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Direct To Consumer Advertising | DTC Advertising

By
Joshua Weatherwax
Table of Contents

Running a successful direct to consumer business requires juggling a lot of tasks. You need to create a website, source products, define your brand, invest in direct to consumer marketing, and more.

On top of all that, you'll need to use advertising to get your business in front of prospective customers. This may seem like an overwhelming task to add on, but it isn't as complicated as you think.

Keep reading to learn what direct to consumer business model advertising is, how it works, and how you can get the biggest return on yours.

What Is Direct to Consumer Advertising?

Direct to consumer advertising (DTC advertising) is a type of marketing where ads are targeted toward consumers, not businesses. In general, direct to consumer advertising is building brand awareness in the public. This is in contrast to D2C marketing, which is building the entirety of the eCommerce funnel, brand included.

For example, there are some B2B companies out there that don’t have the ability to sell directly to customers. They can’t build a direct to consumer sales funnel. They can only build brand awareness. They may also be limited by their B2B eCommerce platform or B2B online marketplace. This means advertising, not marketing, is the key to entering the DTC market.

How To Make Direct To Consumer Ads

Direct to consumer ads appear across every channel of media hundreds of thousands of times a day. This means you need to invest time and money in making your ads stand out and drive sales.

Here are a few tips on how to create the most effective direct to consumer ads:

Put Your Brand First

Your products are what make you money, but your brand is what attracts customers. Your advertising needs to be unique and easily identifiable as part of your brand. Before creating any advertising, make sure you've created an eCommerce business plan or drop shipping business plan that outlines exactly who you are as a brand. This will make it much easier to create ads that are truly representative of your brand and that offer the best chance of communicating your values and products to prospective customers. For example, if you run a DTC food business, your ads should both highlight the foods you sell, but also clarify what makes you unique. Maybe you mainly sell vegan or keto-friendly food, or maybe you grow or butcher it yourself. Highlight whatever best shows who you are.

Track Data Religiously

Setting measurable eCommerce KPIs is a vital step in creating successful DTC ads. You need to understand things like click-through rate, conversion rate, cart abandonment, and more. Then, you need to connect all of these numbers with the different ad campaigns you're running so you can determine their effectiveness. If one ad group isn't performing as well as planned, you can adjust or pull it entirely to avoid wasting money. Without tracking and acting on data, you'll be wasting your budget without even knowing it.

Use a Mix of Ad Types

Bygone are the days when you could succeed in business just by putting ads in magazines. Today, you need to approach advertising with a more holistic mindset. You can use affiliate marketing, eCommerce PPC advertising, Google Ads, and more to get your brand in front of prospects. Try to pick the channels you know your target market uses and test out both designed ads and text ads to see what works. The more exposure to your brand someone has, the more likely they are to convert into a customer.

Advertise on Social Media

Whether you sell tangible products or services, odds are your target market uses social media regularly. Paying for ads on social media channels is a great way to reach a very large market and set up opportunities to target specific segments. That's why it's one of the biggest direct to consumer trends. Facebook and Instagram are the two most popular social media channels for advertising and DTC companies from all industries have seen success advertising through them. It's important to understand that these channels are primarily visual, so you'll want to have appealing and engaging ads to run on them. You'll also need to make sure they're formatted specifically for the platforms, or you may not get the best results.

Engage With Prospects and Customers

Ads aren't just something you put out into the world and expect to drive sales. They're also opportunities to interact with the people that see them. Keep an eye on your different ad types and jump in to answer questions whenever possible. This adds a human aspect to your business and makes it easier to develop rapport with your customers. It's great for helping push those on the fence toward purchasing and can help bring lapsed customers back.

DTC Brand Meaning

A DTC brand is any company that sells their products directly to customers without going through a middleman. Branding plays a major role in the success of any business, but it is even more important for a DTC business. The best direct to consumer brands are all successful because they've managed to define their unique brand identity and connect with customers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Direct To Consumer Advertising

Clearly, direct to consumer advertising is a complicated endeavor. To help further clarify things, let's take a look at some of the most common questions business owners have about DTC ads.

What Is an Example of Direct To Consumer Advertising?

The most prevalent example of DTC advertising today is the pharmaceutical industry and television advertising. Think of a subscription drug, for example. You’ll see a commercial for it on TV, but you can’t go out and buy it. Direct to consumer advertising is being used only to encourage interaction between you and the intermediary you can “buy” the product from: your doctor.

Is Direct To Consumer Advertising Legal?

Yes, direct to consumer advertising is legal! No federal laws have ever banned DTC advertising, however, there is strict regulation for prescription drugs, tobacco, and other products. Check the rules for your particular industry before spending money on ads.

Why Is Direct To Consumer Advertising Good?

DTC advertising helps build brand awareness and helps small businesses grow. Regulation also ensures that these ads are truthful and don't target susceptible populations.

Direct To Success

Advertising can help take your business from obscurity to success if you invest your time and energy into the right areas. Use data to your advantage and always put the customer first to see your company and revenue grow bigger than ever.