboxes to expand their advertising strategy beyond the biggest advertising platforms. With that in mind, explore the benefits of adding Nextdoor, Yelp, Pinterest, and TikTok to an integrated digital campaign.

Beyond Facebook and Google: Integrated Digital Campaign Alternatives

No digital marketing agency can offer a one-size-fits-all advertising strategy. Even more, last year’s perfect marketing platform might not continue to serve businesses as well in 2021 and beyond. Instead of struggling to get traditional ad platforms to continue performing, maybe it’s time to look beyond them. 

The best new platforms to consider may depend upon the company’s products, marketing style, and target demographics. Find out how such alternative advertising platforms as TikTok, Nextdoor, Yelp, and Pinterest can help marketers expand and target B2C marketing audiences with less hassles and lower costs. 

Nextdoor: The Hyper-local Advertising Solution

Nextdoor doesn’t just serve neighborhoods as the place to find lost pets or complain about the neighbor’s fireworks. They also know where their members live, making it simple to tune geographic targeting down to the level of neighborhoods.

As an example, Modern Retail found grocery brands have recently turned to Nextdoor. Rather than use platforms that also run their eCommerce competitor’s ads, these businesses can target the customers in their preferred delivery or physical service areas. Nextdoor also offers ad formats designed to spark two-way communication and engagement. That makes this community-based social site a great way for businesses to meet some new neighbors.

Yelp: High Purchase Intent with Local Targeting

Some of the planned updates to iOS 14 target cross-platform data, which tends to limit the large, general platforms like Google and Facebook the most. Even seasoned marketers sometimes find the way these platforms learn about internet-wide browsing habits almost spooky. In contrast, Yelp uses its own search and location data to assist advertisers with audience targeting.

For both local and non-location-based businesses, this platform can target ads based on search intent to help marketers unlock highly motivated audiences. While some people think of Yelp as a restaurant platform, it’s also a very trusted source for information about all kinds of businesses.

Pinterest: A Visual Ad Platform for Sparking Inspiration

According to WordStream, Pinterest offers a fantastic gateway into the homes of affluent, millennial women, along with many other demographics. Even though they’ve mostly attracted women, almost 30 percent of signups come from men. Top categories on Pinterest include DIY, crafts, home decor, art, fashion, and beauty.

In short, people turn to Pinterest for visual inspiration and ideas. Since eCommerce relies so much on images, the image and video ad formats work well in all stages of the marketing funnel. Some of the best Pinterest marketing tips include supplying consumers with inspiration to encourage them to check out new products and traditional items used in new ways.

TikTok: Engage on the Fastest Growing Social Site

While many people associate TikTok with a very young audience, Social Media Examiner found that 64 percent of users have at least passed their 20th birthday. Alright, TikTok mostly appeals to younger people. At the same time, the very engaged audience will age. Also, TikTok users spend an average of almost an hour a day logged in.

Besides the sillier content, many users see plenty of business, DIY, and parenting videos in their personalized feeds. Very effective ads usually emulate the appearance and tone of organic posts.

While the platform differs from Facebook, most experienced Facebook advertisers should find it familiar and easy to get started with. Even better, Social Media Examiner found that TikTok offered lower bids, particularly once ads have matured and show the right kind of content.

Why Move Beyond Facebook and Google for B2C Marketing?

Facebook and Google still retain their spots as two of the biggest and most general advertising platforms for all kinds of businesses. In fact, even most recent lists of the top sites for marketers usually rank these two giants as first and second.

On the other hand, rising prices and increased privacy protection may have limited their usefulness as part of a cost-efficient and effective advertising strategy. Most advertisers admit that they struggle to find low-hanging fruit on the larger advertising sites these days. Successful marketers should always keep their eyes and ears open for new opportunities to engage, target, and sell to other audiences.

For a quick summary of these marketing tips:

  • Consider Nextdoor for hyper-local targeting and community engagement.
  • Find highly motivated, local buyers on Yelp in a variety of niches.
  • Image-oriented Pinterest ads can supply site users with inspiration and motivation to buy.
  • Creative video ads for somewhat younger audiences have a great chance to go viral on TikTok.

Nobody should declare Google or Facebook dead. Obviously, these two giants command massive audiences, and they’ve both shown an uncanny ability to survive and thrive in a rapidly evolving environment. At the same time, businesses with certain demographics may enjoy better targeting and lower costs elsewhere. Instead of interpreting this as a call to abandon traditional sites, think of it as a chance to keep exploring and testing for better returns.

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Shopify, one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce platforms, is growing at such a rapid rate that it’s projected to overtake eBay as the second-largest e-commerce platform in 2020, according to CNBC.

