I am working for a company at the moment that is under the false impression that, just because it has developed a wonderful product, the online market will readily find it and snatch it up.
It's a frustrating position to be in. I agree that the product is worthy, however, unless this new eCommerce business has a marketing plan in place they are unlikely to succeed.
Though the basics are the same, there will be techniques at work in eCommerce marketing that differ from other online enterprises. And, in order to narrow down the distinctive for your industry, you are going to need to invest time and energy in a marketing strategy.
Define Your Goals
I worked as an Online Marketing Consultant for a company once that thought it was necessary for me to know every detail of their manufacturing process.
They had a great deal of industry and product knowledge. But when I asked them to define the purpose of their existence, they couldn't give me an answer.
Being able to define your goals in eCommerce is similar.
Being able to define your business goals will allow you to say no to every distraction that would steer you off course.
Your Business goal will inform your marketing strategy. If for example, your business goal is to supply wholemeal flour via an online store to medium income families, we can straight away rule out certain B2B marketing strategies.
Knowing who your audience is (as part of your goal setting) tells you in which direction you need to aim your marketing guns.
Knowing Your Target Market
Most business goals are directed at making sales, which means that most marketing goals are directed at talking and convincing other people. But who are those people?
Before you invest in marketing, it's important to know who your target audience is going to be. Who in the marketplace is going to be interested in your product?
You need to be able to answer such things as:
- Where they live
- How old they are
- What their spending habits are
- What kind of lifestyle they lead.
Depending on your product, it may also include things like education, marital status and more.
One of the best ways to work out your target market is to look across your community and think in general terms.
Once you have a vague idea of who it is you want to engage in business, you can then begin to develop customer personas using customer persona templates. These personas will include things like geographical area, age, fashion, gender, age and more.
Developing Your Marketing Strategy
Once you have to find your ideal customer and the business goals under which were operating it's now time to step in and begin developing your marketing strategy.
How are you going to get the customers that you want to speak to in front of your product?
At this point, you have some options. However, it is not a matter of picking and choosing according to your interest but according to market metrics, research and statistics.
The easiest way to do this is to divide your marketing strategy into two categories. Ongoing campaigns and those that will be one-off campaigns.
Ongoing marketing campaigns in eCommerce are those that are going to make up the everyday content of your marketing strategy.
An example of this would be Google AdWords, Facebook advertising or similar forms of paid media buys.
These are the kind of marketing tactics that you are forever refining. Some people will attempt these marketing strategies once but then abandon them because they have not worked.
However, through regular refinement, these campaigns can prove to be incredibly lucrative marketing channels
The best reason a new eCommerce has for advertising with Google AdWords, according to Sydney Agency, Gorilla 360, is the simple fact that Google processes billions of search queries every day. People are looking for your product, and Google Adwords is an easy way to be found.
One-off campaigns are usually marketing campaigns that will focus on a single product or single goal within the marketing strategy.
The content of these one-off campaigns may include viral media, such as video, inOr an article.
They might also include some form of press release to announce a new product or service in your eCommerce store.
As you prepare to launch your eCommerce business, it's important to separate your marketing strategies along these long and shorter-term lines.
Determining the long and short term parking strategies you're going to employ is going to help you gain the additional exposure and media coverage that a new product or service requires.
One-off campaigns are particularly effective for new product launches and new service announcements. Longer term strategies will include things like search engine optimisation, social media marketing and content marketing.
Long term marketing strategy will also include on page factors such as landing pages and calls to action.
Converting Your New Audience
Your marketing campaign is not complete until you have developed a formal through which you will bring your newly acquired audience.
Your conversion strategy will include a list of those things that are designed to lead a prospective customer step-by-step through your eCommerce store.
At this point, you will need to consider on page factors such as your checkout process. But you will also need to keep an eye on the more fundamental aspects of your product marketing.
Those fundamental aspects include highlighting the features and benefits of your service and demonstrating a unique value proposition to your audience?
This may involve some testing of your product pages and landing pages.
There is no one way to do this. It involves trial and error and a lot of testing. Each eCommerce business will have to determine for itself where believes the most games can be made regarding raising conversion.
There have been plenty of resources written and tools developed on conversion optimisation, and you should research those that most closely reflect your own industry and niche.
Keeping Them Coming Back
This is the final and most important step. Keep your customers is the number one factor in determining long-term business success.
Your goal is simply to provide the kind of customer service and incentives are they going to keep your customers coming back.
The mechanisms by which you do this maybe email, newsletters, social media, industry meetups and more.
To be specific here and develop manageable retention for your business. Many customers won't come back. And it won't be because they didn't like your product. It will be because they forgot about you. Your job is to remind them of your services and products and keep them engaged.
You'll be amazed at how much repeat business you can get when you just reach out and remind the customer that you exist.
The actionable points above ar a simple list of those things that you should cover in developing an eCommerce marketing strategy.
The truth is that you will always be learning and developing strategies to meet new demands.
As technology changes and opportunities to speak to your audience change, you're going to need to be able to move quickly as an e-commerce store in a busy and competitive market.
Here, it is not about the size of your budget necessarily, but about how focused you are: How clear you are about who your audience is: What you can offer them and, how you're going to reach them.
About David Trounce
David is a small business consultant based in Australia. David has worked in small business tourism and retail and also writes for Business.com, GrowMap and Born2Invest.