From email marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to collaborating with social media influencers, there are literally tons of eCommerce marketing tactics you can use to help your eCommerce store stand out from the rest.
But what actually is eCommerce marketing? And what are the most effective methods and strategies here in the US?
If you want to boost your sales, put your online store on the map and gain the trust of loyal customers that’ll keep coming back for more, you need effective marketing strategies for your ecommerce site.
What Is Ecommerce Marketing?
Put simply, eCommerce marketing is the process of using various marketing techniques to drive traffic to your online store, encourage each visitor to make a purchase, and retain their custom for repeat purchases.
At first glance, this might sound simple, but in today’s manic online marketplace, flooded with eye-catching apps, ads, and social posts, it’s never been more challenging to cut through the noise and capture your audience.
Let’s take a look at the top 12 ways to revolutionize your business’ eCommerce marketing strategy and gain more site visitors today.
12 Ways to Help You Market your Ecommerce Business More Effectively
1. Improve Social Media Marketing
If your business or online store doesn’t have a strong social media presence, you might as well wave goodbye to your target audience for good.
These days, an estimated 3.96 billion people globally use social media – the majority of whom spend big hours browsing social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook every single day.
This means fine-tuning your social media marketing techniques is essential if you want to make sure potential customers are noticing your brand.
Marketing tips from Mint Chip in this area:
- Tighten Your Focus
Don’t make the mistake of posting random content across all social media channels. Instead, stick to the website or app that your target market uses most. For example, if you’re selling travel or photography products, Instagram is where it’s at.
- Know When to Post
Certain times of day, like during the typical lunch hour or just after work, are more popular among social networking users – and you should time your posts according to when your target market tends to be online. Timing is everything and should never be overlooked if you want to drive engagement.
- Try Out Time-Saving Apps
Social media calendars like Hootsuite, Crowdfire or Rebrandly can help you to manage multiple accounts on the move and automate your content to post all by itself at the appropriate times. Buffer and Sendible also offer similar social media management features at competitive prices.
- Speak to Social Media Influencers
Collaborating with influencers who are active in your business niche can help you to raise brand awareness among the right people by reaching out to their followers. This can be achieved via ads, posts, loyalty program promotions or whatever you please.
- Diversify Your Platforms
Another top tip for eCommerce marketing in this area is to consider diversifying your social media platforms. Think of it like stocks and shares – you should spread out your risk by way of sharing and creating blog posts on multiple networks to pinpoint which platforms are generating the most interest from potential customers. Analytics tools offered by the likes of Hootsuite and Sprout Social will help you monitor this with ease.
2. Use an Original Content Marketing Strategy
A big part of eCommerce marketing is so-called content marketing. This just means creating your own fresh, unique, and standout content for your online store and ensuring that your business has a strong brand image that’s always consistent.
Establishing a name and image for yourself through your content can be a difficult task. You need to know what to say to truly resonate with your audience – and what not to say, too (as getting this wrong could scare potential customers away).
Be original, be creative, and hire a professional copywriter if you feel you might not be up to the task.
Marketing tip: One of the top marketing techniques we can recommend in this area is Pareto’s 80/20 rule – which we think is one of the best ways you can craft compelling content for your company. In short, all of your ads, promotions, and blog posts should be made up of 80% information telling potential customers about your store and 20% promotion, aiming to convert readers into site visitors and buyers.
3. Tailor your SEO
Anybody who’s anybody in the eCommerce marketing game knows that search engine marketing – i.e., developing and fine-tuning a successful SEO strategy – is absolutely vital to growing your eCommerce website or business.
SEO or “Search Engine Optimization” is simply the process of continually tweaking your eCommerce site and its content to ensure it ranks highly on search engine results pages. Recent studies suggest that very few people will click through onto the second or third pages of Google or other search engines, so ensuring your eCommerce site is always on page one is absolutely essential to drive traffic to your store.
