Ecommerce, like any business, needs an effective marketing strategy. And in as much as ecommerce beats geographic constraints, giving you almost limitless reach, this also brings about limitless competitors. It is, therefore, essential to have a strong marketing strategy that will set you apart from all other online businesses out there.
We have compiled fifty tips that can help you come up the best marketing strategy that will give your business the brand awareness that it deserves. Just follow these tips and you will be fifty steps closer to success:
CONTENT AND EMAIL MARKETING
Content and Email Marketing are your weapons against your competitors; these tools can help you stand out in your industry. However, not all ecommerce companies are investing on content, or some of them aren’t doing it the right way.
In this in-depth guide on increasing website traffic, the first step is to optimize your web content. Not only does it help in driving traffic to your website, but it also helps in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and marketing efforts. Here’s the gist of what you can do to level up your content and email marketing efforts:
1. Devise a content marketing strategy
Planning is key. Plan your content marketing strategy well. Come up with how you intend to deliver your message to your customers. Will you use blogs? How about videos or newsletters?
2. Create original content
Originality is essential. Ensure that you will not just pull out content from other sites because in one way or another, your visitors will know that you are not giving them the effort they deserve.
3. Invite user-generated content
Enhance relationship with customers by inviting them to provide content. When customers feel attached to a brand, they will be loyal customers.
GoPro’s GoPro Awards is a great example. Customers are rewarded for quality content. Customers win prizes while GoPro wins their loyalty.
4. Long-form content as an asset
The number of words that determine long-form content is a topic of much debate but we can safely say that we know a long content when we see one. And although longer pieces are more difficult to make, visitors are seen to like meatier readings better.
5. Start with an automated email marketing campaign
Email marketing is still the most effective methods for relaying your message to your potential customers. Emails have a higher click-through-rate than banner ads! So don’t take email marketing for granted.
6. Optimize your email capture modules.
Test whether or not your current email capture methods is effective. If not, test if another method will work better. Tailor fit your method to the type of customers you attract.
7. People still read emails
Don’t think that nobody reads emails anymore because a lot still do! So make quality email content!
8. Engage your customers with how-to videos.
Especially if you are offering tools and gadgets, sharing how-to videos is a great idea. It will help a lot of customers and your effort will be appreciated.
9. FAQ-ing FAQs
The FAQ page is an important part of your site. The answers here will really answer a lot of your customers’ questions. Also consider whether or not you want to integrate a formal or a goofy feel as the FAQ page is a great place to show off your organizational culture.
10. Photos describe it better
Links and content that have photos are more likely to get attention from visitors so use photos to your advantage.
11. Doesn’t hurt to talk about controversial topics
Talking about issues and controversies related to your business would pique interest from your visitors.
12. Reddit is the new forums
A lot of different topics are discussed in Reddit. Subreddits related to your business offers advertising opportunity.
13. Enable ratings in discussion areas.
Ratings give customers more power to engage. Not only will you get more interaction from them, but it will also give you unbiased feedback from them so you will know how to better serve them.
14. Generate reviews by donating products
Get reviews from publishers, bloggers, and video channels by giving them free products. This will inspire word-of-mouth marketing and customers fill find this reliable as reviews will be unbiased.
15. Encourage people to make product reviews
Product reviews inspires trust as you share feedback from real customers. Encourage more people to provide reviews whether it be positive or negative. Hopefully, more users will give a good rating.
16. Level up: Create your own Media Outlet
Publishing your own content on your own media outlet may seem to be a lot of effort but customers will appreciate how you are being unique and creative.
17. Stay up-to-date on industry news
Write about news and current events related to your business. And when other write-ups get a little too complicated, you will need to level it down so your customers will understand.
18. Check out free marketing options
You may want to explore free marketing options such as blogs. Other marketing options may be too costly and that it would be such a great waste of money if they don’t work. Free marketing options, on the other hand, is double-benefit if it successfully marketed your brand.
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
Search engine marketing is no doubt one of the things you have to target even while doing content marketing. Gone were the old days of keyword stuffing; search engines now use machine learning to determine patterns on search queries and properly matching it to search results. To sum it all up, search engines are now trying to think like a human.
By playing your cards right in content marketing, you can also reap benefits in search engine marketing. However, there are other aspects of search engine marketing to focus on. Here are some tips on how to widen your reach on search engines:
19. Play it well with search engines.
Be creative with your headlines and content to help your ranking. Also, keyword optimization is not the only way to rank in search engines so focus on having quality content. Consider looking for a quality web host, instead of cheap hosting plans. Goran has explained it thoroughly in his article on cheap web hosting. Downtimes can severely affect your website’s performance, and a poorly performing site will not rank well in the search engine results page.
20. Onsite SEO
Keywords are still essential for ecommerce businesses to highlight that you sell such a product. Use your keyword strategically.
21. Invest wisely on pay-per-click marketing.
Test out a couple of PPC marketing deals and find which one is the best. A great PPC campaign can bring amazing results.
22. Go Local
Some ecommerce businesses may consider having a physical store somewhere but this is not a requirement. It is just a good idea to have a physical location and to target local customers in the process.
23. Go mobile
A lot of online activity is done on mobile phones and tablets. Ensure that your campaigns are optimized for mobile devices too.
