eCommerce Advertising : The Complete Guide
This is the most powerful guide for eCommerce Advertising on the planet.
We have divided the Complete eCommerce Advertising Guide into 5 sections :
1. Understanding eCommerce Advertising
2. eCommerce Advertising Channels
3. eCommerce Advertising Formats
4. eCommerce Advertising Strategies
5. Future of An eCommerce Advertising
Bonus For Getting Successful with eCommerce Advertising,
10 Hacks For Effective eCommerce Advertising
10+ Samples To Start eCommerce Advertising
This guide aims to help the "Average Joe" understand eCommerce Analytics easily and utilize standard practices to grow your business.
1. Understand An eCommerce Advertising
With almost everything going digital nowadays, it can be very hard to make it in a business without business without advertising. And the truth is there are many different types of advertising that people use today and this guide intend to cover the different types of advertising and the main focus being eCommerce advertising. eCommerce advertising and digital marketing are not mutually exclusive but an eCommerce website can use the digital marketing channels to promote and grow their businesses. This guide will help you explore all the advertising options you have for your eCommerce business both offline and online methods. Sit back and relax as it is going to be a long ride.
1.1 What is Advertising?
1.2 History Of Advertising
1.3 Advertising Vs Marketing
1.4 Types of Advertising
1.5 Benefits of eCommerce Advertising
1.1 What is Advertising?
Advertising is a means of communication that is used by companies and businesses to promote their products and their services. Advertisement is paid for by the companies and businesses to influence the decision making of the users of the products or services. Advertisement is always present even if some people may not be aware that it is there.
In the world of today, advertising uses different channels to get their message through. There are methods like television advertising, radio advertising, print advertising such as newspapers and magazines and then there is digital marketing which we will be covering in depth within this complete guide of advertising. Those are not the only methods of advertising though, there is word of mouth advertising which is normally very trusted and not forgetting the posters and mailers among many others. In short, there are many methods of advertising and you can use any to promote your eCommerce website or store.
The advertising industry is made off companies that needs to advertise, the agencies that creates the advertisements and media that is responsible of for carrying out the advertisements, and then there are the hosts of people who are people like visualizers, brand managers, researchers, copy editors, and designer who does everything in their power to ensure the receiver or the potential customers gets the intended message.
Nowadays, most companies hires advertising agencies to help them out with advertising. The advertising agencies are normally made up of experts who are conversant with the different types of advertising and they know how to communicate the intended message to the intended audience. Having said that, it is still very possible to do the advertisement yourself although it is not going to be easy. Before we get to the different ways how you can be able to promote your eCommerce store, let us look at a bit history about advertising.
1.2 History Of Advertising
Advertising did not begin today nor did it began yesterday. As a matter of fact, the history of advertising can be traced to the ancient civilization. But it made a huge impact to the marketing world in the mid-19th century when capitalism was making a huge impact all over the world.
During those times, advertising was based primarily on magazines and newspapers only. In the 20th century, advertising took a turn of its own and grew rapidly involving the newer technologies back then such as television, radio, and direct mail. In the late 20th century, advertising advanced to the use of the internet and the use of mobile devices.
Pre Modern History of Advertising
The earliest and recognized printed advertising medium was used by the Liu family needle shop at Jinan, song dynasty of china. The Egyptians were also practicing advertising during the early civilization and they were using papyrus to make wall posters and sales messages. Commercial advertising and political advertising were found in the ruins of Pompeii and Arabia.
Lost and found advertising were found written in papyrus in the ancient Rome and the Ancient Greece. Rock painting and wall painting are other forms of adverting that were very common in the ancient history especially in Asia. Some rock painting and wall painting are still present to this day in Asia and Africa. The tradition of wall painting can be traced back to Indian rock painting that date back 4000 BC.
In china, there was of recorded advertising in form of classic poetry which was used in between 11th BC to 7th BC played using bamboo flute to promote sell of candy. In Europe, as the towns and cities began to grow in the middle ages, the general populace was not able to read so instead of using signs that read like for example miller, cobbler or tailor, they used images that are associated with such a line of duty. Like a cobbler could use a shoe while a tailor could use a suit image or a hat or even a bag.
Vegetables and fruits were sold in the cities’ square in the backs of wagons and cart and the sellers used street callers which were known as town criers backs then to announce their presence in the market and to convince customers to buy from them. The first use of such compilation was gathered in street cries of Paris in the 13th century. In simple terms,there existed 3 methods of advertisement before the introduction of printing and the methods were trademarks such as moon and stars, sign boards (using images) and the town criers.
