Between social media advertising, SEO, SEM, email marketing and a slew of other traditional e-commerce marketing methods, it might feel like you don’t have time to try out other marketing tactics.
But that’s a mistake. If you don’t try other advertising campaigns, what will you have to compare to your traditional advertising ROI? Unless your current marketing efforts are continually moving the needle on traffic and conversions, you can always do better.
To get your mind churning on how your brand can grow outside of the typical marketing channels, consider these four out-of-the-box e-commerce advertising campaign ideas.
1. Giveaway Contest Run Partnered with Third-Party Blog
Regardless of your store’s niche, there are likely more than a few authoritative blogs covering it. If you’re looking to generate more brand awareness or spread the word about a particular product, run a giveaway contest and partner with one of these high-authority blogs to broadcast it. Their readership will make for an engaged contest and increase your store’s buzz, plus it’ll get you one or more backlinks from a high domain-authority site, which helps your site rank better in the SERPs.
2. Create a Challenge
We all remember the ice bucket challenge for ALS a few years back, which saw hundreds of millions of tagged videos circulate Facebook. Lauded for its ability to combine peer pressure, competitiveness, narcissism and low barriers to entry to engage users, the ice bucket challenge was a marketing home run. It’s probably unreasonable to expect your own challenge to garner such a following, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a viable advertising initiative. Who knows, the challenge could blow up bigger than you imagined and launch your brand to a new stratosphere. At the very least, social media followers will perceive your brand as creative and interesting, which is certainly better than the alternative.
3. Accept User-Generated Content
Blogging and maintaining active social media profiles are time-consuming tasks when balancing the various other aspects of an e-commerce business. One way to lighten the load is to accept user-generated content. If your niche is travel-related, advertise you’re looking for customer travel stories or travel contemplations to feature on your blog.
If you sell housewares, ask for before-and-after photo essays of your users’ decor transformations. If you sell kitchen accessories and culinary equipment, ask your customers to submit their own recipes. People like genuine content and if you don’t have the time to create informative content for real people, you may as well leverage your users’ first-hand experiences. If you want to showcase user-generated materials from your other blog content, consider using a separate e-commerce theme and storing them on a new page of your site.
4. Create a Capsule Package
Even though we all want free choice, most of us actually prefer to see just a few strong options. This is why Chipotle is one of the fastest-growing fast-food chains in history or why subscription boxes containing anything from hot sauce to unicorn accessories are increasingly being peddled and sold.
You can do a similar thing with your business, but instead of creating specific packages of your own products, partner with a brand whose products are somehow complementary to yours. For example, if you’re a purveyor of outdoor gear, partner on a capsule package with a health food brand specializing in organic on-the-go treats. Who wouldn’t want a backpacking pack and two week’s supply of the tastiest rolled steel oat bars?
Depending upon the brand with which you partner, you’ll get great visibility into a customer base that might not be familiar with your store. If you can create a great capsule offering, your conversions—for the capsule package and your other products—will surely increase.
These ideas should merely serve as a primer for out-of-the-box e-commerce advertising campaign ideas out there. The important part of marketing is experimentation. Rarely will you find your marketing sweet spot right away, and solid ROI usually doesn’t happen on first or second attempts. Have fun brainstorming and then have even more fun planning and executing creative ways to generate more buzz for your e-store.