When running any type of business, it’s important that you’re aware of the different marketing methods at your disposal, one of which is direct-to-consumer. D2C marketing is a type of strategy that involves a company promoting or selling a service or product to the consumer directly, which means that no other parties are involved with this type of transaction. An increasing number of small and large businesses are opting to manufacture their own products, promote the product, sell the product, and eventually ship the purchased product to the buyer, which means that only one company has control over the entire process.

This term is commonly used with millennials today because these customers have different expectations and preferences when buying a product. These new expectations have brought about significant change within the overall economy as businesses attempt to adapt to what their customers require. Millennials want heightened convenience, a simple and streamlined purchase process, and a distinct brand experience when buying any type of product.

On today’s market, direct-to-consumer marketing is more important than ever and has proven to be beneficial for the companies as well. For instance, companies are able to collect data easier when using this technique. If your company acts as the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer throughout the entire transaction, you can obtain an ample amount of customer data that you can use to enhance your marketing efforts. You miss out on at least some customer data if you aren’t involved in certain aspects of the creation and sale of your product. This article offers a closer look at D2C marketing and what it can do for your business.

Key Takeaways:

  • D2C marketing stands for direct-to-consumer marketing and involves a company selling a product or service directly to a consumer without other parties involved.
  • There are numerous pros to this marketing strategy such as ability to cater to customer needs and much more we discuss below.
  • The most common D2C digital marketing strategies we discuss below are SEO, paid advertising, content, and social media.

Pros and Cons of Using D2C Marketing

To understand the pros and cons associated with D2C marketing, you should first understand what B2B and B2C marketing are. B2B marketing involves marketing your products or services directly to another business as opposed to a consumer. On the other hand, B2C marketing is centered around marketing products and services to consumers. While these two approaches differ, the strategy of each is similar. D2C marketing is unique because the manufacturer will sell and market the product directly to the consumer, which doesn’t usually occur with B2C marketing.

The beneficial aspects of D2C marketing include:

  • Better control – When you operate as a D2C brand, you’ll find that you have full control over customer service, your product, your reputation, and brand messaging
  • The ability to obtain more customer data – You will have access to more customer data with D2C marketing, which should make it easier to convert customers and provide them with personalized experiences. You can even conduct A/B testing to identify which aspects of the transaction process could be improved.
  • Building relationships with customers is easier – Since the manufacturer will directly interact with the customers who purchase the product, they can obtain important feedback that will help them craft a superior product

While D2C marketing can be highly beneficial, there are some negative aspects of this marketing that you should be aware of, which include:

  • Complex supply chain requirements – If your business is relatively small, it can be very difficult to adjust to the significant supply chain requirements that come with covering every aspect of a transaction
  • The need to have business experience in numerous areas – Along with understanding how to effectively market your product to potential customers, your business will also be tasked with knowing how to ship items and cover other facets of the transaction
  • Difficulties with converting customers – Many D2C brands will start out by offering free product trials and very low pricing, which can make it difficult to retain customers once these special offers end

The Most Common D2C Digital Marketing Strategies

Digital marketing involves any marketing technique that uses the internet or an electronic device. While traditional marketing methods are still effective, they have become increasingly costly. In comparison, digital marketing techniques are relatively affordable. It’s also important to understand that digital marketing strategies typically have a wider reach than traditional marketing methods. The many strategies available to you include everything from social media marketing to paid advertising. Understanding each type of marketing is necessary if you want your company to be a successful D2C business.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization involves making sure that your website appears towards the very top of search rankings for the keywords and top phrases that relate to your company. Better search rankings equate to more visibility and higher conversion rates. Without having a strong SEO strategy in place, it’s very likely that your business won’t reach the level of online success that you’re looking for.

When you want to implement search engine optimization as a D2C company, it’s important to understand that SEO is everything to this type of company. As a D2C brand that doesn’t have access to a vast network of brick-and-mortar storefronts and retail partners, you will be tasked with distributing content on your own. As such, your website and eCommerce platform must provide users with the type of experience that they’re looking for.

Better search engine optimization will bring additional visitors to your site and increase the possibility that you will gain conversions. Keep in mind that Google and Bing are the two primary search engines that you should focus on when attempting to improve rankings and search engine optimization. While Google may be more popular, it’s important that your website is optimized for Bing as well.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is a core aspect of any digital marketing strategy. There are several different types of paid advertising, the primary of which is PPC advertising. With PPC advertising, the marketer only pays for the ad when a user clicks on it, which helps to keep costs down and allows the marketer to more readily identify how well or otherwise the ad is performing.

When it comes to D2C, pay-per-click advertising is highly important and can provide companies with a fantastic ROI. For every dollar that’s spent on marketing, it’s possible for D2C companies to bring in $2 in revenues. Visitors who reach your website from PPC ads are also 1.5 times more likely to end up converting when compared to individuals who reach your website through organic means.

Social Media

Social media advertising is essential for eCommerce storefronts, which is mainly due to how fast social media platforms are growing. When D2C companies implement social media advertising, they can benefit from a broader reach, greater brand visibility, and the ability to obtain traffic that’s sent directly to their storefront. If you implement organic social media advertising, you can bring in new customers without having to spend a substantial sum of money.

The right content on social media platforms can increase the number of back-links that are sent to your website as well. The most popular platforms that you can perform social media marketing on include Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Keep in mind that there are many distinct types of ads that you can place on social media platforms, which include everything from video ads and messenger ads to carousel ads and photo ads.

Content

Content is another form of marketing that you can use as a D2C company. Providing your audience with premium content that’s relevant to their interests can pay dividends in increasing brand loyalty and boosting your conversion rates. For D2C businesses, content marketing is essential. No matter how well your PPC ads perform or how popular your brand appears to be on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, you must provide site visitors with the type of content that they want to see when they reach your website.

Make sure that the content you place on your website is written with the customer at the forefront of your mind. This content should answer customer questions, deftly guide the customer through the shopping experience, and meet the overall needs of the customer in question. Keep in mind that Google ranks well-written content highly, which can bolster your search rankings.

Google’s concept for content is referred to as EAT, which stands for expert, authoritative, and trustworthy. The content that’s included on your website should always appear to be written by an expert who knows what they’re talking about and is thorough and trustworthy. If you feel like you don’t have enough time to create the quality of content that your customers demand, consider hiring a content marketing agency to handle the creation of content for you.

How to Win at D2C Marketing

Because of how important D2C marketing has become with millennials, it’s highly recommended that you decide to use this strategy if you want to remain successful. Millennials have recently become the largest generation, which means that their marketing needs must be catered to. Keep in mind that D2C is relatively simple to integrate into your business practices when compared to other strategies.

This form of marketing can help you increase your ROI significantly as the initial investments are low and the overall potential for a return is high. With the right strategy and a well-designed website in place, conversion rates should be high.

This form of marketing is convenient to consumers because they will be provided with a consistent experience throughout the entire transaction. If ever they have an issue, they don’t need to worry about whether to contact the manufacturer or retailer. Some of the top D2C brands that are thriving as of today include Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, and Blue Apron. While direct-to-consumer marketing requires several different areas of focus, becoming a D2C business can help you grow your company and increase brand loyalty.

Bryan Miller of Bryt Designs Long Beach Web Design, Development, & SEO
Author
Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. He is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. Feel free to send Bryan a message here.

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