Modern advertising began to take place during the 16th to the 18th century when newspapers and magazines were introduced. The first weekly gazette appeared in Venice (Italy) in the mid16th century. And it is from there that the concept of weekly publication spread all over the country as well as to other countries such as Holland and Germany.
The first weekly publications appeared in Britain in the 1620s and the first newspaper (the daily courant) was published from 1702 to 1735. The newspapers normally contained advertisements which helped them cover the cost of printing and distributing the newspaper. The earliest advertisements on the newspapers were for books and medicine but in the 1650s there were plenty of products and services that were advertised in the newspapers.
As the technology of printing advanced, they started printing handbills and trade cards. In the 18th century, the trade cards were even better as they contained the name of the company and address unlike their predecessors. With time the trade cards became like a necessity to most companies and within a short time they evolved to business cards which are still used even in the modern world.
The 19th Century
In 1836, Emile de Girardin, the editor for a newspaper based in Paris made the paper become the first newspaper to rely on paid advertising in order to lower its price as well as increase its readership. His formula was then copied by most newspapers and within no time, all the newspapers were using this formula.
Most advertising was about books and medicine in the 19th century and people started to prefer the modern medicine compared to the traditional ones. However, false advertising began becoming common. The British newspapers appealed to the increased affluent middle class that sought a variety of products. After the appeal, the advertisements announced new health remedies as well as beverages and fresh foods. The latest fashion in London was also featured in the regional press. There was an availability of repeated advertising which allowed the manufacturers to advertise their product if it had a stronger appeal than advertising generic products.
The outdoor advertising in Britain was based on billboards and in the year 1835, Thomas Orlando junior was hailed as the father of modern advertising. He worked with Pears soap and he created an effective advertising program for the products by the company that involved use of images, slogan and phrases.
One of his most memorable slogan was, “good morning, have you used pears soap? He associated the pears soap company with quality and culture and this made pears soap quite famous in the 20th century. He did not stop there, he introduced many brilliant ideas that are used even in the modern world.
He understood the importance of a strong brand and the importance of revaluating the market for changing tastes and that’s why he managed to make the pears soap to be at the top of their competitors. The idea of creating a strong brand was then enumerated by other companies in Britain and it spread over to different countries including the United States of America. And by 1900 the use of advertising agencies was global, used by practically every country of the world.
Sex and Psychology Advertising
The advertising industry continued to grow and change and in the 20th century there came sex and psychology advertising. In the century, there were few career paths for the women to follow and among the few was advertising. Women were responsible for most of the purchases and the advertising agencies recognized their value and how they could play a great role in advertising.
Helen Resor of J Walter Thompson Agency was among the first pioneers of sex and psychology.And in 1911, the Woodbury soap company became the first to use images with sexual contact to sell their products. Their slogan was created by Helen Resor and it claimed that the soap would create a skin that you would love to touch. It also promised the beauty of a person’s skin. The ad became very popular and it was used by Woodbury till the 1940s.
Sex advertising is regarded as one of the greatest landmarks of the advertising history. Woodbury was also the first company to use nudity for advertisement purposes and many celebrities appeared in the advertisement of the soap.
Use of Broadcasting
Use of radio broadcasting began to be used in the 1920s and one of the earliest live radio broadcast was for a milk company. The use of radio for advertisement grew rapidly and most radios actually got most of their funding from the advertisements. By 1954, the use of radio and television broadcasting was a common thing in the Great Britain and in the United States of America as well as in many European countries.
Before 1960, most corporations ignored the black market but after the 1960 the black people started hiring black people to work for them and black people were even used in advertisement posters. And by late 1960s, there were more than a few agencies who were hiring black people for advertisement purposes.
In the 1980s there was introduction of the Cable television and music started being used as a part of advertisement. And it was until 1990 that the internet came about and there came online advertising which we will be discussing in full details in a moment.
1.3 Advertising Vs Marketing
Now that you understand how advertising came to be where it is today, it is the high time you understood the difference between advertising and marketing. Most people normally confuse thetwo but in this section we give a detailed explanation about the same. Advertising and marketing has the same objective and that’s why most people see them as one thing. The main objective of both is alerting the potential customers about products and services that are being sold. They have many similarities of course but they also have some differences. Understanding this differences and similarities will help a company or a business opt forthe best way to opt for in order to reach out to their customers effectively.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is a process that normally involve creation, design, research and data mining about how best to get the idea of a product or a service to the audience that is targeted. Marketing aims at defining the product even better than the product can define itself.
