What Is Direct to Consumer Marketing? + How Content & Inbound Marketing Fits In
Your business can lose a ton of money if you stick to your traditional B2C campaign. This is because consumers have radically evolved in the last decade. Here’s proof:
- Foot traffic to retail stores has declined, causing an avalanche of store closures.
- Millennials are the largest adult generation to date, and their habits include ignoring paid ads, using ad blockers, and resisting outbound marketing practices.
- Millennials value experience over material things, making traditional marketing strategies fall flat with them.
So, what can you do to save your business? Well, it’s simple. All you need to do is adapt to the way consumers want to connect to brands today. It boils down to four words: direct to consumer marketing. In today’s blog, I’ll show you exactly what it means, why you should do it, and how you can start up your own successful (but not costly) D2C campaign. Ready to start? Let’s dive in! Scary fact: Your business can lose a ton of money if you stick to a traditional B2C campaign. ? Why? Consumers' buying habits have radically evolved in the last decade. The antidote? ? Direct to consumer marketing. Learn all about it: Click To Tweet
What is Direct to Consumer Marketing?
Direct to consumer marketing is simply marketing done without middlemen. While a traditional B2C campaign involves a retailer, an ad agency, a publisher, and other middlemen, a D2C marketing campaign involves only the brand and the buyer. Here’s how HubSpot defines the term.What is direct to consumer marketing? Marketing done without middlemen. It's just the brand and the buyer. ? Click To Tweet So, let’s imagine you’re selling shoes. Here are two scenarios for your marketing campaign. Traditional B2C Campaign:
- You sell your shoes at a retailer like Walmart, paying for ads to get your brand in front of potential customers.
- Buyers walk into the store and interact with your brand through salespeople not connected with your company.
- You have no way of knowing if buyers are happy with your product.
Direct to Consumer Marketing Campaign:
- You sell your shoes straight to customers through your online store.
- If they have questions, they can ask you directly.
- They order and you send your product straight to their doorstep.
- You get feedback and suggestions to improve your brand and better fit it to your target audience.
Direct to consumer marketing is minimalist, simple, and involves nurturing personal relationships with customers.
3 Reasons Why You Should Commit to Direct to Consumer Marketing
Thinking of starting a direct to consumer marketing campaign? Here are three big advantages to convince you to begin right away.
Advantage #1: You Can Deliver a Personalized Message to Potential Consumers
Direct to consumer marketing allows you to collect data straight from your consumers. Because you know your audience well, you can craft a brand message that speaks straight to them. And this works. In fact, 34% of all consumers make an unplanned purchase when they read personalized content from a brand. What’s more, 86% of all buyers say personalization has an impact on their purchasing decision.
Advantage #2: You Can Give Consumers the Option of Personalizing Your Product
For instance, consumers can request specialized print or packaging. You can add in freebies based on your knowledge of a particular buyer. A great example of personalization is The New York Time’s NYT Cooking subscription.Source: nytimes.com
Subscribers to NYT Cooking get their own personalized digital cookbook. They can use it to discover, save, and organize recipes they love on the platform.
Advantage #3: You Can Get Rid of the Profit Share
This is obvious when you’re selling your products at a huge conglomerate like Walmart. But even if you sell your products online, a middleman like Amazon still lowers your profit share. A professional account on the platform plus fees add up to as much as 15% of your product’s price. On the other hand, direct to consumer marketing allows you to eliminate the middleman and gain all the profit. You can even beat out your competition by offering your products at lower prices.
How to Start Up a Direct to Consumer Marketing Campaign that Works
A powerful direct to consumer marketing campaign won’t sprout up overnight. It requires hard work, consistency, and the valuable tips below.
1. Find Your Brand Voice
Branding is essential in direct to consumer marketing. This is because your brand comes in direct contact with your consumers. So, you need to be clear about who your audience is, your mission, and your brand style.
A. Create Buyer Personas
The first step in molding your brand voice is knowing who your audience is. Only by understanding their needs, desires, and beliefs will you be able to truly reach them with your product. So, how do you create buyer personas that work? First, collect data on your buyers. You can do this by using Google Analytics and doing surveys. Find out who’s buying from you. Then, find similarities in the data. You can use these similarities to come up with fictional characters your brand speaks directly to in a marketing campaign. For instance, you find out most of your buyers are women over 40. They’re stay-at-home moms who don’t feel guilty about spending money for their kids. Use this information to create your buyer persona. For example, you can call your 40-year-old stay-at-home mom Mildred. She loves splurging on her kids, but she’s worried they’ll end up spoiled. Create your message around Mildred’s needs and beliefs. Whenever you sit down to create or improve a product, write content, or start a marketing campaign, do it to improve Mildred’s life.
B. Put Your Mission Statement Out Front and Center
What is your brand’s mission? How does it stand out from your competitors? How can your brand serve your consumers? Write the answers to these questions down, then use the information to create a tagline consumers can’t resist. Here’s an excellent example from Mailchimp.
