Reaching out to unique and less crowded sales channels can provide a huge boost to your bottom line at the end of the quarter. We all know like E-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, and for a lesser part Facebook, so we’re’ going to leave those out of the mix to discuss some more unique sales and marketing channels that you might not have considered yet.
Blogger or Youtuber Influencers
If you have a product that needs more eyes in front of it, reaching out to a blogger or YouTube channel for a review is not a bad place to start after you’ve exhausted Facebook advertisements. The great thing about this platform is that you’ll get brand exposure in three separate phases.
First, you will get exposure and clicks to your sales funnel from the blog post or YouTube video itself. Obviously, this is a given and is the primary goal of having a sponsored post on a blog or video.
There will also be a large portion of viewers who don’t click into your funnel depending on the size of the blog or YouTube channel. However, now they’ve been exposed to your product and will be more receptive to future campaigns. They trust that source, and you become a more trusted brand in their eyes.
That last level of exposure is great because it’s free, and potentially very far reaching. Re-bloggers. Over the past few years, there has been a massive increase in blogs and YouTube channels created. Most of them are people trying to make a low-effort quick buck from affiliate links. Typically, they will research products other bloggers posts on which products to feature, it is where paying top dollar for a high profile blogger in your niche is key, because that’s where they pull what products to build links. All of the sudden you’re in five different flashlights articles (assuming you sell flashlights).
Key takeaways: Similar to any ad campaign, you invest product and capital up-front with no guaranteed ROI. However if your product potentially fits into this type of channel, it can work for you long after the fact. As you move up the elite blogger and YouTuber ranks, sponsored posts will get expensive quickly.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people trying to cash in on affiliate marketing websites, driven by the low buy-in cost and the promise of “easy-income”. Now the typical person setting up an affiliate site will be drawn to Amazon, so having your products listed there with a good base of customer reviews is great.
However, if you have a decent marketplace offering a variety of products, OR have one third-hand product, running an affiliate campaign is another option you have at your disposal.
Key takeaways: You need to convince affiliate marketers to try to sell your product, which will be a taller task if your product isn’t already well known. However, you only pay a portion of the sales, so there is no upfront cost-risk associated with running an affiliate program.
Reddit, and Other Community Forums
This one may seem a bit obvious, but since it takes a bit more legwork than PPC advertising, I stuck it on the list. Having an active Reddit or other account on a forum related to your niche can be a great way to build loyal customers and grow sales.
They do take a lot of legwork since your success will be based directly on how active you are in the community. Contributing to the conversations every day without pushing your product is key to having a better reception when you do self promote on these channels.
In addition to this, Reddit ads are very cheap, and usually sponsoring a forum isn’t too much either, depending on the size.
Key takeaways: This is a great low-cost, high effort way to self-promote your products or service. You should expect to consistently spend 10-15 minutes a day contributing to the other posts to see success when you self-promote. Self-promoting on these channels is tempting but can backfire if you’re not an active member of the community.
Depending on your product, listing items on Etsy is cheap and will get your items on another large marketplace. However, this market is more specifically for super-niche products and you will have to decide if any of your products fit in its consumer base.
Key takeaways: Etsy is a lower cost online E-commerce platform that may work as an extension of your online presence. It’s cheap to list items, but only certain niches will sell well, and since it’s cheap, competition for eyes is fairly high.
A few years ago, Pinterest launched their buyable pins feature, which allows viewers to order products directly from Pinterest. This is a big win for those with content likely to go viral, or those with already established profiles. Gaining traction from scratch on Pinterest today is a lot harder than it was a few years ago, due to the success of the platform in general. That shouldn’t deter you, just be prepared for a slow start unless you plan on buying plenty of advertising pins.
However, you still have the option to buy pins from influencers similar to the blogger channel listed above. Going this route has similar benefits and drawbacks in terms of the potential for second and third-hand impressions, and higher cost as the influencer’s popularity rises.
The great thing about the Pinterest model is its potential for growth without too much effort. Making a pin with a few hashtags can go viral if you get the right people to repin your content. And those get rich quick affiliate bloggers I mentioned previously will also use Pinterest trends to find content for their articles. Some even include the pins directly in their posts. That makes it a great portal for free promotion.
There are a lot of options as like as Survis to consider when it comes to growing E-commerce sales channels. If you want to try a few of these options down the road, try to grow one outlet at a time. Otherwise you may spread yourself too thin and prevent real measurable growth from these channels.