Marketing involve research as well as data analysis. And to get the data, the marketers have to study the target audience and get a response by coming up with a language that is most suitable for the targeted audience.
Some group of consumers respond well to images and words when it comes to marketing while others respond effectively to slogans and others to videos. The marketers have to conduct proper research in order to identify what the target audience respond to effectively.
Marketing strategies can be broken down into product, price, place and promotion (4 Ps). The message that is sent during a marketing campaign is what kind of people use the product being promoted, which is the environment that best suits the use of the product among other information. The message is communicated through marketing materials that creates a certain tone and a personality for the product. Marketing also includes the aspects of pricing and distribution of the products.
What about advertising?
Advertising is the literal process of making a product or service be known to the audience. Advertising is like the description used to present the product or service to the world so that the people can know it exists. Advertising mostly involve use of media to make the product be known to the world.
An advertising campaign will mostly use the position of media and in order to get the message to the customers that a certain product exist. Advertising should be timely and it should be used in a specific strategic way. An advertising campaign will get the word out about the product and it involves creating a campaign that aligns with the needs and wants of the prospective audience. And a great advertising campaign uses the help of media in order to generate excitement for the product.
For example if the product is specially for the younger generation, the use of platforms such as twitter, Facebook and Instagram might be the most effective way to reach out to the target audience. And if it is targeting other groups, then the use of print ads, TV and radio advertisement might be the best way to reach out to the target audience.
Similarities and differences between marketing and advertising
As we already highlighted, marketing and advertising has a couple of similarities as they do have similar objective. What we had not mentioned is the fact that advertisement is a part or a component of marketing. Marketing is preparing your product for the market place while advertising is making your product known in the market place. Which is same thing if you look at it critically. Advertising uses the data that is collected by the marketing strategies in order to best communicate the brand, meaning the two work hand in hand.
Marketing is a wider reaching process while advertising is specifically communicating the brand of a business. Advertising is a straight forward process while marketing is a bit controlled as it involves both research and practice. Advertising involves creating endeavors like multimedia production and design. Either way both advertising and marketing are a vital part for the success of any business.
1.4 Types of Advertising
Well, there plenty of types of advertising and in this section we give a detailed explanation of all the types of advertising. They are normally categorized into two: Offline advertising and online advertising. Let’s get started with the offline types of advertising that you need to consider for promoting your business.
Types of Offline Advertising
Marketing has changed over the years and we cannot deny that fact. Most people spend their time on the internet as it became easier with the introduction of smart phones. Because of that, most companies and advertising agencies focus on online advertising and the offline advertising is losing the touch that it used to have.
There is nothing wrong with using the online advertising but it is wise to look at both sides. Using the now referred as traditional methods of advertising will help your business have that traditional touch that is can make the old souls want to buy from your business. In this section, we have listed some of the most significant offline types of advertising that you might want to consider using for your business.
• Use of Business Cards
The business cards have been there for centuries and there is a good reason why most business still use them.The business cards are a cheap way to advertise your business and yet they are very effective. The business card can easily pass important information about your business to any customer who might be interested. The business card can also be pinned on a magazine, books, or anything you are shipping to a different location where they might want to know more about your business. Business card might the most exciting resource of your business but their value cannot be underestimated.
• Visit Events
Visiting events is also a very effective way of advertising your business especially if it is just a new business that is not well known by many people. Find an event that is related to your business or industry and make sure that you have valuable information that the people can appreciate and one that can help solve some of their problems. And even if you don’t get a chance to speak during the event, there are still many benefits that comes along with just attending the event.
• Taking Part in Trade Shows
A trade show is an excellent of making your product known to the world and an amazing way to get some competitive analysis. It is highly likely that you will be under one roof with your competitors and you will get an opportunity to check out their marketing materials, study the pitch and get a real insight of the strategies that they use.
• Sponsoring Some local Events
If you have the capability and the willingness to sponsor some local events, you will be doing your business a huge favor. This will improve the reputation of your brand and a strong brand is like everything in today’s word of marketing. If possible, team up with some of the local nonprofit organizations so as to help raise even a higher amount of money. And it is not just all about the money, sometimes give out coupons for your products so as the local people can get to try out your products. Sponsoring events will give your brand respect and when your brand is respected, you can be sure people will not hesitate buying from it.
