What can we do when nothing else works?

Good morning, good evening or good night, depending on where you at right now.

Today is about REFLECTION, and ASKING QUESTIONS. Yes, I do media buying and I am damn good at it, but some times, even the best marketers and media buyers just need to reflect & ask questions.

…and the question that got me the most is “What can I do to improve when nothing else works?”

And since we all like specific things, especially when discussing such intangible topics…I’ll rephrase that question from the POV of an eCommerce business owner:

“What else can I do when paid media is not working for my business?”

That’s something that no client, no business owner, no entrepreneur wants to hear, as a matter of fact, not even I, as a media buyer, want to hear that too often.


Now let’s dig deeper, from my 5 years of experience while working in the agency / freelancer environment, I met and helped different businesses, from small to medium and even enterprises listed at the stock market here in Australia or US.

And here are the potential answers that I discovered throughout time:

Q: “What else can I do when paid media is not working for my business?”

A: ✅ Pivot to content strategy

A: ✅ Work on my brand awareness

A: ✅ Try influencer marketing & affiliate marketing

A: ✅ Improve or change the product (market fit)

Other things you can look at:

A: ✅ Analyze my business internally & competitors to see how to position myself using the 5P of Marketing.

A: ✅ Work on a better customer experience on my website

A: ✅ Try other forms of distribution (Marketplaces)

The list can go on… although I know your time is your most important resource & I would like you to get the juiciest information.

So now let’s break down each and every answer and give possible solutions.

But before that, I would like to start with the things that’s the most important in your business.

Market fit or like we named it above, “improving or changing the product”.

You need to make sure that your product (your offer) meets the needs of your audience (demand).

How do you know that?

A couple things you can do in order to find out if your product will achieve market fit:

✅ Do your own research (Use tools like Google Search, Google Trends, SEM Rush) – in order to find if there is enough demand for the product or if you can create it (this last thing is harder to be achieved unless you got the $$ and resources for this).

✅ Make sure you answer to the 5 P in Marketing (PRODUCT, PRICE, PROMOTION, PLACE AND PEOPLE). You want to break the numbers down BEFORE you initial investment.

✅ Ask your audience or a random poll of people close to your persona – if your product solves their problem or meet their needs?

✅ Know your numbers – A lot of business owners don’t even know what ROAS or ROI is.. that’s a pity, informed decisions need to be made in order so succeed in the eCommerce space.

So now, let’s “assume” a business owner already has that written down, and in most cases, I have seen these things being checked, now let’s move one to the other answers:

Pivot to content strategy

Content is KING. This didn’t change, what changes is the way it is delivered, but if you want to be at the top, I recommend looking back at your social media and see how you can improve it.

Get that content calendar ready for your social media platform and make sure you are being consistent.

Leverage a Facebook group, that’s where you’ll get DIRECT access to your audience, and click rates are usually way higher when you post something relevant

Put in the work for your blog so you can provide informational, educational content to your potential customers.

Work on my brand awareness

Now this depends on the business model you have created. Are you selling products on your store because people know YOU? If that’s the case, jackpot, you’re already doing that, you can keep pushing the content strategy and you’ll see results coming in time.

If your eCommerce store is the BRAND you want to build, then you can rely on the first method addressed today – content but you can also…

🚀 Build a referral program

🚀 Run a giveaway contest using tools like Vyper that makes things more fun and engaging.

🚀 Create partnerships and participate with your

🚀 Create events that are relevant for your brand. Best case here is to do that through partnerships with other brands, stores or influencers.

🚀 Be active omni-channel, don’t rely on a single source of traffic.

Try influencer marketing & affiliate marketing

People think this is only for those high spender businesses, but let’s look at it from a different perspective:

Influencer Marketing – you can choose to work with micro influencers from IG or Tik Tok (if that applies to your business) that will provide a humongous value for your brand. You can DM them for a barter promotion = You give them a free product or package ➝ They will create a piece of content for their audience and your business.

Imagine you’ll have an evergreen piece of content that can be used as a testimonial or “how to” piece of content. You can later use that in your social media (upon copyright approval) or paid ads, blog etc.

You can also work with macro influencers, but that’s tricky, make sure you ask for their Insights before paying any type of fee. Make sure you got the contract ready and the list of deliverables approved by both side. Be as explicit as you can.

Affiliate Marketing

You can use different platforms were you promote your affiliate program. You’ll need to do a bit of research about the best platforms for your niche or country.

If you don’t want to use a third party app, you can easily create your own affiliate program, without paying any set up or maintenance fee. Again, that’s up to you.

But make sure you distribute your affiliate program throughout your social media & it is visible in your store as well.

So to get back to the main question, when paid ads are not working, try to look at these things but remember: If the first thing on the list is not checked, it will be a hard road ahead.

I am just curios what was your plan in cases like that?

Drop some words below.

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