Convincing people to buy stuff from you is hard, but fierce competition in the e-commerce industry and the quickly shifting foundations for promotion and direct selling only make success more difficult. Product promotion and business growth best practices change continuously as internet browsing habits shift, advertising channels mature, and new platforms emerge. While all of this could be overwhelming, keep in mind these five tried-and-true e-commerce advertising methods and give yourself a great head start.

Integrate Instagram

Though it comes as no surprise, recognize that Instagram is one of the most powerful e-commerce marketing tools out there. With a base of more than 1.1 billion monthly users (for scale: that’s over an eighth of the population on our planet), Instagram boasts a phenomenal rate of engagement. People aren’t just logging in to check out their friends’ photos — 200 million users also visit business profiles daily, using their feed to discover new brands and products. 

For e-commerce marketing, adding products to your Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories gives your followers a direct path to purchase, which is critical for increasing online sales. Create advertisements that entertain, stimulate visually, and blend naturally with organic content by following these tips for peak performance: 

  • Use high-quality images that show off your products. Excellent and consistent photos help convey your brand’s voice and personality. It also allows your followers to easily recognize your content across all channels. 
  • Take time to plan out your feed strategy and then publish photos accordingly. For instance, many companies will pick one filter and stick to it, or alternate between product and lifestyle shots to mix it up. Whatever your artistic vision, it’s important to keep it consistent, so your Instagram Feed tells a compelling story and conveys the lifestyle of your target customer.
  • Use video generously. Instagram Stories expand the reach of your ads and increase engagement with your brand. Be mindful of using videos that mobile viewers can watch with the sound muted. 
  • Harness the power of influencers. Influencer marketing helps e-commerce companies build brand awareness and engagement. Using influencers within or alongside your advertising can expand your reach and establish credibility.

Use Facebook Audience Insights 

Few advertising solutions can match the targeting detail that Facebook Audience Insights provides. The platform allows a cross-section of targeting, including location, age, language, education, interests, behaviors, and more. With this information, you can reach highly segmented audiences with personalized advertisements to boost conversion rates and decrease cost-per-click.

The more specific you get in your targeting, the smaller your audience will be, but that’s not a bad thing. Extra detailed targeting makes for a more responsive list, and lower ad spend because you’re not driving unqualified engagements. Basically, this helps lower your cost per action (CPA).

Also, Audience Insights helps you expand your successful audiences. Even if you’ve found an ideal audience, you can use this feature to widen your search for related interests and topics to grow your campaign. 

Implement Google Shopping 

Since its launch in 2010, Google Shopping ads have evolved to become an essential player in the e-commerce marketing space. In the first quarter of 2018, over half of retail search ad spending was directed to Google Shopping ads. 

Shopping ads are more effective than traditional text ads because they go above and beyond by displaying the image of your product, its price, and a short description for active shoppers. The platform offers significant visual space in Google’s search results pages, so consumers are more likely to purchase since the intent to buy immediately is already there. 

The ads themselves are also easily managed within the Adwords interface. Unlike text ads, Google Shopping campaigns don’t require the management of keywords, and you can opt for strategies in line with your business goals, whether it’s brand exposure or conversion maximization. 

Try Retargeting Services

Let’s say you’ve already got some other forms of online marketing going on, like paid search and social media ads. They’re going great, and you’re happy with the results. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup strategy in place, and that’s where retargeting services jump in. 

Considered one of the more cost-effective e-commerce advertising methods, retargeting is used to show product-specific ads to website visitors who expressed interest but left without making a purchase. This is particularly important when considering that 97% of people who visit a site for the first time leave without buying anything.

Retargeting isn’t just about performance or conversions, either — a large number of consumers say that retargeting serves as a convenient reminder to visit the website that they intended to return to. Not only that, but online viewers also appreciate the introduction to new products and services based on their interests. 

Invest in an Ad Management Platform

A comprehensive advertising strategy includes multiple platforms, audiences, and advertising formats. It’s a lot to juggle, and marketing teams waste significant time and money trying to manage this process manually. Nowadays, it’s all about leveraging technology to make the most of your time and budget, including the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in various aspects of your business to enhance and personalize services. 

To save time and maximize ROI, invest in an ad management platform that’s able to design, implement, track, report on, and manage your advertising campaigns. Companies like TeePublic have earned as much as 9.7x ROI by managing their campaigns with a unified platform. Goals may vary from company to company, but the desire for efficiency and optimization are always the same. 

On the topic of e-commerce advertising, check out these five growth hacks to accelerate sales.