If you are running an eCommerce business, or if you’re planning to start one from scratch, I’d suggest you spend some time reading this article word by word. I believe by the end of this article, you might get a clear picture of what to do, where to start, in terms of planning the marketing strategy for your e-commerce business.
1. Start from the basics – Proper Analytics Setup & tracking for measuring ROI
When you are setting up your e-commerce portal, the first and perhaps the most important step you need to take is to ensure that you properly set up all tracking & monitoring tools associated with the portal. When it comes to tracking the incoming traffic, Google Analytics is the most commonly used solution. With the help of Google Analytics, you can have a comprehensive overview of who your customers are, you can understand:
- Where your customers are coming from
- Which all are the main products they’re purchasing
- How many repeat visitors are there?
With a bit of advanced-level configuration, you can even:
- Set a custom goal & track how many times you can achieve the goal
- Set an event and then track the same
When you are running paid promotion campaigns for driving product sales, you can make use of analytics information to ascertain where most of your customers are coming from, which products they prefer buying, the amount of money you will have to spend for marketing purposes for making a customer purchase a product from you. With all this information, you can develop an effective marketing plan that optimizes the marketing expenses and promises a maximum return on investment.
2. Have a strong SEO Expert assist you in driving organic traffic and sales
A solid strategy for Search Engine Optimization is a crucial factor when it comes to driving organic traffic to your portal. If you have a product to sell, and an eCommerce portal for selling that product, then you will have to make sure your website is visible to prospective customers that are looking for you. This is where Search Engine Optimization plays a crucial role. In order to make that happen, you need to have the support of a strong SEO Expert who is always on top of the latest developments on how the search engines work, how they crawl and index the websites.
3. Develop a solid promotional strategy
Once you have sufficient information about the incoming traffic, sales, and customer data in place, you need to have a promotional plan in place that will help you achieve your business goals.
There are many options on Facebook, Google and other advertising networks to be considered as objectives, such as brand awareness, sales or conversion and the settings for each differ based on objectives.
While running paid promotion campaigns, you need to have sales as the main objective since only more and more sales will result in taking your business to the next level. You can either hire a well-experienced team to assist you in planning & executing a promotional plan specially tailored for your needs or you can try and experiment with the available paid promotion methods in Facebook & Google.
Facebook Ads are a set of advertising products made available by the social networking giant for marketers to reach their prospective customers who are having Facebook accounts. As mentioned earlier, a lot of advertising options are available for marketers to reach their target audience, such as awareness generation, driving website traffic, post engagement, video views, increasing the fan base, lead generation and many more. For an eCommerce portal, it is always wise to opt for campaigns that are having awareness generation and sales generation as the prime focus.
Google offers a wide range of advertising products that consist of search ads, display ads, video ads. And based on the requirement, eCommerce portals can make use of website traffic driving campaigns, conventional search campaigns, sales-oriented campaigns, etc with the help of Google.
If you are visiting any eCommerce portal like Amazon or Flipkart, and are looking at a particular product, chances are high that you will be seeing the ad for that product wherever you go, be it random blogs or your social media feed. These kinds of ads that follow you around are generally termed as retargeting ads. If you were looking for a product and then decided against buying it at that time, these ads will help you to remind yourself to buy it at a later stage. Retargeting options are available with all major advertising players such as Google and Facebook and they help in brand building, brand recollection activities.
Proper Mapping of Consumer Journey
Based on the nature of your product, generic buying behavior of the customers, it is crucial for you to properly map the overall consumer journey. You need to properly define where the customer will come across the website: which all sources and channels, networks they will be coming from, which would be the first touch-point for your consumers on your website, and also how they are to exit your portal after making their purchase.
Once a consumer journey is properly mapped, you can fine-tune your online promotional strategy and plan top of the funnel or bottom of the funnel campaigns as per your objectives.
4. Build a strong community of customers around you with the help of social media
It is always good if you’re able to build a strong relationship with your customers who regularly purchase products from you. In order to be in touch with them, the most effective method would be social media marketing. Based on the nature of your products, and where your customers are spending most of their time, the choice of social media accounts might differ, if you’re having a clothing brand for the youth, Instagram could be a right option for you.
By posting content regularly on your social channels, you can interact with your customers and ensure your brand is there in their minds when they’re purchasing for similar products. Another important aspect of social media is the ability to inform your customers about the latest offers you’re giving out for your customers: it can be special offers for new customers or special offers for repeated customers.
Social media channels can be used as the anchor for all your content marketing initiatives. On your social channels, you can post the articles published on your blog, reviews shared by your customers, promotional videos and graphics which you make, they can function as the communication hub surrounding your brand.
5. Inbound & Content Marketing for Your Brand
Inbound marketing is the type of marketing where customers search for products and services similar to yours and come to you after consuming the content out there about your products and services. Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Management all become useful in one or more stages of inbound marketing.
Whatever content you are planning for your blog and social channels, it should be finalized keeping in mind how your customers and prospective customers will be benefitted from it. The more beneficial the content is, the more likely your prospects will come to your brand when they’re searching for similar products.
6. Product Reviews by Influencers
It is a well-known fact that social media influencers bring in a certain degree of credibility to the brand. You can identify the influencers who use the products similar to yours and you can send them a few free samples in return for product reviews. If they like the product and mention it in their networks, their followers who are searching for similar products will come across your brand and purchase from you.
7. Email Marketing for the win!
When it comes to the e-commerce segment, sending out regular emails to your customers informing them about the latest happenings surrounding the brand is crucial. Special offers can be sent out to the customers so that they can purchase again, you can collect customer feedback by sending them an email with a survey link, there are a lot of things you can do with emails. There are numerous tools such as ActiveCampaign, MailChimp which you can use for sending simple emails to your customers, you might want to take up a paid subscription depending on your audience size so that you can truly customize the emailers.
8. Delight Customers & turn them to brand advocates
Customers are the greatest asset a company can ever have. Not only they purchase products from you, but they also can be effective brand ambassadors your brand can ever get. If you can give outstanding products coupled with prompt customer service, then there is a high chance that they come back for purchasing more from you and also tell their friends and family about your brand.
Most of the points mentioned here can be done by yourself if you’re willing to experiment with them and learn new things; it could get tricky in a few areas. In areas such as paid promotions, SEO, and content marketing you might require expert assistance for planning and execution of the activities at an optimum manner that does not burn too much time, effort and cost. If you require any assistance from our end, get in touch with our in house e-commerce marketing expert for a free session.