In today’s crowded marketplace, it’s important to focus your advertising efforts where they’ll have the biggest impact. This is especially true if you’re managing a startup, or running an e-commerce store in a highly competitive sector.
The good news is, there’s no need to worry. With some research and planning, you can focus your e-commerce marketing in the most effective places for your business. Here are 12 areas to consider.
1. Your Blog
In the marketing world they say that “content is king,” and that principle holds true for e-commerce brands as well. If you sell more complicated products, or products that may have complicated uses (e.g., home improvement tools), then how-to content is key to engaging with your audience. Also, never discount the impact that including a video in your blog could have on your consumers. Speaking of which…
2. Video Marketing
According to one survey, 87% of marketers agree that video has significantly increased traffic to their website. With that in mind, put video to work for your e-commerce brand! Create tutorial videos to help consumers better understand how to use your product. Record and publish testimonials from satisfied customers. Partner with influencers to develop “unboxing” videos that can spice up your product demos.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when people with an online presence promote your products, and receive a commission for every sale that they funnel to your store. There are a number of big advantages that setting up an affiliate marketing program can offer your brand, including:
- Measurability. You can easily determine how many clicks (and ultimately purchases) you’re receiving from your affiliate partners.
- Cost-effectiveness. Since someone else is doing all the heavy lifting in terms of writing blogs and plugging your products, the only major cost you’ll have to worry about will be their commission fee — and that’s well worth it if they’re drumming up business for your store.
- Authenticity. Many consumers find affiliate blog posts to be more authentic than content that comes directly from the brand in question. After all, your affiliate partners are real people who can give their opinion on your product from personal experience.
Over 50% of all homes in the United States have at least one “podcast fan,” and some 16 million Americans are “avid podcast fans,” according to recent Nielsen studies.
If you market your products on a podcast that’s popular with your target demographic, not only will you increase your brand exposure, but you’ll also associate your company with content that’s near and dear to your ideal customer’s heart.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways to drive business for your store. You can start out by setting up an email sign-up form on your website (and maybe offer a special promotion or discount for those who subscribe).
Next, leverage your email newsletter list into increased engagement by executing a drip campaign. Set up triggers for sending out emails to your subscribers, and keep your communications regular and relevant to their interests (e.g., send existing customers the occasional product recommendation based on their past purchases).
As with most social media platforms, you can use Instagram to boost your marketing efforts in two ways.
First, you can maintain a solid presence on Instagram by regularly uploading new posts to your account. You can even create “shoppable ads” so that prospects can click through to your website as soon as they find a product post they really like.
Second, think about partnering with Instagram influencers. An influencer can spread awareness for your brand across a demographic that you may not be able to access otherwise. Since influencers are people that your consumers already respect and admire, their positive recommendation can do wonders for your brand image. Plus, you can repurpose some of their content for your own blog!
7. Facebook Ads
Don’t sleep on Facebook Ads. They’re a great way to target specific consumers on the world’s largest social media network (and you can use them to build your marketing presence on Instagram, too).
Of course, you want to balance paid advertising with organic social media marketing, so that your brand stays relatable to your consumers. In addition, do your best to consistently and personally engage with your followers if at possible. A simple “thank you” to a nice comment will help your users to see that your company does care about their thoughts and needs.
8. Facebook Store
Since we’re on the topic of Facebook, consider creating your own shoppable Facebook Store, right from your main page. If someone is interested in your products, all they have to do is click the “Shop Now” button, and boom! they’re on your website. It’s a wonderful thing!
Pinterest ads are another great way to connect with your target audience. Similar to shoppable Instagram posts, “Product Pins” can showcase your products to a new demographic, and drive click-through traffic to your website.
10. Google Ads
If you approach Google Ads strategically, then you will almost certainly see significant results from your investment. Look to bid on keywords that are niche enough that the competition is manageable, yet broad enough that you’ll reach the widest possible audience. Of course, don’t forget about display ads, organic SEO, and other tactics that Google can facilitate.
11. OTT Advertising
It’s no secret that “over the top” streaming services have exploded in popularity over the past decade or so. For instance, in 2019 Netflix had over 154 million viewers in the United States alone — and that number is projected to rise to over 182 million by 2024. You can take advantage of this (relatively) new channel’s popularity by focusing a portion of your ad spend on OTT networks that your consumers enjoy watching.
12. Local Marketing
Last but not least, don’t neglect local marketing. Consider hosting an in-person event in your local community, or setting up a “pop-up shop” to generate excitement around your business. Online and offline marketing can work hand in glove to increase brand awareness, and get more people interested in your store.
If you have any questions about these 12 focus areas for e-commerce marketing in 2021, or want some advice on how to incorporate these channels into your overall marketing plan, reach out to Advantage Strategies today to schedule a free strategy session!