The transition from brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce websites has continued steadily over the past decade.
Global e-commerce retail sales are expected to grow by $ 5.2 billion between 2014 and 2023. As online purchases integrate seamlessly with search and social platforms, and UX improves, more users tend to make their purchases online.
This shift has led retail brands to rethink their marketing and advertising strategies and devote more budgets to SEO and paid search campaigns. In 2020, advertisers spent nearly $ 200 billion on paid search ads, with retail spending over $ 15 billion. This number is expected to increase in the future.
Don't worry if you are behind on your paid search and social ads spend. Paid ads for ecommerce sales are pretty easy to create, and you'll likely get faster results than SEO.
In this article, I am going to discuss everything you need to know to grow your retail brand's ecommerce sales through paid search and social ads.
How Can Paid Ads Help You Meet Your Ecommerce Sales Goals?
Paid search on social networks as well as Google Ads and Bing Ads gets a lot of attention and helps pull leads through the sales funnel.
For example, Facebook accounts for about 80 percent of the U.S. social referral share of ecommerce websites.
Instagram can now reach 1.16 billion users. At Pinterest, 58 percent of women use Pinterest to make shopping and buying decisions.
SEO takes time to build awareness and draw people into the marketing funnel. Your content may not appear right away or it may not be aimed at the right audience.
Paid search, on the other hand, gives you more immediate results by addressing the right target audience immediately. You can use it for any number of goals from awareness to subscription signups to conversions.
Paid search also gives you a lot of flexibility in e-commerce sales.
Think of all the different platforms and the different ways you can reach your audience. Take Instagram Shopping, for example. According to Instagram, 60 percent of the users surveyed discover new products on Instagram.
With Instagram ads, you can create posts with product tags that link directly to a product detail page, increasing conversions.
I'm not just talking about simple product functions. Brands create drops: exclusive, time-limited product launches on Instagram that link directly to a shopping page.
McDonalds Taiwan created a drop for their jet black burger, a collaboration with designer Apujan.
Marketers create product manuals through Instagram manuals that also link to product pages.
Sephora created their guide to JLo Beauty with seven products to give users the same look.
Each product is linked to a shopping page where users can purchase products from JLo's beauty line through Sephora.
In such cases, paid ads become part of the shopping experience. They blend in seamlessly with your website to make lead conversion easy, increase your ecommerce sales, and retain repeat customers.
Differences between optimizing for organic traffic and paid ads for ecommerce sales
Organic and paid search are two different animals that require completely different approaches. Here are some of the key differences.
Paid ads take the guesswork out of keywords. With organic search, you make informed predictions about keywords that you think are good for your brand and then create content against them. From there, it's a wait game to see if your content is picking up traffic.
With paid search, you'll see much more immediate results because you're paying for keywords that are already relevant to your target audience.
A third of those surveyed by Clutch said they clicked paid search ads because they answered their search query directly.
Of course, the more searches a keyword gets, the more you'll have to pay to display your content for that keyword.
With the organic search you are directed to a target group on relevant platforms. With paid ads, you can focus on very niche audiences on any of these platforms. In addition to targeting a specific demographic or psychographic audience, they can also target a location or customer intent.
You can even go so far as to target people who visited your website but didn't make a purchase, as you'll see in the case studies below.
Both SEO and paid search and social ads take time and effort. With SEO, you monitor your content over time to see how it works, and then adjust your content as needed.
With paid the need for attention is more immediate. Paid search and social ads give you a lot of data. The key to a successful campaign is to constantly monitor this data. Marketers review click-through rates and cost-per-conversion (CPC) and run A / B tests on different iterations of the same campaign to see which results are better for them.
Tips for creating well-paying search and social ad campaigns for retail marketers
First things first, before creating anything, dig deep into your target audience. Understand who they are, how to search and shop for items, and where they hang out online.
Next, choose the platforms that best serve your brand and sales goals. For example, AdEspresso points out that Google Ads generally has higher sales figures, while Facebook is better used to increase brand awareness.
Create a buyer personality that includes not only who your target audience is, but also where their weaknesses lie. What problems can your product solve for them? Your ads should fix these issues right away.
For example, marketers see an ad like this one from Hotjar on their Facebook feed:
Notice the slogan above. It directly addresses a problem many marketers feel: the overwhelming amount of data we get.
Next, add a good quality, engaging picture (or two) or video. Regardless of what platform you're working with, you need images or videos that will capture your audience. In Google Ads, this means that product images will appear in Google Shopping.