This means identifying and using keywords that your target market might be searching for. Equally so, it’s important to provide rich, reliable content that both cuts through the noise and encourage your customers to take a look at other areas of your online store or browse your product catalog.
Marketing tip: Make sure to check out some of the best SEO marketing tools currently available – many of which offer free trials to new site customers and intelligent tools that help you keep your SEO in check. Mint Chip would recommend:
- Google Keyword Planner (Free to use)
- Ahrefs ($7 for a 7-day trial)
- Semrush (7-day free trial)
- KWFinder (10-day free trial)
- Keywords Everywhere (Free Chrome extension)
4. Be Creative with your FAQ Page
FAQs or “frequently asked questions” are commonly entered into search engines as keywords – which is why crafting some high-quality responses to typical search queries can be one of the best ways to drive sales by attracting customers to your ecommerce sites.
AI-powered websites like answerthepublic can help you identify which questions are being asked in the highest volume in your country or region. For example, if you sell fishing lines and bait to a customer base in Canada, a quick search for “fishing Canada” will reveal what questions your target audience is typically asking Google or any other search website.
Marketing tip: From here, a good approach is to take note of the top questions and produce some keyword-driven content covering the topic in detail. These questions and answers, which will appear on Google if the SEO is right, can be placed on an FAQ page on your eCommerce website and will help you to establish authority and traffic. Who knows, maybe new visitors will even make a store purchase along the way.
5. Conduct an Automated Email Marketing Campaign
Email newsletter content and email campaigns have been a key component of digital marketing since the early days of the internet. Get it right and email marketing can still be one of the strongest marketing tactics in your eCommerce toolbox.
However, get it wrong, and your customer base might disregard your monthly email newsletter or product promotions as spam – and ignore your company altogether.
Most people tend to open their emails if they recognize the sender or are attracted to the content. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule and ensure your content is carefully crafted.
Marketing tip: You can save a lot of time and money on email campaigns too, by using email marketing software to target email lists and email address details, track analytics and distribute your monthly mailers. Mint Chip would recommend these top five packages – many of which offer free versions or trials:
- MailChimp (Free for the basic package)
- Campaign Monitor (Free for basic templates)
- GetResponse (Free trial available)
- AWeber (Free for the basic package)
- Constant Contact (Free for the first month)
6. Try a Personalization Strategy
Everybody in life wants to feel special, right?
This is exactly why you need to think on a more personal level when speaking to your audience. Adopting a personalization strategy is one of the best marketing tools you can use in your ads, content, blog posts, and emails to make your customer base feel as if you’re talking directly to them.
Simply put, you need to think of your company or brand as if it were a person and treat your customers as real people instead of just dollar signs.
Marketing tip: Make sure you always address your customers by name, try to make them feel close to your brand by sharing product reviews, videos and valuable information about your website, and create a streamlined eCommerce shopping experience that makes them feel as if you truly care.
Nurturing good customer relationships is one of the most effective ways of keeping buyers coming back for more. A great way to make sure you don’t lose sight of the personalization goal is to use CRMs like HubSpot to organize customer information and tailor each individual interaction with your buyers.
7. Play with Contextual Marketing
Contextual marketing basically just means trying to market your business in clever or creative ways that connect with your audience demographic. In short, this just means releasing witty ads, social media posts, emailers, and other marketing content at the right time.
Marketing tip: Remember when Oreo sent out a series of tweets during the Super Bowl blackouts to show customers that they “can still dunk in the dark”? Or when Norwegian Air advertised discount flights to Los Angeles with the tagline “Brad is single” when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie split up? That’s exactly the sort of thing we’re talking about.
A successful contextual marketing campaign puts the right messages in the right place at the right time, connecting with your website audience in fun and engaging ways to create a buzz around your brand.
8. Explore Pay Per Click Advertising
Does your search engine marketing include Google AdWords? Or Pay Per Click (PPC)? Services like these can be a great way to streamline your eCommerce marketing – but what exactly is PPC advertising, and how does it work?
