E-commerce, largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, accounted for 16.7% of supplement purchases made online in 2020, up from just 10.2% in 2019, according to Nutrition Business Journal 2021 Activity report supplement.1 This growth is notable for an industry that has always relied on physical sales. The NBJ report further predicts that about 25% of all supplement sales will be online by 2024.
Aside from the ‘panic buying’ caused by a pandemic, we might well ask, ‘What digital platforms are used to drive engagement, community and, of course, sales?
Platform 1: Google Ads
Google Ads can be a powerful way to reach new customers and generate income online.2
While launching a campaign might seem daunting at first, doing it the right way includes targeting very specific audiences, creating keyword-friendly ads and webpages, and analyzing metrics frequently. Then use this data (and these tests) to analyze your campaigns through Google Analytics and adjust them.
But don’t worry if these visitors don’t buy your product right away. Believe it or not, while 97% of first-time visitors to your site leave without buying anything, Google remarketing ads help keep people coming back for your website.
According to a social media company, the average click-through rate for a Google search ad is 0.07%, while the average rate for retargeted ads is 0.7%.3 Plus, those who click are 70% more likely to convert and become customers.
Platform # 2: Instagram, TikTok and YouTube
Instagram has proven to be an effective sales engine for brands that use the platform well.4 Here are some tips to increase awareness and mind sharing via Instagram:
- Publish regularly.
- Use relevant hashtags. (Find them via #TagsForLikes or #SemRush.)
- Tag your images in a memorable way.
- Find a look and aesthetic that matches your voice and brand, and stick to it.
- Encourage people to visit the links in your bio.
YouTube has proven to be a valuable tool for marketers.5 Up to 70% of viewers have purchased from a brand after viewing their marketing content on YouTube.
If you are creating a YouTube channel for your business, be sure to educate yourself about your audience through YouTube demographics. And watch your competition to see what they’re doing and how. Use the YouTube recommendation algorithm, which determines most of the content that users consume while on the platform. And use keyword-rich descriptions in naturally sounding sentences.
Also consider YouTube advertising. Analyze your results and adapt.
Consider what content works well on TikTok and how to connect on the platform.6 Keep in mind, however, that TikTok is all about fun and visually appealing content, but, in many cases, also pretty silly.
TikTok is mostly used by people aged 16-24, so you’ll need to connect with them creatively if you want to be successful on the platform.
Use video shorts on Google, TikTok, and Facebook.
TikTok is the peerless leader in the short video space, but Google and Facebook have taken note and responded accordingly with the release of Shorts (YouTube) and Reels (Instagram / Facebook).
One of the most compelling facts about the people who work at Google and Facebook is that they are data junkies. They use this information to make informed decisions about where to place their bets next. Peloton is another good example of a company that is deeply rooted in data. I think of Peloton as a data company that markets and sells stationary bikes. They use their data to determine what course topics to offer, what music their members listen to most often when they take a course, the most popular course lengths, and more.
In the case of YouTube, its original goal was to allow users to upload full video content to their platform. Part of YouTube’s ranking algorithm takes into account the time that users spend consuming a publisher’s video. The longer the viewing time, the higher the quality of the video should be. So why the shift to shorter videos and the eventual creation of Shorts? Because their data told them people have short attention spans! They want content that’s fast, unique, and relevant to what they’re looking for.
The same can be said about Instagram. If you remember the launch of Instagram, it was primarily a photo-sharing service used by teens and young adults. In a relatively short period of time, it has evolved into a global digital platform with one billion monthly users and 25 million company profiles. In addition to sharing eye-catching photos, users can live stream or create longer format videos (IGTV) or short clips (Reels) designed to be entertaining and informative. Lately I’ve noticed that more and more reels originally uploaded to Instagram are now showing up in my Facebook feed. Why? Because Facebook wants to increase the time you spend on its platform. What better way to do this than to present video content to its users?
Depending on the platform, if you are able to make your posts purchasable, keep in mind that:
- Social media purchases have increased by more than 25% during the pandemic period, reaching more than 80 million people.
- Experts predict that number will exceed 100 million people by 2023.
Platform n Â° 3: SMS marketing
Consumers are getting used to interacting with businesses on their mobile devices. There is no better time than now to harness the power of SMS (simple messaging service) aka “sms”.7 SMS marketing is the practice of sending SMS marketing messages.
Before COVID, more than half of U.S. retailers planned to increase their digital marketing investments in messaging and texting. According to Hootsuite, âBy June 2020, that number had risen to 56%, surpassing any other area of ââpotential investment. “
Business SMS messages fall into two broad categories: customer service (eg, order confirmations, tracking information) and promotional (eg, offers or discounts, remarketing, surveys).
It should be noted that mobile business messaging accounted for 2.7 trillion messages in 2020. Best practices include not only opt-ins, but also very clear opt-outs.
SMS tips include:
- Get your message up to 160 characters or less.
- Communicate offers and coupons.
- Send alerts that keep your customers in the know.
It should be borne in mind that the average open rate of an email campaign is 20%, while the average open rate of a text is 98%. That being said, 73% of digital marketers still say email is the digital channel that delivers the greatest ROI.
My recommendation is to use these two channels together. Start by understanding that you can use these channels to communicate different messages that get the same results.
My advice for complimenting brand owners is not to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Start by surveying your customers and asking them which social channels they use the most and the least. You can also ask them what days and times they are most active and what types of content they are interested in.
Putting myself in the shoes of a brand owner, I would immediately think that sales, new product launches, revenue, and educational content would be at the top of the content list.
Asking these questions will give you valuable insight into which channel you should focus on first, what days / times you should post, what content your audience is most likely to engage with, and more.
Without this information, you shoot a gun in the dark while wearing a blindfold. This strategy will waste your time, money and effort.
About the Author:
Vincent Tricarico is Executive Vice President of Twinlab Consolidation Corporation and NutraScience Labs (Farmingdale, NY). With over 20 years of direct consumer and business-to-business experience, Tricarico is a respected executive in the dietary supplement industry and is well known for his ability to consistently build and develop successful teams that deliver results. . Over the years he has been featured in numerous publications, including Contractor, Medium.com, Natural Products Insider, Nutritional Outlook, and WholeFoods Magazine.
- Nutrition business journal. 2021 Activity report supplement.
- Graham M. “How Google’s $ 150 Billion Advertising Business Works.” CNBC. Posted on May 18, 2021.
- Saleh K. âAdvertising retargeting by the numbers: statistics and trendsâ. Invesp blog. Posted on April 15, 2021.
- Kim L. “How to Increase Sales and Make Money with Instagram.” Inc. Posted July 6, 2016.
- Baird F et al. “The Complete Guide to YouTube Marketing in 2020.” Hootsuite Blog. Posted on September 9, 2020.
- Balkhi S. “How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Business.” Contractor. Posted on October 23, 2019.
- Newberry C. “A Beginner’s Guide to SMS Marketing: Everything You Need to Know.” Â»Hootsuite Blog. Posted on July 7, 2021.