• Collaborate with Print Publications
Print media is one of the most significant type of offline advertising. It has a huge role of making your business known in your local area and probably in the entire country. Try a local magazine or newspaper that targets a certain group of people same as the ones you might be targeting with your business. Partnering with some of your local newspapers or magazine will give you an opportunity of showcasing different milestones of your business and it will definitely improve the respect of your brand. Try to create good relations with as many print publications as possible so as to get a whole new set of audience for your products.
• Host a Giveaway
I don’t think there is anyone in this world who really don’t love some free things and if you can be able to hold a giveaway even just for a day it is definitely going to make your business even more popular which is the main goal of advertising. By hosting a giveaway does not literally giving out free things to your customers or potential customers. Just let people know that they turn up to your site or business they stand a chance of winning some valuable items from your business. Probably ask them to share their contact details in order to stand a chance of winning the prices from your business. You can then use their personal details such as email address and phone number at a later date to provide them with some personalized advertisement.
• Use of the Snail Mail
The use of email marketing has become too common and most email addresses are always crowded with advertising mails that some people are too tired of them and they don’t even open them to see the contents in the mails. The traditional mail can be handy and an effective way of marketing your products or services if you use it the right way.
There are many people who still prefer the old mail to using email address because of different reasons. Sending a potential a mail will look more personalized compared to use of email address and such a mail is likely to convert him or her into a customer than an email address. In the mails try to include some coupons for your business and there is a very huge possibility that your business is going to be better than the ones of your competitors who only rely on email marketing.
• Try cold Calling Sometimes
Most businesses tend to avoid cold calling as most of the public disapprove it but it can also play a role in your offline marketing campaign. Come up with an effective strategy for cold calling and then tailor the conversation to that specific customer and then try to answer as many questions that the customer may have as possible. Cold calling can help you establish some good relationship with your customers but you have to make sure that you do it the right way.
• Television and Radio
Television and radio is literally comes into the minds of many people when they hear of the word offline marketing. There might not be a lot of demand of radio and television today but they can still help you reach out to the customers that are still not into the internet or those who are irritated by ads on their phones that they even pay so that they cannot get the ads on their phones. Think of the perfect time when your target audience might be listening to the radio or watching a program on the TV and then place your ad there. It be a very good way of reaching out to new audience.
• Make Use of Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is normally underestimated means of advertising yet it is one of the most effective means. Of course you cannot go from home to home trying to talk people into buying from your business because to start with they don’t even know you and if they don’t know you then they can’t trust your word just like that.
However, you can use the word of mouth from people they trust. Encourage the customers that you already have to come back with their friends by giving them discount when they do or even giving out free things when they bring up to a certain number of customers. Keep on updating the gifts as time goes by and you can be sure of increased number of customers.
Types of Online Advertising
It is time to discuss in details the different types of online advertising so that you can go for the ones you see fits your business perfectly. Just like the offline types of advertising, there are many different types of online advertising. Without wasting much of your time, let us get down into it.
• Display Advertising
Display advertising is one of the many types of online paid advertising that typically use texts and images. The most common forms of display advertising are popups, landing pages and banners. The display ads are a bit different from the other types of online ads because they don’t show up in the search results. The display ads are normally found in the websites and blogs and they redirects the attention of the user to the products of the company. The display ads can play a vital role in ensuring that a business succeed especially when used alongside together with remarketing. Studies shows that 70 percent of the visitors who are retargeted with a display ads convert into customers on your site.
• Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
Search engine marketing and optimization is one of the most common type of online advertising that every business should consider using if it has any hopes of making it. The two methods of online advertising promotes visibility on search engines such as google, Baidu, Bing and Yahoo. Search engine marketing involves use of specific information about a business and paying for every time a person clicks their website instead of paying for an actual advert.
Search engine on the other hand, it involves use of SEO tactics in order to get higher rankings on the search engine results. The SEO tactics are use of specific keywords, link building and creating high quality content that can make visitors want to visit your website. SEO will gain traffic organically meaning it can last for a longer time while the traffic search engine marketing will most probably last until the campaign is over.
• Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is another type of online advertising which is very common. It keeps on growing and there is no doubt that every business needs social media marketing in order to reach out wider areas. There over a billion users of Facebook, over 800 million users of Instagram and not forgetting other platforms such as twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest among others.
