So, you have started your own online store, you’ve done your research, and the website is up and running. The next step is marketing. The question is, where do you begin with promoting your store? In a lot of ways, marketing for an e-commerce business is no different to marketing in general. You need to know your audience and be secure in your brand. You can then begin to come up with your marketing strategy.
Content marketing is as it sounds; it is all about creating and sharing content in as many forms as you want, from blogs to infographics to videos. It does not necessarily always directly promote your brand, but it can help to generate some interest around your products and your business in general. This is because it helps you build a relationship with your consumers and potential consumers by establishing yourself as a trusted source within your market. Content marketing is also cheaper while still generating a lot of leads and driving more traffic to your website.
Creating content that is helpful and speaks to your audience builds trust and interest, and there is always the chance that your content could go viral. As mentioned above, this content can be as specific or tenuous as you like. For example, if you are an online book retailer, your content could be book reviews or quizzes like ‘which famous literary character are you?’. If you sell gym gear, then you can create content around training for sporting events and so on. When you create your content, keep your audience in mind; what would appeal to them the most?
One of the biggest benefits of email marketing is that your marketing is guaranteed to reach more specific people within your target market. For example, most online stores have a mailing list which their customers have subscribed or opted in to. This then means that you are reaching people who are already interested in your brand and your products. In addition, you can leave links to your mailing list or place reminders on your website.
Once this mailing list is created, you can then market consistently to your list; this can be in the form of newsletters, updates, offers and more. You can also automate your emails, schedule them in advance or using services like a free SMTP relay. This saves you time and effort but still ensures that your customers benefit from a more personal touch.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the most popular digital marketing methods today. Use can use any social media platform, including Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and more; it will depend on where you are most likely to find your audience. Wherever they are spending their time online, you should cultivate a presence there too. In addition, your presence on social media should align with your brand’s voice, which should be consistent within all forms of marketing.
The content that you post should be something that will engage and interest your audience. Ideally, you want them to enjoy your content so much that they share it with their friends and followers. Social media is also a good place to engage with your followers by replying to messages and comments, which gives them a more personalised experience. You could even reshare user-created content such as your followers wearing your clothes or reviews of your products. Lastly, do not forget to link your online store and make it accessible for your followers to find.
Influencer or Affiliate Marketing
Arguably this form of marketing has close links with social media marketing as most of the time, that is where the influencers or affiliates will be marketing your products. This form of advertising can be expensive, but sometimes the payoff is worth it. If this is a route that you would like to take, it is worth making sure that you find an influencer who mirrors your brand’s values and whose following aligns with your target market the most.
The influencers may post photos of themselves wearing or using your products, write guest blogs for you, or they might plug your product in a video or at an event. Sometimes these influences will give you a shout out in exchange for freebies, or sometimes they may require you to pay a fee. It is always worth trying to negotiate for the best deal possible.
You should not overwhelm yourself, especially if you are just starting out, by trying to commit to too many different marketing strategies at once. Choose a couple to start with, the ones that fit the best with your brand and your consumers. Then when you are comfortable and confident with those, you can begin to integrate a few more techniques. Try to monitor the efficacy of your efforts because as things change and your business grows, your marketing needs might change too.