Direct to consumer (DTC) has become a massive part of how people buy and businesses sell. So what is it?
Simply put, DTC businesses are online, and they don’t use third parties, i.e. wholesalers, retailers. There are many examples of big DTC brands, including Warby Parker and Outdoor Voices. Most digital marketing strategies work well with eCommerce-only stores. However, if you want to hone in on direct to consumer marketing initiatives you’ll want to include:
- email marketing
- influencer marketing
- being social
Before you get your marketing underway you’ll need a strong brand identity.
Your first action is to create a brand identity that resonates with your intended audience.
While it pays to remember many websites DTC brands, your focus is to work out how your brand can stand out from the competition and remain in the public consciousness. Developing a unique brand identity informs your audience who you are, what you stand for, and why your customers buy from you.
A brand identity should be robust, consistent and memorable, seamlessly transitioning across platforms and ways a potential consumer will come across your brand. Once you’ve nailed your brand identity and you’ve got your logo and design collateral, you can forge ahead with these three proven DTC marketing strategies.
Being social is a sure-fire method to market gain brand exposure. You can create social media profiles, communicate with followers, and market your products and services via social media. Social media is all about ‘community, and every brand needs its own community. Why? Well, this is how your customers will mostly communicate with you. Social media is an integral customer service tool too.
Consumers can provide feedback, share their posts, and request information via your business social media profiles, pages and groups.
Showcasing good customer service will only improve your brand’s reputation. At the same time, social media as a whole is a great way to communicate brand values and humanize your brand a little more.
Partner With People
Just because you’re selling directly to the consumer doesn’t mean you have to be communicating directly with them all the time. You can tap into the expertise and reputations of others through the likes of ambassadors and influencers.
Many brands use influencer endorsements via social media these days to spread the word about your product. It can be an extremely effective way to boost brand awareness and sales if you leverage the right influencers.
Think about your audience and then who they would feed off. For example, if you’re a sportswear brand, there’s little point in seeking an endorsement from a YouTube cookery show, while a health food brand is unlikely to get anywhere by partnering with a gamer, for example.
Consider who would best represent your brand and reach out to see if they will become an ambassador for you. Alternatively, it can be just as effective to partner with real, everyday customers and hear their stories. It can be an excellent way to put honest feedback out there and isn’t as costly as sponsored posts or ambassador fees.
Email marketing has been with us for many years, and it is still a trusted communications channel with consumers. Almost every business uses email to share business updates, news, promote and engage.
The starting point is capturing double opt-in customer data and then using it to personalized emails to be unique. You can use social media and PPC, and other strategies to get customers onto your email marketing database. CTA (call to actions) in your blog posts and your eCommerce shop will also grow your email list. Remember to incentivize the consumer to opt-in. A giveaway or discount of their next purchase works.
Email marketing is affordable and easy to do with a high ROI, so it’s hard to see it ever being let go as a marketing strategy.
Use email to communicate, sell, engage, inform and offers incentives for remaining on your email list. For example, provide a discount on first orders and giveaway gifts with repeat sales.