PPC is a marketing strategy that involves advertisers (i.e., your eCommerce business) paying a small fee each time a potential customer clicks on your website ads. In short, this enables you to “buy” visits to your site as opposed to trying to generate visits organically using more traditional marketing tactics.
Marketing tip: The three basic elements to every PPC campaign are the ad, the landing page, and the offer. The ad should create interest and use keywords, the landing page should be distraction-free and continue the ad’s conversion messaging, and the offer should be at the right price. Using services like Google AdWords to fine-tune your campaigns is an excellent way to get your head around PPC as a beginner.
9. Take advantage of User Generated Content (UGC)
User-Generated Content refers to the process of getting your customers to promote and share news, product reviews, or other information about your eCommerce store. This strategy usually targets social media users with hashtags or promos designed to get people talking about your brand.
Remember the “Share a Coke” campaign led by Coca-Cola a few years ago? Customers got all excited about purchasing an individualized product with their name on it and snapping selfies with the #ShareACoke hashtag. Similarly, Doritos holds a famous Super Bowl commercial submission contest each year – which draws in hundreds of entries.
Marketing tips for User Generated Content include:
Where customers can display your product in some way online to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
Where social media users are encouraged to use a hashtag when posting about your brand.
- Review platforms
Where customers are encouraged to share product reviews about items purchased from your online store.
10. Appreciate Your Loyal Costumers
Targeting the right audience from the outset is one thing, but nurturing customer loyalty is everything. If the people who purchase your products feel properly appreciated, it’s more likely they’ll make a purchase again – and again, and again…
Marketing tip: Consider rolling out a loyalty program to make your regulars feel special. Alternatively, you could offer freebies, giveaways, and samples to repeat buyers. Loyalty hacks are one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book and one of the best methods of establishing a reliable and consistent customer base.
11. Try out Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM)
Word of mouth marketing or “WOMM” is another one of those age-old marketing tactics that businesses often overlook in the digital age. Make sure you don’t fall into that trap.
Recent research suggests that buyers are becoming increasingly skeptical and cynical of digital marketing tactics, which means that good old-fashioned reputation, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations are today worth more than ever before.
Four marketing ways WOMM can be used effectively. These are:
- Customer reviews
If a genuine buyer writes a positive review about your company, there’s a strong chance other people in your target demographic will read it. Encourage happy customers to spread the word on sites like TrustPilot and Tripadvisor, or any other website that offers users a public reviews platform.
When customers start recommending your store or brand to others, news travels fast. Always encourage your biggest fans to tell their friends about your business.
Most happy customers will be willing to provide a quick quote or sound-bite about their positive experience with you – and this can be promoted on your website, social media, and more to try and reel in like-minded buyers.
- Case studies
Case studies are like testimonials but a little more in-depth. If your product has changed someone’s life for the better, consider interviewing them about it – it might make an engaging story for your next blog post.
- Create a Live Chat
Customer service is everything, so consider adding a live chat feature to your website to build customer interaction and improve the all-round shopping experience. This helps would-be buyers to get fast answers and can be a good way to mitigate any teething issue your customer may have before the checkout process.
Marketing tip: Your live chat feature doesn’t have to be human, either. If you lack the resources to hire new support staff, consider a chatbot – which can be quickly and easily launched on your site, powered by companies like Chatbox, ManyChat, and Fresh Chat at very affordable rates.
With today’s technology evolving at a rapid rate and consumer behavior being massively impacted by the likes of social media, search engines, and disruptive technologies, having an up-to-date marketing strategy has never been more important.
In 2021, there’s much more to eCommerce marketing than having a regular email list and targeting the inbox, email address, or social networking accounts of random people.
You need to effectively market your eCommerce business by utilizing multiple marketing channels and using the latest tech to properly target your ideal demographic and create a real buzz around your business or store.
Visit the Mint Chip website and subscribe to our newsletter today for the latest eCommerce marketing tips and more information on the top ways to get real results for your website, company, or store.