One can’t argue that marketing has evolved rapidly over the last few decades. Well into the digital age, promotion channels have evolved far past word of mouth and traditional media. In turn, this digitization of business has affected many industries and sectors – but the retail industry likely faces a unique challenge on this front. Thus, one may understandably wonder what the best channels for promoting retail products might be in this digital era. As such, for your convenience, we’ve gathered the most prominent channels into a reasonably-sized list below.
Old and new: the best channels for promoting retail products
As highlighted above, the retail industry does face a peculiar, unique challenge. Unlike wholesale, B2B, and other forms of commerce, retail seeks to satisfy the smaller orders of larger groups of customers. As such, it approaches lead acquisition strategies, and the overall sales funnel differently by definition. For instance, retail marketers will likely place more emphasis on lead quality than on individual lead value that B2B businesses would.
Thus, in terms of marketing, approaches need to balance tried-and-tested efficiency with innovation. Some will likely argue that a conservative approach would still yield the best return on investment (ROI), while others will probably attest to emerging, cutting-edge marketing tactics. Fortunately, market statistics and a closer revision of them can more reliably reveal the best channels for promoting retail products.
1. Email marketing
While email marketing may not be the newest promotion channel, it still boasts some demonstrable merit. Namely:
- It still boasts the highest ROI among all marketing formats
- Automated email is viable, and in fact, preferable to non-automated email
- It is not subject to external factors like algorithms
- It remains relevant in the increasingly mobile-friendly digital era
By definition, it offers engaged audiences that have chosen to hear from your business, and it’s direct and personal. Furthermore, it can be automated, which can be incredibly time-efficient. However, it does face challenges as well, so consider the following.
Use compelling subject lines
Substantive, compelling subject lines is what allures leads. Email open rates are far below those of SMS campaigns, for the simple reason that email is comparatively less direct. Thus, consider short, enticing titles; a personal tone is valuable, as is inciting urgency and offering value.
Make it personal and keep it short
While there are limits to how personal an email can get, customers appreciate a human tone and relatable language. If anything, the success of social media and influencers attests to this. Similarly, a short, condensed message can convince more potential leads than longer content can.
Segment your lists and automate emails
Finally, technology offers deep insights and marketing focus tools. Such software as customer relationship management (CRM) can segment your lists into appropriate groups, so you can then personalize your emails further. Finally, CRM and other triggered autoresponders can expedite the process by automating it and thus save you valuable time.
2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing
An equally well-known strategy, PPC marketing is indeed among the best channels for promoting retail products. It boasts an impressive ROI as well, and it provides options for laser-focused marketing. Should you be looking to find the best way to become known online, Google and Facebook ads are among your best options.
Google Ads are currently the biggest PPC platform, and for good reason. Since Google remains the dominant search engine by far, advertising on it remains highly lucrative.
Most notably, opting for Google Ads provides the opportunity for your content to appear above organic search results. Coupled with targeting tools and a sheer amount of customization options, you can deliver your message to a vast audience.
Similarly, Facebook Ads are the largest social media PPC platform today. Where Google covers search results, Facebook covers social media users – an absolutely vast audience, considering its active monthly user base of over 1.5 billion.
Facebook offers similarly reliable ROI, equally potent customization and segmentation tools, and a visual element that offers immense efficiency. Furthermore, just like Google, it requires no massive budget as it awards relevance and quality over quantity.
3. Social media
On the subject of social media, then, traditional marketers may discover that they can offer immense value. Unlike the above Facebook PPC strategy, there are many social media channels that may well be the best channels for promoting retail products today.
Outside of PPC, Facebook also offers the option to create Groups for your brand or product. Its vast audience interacts with social groups actively, and the visual element pays off.
Similarly, Instagram offers a visually stimulating platform that enables closer connections. Instagram Stories offer permanent lead magnets, and can more easily afford an approachable, spontaneous style that can foster brand loyalty.
Finally, Pinterest is arguably the most visually alluring social media platform. It does require more carefully curated content, but it also enables socialization in unique ways. Furthermore, it offers different demographics that may suit your business better.
Furthermore, you should consider the opportunity that all 3 present: working with micro-influencers. Audiences react much more positively to smaller influencers than celebrities, which can be a boon for retail. However, also keep in mind that you should maintain cohesion; your tone and message should be consistent among all channels you choose to use. At the same time, you should still adapt your content for each platform you choose – a unique challenge for marketing teams when spreading across many channels.
Conclusion: The best channels for promoting retail products hinge on you
Having discussed the merits of email marketing, PPC, and social media, we should still note that there’s no one clear, objective winner among them. The best channels for promoting retail products ultimately hinge on your own, unique business, your marketing teams, your goals, and your budget. That said, as long as you make an informed choice, any and all of your options can work in your favor and help your business thrive. Lastly, none of the above are mutually exclusive; in fact, many businesses opt for a multichannel or even omnichannel approach. Thus, you should likely consider promotion channels as coexisting assets, instead of as competing strategies.