Launching a website that is equipped to process orders is the first and most important step for your ecommerce business.
1. Develop an Audience Through Lead Generation Tactics.
Your brand’s communication efforts won’t matter if nobody’s receiving the messages. In order to find an audience and ultimately, generate sales, you must start a lead generation campaign. Garner email addresses, which is the most direct line to potential customers, through a sign-up box on your landing page(s), website or even directly through Facebook ads. To entice users who’ve never heard of your brand into converting, run a contest or promise exclusive discounts to the first subscribers who sign up.
Prospective users can discover these subscription opportunities with the help of paid advertising, social media marketing or search engine optimization tactics. You should organize and segment the collected email addresses through Mailchimp or another email management platform. These email addresses are also valuable for look-a-like audience targeting which will be discussed in the next tip.
2. Implement Ads to Target and Retarget Potential Customers.
Paid advertising, including social, search and display ads, is a tried and true way to grow your ecommerce business. You can begin by targeting cold traffic on Facebook and Instagram by interest, demographic and geographic location to increase brand awareness. After a successful lead generation campaign, create look-a-like audiences to reach potential customers who are similar to your current email audience. Creating look-a-like audiences is simple: upload your email list of at least 100 email addresses to Facebook and the platform will use these addresses to find user profiles that have similar interests. Then, Facebook will serve ads to this new batch of potential customers. With repeated targeting, these potential customers are likely to make a purchase.
Once your business has gained some notoriety, retarget users who’ve previously interacted with your brand such as visiting your website, signing up for email marketing or watched a social, YouTube or landing page video for a certain amount of time. After already showing interest, repeatedly seeing the same product over time will make users more likely to purchase. You can then use creative copywriting, present dynamic media content or offer limited-time discount promotions to encourage conversions.
3. Nurture Your Existing Audience with Email Marketing.
Email subscribers are one of your biggest brand supporters since they’ve voluntarily opted in for messaging about your product. You must nurture this audience through regular communication about new product features, promotions, partnerships or anything else that would excite them about your brand.
Use your email marketing platform to organize the address lists into subgroups, such as product purchasers and non-purchasers, so you can tailor the email’s content to better fit the receivers. Using an email marketing platform can also make crafting and deploying emails quicker, easier and more reliable than manually sending emails to your subscribers. In addition to sharing content in a newsletter format, email platforms also allow you to set-up automatic emails that are triggered when an onsite action occurs. These may include welcome messages to new subscribers and abandoned cart messages to those who left your website without converting. These tactics keep your brand top-of-mind for audiences already familiar with your ecommerce business.
4. Initiate Influencer Marketing to Reach Niche Audiences in Your Industry.
Influencer marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness and grow your ecommerce business through audiences already niched and nurtured. Social media influencers can pass along their credibility to your brand by attesting to your legitimacy to their loyal fan base. While influencers come in a variety of types, there are four groups classified by follower count. They range from celebrity and mega influencers, who typically have more than one million followers, to macro influencers, micro influencers and even nano influencers who have fewer than one thousand followers.
Deciding on what influencer to partner with can depend on a lot of factors including their industry, how their brand aligns with yours and promoting cost. However, always look at their engagement rates since this will indicate if their audience is actually authentic and worth communicating with. A nano influencer with 1,000 followers at a 60% engagement rate will be more rewarding than a macro influencer with 10,000 followers at a 0.01% engagement rate.
5. Engage with Your Audience Through Social Media.
Social media shouldn’t be utilized just for basic product marketing, but also brand awareness, industry leadership and customer service. The goal of social media marketing is to create engagement, either through a sign-up CTA, soliciting comments on a post or a variety of other ways, all of which measure brand interest. For this reason, always posting about your products will get boring over time which can decrease your engagement and/or reduce your number of followers. Initiate interaction from your audience with industry news, partnership announcements, or contests and always include a CTA. For example, if you’re doing a product giveaway, have users enter the drawing by following the page and tagging a friend.
Additionally, social media can be used to address any customer issues such as product questions, complaints or reviews. Direct messaging is also very effective at bringing an escalated conversation offline to prevent unflattering attention.
6. Manage Reviews to Increase Your Business’ Credibility.
Once a potential customer becomes an actual customer, you should ask for a review of the purchased product. Remember, all feedback is good—positive reviews will help your brand earn credibility and negative reviews give you insight into how you could improve the product, checkout process or customer service experience.
Proactively set up automatic emails that request their opinion or rating using a product review plug-in on your website such as Judge.me or Yotpo. Make sure this email doesn’t go out immediately after the product’s been purchased, but instead, at a later time, once the consumer is able to experience the product’s entire performance capability. For example, soliciting reviews for a food product should happen sooner than a skincare product since both have very different consumption lifecycles.
Once a review has been submitted, determine whether or not you want to include it on your website. However, if the review goes live immediately, make sure you respond to it quickly. If you receive a negative review on social media, a product review website or on Google, you may not be able to remove it unless you make the case that it violates a review policy on the hosting site. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to acknowledge the reviewer’s concerns and invite them for further discussion offline. Since these conversations are public, outside viewers will see your brand in a better light regardless of the conversation topic or issues. With positive reviews, commenting back makes for another great touchpoint with the customer and helps keep you top-of-mind in case they wish to purchase again.
7. Develop a Content Marketing Plan with SEO Best Practices.
Garner more visibility for your ecommerce website by increasing branded and organic search campaign performance through content marketing. This includes blogs, videos, infographics and more to educate, inform or entertain about topics related to your product or industry.
Begin with keyword research to find the words or phrases searched for by potential customers through marketing analytics software platforms, like Google Search Console, Ubersuggest or SEMrush. Craft your content around these keywords and make sure you use SEO best practices so the piece is easily readable for both users and search engines. Some examples include optimizing headers, adding title tags and meta descriptions, revising alt image tags, and compressing images and videos to improve site speed. In order for your content to be valuable, you must include on-page search engine optimizations as well as answer the intended keyword query better than competing webpages. This will result in a higher position on SERP and sharing opportunities on social media, which will lead to more sales.
If you have a brick and mortar store in addition to your ecommerce business, make sure you create a Google My Business profile. This will give you additional visibility on SERP for branded searches and local searches.
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