C. Come Up with a Brand Style Guide
Your brand style guide will keep you consistent as you market straight to consumers in all stages of the buyer’s journey. Here are three things to consider as you craft your style guide:
- Custom colors
- Custom design
- Font size and style
Once you come up with a style guide, make sure to stick to it on all your campaigns. How to find your brand voice for D2C marketing and speak directly to customers ?: 1) Create buyer personas. 2) Put your mission statement front and center. 3) Create a brand style guide. Click To Tweet
2. Work on Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is what makes direct to consumer marketing work. It’s not like traditional advertising campaigns, where brands relentlessly push their products in buyers’ faces. Rather, it’s building a strong relationship with consumers over time. It starts when a consumer makes one light interaction with your brand. If they’re happy with the interaction, they’ll make another one. Soon enough, you’ve developed a strong relationship with them. This is where inbound and content marketing come in. Here’s how it works. First, you give people valuable stuff for free. Let’s say a potential customer is a writer who wants to find out how to correctly connect sentences. To answer his question, he goes on Google and types, “how to connect sentences.” This is what he finds.When he clicks it, he gets an entire blog packed with easy-to-digest rules and clear examples.Source: grammarly.com
Is he happy? Of course! The next time he has a grammar question, he returns to the site to find the answer. What this leads to is trust. This user now sees Grammarly as an authority in the industry. After many light interactions over time, he trusts Grammarly as his go-to source for answers. Now, if the user is looking for a spelling and grammar checker to use as he writes, Grammarly is definitely the first one he’ll think of. He’ll subscribe without even considering its competitors, because he already has a meaningful relationship with the brand.Source: grammarly.com
That’s how subtly and powerfully great content leads to brand awareness. [av_image src=’https://expresswriters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/free-masterclass-CTA2.jpg’ attachment=’79031′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=’manually,https://contentstrategycourse.com/masterclass/’ target=’_blank’ caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’][/av_image]
3. Start a Powerful Inbound Marketing Campaign
What about paid ads? Do they fit into a direct to consumer marketing campaign? The truth is, paid ads will get you in front of your target market sooner. When you pay for ads, you can quickly get on page one of Google’s SERPs.But does that guarantee you’ll get a ton of sales and conversions? No. In fact, the writing is on the wall for today’s generation of paid ads. Here’s the #1 reason why: buyers don’t trust paid ads. Look at these facts that prove it:
- A third of internet users use ad blockers. This doesn’t only mean they won’t see your ads, this means they paid money just to be left alone from ads.
- The Return on Advertising (ROA) for ads went down to 0.66x at the end of 2018 from a decent 11.88x in 2016.
- The average conversion rate on mobile is a dismal 0.72%.
Enter content marketing. Content marketing is the cheaper, more successful way to gain higher conversions and brand success over time. Take a look at these stunning facts:
- The conversion rate of content marketing is 16%.
- Leads generated from organic SEO have a close rate of 14%. Leads generated from paid advertising are less – at just 2%!
But that’s all just percentages. Maybe you’re asking something like, “How much exactly can I expect to gain from my content marketing efforts?”
If this is your question, you’ll love the formula I came up with to predict the ROI from content marketing. Here it is. Read the whole blog here: Infographic: The ROI of Content Marketing (In Numbers Everyone Understands and With a Case Study).
So, let’s say you have 10,000 visitors on your site each month.
- The conversion rate to leads is 16%, meaning you’ll have 1,600 leads per month.
- The close rate for leads is 14%, giving you 224 sales per month.
- If an average sale is $10, you’ll earn around $2,240 per month as a result of your content marketing.
The amazing news is content that converts like crazy doesn’t have to cost even ¼ of what you’ll earn. Visit our Content Shop to find out how to get a weekly blog for as low as $425/month.
Watch me explain this in a recent YouTube video I did:
4. Give Buyers a Seamless Shopping Experience
Here are three elements modern buyers search for when shopping online. Integrate them with your brand and those buyers will return to you again and again.
Direct to consumer marketing is all about convenience. It’s about buyers not having to go to Walmart because they can shop directly at your online store while they lounge on the sofa at home. In fact, buyers love convenience so much that 8 in 10 Americans now shop online on a regular basis! If this tells you to do one thing, it’s this: Give consumers even more convenience when they buy from you. Design your website so it’s easy to navigate. Provide them with a ton of payment options. Give them simple forms to fill out. The more convenience buyers enjoy, the more they’ll love you.
B. Great Customer Experience
At Express Writers, we have a commitment to No Client Left Behind. This means we match our high-quality products with amazing customer services. If you do less than this, you brand won’t survive. It’s that simple. Let’s look at an example. Imagine you want to buy an online course that’ll teach you to become a compelling copywriter. You go online and search. There’s a bunch of GREAT options out there, and maybe you narrow it down to two. On the outside, these two programs offer the same output: You’ll learn to be an amazing writer when you complete it. Also, the prices for the two courses are similar. However, you have a problem. You’ve maxed out your credit card and you want to purchase the program through PayPal. You look through the forms but neither brand offers an option for PayPal payments. So, you contact both companies. The next day, Company X sends you this reply.Disappointing. But you perk up when you see the reply from Company Y.Of course, we know which company gets the sale.
C. A Platform to Voice Their Concerns, Suggestions, and Questions
To create a strong relationship with customers, make sure they know where to go when they have questions, concerns, or suggestions. For example, for my course, The Practical Content Strategy and Marketing Course, I created a private Facebook group called Profitable Content Marketers.Group members can express opinions, make comments and suggestions, ask questions, and thrive in an environment of like-minded people.
Direct to Consumer Marketing: Safeguard Your Brand in Today’s Fast-Changing Environment
Today, the traditional methods of marketing that worked like magic in the past are growing stale.
- Retail stores are closing as shoppers flock to online stores.
- Consumers resist paid ads by investing in ad blockers.
- Shoppers search for a meaningful relationship with brands before buying.
The amazing news is you don’t have to worry about these changes when you start your own direct to consumer marketing campaign. D2C is a sure-fire way to safeguard your brand following in a fast-changing world of business. Want to get premium content for your direct to consumer marketing campaign? Visit our Content Shop to get all the details.