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The Top 10 D2C Marketing Channels: Why They’re Effective and Strategies to Maximize ROI

D2C marketers in front of whiteboard

The direct to consumer e-commerce sales in the United States are expected to reach $174.98 billion by 2023. And, as an e-commerce business, that means more growth and revenue opportunities every year.

D2C sales in the US

However, it’s not that simple. You need to understand the best D2C marketing channels and how to maximize their return if you want to be successful as an e-commerce brand. There are a number of different D2C marketing channels that can be used, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In this blog post, we will explore ten marketing channels and explain why you should use them.

What is D2C marketing?

Direct to consumer (D2C or DTC) marketing is a term used for marketing strategies that allow brands to sell products and services directly to consumers through digital channels. This cuts out the need for traditional middlemen, such as retailers and wholesalers, which results in lower prices and a more streamlined customer experience.

Best D2C marketing channels

These are some of the best D2C marketing channels you can use to drive more revenue and growth.

Website

Your website is the foundation of your DTC marketing strategy. Think of it as a modern day business card. It is where customers will go to learn more about your products and services, and it is also where they will make their purchase decisions. Make sure your website is well-designed and easy to use, and that it provides all the information customers need to make a decision. You should also consider using conversion optimization techniques to increase the percentage of visitors who convert into buyers.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors who convert into buyers on your website. There are a number of different techniques you can use, such as A/B testing, user testing, and heat mapping. By using CRO techniques, you can ensure that more of your visitors become customers!

In fact, A/B testing, copy optimization, and customer journey analysis are some of the most effective ways to improve conversion rates.

Conversion rate optimization stats

A/B testing is a technique used to compare two versions of a web page or email to see which one performs better. This can be used to test different designs, copy, or calls to action. By performing A/B tests, you can find the version of your website that converts the most visitors into buyers!

User testing is the process of watching people use your website or app to identify usability issues. By identifying and fixing these issues, you can make it easier for people to convert into buyers. I personally recommend a tool like Hotjar because there’s a free version that allows you to place heatmaps on your website and the ability to watch user recordings. You can see exactly where people interact with your online store so you can make improvements.

Sign up for a free account to begin.

Signing up for Hotjar

Click “Heatmaps” or “Recordings” from the dashboard.

Hotjar dashboard

Heatmaps show a visual representation of where any of your web page’s receive the most engagement and attention. Use this to understand where customers are looking and focus on placing offers and key elements in these areas.

Watch recordings of users to observe exactly where they click, how they navigate your online store, etc. This is priceless for understanding where people drop off, what they like/don’t like, and ultimately helps you craft a better user experience.

Organic search and SEO

Organic search is one of the most important sources of traffic for DTC brands. In fact, a recent study found that organic search was the number one source of traffic for e-commerce websites.

Ecommerce traffic sources

There are a number of different SEO techniques you can use to improve your website’s ranking in organic search results. These include optimizing your titles and meta descriptions, building backlinks, and publishing high-quality content. By using these techniques, you can ensure that more people find your website when they search for related terms!

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. The more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank in SERPs. You can increase the number of backlinks by publishing high-quality content, participating in link exchanges, and guest posting on other websites.

Publishing high-quality content is one of the best ways to attract backlinks and improve your website’s ranking in SERPs. By creating compelling content that people want to read, you can encourage them to link to it from their own websites. You can also promote your content on social media sites and to your email list (more on that later!)

Google Ads

Google Ads is a form of online advertising that allows you to place ads on Google’s search results pages and millions of other websites across the web. By using Google Ads, you can reach potential customers when they are searching for related terms. For retail businesses, clicks are up 42% YOY while cost per-click has decreased by 22%. That means more clicks for less money!

Google Search Ads stats

There are a number of different types of Google Ads, including text ads, display ads, and shopping ads. You can use any or all of these types of ads to reach potential customers.

To create effective Google Ads campaigns, you need to identify the keywords your customers are likely to use when searching for your products or services. You then need to create adverts that contain those keywords, as well as a call to action that encourages people to click through and learn more about your business.

Creating your first campaign is as easy as signing up here.

