On the path of retail discovery your target shoppers are spread across multiple digital channels. It’s no wonder that some merchants can’t seem to achieve the growth they want with search engine marketing. There are channels everywhere, each with varied but similar platforms. You’re not the only one who’s getting confused.
Platforms like Google’s Adwords is an ever changing beast, so we don’t blame retailers for struggling to grasp the right strategic approach. According to searchengineland.com, Google launched more than 1600 new changes in search last year.
This constant flux, plus the sheer amount of digital channels, is creating a huge challenge for merchants! The world of commerce is no longer single channel, and one algorithm change is going to rock your world in the worst way.
Why You Need A Holistic SEM Approach
I’ll let you in on a little secret to my success with Demac’s clients: a holistic approach. A marketing strategy that is interconnected, cross-channel, and cross-platform, is what merchants and retailers need to drive Revenue and Return on Ad Spend.
In a few short months working holistically with one of our merchants this year, I’ve been able to drive a 10x return for their search engine marketing investment.
Try it for yourself – here are a few of my top tips to help you and your eCommerce team create a digital strategy that will create crazy growth.
1. Don’t Set it and Forget It!
SEM isn’t like an infomercial product. You never, ever, ever want to set campaigns and forget them. We actually recommend that you test channels and campaigns in a vacuum, and never stop iterating.
It’s like your own science experiment. Start with a hypothesis, test it, draw a conclusion and go onward from there. You can read more on how to effectively bring consumers back to your site, from our Co-Founder and CEO, Matt Bertulli, here.
2. Be the Matchmaker of SEM
Your ultimate goal should be to find your customers and identify the channels where they can be found, then set up campaigns to reach these customers in their journey.
Develop a single customer view (SCV) using your abundance of data. Having an SCV will help you formulate the right strategy to reach the right people, at the right place, with the right message.
A marketing “match made in heaven” can be yours, if you target personas intelligently and keep your messages relevant! You’ll not only see a better return on ads, you’ll build a better relationship with your customers.
3. Focus on Your BEST Customers
We can’t emphasise the importance of selling to your most valuable customers. These are customers that have the highest Lifetime Value (LTV/CLV), those that are current or returning, who have demonstrated that they love your store and products/serivces.
Be their best friend online. Collect even more, detailed, data on customers that are returning, and track their movements online. This is where retargeting comes into play.
Once they visit your site and/or make a purchase, track them (anonymously with cookies or pixels) and hit them again with an ad related to the products they were viewing, products they purchased, different categories, or even brands entirely.
Customers with a high lifetime value make up a small percentage of your audience, but spend up to 3x more than your other shoppers!
4. Invest Cross-Platform and Channels
Your options for paid advertising are vast, and changing by the minute. Not to mention, retailers tend to hear success stories from other retailers about their ROI from platforms “X” and “Y”, and make the mistake of thinking these channels will work for them too.
This is why it’s important to know your customers. They’re the ones that will lead you to the right platforms to advertise on. Don’t pray and spray. Use your on/off experiments (refer to point 1.) to see exactly which acquisition methods are worthwhile for your business. Invest only in those channels and platforms that are working.
The (Whole) Holistic Customer Journey
Much like holistic healing, approaching your digital marketing with a view of wholeness is important to see a return on your investment. Align your strategy with the customer journey, and interconnect campaigns across your best channels and platforms, to reach your highest value customers.
The benefits are bountiful with a holistic approach:
- Customers will increase their loyalty to your store/brand.
- Acquiring new customers will become easier.
- You’ll discover the exact channel where your customers live.
- You can focus your efforts on your most successful channels and platforms.