Jun 24, 2022

How To Get Started With Channel Marketing

Brands can use channel marketing (which is far different from "marketing channels"!) to increase awareness of their products and grow sales.

Ryan Gould

As the marketing world continues to evolve, it’s important to make sure that you are doing everything possible to stay up-to-date on the latest marketing strategies.  If not, it can be easy to slip behind the curve allowing your competitors to pass you by in the fast lane. 

The best way to stay ahead is by creating an effective channel marketing strategy that translates into more sales and better brand awareness for your ecommerce products.

But, what is channel marketing you ask? Let’s dive in.

What is Ecommerce Channel Marketing?

Ecommerce channel marketing is when you rally the help of a third-party business to help market your product in their online store. This is one of the most effective ways to grow your ecommerce business.

Example of Channel Marketing

Let’s take a look at an example of this in the ecommerce space. Think about Apple. 

Apple could solely sell and market its products on the Apple website if it wanted to.  But, they can see a better increase in brand awareness (and sales) by working with a third-party business, like Walmart. By working with Walmart, Apple products can be placed on Walmart’s virtual shelves to get more sales and brand reach. 

“Wait! I thought channel marketing pertained to social media and blogging…” 

Actually, it doesn’t. And, we’re about to highlight the differences between channel marketing vs. marketing channels. 

Channel Marketing vs. Marketing Channels

A common misconception about channel marketing is that channel marketing is the same as marketing channels. This is far from the truth. (But, we can see how they are easily confused!)

So, what is the difference? We use the term “marketing channel” when talking about blogging, social media, influencer marketing, guest posting, and other traditional and digital marketing channels. 

Whereas channel marketing is more of a distribution type of marketing effort to get your products in front of more eyes by placing your items in other digital storefronts. 

Now that you know how channel marketing and marketing channels differ, why should you care about channel marketing? Well, we are about to tell you.

Why Channel Marketing is Important

Have you ever wondered how big companies like Amazon, Target, and Nordstrom thrive? The key is by using the power of channel marketing. 

In fact, marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign. (That’s a metric, not one business will want to overlook!)

All in all, channel marketing is crucial in today’s marketplace. Two of the key benefits include that it….

  • Benefit 1: Expands your brand’s reach
  • Benefit 2: Increases customer touchpoints

Just like with any other marketing strategy, channel marketing enables your business to get the positive traction it needs to succeed in this competitive market. 

So, we’ve gone over what channel marketing is. What the difference is between channel marketing and marketing channels. And, we just discussed the key benefits to channel marketing. 

How do you embark on your channel marketing journey? You will want to start here.

How to Get Started with Channel Marketing

Channel marketing is becoming increasingly popular in the world of digital entrepreneurship and ecommerce. But to many, the concept of channel marketing may seem a bit intimidating and overwhelming. However, there are ways you can make channel marketing work for your business. Here's how to get started:

Understand Your Audience

First things first, you need to understand your audience before creating a channel marketing campaign. 

You should ask yourself questions like: “Who are they?” “Where are they geographically located?” “What are their buying habits?” “What stores do they like to shop at?”

By answering these questions, you can strategically reach out to a third-party that’s in alignment with your ideal customer’s needs. 

Reach Out to “Similar-Minded” Businesses

Now it’s time to choose your partners — wisely. You can find these partners by reaching out to them via email, Linkedin, or in-person networking. (Our favorite, of course, is in-person networking since you can better convey your vision to them face-to-face.) 

What should you present them with when pitching? Here are some high-level things to mention in your pitch: 

  • Who your company is
  • What products you sell
  • Why your products would make a great addition to their virtual shelves
  • Data to back up why your partnership would be a good fit
  • What they get out of the partnership

You may experience a few declines but push forward nonetheless. You will find your ideal channel partner soon enough. It just takes consistency. 

Launch Campaign

Your next task would be to launch your channel marketing campaign. To do this, you will want to make sure that you have given their teams your product’s pricing information, high-quality images, and descriptions to use on their site. You will also want to set up tracking to better understand what products are getting the most “bite” from customers.

Analyze Metrics

After the campaign has launched, you will want to measure your KPIs to make sure you are on track to hit your target goals. Without analyzing the metrics, it will be hard to decipher what’s working and what’s not!

Quick Stat: 54% of companies that use marketing analytics end up with higher profits than average.

Optimize for Future Growth

Lastly, you will want to optimize your campaign for more clicks and conversions on their site. You can do so by A/B testing imagery, description copy, or product placement on their site. Remember, you will only want to test one variable at a time so you can better get a grasp of why a campaign is performing better (or worse) after making slight changes to the campaign. 

Level-Up Your Ecommerce Campaigns with Channel Marketing

When it comes to selling online, ecommerce stores have a lot to juggle. As many sellers know, the backend often requires just as much time as the storefront. If you're looking to level-up your marketing efforts and sales, it’s time to reach out to prospective third-party businesses to help you with your ongoing channel marketing efforts. 

Which ecommerce business can you think of today that would be a great partner to work with?

About the author
Ryan Gould
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services

Elevation Marketing

From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.</p><p>Ryan is known for taking complex marketing and business challenges and developing solutions that simplify processes while driving customer outcomes and business value. He also thrives on guiding Elevation teams toward execution of strategies that help companies succeed in new verticals, while staying true to core values and brand integrity.</p>