Starting with Google Ads

Click “Tools and settings” and “Keyword planner.”

Selecting keyword planner

Enter a keyword related to your product or category.

Keyword planner search

This will display keyword ideas and their respective data like monthly search volume and cost per-click.

Keyword planner data

Export this data via “Download Keyword Ideas” or copy them individually to another file. You can also tick the box next to keywords and save them for importing to campaigns later.

When you’re ready to create a campaign, go back to the dashboard and click “New campaign.”

New campaign

Choose a campaign goal and type.

Campaign goal and types

Then, select the way you’d like to reach your goal and assign the campaign a name. Click “Continue” when you’re done.

Campaign options

Set a budget and bidding strategy on the next page. You can also edit ad rotation and conversion settings by clicking “More Settings.”

Bidding settings

The audience you target can be adjusted through networks, locations, languages, and segments.

Audience settings

Next, add your keywords or use “Get Keywords” feature by entering your URL and product category.

Keyword input

You can write the ad itself below this. Remember that headlines and sales copy should focus on benefits, features, calls to action, urgency, and scarcity. These are some of the most powerful triggers for purchasing.

Google Ads copy

Click “Next” and add extensions like sitelinks. This provides more resources for customers and increases the engagement your advertisement receives.

Review your ad once all of these steps are complete and you can submit it for review! Once Google approves it, your campaign will be running and bringing you in sales.

The Office celebration

Facebook ads

Facebook Ads is a form of online advertising that allows you to place ads on Facebook’s News Feed and other parts of the social network. And with 2.9 billion monthly active users, it’s a D2C marketing channel you don’t want to miss!

Facebook MAU

Facebook Ads include photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads. You can also create ads for Instagram through Facebook’s Ads Manager.

To generate the best return on ad spend with this D2C marketing channel, you must use high-quality creatives, great sales copy, and refined targeting. A/B split testing (which is built into Facebook Ads) is also key for driving the most revenue.

Visit Ads Manager and click “Create Ad” to create your first Facebook ad.

Create Facebook ad

Choose a campaign objective like driving traffic or generating leads.

Campaign type

Assign it a name and click “Continue.”

FB settings

Enable A/B testing to find better-performing ads and campaign optimization to generate the best return on ad spend.

AB testing settings

Choose when the campaign will begin and where you will be sending traffic. You will see different prompts depending on the original campaign goal you selected.

FB ad setup

We highly recommend targeting a lookalike audience for the best results. Simply install a Facebook Pixel on your website or other asset and leverage that data to target people the most likely to convert.

You can also use automatic placements to let Facebook choose the best areas to display your ads or choose them manually. Optimization and delivery settings can be changed below this.

Placement settings

Finally, you can design your ad and publish it once you’re finished. After it’s approved, you’ll be notified and the campaign will be running!

Setting up FB ad

That brings me to my next point.

Instagram ads

Instagram is one of the best D2C marketing channels for brands and retailers. Odds are that your customers are browsing through Instagram right now and you could reach them with advertisements. In fact, Instagram has over 1.18 billion monthly active users and this number only continues to grow!

Instagram usage forecast

Setting up Instagram ads is just as easy as Facebook ads. Why? Because it’s literally done on the same platform. Revisit the steps I laid out above but select “Manual placements.”

Instagram ad setup

Choose “Instagram” under which platforms you wish to target and drill down even further with ads displayed on user’s feeds or Stories and Reels.

Follow the prompts as you did earlier and you’ll have an Instagram ad up and running in no time!

Pinterest ads

Pinterest is a powerhouse for driving sales if your D2C business is in niches like fashion, beauty, and health. 30.% of the platform’s userbase is made up of 25-34 year old females. The large male demographic is in this same age group.

Pinterest advertising audience

Click here to get started with Pinterest ads. Choose a campaign objective and fill out its details.

Creating a Pinterest ad

Choose a budget type, daily spend limit, and schedule.

Pinterest campaign budget

Edit your campaign’s targeting details through interests, keywords, audience lists, demographics, or actalike audience.

You can also choose ad placements during this step.

Pinterest targeting

Finally, add a Pin or choosing an existing one that you would like to use for the campaign and publish it for it go live!

