Today’s post comes from Gracelyn Tan, Volusion.
When it comes to your ecommerce marketing strategy, you know it takes more than just a couple of emails and word of mouth to get your brand out there. You remember that it takes time and patience, but the results are well worth it. You’re also probably leveraging pay-per-click advertising in your arsenal, and its highly effective retargeting component. But what else should you have at your disposal?
Here are 4 essential marketing tactics to get started on your ecommerce marketing strategy:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the implementation of tactics to help search engines easily find your website, determine it to be valuable, and move it up search engine results pages. The closer you get to the top of the rankings for certain search terms, the more likely you are to increase site traffic and sales. This is especially true in today’s fast-moving world of instant gratification, where people want their questions answered as soon as possible.
Here are a few SEO tips to keep in mind when putting together your marketing strategy:
- Keep researching keywords: Make sure you’re targeting the right keywords by checking search volumes with Google’s keywords tool. Also keep on the lookout for keywords that are becoming popular and you could produce new content for.
- Utilize web analytics: Once you start your SEO efforts, ensure that you have some sort of web analytics program in place so you can see which campaigns are working. Once you have enough analytics data to know your average page rank, start setting goals to surpass it.
- Don’t forget about video: Videos are becoming increasingly important for ecommerce websites in general, but especially for SEO. Since not everyone’s caught on to ranking for videos, it’s comparatively easier to rank highly for a video than for a webpage.
- Diversify your traffic sources: If you’re like most, a large majority of your traffic comes from Google. But what if an algorithm changes suddenly? You may find yourself unceremoniously dropped onto pages 10 and 11, with a long climb back to the top. To strengthen your SEO stronghold, diversify your traffic sources in addition to your search engine efforts. Try sources like forums, YouTube, blogs and so on.
2. Content marketing
Content marketing is an approach where, instead of simply using marketing channels to push messages onto customers, businesses use them to provide meaningful and useful content. This particular marketing tactic is perfect for a business looking to establish itself as a thought leader in its industry, as well as build customer loyalty and brand trust.
Here are a few content marketing tips to keep in mind when putting together your marketing strategy:
- Write content for others and let them write for you: By producing quality content for others, you increase awareness of your brand. By letting others write for you, you’re strengthening a partnership while also leveraging their expertise and brand name as third-party validation.
- Try a variety of content types: Don’t be afraid to repackage your content into different forms to see which kinds work best for your business. If you typically write blog posts, for example, why not try a whitepaper, ebook or webinar?
- Be consistent with your timing: You want your readers to get into the habit of checking your website for new content. Whether it’s once a week or once a day, you want them to keep your business in their thoughts, know your pattern and visit accordingly.
- Make sure you have a strategy: Think about the purpose of your content and your target audience, and define your goals. Once you have your content goals, prioritize them and take action.
3. Email marketing
Tried and true, email marketing is one of the original forms of online marketing. In simple terms, this type of marketing involves using email to develop relationships with potential and current consumers, and it’s one of the furthest-reaching ways to get your message out there. Since it’s been around for so long, it’s typically more affordable than other forms of online marketing, and there are already a number of tools out there to help you track your successes.
Here are a few email marketing tips to keep in mind when putting together your marketing strategy:
- Don’t forget about mobile: Make sure your emails are readable from mobile devices as well as from a typical computer. With smartphones and tablets increasing in popularity, you want to make sure your message still gets seen.
- ALWAYS send a test email first: No matter how confident you may be in the newsletter you’re about to send out, send a version to yourself firs, or another pair of eyes that can catch any last-minute errors.
- Keep your email lists updated and optimized: People change email addresses and unsubscribe, and to keep sending them emails is waste of resources. So comb through and keep your lists updated and properly segmented.
- Content is king: Your recipients are receiving more and more emails, and they’re opening only about 20% of them. If your content isn’t information-rich and relevant, you can bet that you’re going to get filtered out.
4. Social media marketing
With social media becoming an increasingly important part of our lives, it’s no surprise that social media marketing makes our list. Defined as the utilization of social media channels to make brand connections with current and prospective users, it’s by far the most interactive of our list. Whether a business is using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or countless others, there’s a lot to be gained by connecting with your users where they’re already spending their time.
Here are a few social media marketing tips to keep in mind when putting together your marketing strategy:
- Utilize contests: Social media channels are the perfect platform for contests. Whether it’s a recipe contest on Pinterest or a simple comment-based contest on Facebook, contests both increase your social community’s engagement and membership.
- Don’t let your Google+ collect dust: With new features on the horizon and G+ now netting 105 million unique visitors a month, it’d be a mistake to neglect your G+ presence when it’s finally getting its footing.
- Have a distinctive voice: People may use social media to connect with your business, but they still want to feel like they’re talking to a person on the other end. Find the balance between being personable, while still representing your brand and its personality.
- Stay relevant: Because so much of social media interactions happens in real-time, if your content isn’t valuable or practical, it’s going to get hidden and your unsubscribe rates could go up.
Although each of these marketing tactics is important, the role they’ll play in your business is entirely up to you. Every business calls for different ratios, so be sure to tailor your marketing plan to find the right mix for your business and your customers.
Gracelyn is a member of the content marketing team at Volusion, an industry leader in ecommerce software. Outside of copywriting, her interests include digital marketing, blogging and all things UX. You can follow Volusion on Twitter, @Volusion.