With such number of social media users and not forgetting the fact that a lot of their time on social media, you can be sure that all the customers you will ever need can be found on the platforms. There are two types of social media marketing just like the search engine marketing. There is use of paid advertising and there is use of organic method.
The paid ads are the easier of reaching out the information to the right audience but you will need to interact with the audience if you want them to turn into loyal customers. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the most common platforms of reaching out to other customers but you can be sure to use the others. As a matter of fact, Reddit and LinkedIn are considered the most effective ways of social media marketing.
• Native Advertising
Native advertising is the sponsored ads that are normally at the end of a blog or a post in Facebook. The native advertising can be recommendation for further reading or it something like other people liked this post… that’s native advertising.
• Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click or commonly known as PPC is exactly what it sounds to be. They are adverts that the advertiser will pay when a user clicks on them. It is an economical and effective way as long as it is used the right way. If the ad is seen by let’s say 50 people and only two clicks on it, you will only have two pay for the two people who clicked. It does not matter if among the 48 remaining there are those who converted to customers, payment revolves solely on those who clicked.
Over 64 percent of the internet users normally click on google ads while they are looking to buy an item online. So if you have high quality products then you can be sure of increased sales when you use pay per click advertising.
Remarketing or sometimes known as retargeting is a type of online advertising that retargets customers that already knows about the existence of your business. Retargeting is cookie based technology that follows the users of your website or any other site in the internet so as to recommend or retarget them with ads they have seen before. Stats shows only 2 percent of web traffic of the first visit that convert so you can see the need for remarketing. The users are retargeted after they leave your website and they are reminded of an ad they may have seen before.
• Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a promotional program that is used by companies in order to promote the products or services through the use of affiliate marketers. The affiliate marketers earns commission for every product or client who hire the services of the company through their affiliate link. It is mostly used by bloggers and it can be a great way of advertising as it is a win, win situation for both the company and the affiliate marketer.
• Videos ads
The video ads are growing rapidly with their popularity especially to the younger generation. YouTube is the biggest platform for videos and the video ads can be seen literally from every sponsored video you click on in YouTube. The video ad strategy is also like the pay per click advertising and the company or business will only pay if a person watches the advertisement video for like 30 seconds. Video ads are really getting market pretty fast and it is reported that over 48 percent of business are planning to add videos on their advertising plans by 2020.
1.5 Benefits of eCommerce Advertising
There is no doubt that eCommerce advertising has lots of benefits and in this category, we discuss some of them. Check them out:
• You get to Choose Target Audience
One of the greatest benefit of eCommerce advertising is the fact that you get to choose a specific segment of people. Targeting a group of consumer who may be interested in your products or services is very easy using for example Facebook ads or the pay per click advertising on google.
• Know your Analytics
When you are paying for the traditional methods of advertising, it is literally impossible to know when a customer is likely going to come knocking to your business. Even if the customer came as a result of a printed ad she saw somewhere, it is impossible to that’s the reason not unless you follow her and ask.
With eCommerce advertising, you have the metrics with you and you can be able to see the campaigns that are working out exceptionally and the ones you are just wasting money on. You will get to know the amount of money you paid in order for an ad to reach the right audience while you are using pay per click and you can be able to see the number of people who saw your ad and not forgetting that you can see the conversion rate.
• Flexibility of Ad Types
While you are using the traditional print media, the ad agreement is normally for a few months. On the other hand, when you are using the ecommerce advertising, there is no restrictions of such and you don’t need to make a long term agreement in order to advertise your products through the online advertising. If you feel like you are using a lot of money on a campaign without results, you can go ahead and cancel it. Making it way more convenience than the traditional methods of advertising.
• Reach out to the Customers where They Are
Of course there is still value on print media advertisement and other traditional methods of advertising but eCommerce advertising is the perfect way of reaching out to more customers. Most people nowadays are on their phones and laptops than watching some program on the television or listening to radio. And there are a very few people who read newspapers and magazines so it is highly likely that your potential customers are just online somewhere and you just need to know how to get to them.
• Spend less Money
As we have already highlighted, it is very possible to change any campaign that isit is not bringing the customers as you had estimated and hence saving the money for a better campaign. And not forgetting while you are using the paid ads you are going to reach out the specific audience and they are not that expensive anyway. Most paid ads like the ones on Facebook are normally very affordable making it easy for you to use less money and still reach out to the intended audience.
