The direct-to-consumer business model has gained some serious traction lately, especially in light of the events of 2020 that threw a wrench in the brick-and-mortar approach.
After some criticisms and speedbumps, D2C is finally emerging as a legitimate, sustainable model of business for the digital age. Brands save untold sums of money on overhead, have near-complete control over supply chains, and can innovate with compelling new products like never before.
But while D2C brands showed their strength in 2020, the challenge they face now is in the marketing department, especially with traditional retail channels coming back in a big way.
How are D2C brands navigating the complex and competitive marketing landscape in 2021 and beyond? Kevin Miller, Co-Founder and CEO of GR0, is leading the way with aggressive, innovating digital marketing for D2C brands right now – here’s how.
Quality Content – The D2C Marketing Key
There are a few distinct challenges facing D2C brands in the realm of marketing, starting with the fact that many of these companies are still relatively new and unknown.
While the D2C trend took root years ago, it did not catch a wave until a few years back. Newcomers to the space are just finding their footing, and have their work cut out.
According to Miller, generating a deep library of quality blog content is the first step towards building an online audience and getting the gears turning for search engine ascension.
“Our main focus is on excellent written content – that’s what D2C brands need to establish that trusted voice in competitive industries,” said Miller. “People want an authoritative voice and content that actually helps them out. Weak, generic articles won’t help brands make that mark.”
Miller and a staff of talented writers deliver original, highly researched content to GR0’s clients on a daily basis, giving D2C brands the reputation of authority and trust they need online.
Blog articles are just one piece of the puzzle for a well-rounded content strategy. Writers also create comprehensive how-to guides and encyclopedic breakdowns of key industry terms and concepts that help brands get a leg up over the competition.
“It’s a matter of pure value,” said Miller. “How much are you bringing to the table, aside from flashy images and videos? That stuff matters, but quality writing is a much more valuable asset in the long run.”
PR with an SEO Twist for D2C Brands
While great on-site writing can do a lot for an emerging D2C brand, these small companies need more leverage to expand their reach and grow their networks for increased awareness online.
A strong PR strategy is the next step that Miller and GR0 employ for their clients, using methods like reporter outreach and journalist connections to boost public image and carve out territory in the media madness of the internet.
Using platforms like HARO and a wide-ranging network of media connections, GR0 is able to position clients in the best possible light and put its products in the conversation among industry giants.
“Public relations is an overlooked driver of brand growth, and we’ve had a lot of success with reporter outreach and other techniques to generate good press,” Miller stated. “Brands that get a good writeup from a major outlet are going to get noticed no matter what.”
By partnering with Cision, the world’s largest PR company, GR0 has put clients in the spotlight in outlets like CNN, Forbes, The New York Times, and other industry giants.
This allows D2C brands to get their “big break” in the media and generate tons of organic traffic to their sites as a result. Additionally, clients earn “do-follow” backlinks to their pages, which helps increase SEO scores on Google and positions client sites higher in the search rankings.
“It’s a smart move from a PR standpoint, and for word-of-mouth buzz and excitement,” said Miller. “These are trusted sources and their opinions are taken seriously. We tap into a huge network of interested readers who want to know about the next best thing, and it works wonders for clients.”
Technical SEO Expertise – The Missing Link
Aside from blog content and strategic PR, Miller and GR0 are heavily invested in the technical side of SEO, optimizing client pages for performance and crawlability.
Google is constantly updating its algorithm to account for new tech trends and design features, all of which have an impact on the speed, accessibility, and SEO impact of D2C websites.
“Most of our clients are competing exclusively on the internet, meaning they need every advantage possible from a tech perspective,” said Miller. “Their sites need to be completely free of bugs, inefficiencies, and have all the right features for top placement in search.”
Among GR0’s optimization services include organic performance analysis, keyword mapping, meta tag creation, search volume analysis, and Google search console integration.
Desktop search is just one aspect of today’s search trends, meaning that GR0 also works to optimize client web pages for mobile search, voice search, local search, and more.
“These are non-intuitive things for small D2C brands getting started, so we’re happy to help them get a grip on those technical details,” said Miller. “Our team is tuned into all the latest best practices and requirements that these companies need to get an edge.”
What’s Next for D2C Marketing Online?
The era of D2C business has only just begun, and more companies are launching with this highly efficient, customer-centric model online. While they might have great ideas for products and some social media hype, Miller and his team are ready to help them get to the next level when they’re ready.
“So many new brands are emerging, but they don’t have that comprehensive strategy for organic SEO they need to thrive,” Miller said. “That’s the whole mission of GR0 and my personal philosophy on SEO – there is no substitute for putting in the groundwork.”
It will be exciting to watch the next generation of D2C commerce unfold, and Miller will be there to help brands level up along the way.