Finally, paid social ads include a CTA. In this example, Hotjar includes a CTA and a login button.
How you create a great ad depends a lot on the platform you choose. I've discussed various tactics you can use on Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads. However, each platform has unique features to increase conversions.
For example, Snapchat has 265 million daily active users. With their ad platform, brands can create, launch, and monitor ad campaigns right from the platform. By installing a Snapchat pixel, marketers can follow their ads in real time.
A unique aspect of Snapchat is that 64 percent of users view content with the sound turned on. While subtitled ads work well for Facebook, marketers should watch out for their audio track in their Snapchat ads.
Here's how to make sure your paid ads convert new customers and increase ecommerce sales
Here are some other tips for creating great paid search and social campaigns to grow your ecommerce sales:
- Link to a product landing page for specific product ads: Landing pages should be streamlined and have a simple interface that users can use to purchase your product.
- If conversions are your goal, look for high buyer intent keywords: This is especially true for Google Ads. For example, keywords like buying an electric car can help convert more leads than electric cars.
- Use retargeting tools: Google Ads, Facebook, and many other platforms offer retargeting to deliver targeted ads to users who have traded, such as: B. clicked on an ad but was not considered a conversion.
- Task of the target car: Create custom ads for users who have left their shopping carts.
- A / B test: Don't just choose one ad or one campaign. Test videos against images, one CTA against another, one type of ad placement against another, etc.
Case Studies: Ecommerce Firms That Have Increased Sales Using Paid Ads
I've given you the steps to create great paid ad campaigns for retail marketing as well as some tips on how to optimize it. Now let's look at some case studies to see how brands are putting these steps and tips into practice to increase their ecommerce sales.
Roller Rabbit: Creating an Integrated Marketing Campaign
The Roller Rabbit clothing and bedding company had a problem. They needed to create awareness and increase revenue on a budget cut by 25 percent while struggling to keep track of sales data. So they hired digital marketing company Major Tom to create an integrated marketing campaign that included paid ads for search and social purposes.
The goal was to achieve an ROAS of 400 percent while meeting the income and transaction goals of the holiday season.
First, Major Tom performed a full review of the analytics and CRM data to refine the reporting strategy.
Next, they developed an integrated pay media strategy targeting high impact channels like Facebook, Google Ads, and Microsoft Ads. After fixing reporting issues and running ads, Major Tom began identifying previously unknown audiences for the Roller Rabbit brand.
This new data allowed them to focus their targeting by expanding into smaller, more targeted ad groups and shifting focus to the highest converting categories. They also took the following steps to accomplish Roller Rabbit's goals:
- filled in missed opportunities
- Removed overlapping targeting
- focused on promotions and sales
- separate dynamic search ads into their category for better control of spending and targeting
As a result, Roller Rabbit saw paid media revenue grow 95 percent and ecommerce conversion rates rose 176 percent. They exceeded the transaction targets by 98 percent. Her ROAS on Google was 775 percent, while her Facebook ROAS was a staggering 1124 percent.
BeautyMNL: Using Facebook Dynamic Ads
BeautyMNL is a women's lifestyle company in the Philippines offering everything from cosmetics and skin care to wellness and fitness products. They wanted to efficiently scale their marketing to increase brand awareness and online sales.
To achieve this goal, they turned to Facebook's dynamic ads and created a single test campaign. With Facebook's dynamic ads, brands upload multiple products from their catalog, and Facebook automatically places each in relevant news feeds.
BeautyMNL opted for the collection feature which has a hero picture and several smaller pictures underneath. Instead of a picture, BeautyMNL placed a video at the hero site.
They targeted their campaign to people who were on their ecommerce website but hadn't made a purchase, which marketers can do with Facebook retargeting.
This three-week campaign saw purchases increase 38 percent and sales increase 18 percent compared to a similar period without ads.
Investing in a killer paid advertising campaign not only increases your brand awareness, it can also attract users to your ecommerce website and make their shopping experience easier than ever.
For you, this means more conversions and higher sales.
With so many cross-platform options, now is the time to get creative and put together paid search and social networking ads that will excite your audience and speak directly to their vulnerabilities.
Would you like my team to run your paid search and social ad campaigns for you? Fill out our advice form.
What types of paid ads do you think are best for your brand? How can you capture these leads and convert them into paying customers through paid search and social networks?
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