2. The eCommerce Advertising Channels
There are different type of eCommerce advertising channels and in this we discuss them one by one. Without taking much of your time, let’s get down to it.
• Social Media Ads
We may have already mentioned a thing or two about social media marketing and now it is time to give it detailed look. Social media will keep on growing and if you have not started building your presence you are missing out a great deal of benefits. As a matter of fact, social media marketing is one of the most effective means of marketing.
Building a presence on the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is very important but the truth is you cannot build a strong brand within a few days not even a few weeks. A few weeks or a few years maybe. Unfortunately, waiting for all that long so that you can fully utilize social media marketing might cost you a lot of benefits.
The good news is that this platforms keeps on coming up with new features and tools to help you reach out to your clients. The most significant features of in social media marketing is the paid ads options. For example the Facebook Ads will allow you to upload an entire product catalogue on the social media platform. After uploading the catalogue of your products, each product will be automatically be shown to the customers who are most interested with such kind of products. Making it such an amazing tool for the eCommerce tool for the marketers.
According to Pinterestmore than 50 percent of their sales happen after the users click on the ads. Pay per click advertising and social media marketing can be intertwined to help you reach out to an even larger crowd.
Every popular social media platform has its own useful tools for the marketers and most of them operate in a similar manner as google pay per click advertising. The social media gives a chance to get creative and they save you so much time that you would have used adopting the other methods of eCommerce advertising.
Some of the most common social media include the Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Instagram ads, LinkedIn ads, snapchat ads and Pinterest ads. The ads are designed to help you reach out to specific customers and you can use the one that you find most suitable for your business.
As we already highlighted, there is also the possibility of reaching out to your customers “organically.” Before the introduction of the social media, it was the only way. The good thing about using the organic way of reaching out to customers is that it helps improve the awareness of your business and it can also play a vital role in maintaining SEO.
• Search Engine Ads
The most common search engine ads are the google ads and the Bing ads. Once you have paid for the ads, your ad will appear on the first page of the search results and it will not include any type of imagery. It is a text only advertisement but it really work. It is not easy to get to the first page of google and when you are on the first page of google or even Bing it mean you will be exposed to more customers.
Most people who buy from online, normally click the first result on the search results so if your products are of high quality it means there are a lot of people who are going to buy from your store when it is on the first page of the search engine. The search engine should definitely be on your plan if you are planning to launch a campaign any time soon.
• Video Streaming Ads
Well, YouTube is by for the platform that is used the most when it comes to streaming videos online. It is owned by google so the video streaming ads works with the same concept as the google ads. You will only need to pay if the user interacts with your video. If he or she doesn’t interact with the video, then even if he converts to a customer you will not need to pay.
It is estimated that by 2021, over 80 percent of all internet traffic will be related to video content. As of now, YouTube is the second most searched platform after google with over a billion of hours being viewed on the platform every single day. With such statistics, you can agree with the report about over 80 percent of internet traffic being related to a video content.
In YouTube, there exist different types of ads which include the skippable ads which are the most common. The videos can be skipped after like 5 seconds of viewership. Over 76 percent of the viewers normally skip the video even if it is related to them. It is because of this you need to make sure that the very first seconds of the video sends most of the information you wanted. It’s a good way of advertising on YouTube as the viewer can turn to customer without necessarily having to watch the whole video and you will only have to pay if the viewer watches the video ad for more than 30 seconds.
There are also the non-skippable videos which are exactly what they sound to be. The video are not skippable and a viewer will have to wait until the video is done before he can continue the video he wanted to watch. The companies can pay for this videos and they get to tell a longer brand story. However, they risk annoying the viewers and that’s why the videos are supposed to be less than 20 seconds.
Then there is the bumper ads which are normally non-skippable but they only last for like 6 seconds. The video is unlikely going to irritate the user as it is short and it will still get to tell a short story about your brand. The videos normally appear on the beginning of a monetized YouTube videos.
There are also the display ads which are more of the same as the google ads on google search engine and they can display on YouTube as well as on the websites. It will be like killing two birds with one stone.
• Forum Advertising
This is another method that is very effective and one that does not necessarily require to use any money. It just requires you to be an expert and be providing people with relevant information on your niche. The most common platform to do that is Quora. On this platform, you will get to answer questions that clients in your niche might have. Become an expert and from there you can post links of your products and since they already trust you, they won’t mind buying from you.
