Last week we discussed 4 steps to launch your online store. To keep the momentum going, we now turn to the next steps for building your business post-launch: marketing.
Build it and they will come, right? Not necessarily. When it comes to running an online business, effective marketing is the key to success. By contrast, a traditional brick and mortar storefront communicates to potential customers that the store exists in the first place. If the storefront is set up properly, customers quickly identify who the business is and what they sell. Window displays are a great example of this.
When it comes to running a business online, you have to approach marketing with a different mindset. Without a brick and mortar storefront, how will you attract people’s attention? To help you get started on effective marketing strategies, read on.
Strategy 1: Email marketing
In digital marketing, email marketing has the highest return on investment. This is because the best email campaigns are highly personalized based on customer segments and feature a mix of informative and promotional content. Email also helps to build brand familiarity and trust. The ability to build ongoing relationships with your customers is key, and email is one of the most effective ways to do so.
Another advantage to email marketing is that it can be largely automated. Automation saves you time, which lets you focus on other aspects of running your business while still attracting customers. Mailchimp and Drip are popular options for this approach.
You’re probably the recipient of email marketing without realizing it. Though it’s tempting to click “unsubscribe” from marketing emails, we encourage you to use this opportunity to do some research. Take an objective look at these emails: What do you find effective? Pay attention to the writing, length, design, and any calls to action. After looking through 5-10 email marketing campaigns, you’ll begin to develop a sense of what is going to work well for your own business.
Strategy 2: Social media marketing
If you’re a new e-commerce entrepreneur and feel intimidated by social media, you are not alone. It’s hard to know which platforms you need to be on and how to get the most out of them. We like to think of social media as an online shopping district - platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube offer users an opportunity to learn about your business, just like how real passers-by would learn about a brick and mortar store.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t necessary to be on all social media platforms at once, especially when you’re starting out. Quality over quantity content is key. It is a much better long-term strategy to focus on one or two platforms instead of scratching the surface of four or more platforms. If you manage your own social media accounts, this is also a better time-management strategy.
The first step to understanding which social media platforms to use starts with understanding your brand identity, which we discussed in last week’s post. Once you clearly understand your brand narrative and your target demographic(s), select social media platforms based on which demographics generally use them. For instance, Instagram’s audience is largely young adults whereas Facebook is literally used by everyone.
Strategy 3: Paid advertising
Paid advertising is crucial for running an online business. Advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google has more or less replaced traditional forms like billboards, newspaper ads, and windshield leaflets (though these forms can still be useful in local spaces).
If you’re selling a product or service in 2020, you should advertise on Facebook. This year alone, Facebook’s number of active users is expected to reach 1.7 billion - that’s greater than the entire population of China. Now, most of your Facebook ads won’t reach 1.7 billion people. Further, it is much more effective to target a specific demographic based on your ideal customer avatar. When done well, however, Facebook ads can greatly increase the number of people who are looking to buy what you’re selling.
Facebook has sophisticated options for targeting ads. If you’re new to the concept of targeting, it refers to the practice of trying to reach specific demographics through advertising - i.e. women between the ages of 25-45 who like coffee, dogs, and books. Target your ads based on your business’s key demographics. Facebook for Business has a great resource for getting familiar with their targeting options here.
Learn Good Commerce: Introducing our new Social Media Training
We’re pleased to launch our new educational resource for entrepreneurs: a one-day training that will equip you with the knowledge and practical skills to level-up your social media.
Whether you’re new to social media or want to round out your expertise, our new Social Media Training helps you create and schedule high-performing content that will improve your accounts today.Feel free to explore the link above or to contact us if you have any questions.