24. Optimize for mobile advertising
Mobile advertising are geared toward customers who are always on the go. As there are lots of customers like this, it is worth it to optimize for mobile advertising.
Aside from a spectacular web design and innovative interface, user experience is another factor you should look after when maintaining your website. Even after you launch your site, you still need to work out the kinks in your website.
25. Perform A/B Testing on your Checkout process
Run tests so you would find out why other customers abandon their carts, while some make actual purchases. Doing so will help you have more sales.
26. Shorten the checkout process.
A complicated checkout process may just turn off your customers. Don’t make it inconvenient to shop online.
27. Reduce abandoned carts.
Find out why customers are leaving your store without making actual purchases and make effort to combat this.
28. Break the deal breaker: Shipping
A lot of customers leave stores with no free or express shipping. Check out how you can improve your shipping and delivery process to get more sales.
Google recently launched Google Express for speedy delivery. It was initially available for Midwest, offering overnight delivery to customers
29. Subtly upsell your products.
Moderate upselling is good. But a little more than enough will be annoying.
30. The Internet of Things: Wearable Technology
As people are patronizing wearable tech, companies must adapt on how to hook up to these devices and optimize campaigns for it,
SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH
Without a doubt, social media is something you shouldn’t miss out. Cover all the areas where you can find your audience. Customers often check out social media accounts to see how a company deals with their customers, or to see if there are announcements or reviews about the company.
31. Build social media assets, then analyze
The effort you put on keeping a social media account is worth it if it helps you achieve your goals. But maintaining a lot of accounts may not be worth it. Check out which ones you should keep, and which ones to scrap.
32. Get more social with Instagram.
Customers are really fond of photos so being on Instagram and sharing content every now and then is a great strategy.
33. Put your social networks on autopilot
This doesn’t mean being automating your social media activities. What you need to automate is planning and monitoring of such activities.
34. Invest in social ads
Ads on social media sites are great. You can first post free content and when you find out that your followers like a particular piece more than others, you can now spend more on advertising it.
Even with content and reach, there’s nothing more important than establishing your company’s brand online. People engage more to a brand that they can relate to, that speaks the language they are familiar with. No need to impress them with intelligent comebacks unless that’s what your company is for; be simple, be unique.
35. A touch of branding
Ensure that your content carry one voice even if there are different people are working on different materials. Branding includes spreading the same message in different ways.
36. Zdravo! Talk to your Customers in Their Native Languages
As your ecommerce business can be seen from anywhere around the globe, you will definitely have foreign customers. Try to implement translation capabilities for them so that they can understand your site and what you are saying.
37. Let the world know who your authors are
Give credit to who makes your content. This inspires trust from your audience. It is also a good personalization strategy.
38. Everybody loves the company mascot
It is a good idea to establish a face to your company. Think of a character that best represents your business. Think wisely as your brand will be associated to it.
39. Establish authority online.
One of the best ways to establish authority is to come up with a forum or a community. Content in it as seen as authoritative as they are backed up with the business that sells the product they have, or want to have. Authority and trust can also be seen on how you have set up your website. AltusHost for example, offers SSL certificates for websites. SSL certificate providers such as Let’s Encrypt offer free SSL, while EV SSL is another type that’s mainly beneficial to medium to large ecommerce sites.
40. Dive into personalization.
Your customers will appreciate personalization. Your business needs a face that will personify it. Give your business a real face.
41. Do contextual marketing
When making content, consider demographics. Put the right message at the right place and at the right time.
42. Provide personal experiences
Personalization should be felt by your customers. When sending them email, use their names, put their names on your site when they connect. Gear for the ultimate personalization!
43. Target alternative automated marketing techniques
Spend less time and effort by employing alternative automated marketing techniques. Receiving birthday greetings from your business will mean a lot to customers, but you won’t need to manually check who from your customers are celebrating day after day on manually.
44. Have a loyalty program
Reward patrons. Inspire shoppers to go back. Loyalty programs entice your shoppers to spend more, knowing that they will be rewarded.
45. Talk to your visitors
Consider implementing a chat module. Your shoppers will appreciate the effort in trying to reach out and help.
46. Remind them about their wish lists.
Some online shops have wish lists. But not all remind their customers about having such. Wish lists serve as delay for sale so reminding your users to purchase the content of their wish list will help close the deal.
47. Everyone loves freebies
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Come up with contests that will entice your users to go to your site and actually shop. Raffles, prizes, and other rewards will be very much appreciated.
48. Generate reports to determine future sales.
Data on your sales will help you make decisions that are backed up with reason. Consider your reports when making decisions.
49. Monthly market research.
Market Research attempts to know what your customers want and how you can give that to them. Invest on market research and do this at least monthly to keep a dynamic product offering.
50. If you cannot beat them, join them.
Although you have your own site, still consider selling on other platforms such as eBay, Amazon, and Facebook.
Follow this fifty tips for a great ecommerce marketing strategy. We cannot promise results as the execution relies on you. But by following our tips above, you are better equipped with what it take to gain new customers, retain current customers, and to regain lost customers through an effective ecommerce marketing strategy!
Erin Feldman is an ecommerce business owner somewhere in California, specializing in activewear and yoga outfits. She’s now debt-free from her student loans after she tried selling clothing online.