How Digital Marketing can Kickstart your eCommerce Sales

26 January 2016

Digital Marketing

You've set up your new eCommerce store, but nobody knows it exists. Now you finally have to do "the real work", which is getting traffic to your site that can convert into sales. So how hard can it be? Let's just say that it's more complicated than setting up your online store.

To succeed you will need to perform an analysis and apply the right strategy for your digital marketing campaign. There are different ways to promote your website, here are a few basic strategies that you can implement:

1. Content Marketing

managing a company blog is a cost-effective means of content marketing

Managing a company blog is a cost-effective means of content marketing

This strategy involves the creation of various types of digital content - blog articles, infographics, photos, videos, and many others. These can help to attract your target audience.

Content marketing is an affordable option, as the main resource you will need is time. Planning ahead is the key of success in your content marketing. It will ensure that you’re not wasting time by creating the wrong kind of content that can struggle to reach or attract people.

Understanding your target audience is the most vital aspect in your content marketing strategy. Find out who your audience will be - their age, interests, gender, occupation, etc. Without this knowledge you won’t know what kind of content would be relevant and interesting to create and share.

After you have defined your audience to target, you can then plan your content. The key is to be creative and think of interesting ideas you can use. Make sure you always use eye-catching headlines that can trigger curiosity. David Ogilvy, the famous advertising executive, said “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Make use of online platforms like blogs, article directories, social media sites, video submission sites, and others. Also don't forget to evaluate your traffic data on a regular basis. The data will tell you which content brought you the most traffic, and then you’ll know if you have actually targeted the right audience.

2. E-mail Marketing

Mailchimp is a fantastic e-mail client

Mailchimp is a fantastic e-mail client

If you look for information regarding e-mail marketing, you might find a lot of pros and cons. But the fact is, e-mail marketing is still one of the most-effective means of digital marketing. 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue.

The most important part of this strategy is to build a targeted mailing list. You might be tempted to purchase a list of e-mail addresses. That would get you thousands of e-mail addresses instantly, but it’s also a list of people who probably aren’t interested in your brand or product, so you might come across as a spammer. The best practice is to build your own list, with people signed up voluntarily for news and other updates on your product.

There are many different ways for you to get this targeted mailing list, for example:

  • Add a strong call-to-action on your website - You can create a non-intrusive pop-up box on your website.
  • Create a landing page – A dedicated page for your customers to sign up for e-mails, optimized for conversions. You can even use an application like Woobox to create a great landing page on your Facebook account.
  • Add a sign-up button on social media – Facebook allows you to add a call-to-action button to your company page - such as adding a “Contact Us” button which can link to a landing page on your website.

To entice more people, you can offer something in exchange for the e-mail address, like a discount or a free item, for example: a “How-To” guide, a free webinar – think of a relevant offer for your industry.

The next step is to setup a great content plan for your e-mail marketing. It's important for not being too aggressive with this strategy - sending your e-mail once a week would be enough. You also need to create a good mix between product and non-product related content, so that it doesn't feel that your e-mails are too "salesy".

3. Social Media Marketing

Social media is where your current (and prospective) customers spend most of their time online. If you can use your social media accounts smartly, your customers could be your brand advocates, in other words, they will actually do the hard work of promoting your website for you.

There are so many social media platforms nowadays, so the first important step is to choose those that are most suited for your brand. Managing too many platforms is not recommended, because it would be difficult to maximize your effort. It's better to manage a few that really can have a great impact on your marketing effort.

Facebook and Twitter are still the largest social media platforms on the Internet, so those will be a good start. Additionally, you should also use a few "visual" social media like Pinterest and Instagram. These social media platforms work best for online stores.

The key of these campaigns is to come up with really interesting posts that people will share with their friends. If your posts can go viral, it can result in a massive impact to your sales.

Just like with e-mail marketing, don't be too aggressive with your promotional posts. Concentrate more on useful and informative content to improve your branding, maybe with a ratio of 80:20. You should engage with your audience – start conversations on your products, reply to feedback.

Finally, you should do social media monitoring. See what people say about your store, like / comment on positive comments and talk to those with genuine complaints (not replying to these can do much more damage). There are many online tools you can use for this purpose, like Social Mention .

If you’re too busy to post, try a content scheduler like Hootsuite or Buffer. Plan your content ahead of time and schedule it to be posted at your optimal times for engagement.

4. PPC Advertising - Google AdWords

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising will require a budget, but it is money worth spending. Google is used to find just about anything, which reflects in the fact that over 3.5 billion Google searches are made daily.

The amount of Google searches per year - Internet Live Stats

The amount of Google searches per year - Internet Live Stats

Your ads will show on Google search results based on the keywords typed by Google users. Additionally they will also appear on social media sites, blogs and article directories on pages that have related content to your business.

The best aspect of PPC advertising is that you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. Once you set your Adwords campaign correctly, you will be able to generate lots of targeted traffic and increase your sales.

Setting up your Adwords campaign is not difficult, but if you're unsure you can hire a professional to help you set it up correctly. This way you’ll be able to enjoy the maximum benefits of your PPC advertising campaign.

Never Stop Learning

If you can maximise the above marketing strategies, you will definitely be off to a good start. The key is to never start learning, always evaluate and re-analyse to make your marketing campaign more effective.

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