Getting your product or service on the right screen at the right time is pivotal for your e-commerce business. The world of digital marketing, while ever-changing, is a solid way to increase sales and leads. But how do you get in front of your target audience exactly when they want you? Whether you are a new business or an e-commerce pro that just needs some refreshers, consider this blog your go-to reference for everything e-commerce marketing.
The first step in any marketing is to set goals. While it might be tempting to have “increase revenue” as your top goal, we suggest using more SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. So instead of having “increase revenue” as your goal, try something like “increase contact us form submissions by 25% in the next quarter.” This goal is a stepping stone to get you increased revenue, but it is more “smart” and more manageable for you to form your campaigns around.
When setting goals, the most important step is looking internally within your business and seeing your specific needs. Your marketing goals are likely going to vary from even your direct competitors.
Identify Your Ideal Audience
Before you implement any marketing tactics or strategies, it’s time to identify your target market. Who is it that you are trying to reach? What is their job? Where do they live? What problem do they have that you are trying to help them solve through your product or service? We suggest creating a buyer persona of your ideal customer. A buyer persona, according to Hubspot, is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and accurate data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer personas, you should include demographics, behaviors, goals, and more. The more details you add, the easier it will be to market to them. An example of a buyer persona is:
Matt is a 24-year-old part-time waiter at a local restaurant in Upstate, NY. After work, Matt goes to grad school to further his education and dreams of one day joining the business world and owning his own home.
Let’s say you are a landlord, and you want to market to Motivated Matt. Knowing that he is young and light on cash because he is working part-time and in grad school, you might want to highlight your 6-month lease option in your ads. This will likely be appealing to Matt, who dreams of owning a home after grad school. Matt is younger, so you decide to try tactics like TikTok and Instagram to reach him. Having a buyer persona will help guide you to a successful strategy.
Content is crucial for your e-commerce marketing plan. From social media to articles and more, your content is a place for your users to learn more about you, in an organic way. Your social media channels are a great way to communicate with customers on a more personal level. If you run an e-commerce business, there will likely be changes; whether that’s a sale you are promoting or a new collection launching, you will need to communicate these with your potential customers. These are all things your social media followers would care about and new users might seek information out about. That’s why we recommend using a content calendar to organize and prep your social media. By understanding your buyer persona, you can strategically select the platforms you will post and the types of articles you will write.
Reporting is digital marketing’s best friend, and the same goes for content. Looking at posting metrics and optimizing your posts accordingly will help you reach your social media goals faster. There are countless tools out there that can help you measure the results of your social media posts. Looking into the platform insights is one of the easiest ways to access things like impressions, engagements, and even demographics of viewers. UTM codes are a great way to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts. By using UTM’s and tracking your link clicks, you can see direct clicks from each social platform.
Adding SEO into your e-commerce strategy is a must. Organic searches for your product or service is free business. While SEO is a long-term tactic, it holds significant benefits when executed properly. Going after the right keywords is the first step in executing a successful SEO strategy. Both Google and SEMRush have excellent keyword planning tools that you can use as a starting point for free.
Search engines use a series of “rules” to grade your website with. This can include site speed, alt tags on images, relevancy of content, and keywords. Check out our article that goes in-depth on how you can implement on-page optimizations on your website today to improve your SEO.
Putting dollars behind your marketing efforts is one of the most effective ways to reach your ideal audience. Unlike organic content, you can use targeting tools from different platforms to show your ads to specific groups of people. Many paid advertising platforms work well for e-commerce. The real question is what one will work for your specific business. Look at your goals, industry, and audience to determine what platforms you should add to your marketing strategy.
A search platform is the most direct way to hit users actively searching for your product or service. Let’s say you own a local clothing boutique, and someone in your area searches for “blue shirt near me” in Google. If you are running Google Ads with that keyword, you will be one of the first places that show up for that person. While search is a popular way to hit users where they are directly looking for you, there are other Google strategies you can implement as well. Google Shopping is a great way to showcase your product with an image along with a short description. For e-commerce, this visual representation of your product or service is a huge game-changer.
Display ads are another great visual option that can hit users when browsing online, watching YouTube videos, or using apps. By using display ads, you have the potential to hit up to 90% of internet users across millions of website users worldwide. With such a broad audience, we typically recommend display as a tactic if you are looking for brand awareness.
If your products or services would benefit from video ads, use them! Advertising through Google video ads allows you to show off aspects of your product or service that a static image might not convey.
Facebook is an advertising giant, with many different ad types available and with nearly 2.85 billion monthly active users on Facebook every month, you are all but guaranteed to reach your target audience. Like with every other tactic, you should know your goals and keep in mind your target audience for Facebook advertising. From there, we recommend testing out different ad types. There are carousel ads that allow you to post up to 10 pictures highlighting your product or service’s best features. Collection ads provide an instant experience to the user, including a primary video or picture with accompanying pictures. Dynamic ads are great for e-commerce because Facebook dynamically pulls together a combination of images and text from your catalog and serves the ad to the right user without you having to input individual ads for each of your products manually.
Facebook performs best for e-commerce when it’s paired with bold imagery. Your images and videos might be the first impression to someone not familiar with your brand. Plus, bold images tend to stand out from competitors and the monotony of a Facebook feed. Bold images paired with retargeting is a winning combination for Facebook. You can retarget users who have abandoned their carts, recently viewed items, and so on. This helps keep your brand top of mind.
The most important part of marketing for e-commerce is understanding your brand and what you are looking to accomplish. A killer Google campaign for one company might not necessarily work for yours. Our best advice is to do your research on your target audience, where they are, and what message they want. A good marketing campaign often comes with some testing and optimizations, so don’t be afraid to try something new or fix something that isn’t performing well for you. At Digital Hyve, we have worked across many industries and would love to share our insights. If you are interested in a free and personalized strategy session with our digital marketing experts, contact us today!