• Email Marketing
Email Marketing can also play a vital role on your marketing plan when done the right time. As a matter of fact, email is one method that produces very high returns of investments. Just take it slow and make the emails personalized and positive. The readers will be willing to read the emails if they are positive and are in their best interest.
Make them more engaging and don’t be too promotional. You can also use the email automation features to make your work easier. Once the potential customers always get positive content and they are always updated about your new products, they will trust you and once they trust you, they will not mind buying from you.
3. eCommerce Advertising Formats
• Video Ads
Video ads on social media are more of the same as the click ads but instead of having a photo or an image in them, they have a video. Most people normally finds it easy to buy a product after watching a video and that’s why it is expected that by 2021 all the internet traffic will be directed towards videos. The video ads can be used in different social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram.
A video can be up to 240 minutes long but for effective results, the videos are normally around 30 seconds. The video file should be 4 GB maximum for size and as for the video format, MOV, GIF or GIF file will do. Video captions are optional but highly recommended as most people tend to watch the video ads without sound.
• Image Ads
Image ads are very popular on Instagram but they can also be used on other social media platforms including Facebook. The photo ads appears more like organic content on Instagram but the sponsored ones have a call to action button that allows the user to land on a certain landing page.
• Carousel Ads
Carousel ads are an excellent way of showing multiple products of your business to the users of social media including Facebook. Statistics suggest that the carousel ads perform up to 10 times better than the static ads and the good thing is that it comes with 30 to 50 percent lower cost per conversion. It is an ideal option for any company hoping to promote different products. For the best results, ensure that the ad copy is around 125 characters long, the link description is 30 characters long, and the images are 1080 by 1080 or 600 by 600.
• Content Ads
Content advertising is the process of producing content with the intention of promoting it. Content ads is not content marketing and those two should not be confused. Content marketing is free while content ads you will have to pay for it. Paying for your content will make people discover your content and interact with it which is very important nowadays.
• Lead Generation Ads (forms)
Lead generation ads are literally the best ways of running lead generation campaign on Facebook and Instagram. The lead generation ads allows people to show their interest in a particular product by filling out a form that is in the ad with their details and this makes it easy for the businesses to follow up the customers.
4. eCommerce Advertising Strategies
For a successful advertising plan, you should be sure to follow the following procedure:
• Determine your sales and lead Generation Strategy
There is really no answer that fits all so this is where you need to be very creative. There are a couple of methods you can use for lead generation and we have discussed all about them. Choose a couple of methods that fits your business perfectly and go with them.
• Get technology and Reporting Software
You need to ask yourself if the technology you are using is enough to help you track the results of your campaigns and if it can help you increase your returns of investment. If the answer is no, then you should consider an upgrade.
• Start with Conversions
The bottom line of a sales and lead generation is to create conversions and get customers buying from you. If you are comfortable with the strategy and it is generating some good conversions, then you can stick to it.
• Test the Waters
Allocate some of the funds for advertising to try out new strategies. Even if the strategy you are using is making you some good conversion, there is no harm with trying out new strategies. After all, you will never know the best method if you don’t try out a couple of them. Don’t spend haphazardly though, use the money for your marketing budget wisely.
• Refine and expand your eCommerce Marketing Strategy
After trying out a couple of methods, you must have a good understanding of how everything works and where you need to make some improvements and where there might be some opportunities.
eCommerce Advertising Tips
Here are some expert tips from the experts to help you out the best out of your advertising plan.
• Leverage your list for more than Promotion
The email newsletters that you send out to your potential customers should be more than just discounts that you promise to give them if they buy from your store. Try to show the behind scenes, try to tell stories and make your customers feel a part of your family. Doing that may not have good return of investment in the beginning but in the long run it will be one of the best decisions you ever made.
• You are not experimenting enough
Avoid complacency and be tireless when it comes to optimizing your eCommerce store and marketing channels in order to increase conversion rates. If you have not experimented like above 50 changes to your approach to see how each impact to your metrics, then you have not experimented enough.
Customer research literally has no replacement for following your customer in every stage of the buying journey. And don’t just be sending messages asking them to leave you a review, sometimes try testing new products with them.
• Talk to your customers
This is an advice that is always given by every expert but it is rarely followed but yet it is very important. Talk to your customers and sometimes survey them. Find some gaps with your customers and try to fix them.