Choosing a Pinterest ad

If you need world-class media buyers to manage your campaigns, reach out to us today for a free consultation.

TikTok

TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform ever. It is a video-sharing app where users can share short videos with each other. Whether it’s through content marketing or ads, you can leverage this network for massive awareness and growth. Sign up here or via the mobile app.

I highly recommend posting daily content (or as frequently as possible) to drive traffic and awareness. The algorithm loves brands that post on a regular basis, continually sharing your posts to more and more people.

For example, check out all of the videos that the fashion brand Puma has posted. They are very active on TikTok, allowing them to reach and connect with millions of customers.

Puma TikTok example

Furthermore, here’s an example of a TikTok ad from Apple:

Email marketing

Email marketing is a type of online marketing that involves sending emails to potential customers. Major platforms like Shopify allow you to collect customers’ emails during the checkout process for example. But, you should also be using a service like Mailchimp or Klaivyo. These tools give you features to drive the most sales through email and nurture prospects.

There are a number of different types of email marketing, including automated email marketing, lead nurturing email campaigns, and event-based email campaigns. It’s very important for D2C brands to have a solid abandoned cart strategy in place along with automation. This ensures that you don’t leave money on the table while also saving time from sending emails manually.

As a matter of fact, saving time, generating more leads, and driving greater revenue are some of the statistically proven benefits of using email marketing automation!

Benefits of email marketing automation

Let’s use Sendfox as an example. You can sign up for Sendfox for free and upgrade to their lifetime plan for just $50. And, yes, you read that right.

Sendfox

After you’ve created a list, form, and collected subscribers, you can use automation via “Automations” on the top navigation.

Sendfox automation

“Trigger” is what initiates the sequence to take place. You can then edit each email and when it’s sent. Click “Save” when you’re done.

The open rate, click-through rate, and bounce rate are very important. Ideally, the open rate will be between 40-60% or higher. 25% is the average but you can see my above campaigns are so optimized that I achieved 65.37% on the first email.

Click-through rate across industries is between 1-3%. Once again, my first email from the above automation achieved an insane 43.32% click rate. I’m telling you this because while benchmarks are important, you can blow them out of the water when you know what you’re doing.

Here are some tips to achieve these types of numbers:

  • Write sales copy that’s exciting, targets emotion, and has a strong call to action.
  • Use subject lines that promise a benefit or create a sense of mystery.
  • Keep emails short and sweet for the most part.
  • Offer a lead magnet to increase subscriber rate and open rates.
  • Build trust with prospects through content marketing and branding before they opt-in.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to promote your D2C business. Major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to create profiles for your business and share content with your followers.

There are a number of different types of social media marketing, including organic social media marketing and paid social media advertising. Organic social media marketing involves creating valuable content that attracts followers organically. Paid social media advertising involves paying to promote your content on social media platforms like you saw earlier.

To be effective in social media marketing, it’s important to know which platforms your customers are active on. You then need to create content that resonates with those customers and encourages them to follow your brand. Create a content calendar and keep a consistent schedule so you steadily increase followers, engagement, and traffic. Here’s an example:

Content calendar example

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is the process of working with influencers to promote your brand. Heck, the brand Gymshark has grown to a $1.4 billion company primarily through using influencers. It should be no surprise that influencer marketing interest has increased 90x.

Influencer market stats

There are a number of different ways to work with influencers, including paid collaborations, sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing. It’s important to choose an influencer whose values align with your own brand values. You should also make sure that the influencer has a large enough following to reach your target audience.

To be effective in influencer marketing, you need to identify the right influencers for your brand and create content that resonates with them. You should also make sure that you’re providing value for the influencer. This could be in the form of free products, cash, or exposure.

Wrapping up the best D2C marketing channels

To be effective in DTC marketing, you need to use a variety of different channels to reach your target audience. Some of the best channels are online advertising, Pinterest Ads, TikTok ads, email marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine optimization (SEO), retargeting, and abandoned cart campaigns.

If you need world-class media buyers to help you drive more growth through paid ads and other channels, apply to become a Profitable Ads client.

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