Serving ecommerce ads is tough enough when you have multiple campaigns, with dozens of ad variations in each, on a single platform. Add another channel (or three) and you’ve got one hell of a beast to fight!
While individual ad platforms offer optimization capabilities, they don’t offer the level of control many digital marketers need. Inconsistencies between ad channels, along with the challenge of determining attribution, make it especially difficult to invest in ads with confidence that your time and money are well spent.
These inconsistencies create one of the biggest problems we face as online marketers as we spend hours a day struggling with spreadsheets and analytics – and that’s before we even have to. scratch the surface of A / B testing, audience targeting, or creation and copy.
Recently, I reached out to a handful of ecommerce experts to get their thoughts on the challenges and strategies they have found helpful in optimizing multi-channel ecommerce campaigns.
Here’s what they said:
1. Use UTM tags
While it might seem incredibly obvious, you would be surprised at how often UTM tags are underused.
âNot using UTM tags makes it very difficult to understand the medium that is returning traffic to your site, which affects the clarity of understanding of the medium you need to focus on and scalability,â says Mina Elias, Founder and CEO of e-commerce site MMA Nutrition. His proven recommendation to consistently use UTM beacons to test “one variable at a time” will become all the more important in understanding where your quality traffic is coming from, as Pixel data is lost and cookies become a thing of the past. .
2. Develop a 360-degree omnichannel strategy
Your customers spend more than 6 hours a day online: researching, on social networks or reading content.
To truly engage with your base and determine how best to reach them, you need to “understand the entire customer journey from the customer’s perspective, instead of the ‘channel’ view upside down,” notes Alex Genov, head of customers. Search at Zappos.
“It is therefore essential that companies take into account all platforms and all channels when creating their marketing plan, including online, in-store, on mobile and on social networks”, notes Alice Chang, founder and CEO of Perfect Corp. Don’t forget to check out some of the alternative platforms to Facebook and Google. âThere are a lot of dumped real estate listings on platforms that aren’t used as often, such as Bing, Reddit, TikTok,â recommends Anthony Lee, Amazon subject matter expert at Canopy Management. âFind a platform that is off the beaten path and start running ads on your Amazon listings. “
3. Don’t stretch too many channels
On the surface, an omnichannel strategy seems like the right approach, but it could easily backfire. You’ll never be on all the proverbial park benches, so you need to prioritize. Avoid the temptation to jump on the next new “shiny” object, just because it sounds exciting.
âGo where your customers are. Just because an advertising platform like TikTok is all the rage and fashion doesn’t mean your brand needs to be there, âsays Duane Brown, CEO and Chief Strategy Officer at Take Some Risk, Inc.â Your brand must spend time on channels you can own, be profitable, and serve your customer base.
While you want to be where your audience is, you need to grow gradually. âStart on one channel, then expand to others. Don’t try to scale 3 channels at the same time, âsaid Kevin Indig, SEO director at Shopify. Even if your customers are on a particular channel, don’t start trying to be there if you can’t devote the time and resources to develop it properly.
4. Take advantage of cross-channel optimization tools
While many marketers are still struggling with spreadsheets and 20 tabs open at once, there are solutions that can help with optimization. âUse tools that aggregate your data so you can analyze it, ask the right questions and tailor your strategy,â suggests Stefan Chiriacescu, founder and CEO of eCommerce Today. âThe days of managing the channels separately are long gone. “
âAnalyzing performance data on a 100% comparable basis across different advertising platforms is virtually impossible for us today,â notes Brendan Hughes, CEO of Optily. âThis is why platforms like Optily have doubled their offer of algorithmic analysis and predictive modeling to identify investment opportunities. This type of solution saves marketers significant time in analyzing, interpreting, and implementing complex data point based changes across multiple platforms.
Want more cross-channel ad optimization tips?
Brendan Hughes recently published Accelerating the Growth of Ecommerce, which is a how-to guide for ecommerce marketing. It discusses the most effective advertising framework, the challenges of measurement and attribution, and technological solutions that save time and money. Paperback and Kindle versions are available on Amazon or you can download a free copy here.