For an eCommerce shop, inbound marketing is everything. Especially with how competitive the industry can be, finding anything you can to get ahead is a must, which is why your marketing strategy mix needs to be rock-solid. However, knowing what goes into a great plan can be difficult, which is why I’m providing a few helpful tips to get you started.
Do Your Research
No matter if you’re just starting out or are already a few months into building your eCommerce store, doing some research into your market is crucial. While your target audience will most likely remain relatively stable, the specific demographics you could be isolating might be worth the additional effort. For example, according to BigCommerce, 67 percent of millennials prefer to shop online, so finding ways to appeal to this age range in particular might be advantageous to you.
Start by looking at your current following and try to find any commonalities between the people who are engaging with your brand. Most social media platforms have some free metric tools to use, but it might not be a bad idea to invest in some additional analytics. The goal is to compile data sets in a way that you can use them to cross-compare against other case studies and competitors. Although this might sound complicated, your industry knowledge serves as a base guide, and it can actually be much simpler than you imagine.
Beyond internal research, it’s good practice to start reading up on marketing strategies specifically for online stores. As eCommerce has been a mainstay for a number of years, there are plenty of resources out there, including eBooks about various business models, podcasts, and even entire blogs and website dedicated to entrepreneurship. And while it can be great to browse around, try to set research goals, such as including an objective based on a question you want to answer. For example, asking yourself things like why your company attracts such a high number of customers from the southeast can help you to refine your strategies and maximize your impact with groups that are responding to your product or service.
Keep Your Content Consistent
Although it can be a lot to manage consistently, a key component of any eCommerce marketing plan has to be content marketing. This includes not only posting regularly to your blog, social media accounts, and email lists, but also having a cohesive strategy tying your content together across all platforms. Hitting all of these benchmarks is no easy feat, but well worth the effort; according to Hubspot, 47 percent of buyers look at 3-5 pieces of content before making a purchase. You want to be able to communicate with them at the touchpoint of their choice.
To begin, explore which mediums are most popular in your industry, as well as how your current posting schedule is working for each. If you can, dig back in your history to see which posts were most successful, making note of what might have been “special” or particularly compelling about them. Once you’ve started to gauge how your audience prefers to engage with your brand, it’s time to develop your long-term content marketing strategy.
Create a calendar of the types of posts you’re going to create, when you want them to appear, and which platforms you want to publish them to. I’d recommend starting with your blog as the primary hub of information, with your social media posts either linking directly to the blog or product itself. Don’t be afraid to use your blog as a place to share industry insights; for example, the blockchain startup TrustToken has published a highly informative piece on how the SEC is impacting their industry, creating value for their audience.
Even though content marketing requires some serious legwork, it really should be somewhat enjoyable to create that content since it showcases your brand, product, and aesthetic. After all, if you’re not genuinely excited about what you’ve got to offer, how are you going to get consumers on board?
Master The ROI Of Social Media
Finally, while keeping up with generating content for social media is a vital aspect of your eCommerce store’s success, the other half of the equation is accurately tracking the ROI you’re getting from those posts. Social media marketing is a huge arena — according to Pew Research, approximately 79 percent of all internet users are on social media — so it’s critical to establish some benchmarks for effectively measuring your success.
Begin by looking at what you’d consider a successful campaign, including how much you would be willing to spend to make it successful and how much return you would expect to see from such an investment. Checking out how other industries or companies have executed something similar might not be a bad idea, either. For example, the independent film People You May Know was being gaining traction on social media via a grassroots content marketing campaign.
At any rate, you can’t expect to make informed decisions about the direction of your marketing strategy with no quantifiable data to support its effectiveness, and tracking your ROI is one of the best ways to make smart marketing moves.
What are some marketing strategies you’ve successfully implemented in your eCommerce business model?