There is no doubt that Facebook Ads have changed the game for e-commerce. The detailed targeting capabilities FB offers, variety of ad types available, and sheer quantity of people on FB make it an excellent source to discover and scale winning products. However, relying on Facebook Ads as your only source of traffic can be risky business for your business. By putting all of your eggs in one basket you are allowing Facebook to decide the fate of your business. Once you build up some cash and master Facebook Advertising, it makes good business sense to reinvest by finding other customer acquisition channels - even if your bread and butter remains FB ads.
Here at Order Metrics we see clients spending fortunes on Facebook ads. Many are making a killing doing so, but we would like to see more clients diversify their marketing strategies. Diversification lowers the risk for both our business and your business :) We want you to grow your business for years to come!
To get you started, here are 3 ideas you can start testing out this month. I have seen all of these ideas work at real companies big & small - however these methods will not work for everyone. (#3 is my personal favorite that I think all e-commerce companies should attempt)
Local radio has relatively low cost to reach 1000 people (~$5 CPM). If your product or service has a broad interest, you may want to give this a shot. Also, it would be pretty cool to have a radio ad for your brand with one of those sexy radio voiceovers, wouldn't it?
Here are some ideas to get started:
-Find local markets and radio stations that could be a good fit for your product or service. Here is a list of radio stations across the USA categorized and organized by state. There may also be opportunity in emerging markets such as South America - don't limit yourself!
-Start small and focused. Try promoting 1 product or deal that will attract attention. This will make it easier to measure the effectiveness of the ad.
-Find freelancer(s) on Upwork to develop your ad copy and voiceovers.
-Radio for small business - An overview and some numbers on radio advertising
-Ultimate guide for advertising on Pandora - internet radio…still radio?
-Podcasts may also be worth looking into
Amazon…? You may be thinking "I am a marketer, why would I sell on platform where they take all of your profit margin and competition is brutal?"
Well, the quick answer is that Amazon provides traffic to your products just like you are doing with Facebook Ads. The main difference is that you pay Amazon for this traffic in the form of commission instead of upfront Ad spend (however, Amazon does offer PPC). Competition is high, but the market is growing as well.
So why me?
You have already built up vendor relationships for your products and you know which products consumers are buying. You could diversify your e-commerce business by buying inventory for your top selling products and send them to Amazon FBA where they handle all of the logistics. Margins may not be as high as selling through your own site and you do take some inventory risk - but you have already done 70% of the work. Opening up an Amazon sales channel could be a great bang for your buck to diversify your customer Acquisition channel. All it takes is a little work, research, and creativity.
Side note: Dropshipping is strongly discouraged on Amazon as your seller account will probably get shut down quickly. Amazon customers expect consistently fast delivery :)
Amazon is also expanding to new countries where there are fresh opportunities (such as Amazon Australia). On the macro-economic level, Amazon is just getting started. Don't feel like you have missed out - there is plenty of fruit left on the e-commerce tree.
When done correctly, strategic collaboration with other e-commerce companies can be an excellent source of reliable traffic to your site. Imagine if you could promote your hot selling product to customers of another company with a similar client demographic…well you can and companies do!
This idea could even be done for free by swapping advertisements with another company.
Example: You approach an ecom business with a similar customer demographics to yours and say you would like to put promotional inserts in 5000 of their orders. In return, you will put 5000 promotional inserts in your orders. To sweeten the deal for them, you could even offer to pay for their printing costs! or design the insert for them. How could they say no?? All at a fraction of what FB Ads would cost to find people who actually buy similar products online.
Or you could simply offer to pay a company to place these inserts into their package - growing their revenue stream and yours.
All of these ideas can be tested relatively inexpensively but we understand they may not work for everyone. Like all marketing efforts you want to test and measure the effectiveness of each campaign. For offline channels, this can be done by coupon code, asking customers via surveys, or offering exclusive deals/product variations to certain campaigns.
We encourage you to use these ideas as a starting point and come up with your own ideas. A little creativity can go a long way :)
If you are looking for strategies to revamp your Facebook Ads, we recommend checking out this complete guide to Advertising on Facebook by Bigcommerce.
If you have success with any of the ideas above, please let us know and we will give you 2 months free access to Order Metrics! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.