Marketing as an eCommerce Retailer: The Introductory Guide
It may seem difficult at times, but setting up your marketing strategy is the first thing you have to do after launching your site. And in a world where there are just so many options, it can be hard to pinpoint and execute the right solutions on your own. And that is where the team at Current Commerce comes in because we have created an introductory guide to serve as your roadmap through the land of eCommerce marketing.
Step 1 – Mapping Out Your Strategy
However, before you commence on your journey, you must first lay out the route you want to take by doing some market research and curating your content strategy. These two tasks may seem daunting but are quite simple if you know your brand and how you want it to develop over time.
Market research is most effective to discover your target consumers, who your competitors are and if there is a demand for your product. To conduct effective research, and not waste your time and hard-earned money, look to the next four tips for guidance:
- Use The Google Keyword Tool for easy, fast and affordable keyword research to see how many people are interested in your type of product or business. Keyword research is also helpful when trying to decide how to maximize your reach when sending out blog posts, revising product names/descriptions, and using social media.
- Social media one of your best friends. By going through the different channels, you can learn about the language of your customers, how other brands are leveraging social media to generate sales, and build a loyal base around your brand. The best channels for this purpose are Instagram and Twitter because they are so easy to sift through and conversations between brands and consumers are heavily accessible.
- Utilize your personal networks to build a stable and loyal following. By using friends, family, and colleagues to build your initial consumer group, you can generate content through them that can be used on your site and social media in the future. Plus they are more willing to give honest feedback on your existing efforts to help you improve and grow.
- Simply Google your business idea and then read through what your competitors are already doing…and then one-up them. Pure competitive research can be done in increments of time and must be an ongoing process included in your strategy because knowing what your competitors are doing well and very badly can help you improve and draw in more consumers.
Content marketing is the act of creating and publishing relevant and interesting content to attract loyal consumers to your brand. The content must entertain, educate and help consumers to the point that they become and remain loyal to your brand as well drive continuous traffic to your site- increasing the number of conversions. We have included some tips below to help you curate and manage your content:
- Analyze competitors’ content to see what kinds of content – articles, images, video, etc. – most effectively drives traffic and sales.
- Use general trends and search terms to determine which could be most successful.
- Experiment and then evaluate to see what worked and did not work so that you can improve your strategy moving forward.
Step 2 – Implementing Email Marketing Campaign
The next step after market research and content strategy curation is to utilize your network to conduct email marketing campaigns through popular automation software, i.e. MailChimp (which is easy to customize and use). Thoughtful automated emails help to establish worthwhile relationships with customers and build interest around product launches/promotions/brand news. Email campaigns should either:
- Confirm and encourage subscriptions,
- Reassure the customers that subscribing in the first place was a good idea,
- Initiate sales through links in the email to products or a special promotion,
- Inform customers of important company updates (change in site layout, new member-only programs, etc.)
- Or remind a customer to complete a purchase in their shopping cart
For the introductory email series with an invitation to subscribe it should include:
- Subscription confirmation email – Confirm that the user actually registered, the benefits of using the subscription, and then give them the opportunity to opt in to other lists when offered.
- Promotional – Reiterating the benefits of subscribing through the use of a promotional code or link to a new sale. Only send to customers who interacted with the previous emails. Mailchimp is awesome for this because it allows you to view opens, click-through rate, and conversions.
Step 3 – Utilizing Social Media
After implementing your email campaign, include click-through buttons to your social media profiles, so that your loyal subscribers can also start to use your social channels as communication tool. In order to establish a consistent and reliable social media presence before including it in your email campaigns, please review the following tips for guidance:
- Research channels that you think will have the most positive impact on conversions for your brand.
- If you want to entice consumers with high quality & creative images of your product, choose Instagram and Pinterest.
- If you want to inform customers with links and articles, choose Facebook and Twitter.
- Use your market research and content marketing strategy to define your social media branding before posting so that your social media is a contextual fit within your overall strategy.
- Make sure that the overall look and verbatim is a match to your brand.
- Double check.
Overall, the key to executing a successful eCommerce marketing strategy is to make sure all of your content is a contextual fit to your brand. Because if your marketing doesn’t fit who you are, then everyone will get confused as to who you are – and brand identity crises are never a good thing.