Are you ready to get serious about your digital marketing strategy? You’ll need to if you want to build a successful eCommerce business in 2018.
What should your strategy include? There are so many options for online promotion that it can feel like going into a hardware store to buy paint for your kitchen remodel and finding hundreds of similar shades to choose among. How do you decide?
Just like there isn’t one shade that works for every kitchen, there is no social media strategy that fits all eCommerce brands.
You must first consider the platforms your target audience is likely using. It is more effective to choose one to three social platforms that match your desired demographic than to spread yourself too thin trying to be on every social media platform at once.
You also need to determine your specific marketing objectives. Once you know what those are, you can assess what online tools, social media sites and services can help you achieve your goals.
What Are Your Top 3 Marketing Objectives?
John Jantsch, author and creator of the blog and podcast Duct Tape Marketing, suggests that before launching a big digital marketing campaign, eCommerce business owners should first determine their top three marketing objectives.
Are your objectives…
- Getting new clients?
- Launching a new product or campaign?
- Increasing brand awareness?
- Generating word-of-mouth?
- Re-engaging one-time or infrequent customers?
- Creating community among your customers?
- Social selling?
Once you have three objectives, you can start assessing the online platforms and services that are out there and make informed decisions about how each might fit your objectives.
For instance, if one of your objectives is to get new clients or generate word-of-mouth about a new product, you may decide to research social media influencers who can talk up your product to their numerous followers. Sites where you can start your search include FollowerWonk, Kred and Tweetdeck.
Or say you have limited resources and are looking to create community among your customers. In this case you might focus your efforts exclusively on Facebook and Instagram’s linked platforms.
Acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has seen incredible growth in the last year. The current number of Instagram subscribers is 800 million. 95 million photos are uploaded every day, up from 70 million last year. There are 25 million businesses on the platform, which may have been the impetus for Instagram’s introduction of business page accounts. Business accounts come with more insights about your stories, posts and followers, access to realtime metrics on the performance of promoted posts, and more to help you get the most out of using the site.
Remarketing to Reengage Potential Customers
Perhaps a marketing objective you listed was re-engaging customers, like the ones who click on your product page but don’t ‘add to cart’ or who add to cart but then abandon before hitting the ‘buy now’ button. There are multiple reasons a potential customer doesn’t end up making a purchase, and they aren’t necessarily because they changed their mind about the product. They may have been distracted and just need a reminder. Remarketing is about encouraging those customers to come back to your site and reconsider a product in which they showed interest. You can set up a series of emails that are triggered when someone clicks on a product description or you can use a series of display ads for a set period of time. Online retailers often employ playful messaging like “We saw you eyeing this. We think this should be yours” to entice customers to ultimately make a purchase.
What About Social Selling?
If one of your marketing objectives is social selling, or using social media to interact directly with prospective customers, one tool you might use is Facebook Live.
Facebook Live is being used by sellers to reach and sell to customers in real time and right on Facebook. It’s easy to create videos to engage with your audience. It’s as simple as using your cell phone to create and upload a video to your business page. Start by announcing to followers the time your video is set to begin. Once you’re live, you can sell to them right from the video, then record and replay to reach other customers who didn’t get to see the live video. Services like Shopify allow you to add a shopping cart to your FB Live video.
Some Rules of Thumb for Facebook Live
- Keep your video short.
- Don’t overproduce it. People are looking for authenticity, not an aspiring Apple ad.
- Don’t be boring. You have a brief window to grab your customers’ attention before they’re distracted by an incoming text message or another click-bait news headline.
You can also integrate your Facebook Messenger chatbots with Facebook Live. Say you’re broadcasting a live video demonstration of a product on Facebook. You can include a bot in that video that delivers content to viewers via Messenger. It’s a great way to create more customer engagement — or to update customers you haven’t heard from in a while about what exciting things are happening with your brand.
Your Digital Marketing Strategy Shouldn’t Neglect the Basics
As in any situation where you are presented with new, shiny and cutting-edge tools, it can be tempting to let your other tools become dull. Resist this temptation! Some of the most effective digital marketing tools are also fairly basic.
- Conversion rate optimization. Although not as sexy as a new social media marketing tool, conversion rate optimization is one best practice you shouldn’t neglect. This is the process of testing and implementing changes to a website to improve performance. Simply by rewording a product description or updating a sales offer, you can end up with more conversions. Places to test include your navigation menu, your product images and descriptions, your checkout process, and how your site appears across platforms. Maximize your site traffic by conducting ongoing conversion rate optimization throughout the year.
- Adding user-generated content to your eCommerce site. One of the biggest challenges new eCommerce businesses face is getting visitors to become customers for the first time. Without physical products to touch and try out, it can be daunting for site visitors to make the leap to purchasing your product based solely on a virtual image and a description. If you’re not enabled for customer reviews, photos, and other user-generated content, you’re missing out on potential sales by customers who only buy online based on other users’ reviews. With so many people conducting online research before making purchasing decisions, user reviews have become a must-have.
- Social media optimization. If you are already using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites, make sure you’re using them well. Make the most of your content by promoting it on all your sites. The exception to this is strategically restricting certain content to specific social media sites. This can increase interest and convince customers to visit you on multiple channels to get access to different content or offers.
Vary your content. In a recent episode of his podcast Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch suggests the rule of four: 25% should be curated from elsewhere, 25% should be tied to business goals (in other words, pure promotion), 25% should be about people, places, and personal observations, and 25% should be original content from a pre-determined editorial calendar. A good mix of content can increase page views, comments and shares.
Looking for More Insights into Digital Marketing Strategies?
If you’re still not sure what digital marketing strategy best fits your marketing objectives, contact Orderhouse today. We can help you design a winning plan for 2018 for your eCommerce site.
For more insight on end to end eCommerce strategy visit this resources page.