While that kind of growth offers massive opportunity for Shopify retailers, it’s also quickly becoming a much more competitive space. Shopify now has more than 1 million merchants active on its platform, all of whom are working to differentiate themselves and outsell the competition.

So what’s the secret to gaining more traction with your Shopify store? Let’s take a closer look at seven key tips for better Shopify store development.

1. Prioritize customer service — and outsource if necessary

E-commerce doesn’t have to mean minimal customer service. In fact, it was Jeff Bezos’ famous “customer obsession” that helped Amazon become a global heavyweight. Yet for most people operating Shopify businesses, dealing with customers is an enormous time suck. While keeping your clients happy is critical, most people simply lack the bandwidth for the task.

Instead, it makes sense to outsource customer service functions. The international call center business is booming, and you can find qualified customer service freelancers on just about any major Gig Economy marketplace. It’s important to ensure that the workers you contract with have first-class fluency in English. Adding live chat is another element that can really improve the customer experience.

2. Focus on the right design

Great design is crucial to the success of any Shopify site. This begins with choosing an appropriate theme. Find one that fits the look and feel of your brand or signature products. The right theme can have a dramatic impact on the visual atmosphere and overall user experience of your site.

While Shopify offers some free design templates, you can also choose to pay for some of the premium designs the company offers. Unsurprisingly, the premium templates tend to be more eye-catching, which can help your site stand out with a fresh look. In addition to the look and feel of your site, you’ll also need to consider how design impacts functionality. Do you want larger images? A wider Instagram feed? These small decisions can have a significant impact on how your products are browsed and purchased, so weigh these decisions carefully.

Generally speaking, it’s also a smart idea to design with certain principles in mind. Your site should feel clean and uncluttered. An overabundance of design elements or products can confuse or irritate visitors and encourage them to depart without buying.

3. Incorporate and optimize elements stressing your originality

Templatized websites run the risk of appearing a bit cookie-cutter, but there are a few steps you can take to make your site appear fresh and original. First, commission striking, original photography and avoid over-reliance on stock imagery. This can go a long way toward giving your site some visual panache that makes it stand out from other e-commerce offerings.

Second, create copy that is truly creative and that engages the reader. Too often Shopify copy is bland and boilerplate. By coming up with lively product descriptions and other copy, you can help convert buyers and differentiate your approach. You’ll also want to choose headlines that stand out from the crowd and that are calibrated to resonate with your target demographics. Figure out why people would be interested in your products and use that as a guide for creating catchy headlines. Humor — in the appropriate contexts — is also a big plus.

4. Check out the competition and test your approach

Auditing other e-commerce sites is a smart way to evaluate your own approach. You can take what they are doing well and adapt it for your own purposes, while also identifying any deficiencies in their approach and capitalizing on them.

Incorporating some simple A/B testing into your site can also help you learn what people are really responding to. These tests allow you to take two versions of a screen, headline or some other element and evaluate how visitors interact with each version. This can be an invaluable tool for learning what converts and what causes people to disengage.

5. Build your social proof

There’s no debating it: Reviews are the lifeblood of any e-commerce store. This means it is critical to monitor your reviews and respond in a timely fashion. If there was a legitimate issue, be transparent and forthcoming rather than defensive, and offer to make it right. This will often disarm even the most dissatisfied customers and help turn negative interactions into positive ones.

Encourage your customers to leave photo reviews whenever possible. Visitors enjoy these and they often seem more credible than text reviews. The more smiling and happy customers you can showcase on Shopify the stronger your business will be.

6. Tread carefully with shipping costs

Excessive shipping costs are one of the most common reasons why customers do not follow through with e-commerce orders. For online retailers, nothing is more frustrating than getting a customer all the way to the checkout page…only to have the product deleted from the cart because of elevated shipping charges.

E-commerce consumers have been conditioned to expect low or no-cost shipping by Amazon Prime, so it’s a wise idea to either build the cost of shipping into your products or figure out an alternative method for defraying costs.

7. Use a well-designed SEO and programmatic ad strategy

An up to date Search optimization strategy plays an essential role in helping people locate you. Most site owners aren’t experts at search, so it often makes sense to bring a marketing agency or SEO expert into the mix. The rules governing SEO are always evolving, so working with an expert can save you the hassle of trying to master search and remain perennially current on the latest changes to Google’s ranking algorithm. It also makes sense to work with a Shopify agency that specializes in this kind of overall site development.

Pay-per-click ad strategies are easier to learn, as you can get a lot of traction by researching keywords and slowly refining your approach over time. Taken together, both strategies can go a long way toward jumpstarting your Shopify revenue.

The takeaway

Shopify is second only to Amazon in terms of the opportunity it offers e-commerce retailers. By following these seven tips and practicing smart Shopify development, you can get faster traction, differentiate your site and generate more revenue.