5. Future of eCommerce Advertising
• Voice Advertising
Voice advertising or sometimes referred to as share of voice is an ad revenue model that focuses on weight or percentage among the other advertisers. For example if there are 5 advertisers on a website, each advertiser is going to get 20 percent of the advertising weight. It is used to represent a relative portion of adverts inventory that are available to a single advertiser within a defined market in a specific period of time. In future, this method is going to be very common and it already applicable.
• Virtual Reality Advertising (VR)
This is a technology that is aimed at creating a computer generated experience for the users through special software and googles. VR will most probably replace the entire surrounding of the user with a complete 3D setting which is very appealing to the eyesight and very clear for listening. A VR is like a time machine of some kind.
Once you wear the googles inside the room, you will be transported to an appealing virtual reality. Like for example you can find yourself in the game of thrones world or during the World War 2 in a jet fighting the Nazis or in London enjoying a live football match between Arsenal and Manchester United.
The technology is interactive and it allows the users to interact with the surrounding environment in a certain way. Virtual reality is really growing and within time it is definitely going to be taking over advertising.
• Augmented Reality Advertising (AR)
Augmented reality advertising is the use of augmented reality ads that can help the marketers to create an emotional connection with consumers. Unlike the use of banners and images, the augmented reality is more lifelike and way more interactive. The consumers can see them and even interact with them. Some companies are already using the AR and soon it will be a common occurrence in the advertising.
• Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is already being used in different industries such as health care and it is also already being used in advertising. The AI is able to analyze huge amounts of data and then predict the advertising method that is going to work out the best. With the use of AI, you can be able to optimize your campaigns in order to perform better.
• Advertising Automation
Advertising automation is one of the trending ideas of online advertising. It the process of automating your online advertising efforts and then you can concentrate on other things as advertising will be held automatically handled. This is the next automation technology to get the best results out of advertising campaign.
Hacks for effective eCommerce advertising
The following hacks are going to help you do even better in eCommerce advertising.
• Use eye-catching content title that has some elements of SEO.
• Have a live chat functionality in your website and it will help you boost the trust of your visitors. The software will most definitely be expensive but it is going to be worth it.
• Make the new customers want to visit your website again and again. You can do this by hooking them with loss leaders. Loss leaders are products that a company will sell at a loss but it knows that it will be catered for in future sales of the product.
• Answer the frequently asked questions on category pages so as to increase your reputation as an expert in the industry.
• Your website load speed should be exceptional. Should load in under 3 seconds.
• Include comparison guides for the similar products that you offer.
• Get reviews that you want by suggesting some topics that you would like your customers to address.
• Make use of influencer marketers.
• Don’t overpromise your customers but make sure to over deliver.
• Make use of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways of making your business known without having to struggle yourself.
Ad campaign samples to start eCommerce Advertising
Every year, different ways to sell products become available. In this section we give you some samples to help you make even more sales.
• Use of stunning images especially on Facebook advertising and Instagram. Make sure that the images don’t look fake. They should be a beautiful representation of your product in real life situation.
• Use face images because at the end of the day you are selling the products to human beings and people like seeing beautiful faces. A good example is Polo Ralph Lauren for the advertisement of their clothes.
• Keep it simple with the images yet eye catching like how Edible Blooms keeps it.
• Use call to action instead of posting ads that are going to irritate some of the users. A good example that uses this method is Koala.
• Make social proof by using customer stories especially on platforms like Facebook which is extremely community based. The customers’ stories and testimonies are going to make your brand even more respected. A good example of a company that uses social proof is the K9 sport Sack. They make carrier bags for dogs and they regularly make use of their customers’ stories to establish social proof for their products.
Most common Advertising Mistakes
As a business owner, you already know that advertising is vital when it comes to the success of your business. There are a lot of mistakes that many business owners ends up making and in this section we cover some of those mistakes so that you can be sure to avoid them.
• Thinking that Advertising is not Necessary
Well, from the benefits of advertising we discussed above you can tell that the importance of advertisement cannot be underestimated. And if you have not thought about it yet, now is the time.
• Advertising without Researching
Some people just dive into advertising the researching their target audience and they end up using a lot of money without getting the intended results. Advertising is great but if you target the wrong audience then it can be pretty useless.
• Using only one channel
As we have already seen, there are a couple of eCommerce advertising and you need to use integrate a several of them so that if one does not get the desired results you can rely on the others. Try even the offline methods and they are definitely going to help you out.