Whether you are building a brand-new company or establishing an eCommerce end for your brick-and-mortar store, a digital marketing strategy is essential. Technology is constantly growing, making the way we do business faster and more efficient. The increase in demand for online services and home-delivery shopping options has further underscored the need for organizations of all types to utilize the many tools made available by technology. Read on for our tips on establishing a new eCommerce company.
As with any project, it’s important to start out by identifying your goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, and attainable. They should work towards a target, such as increasing overall sales by 40% if you have an existing business or focusing on selling high-margin products. Consider using the S.M.A.R.T framework in establishing your goals:
- Specific – Have clear objectives. Your goals should be easy to communicate and understand.
- Measurable – Your goals should be quantifiable so that you know exactly when it has been reached and how it is impacting your business.
- Action-oriented – Identify strategies and tactics that will help you reach your goals.
- Realistic – Your goals should be attainable considering the time and resources you have.
- Timeline – Timeframes add urgency and purpose to your goals. They also prevent the process from taking up too much time, especially if the goal ends up being unrealistic for your company.
Identify your target demographic
Before you can begin making marketing decisions, you need to know what kind of customers you are trying to attract. A target market is a demographic group that your company aims to serve with its products or services. Your market may be relatively broad or very specific. You need this information so you can meet your customers where they already exist. For example, in 2020, 57 million teenagers said their preferred social media platform was Instagram. If your business sells products that are geared towards teenagers, you should invest in Instagram marketing. Consider the following in determining your target demographic:
- Occupation/family status
Build a professional website
A modern, professional, up-to-date website is a key component of any digital strategy. One study found that it takes about half a second for visitors to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they view your business as credible. This first impression influences their chances of choosing to buy from you or use your services.
It is important that your website offers secure transactions, clear product information, and establishes that your business is trustworthy. It is always important to represent your business in as professional a way as possible. A well-made website that reflects your branding, does not contain errors, and effectively communicates positive things about your business is essential.
It’s best to work with a digital marketing professional in establishing your eCommerce site, especially if you are new to website development. Regardless, you’ll want to work with a trustworthy eCommerce site provider. Some examples include:
- Shopify – Shopify is a commerce platform that allows anyone to establish and operate an online store. It’s known for being affordable, as well as easy to use and customize. As of 2020, it is the third-largest online retailer in the U.S. with over 500,000 active stores.
- BigCommerce – An online store builder used by tens of thousands of businesses, BigCommerce offers plans for small and mid-sized businesses. It allows users to process orders, customize product listings, create pages, and more.
- Magento – Magento is an eCommerce platform that provides sellers with control over the look, functionality, and content of their store. It even offers search engine optimization and other marketing tools. It is among the ten most popular content management systems in the world.
- Woocommerce – A WordPress plug-in, WooCommerce adds eCommerce function to your website so you can have an online store. It is a useful tool for those who want to make their existing websites into functional eCommerce platforms.
Develop a brand voice and image
Part of determining the way your business will be perceived by customers is choosing a brand voice and image. Different presentations appeal more to certain demographics. For example, if you are targeting a specific audience, such as older adults who work in the medical field, you can use some industry jargon in your language and may want your brand image to be minimalistic, clean, and professional. On the other hand, if you are trying to appeal to a younger demographic, like teenage boys who play sports, you may want to use more colloquial language and try to craft a more casual, athletic image.
Create a Buyer Persona
A good way to really understand your customer and tailor marketing efforts to them is by making a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a representation if your ideal customer based on research and data about your existing customers. Consider the following when designing your buyer persona:
You can create your buyer persona by analyzing your business contacts to discover trends. You can ask your customers to volunteer information, such as how they found your content, for example.
Optimize for mobile, voice, and desktop
Most websites have traditionally been designed to be found and viewed via a desktop. However, more people are starting to use voice-activated search tools to find what they are looking for on the internet and are accessing stores and websites via mobile devices. Your content or eCommerce store should be equally as accessible and functional via desktop or mobile device.
Search engine optimization is an important part of a digital marketing strategy. It is designed to help customers find the resources they are looking for when they type specific keyword into search engines. As of 2020, 55% of users conduct voice searches to make queries via smartphones. The way people verbalize their searches differs from the way they would phrase them when typing, so make sure your website is optimized for both.
Launch a blog
Creating a blog for your eCommerce store’s website has a range of benefits. It helps establish expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, all of which will help your content rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). It is also a great way to provide useful, engaging content to your audience that you can circulate via your social media pages and drive traffic back to your website. A blog is also a way to further develop the personality of your brand and represent yourself in a way that appeals to your target demographic.
Connect with other businesses
Creating a network with other businesses online and in your community is a great way to reach new customers, especially for new businesses. Since eCommerce is not limited by geography, it is possible for more customers around the country and even the world to be able to reach you. Connecting with other businesses to provide advertising opportunities and backlinks for each other can be mutually beneficial.
Create and maintain social media presences
Social media is an important element of digital marketing, especially when it comes to building a new eCommerce business. As of 2020, there are 2.60 billion Facebook users worldwide, 1.73 billion of whom are daily users. Certain types of social media are more popular among specific demographics. You can use your buyer persona to choose which social media platform to focus on. For example, 33.1% of Instagram users in the U.S. are between 25 and 34. If that’s a demographic group you want to target, it might be a lucrative marketing tool.
Communicate and engage
Using your social media platforms to engage with your audience helps to establish personality and brand image for your business. An active Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter page will help circulate your content around the internet, getting it in front of potential customers and encouraging existing ones to return.
Build your following
For new businesses, focusing on building a following on social media is an important first step. Creating an online community around your brand will drive traffic to your website. It will also keep your content on people’s newsfeeds and encourage brand loyalty. Paid followers are a good place to start. Encouraging organic likes and follows from your customers will help create useful social media profiles. These profiles can be used to provide product information and ask for reviews and feedback that potential customers can access.
Ask for reviews and email addresses
When your customers make purchases, ask them to leave reviews on your social media pages. For many people, reviews make a big difference in determining whether they will purchase from a business or not. In fact, one study showed that 89% of consumers read product reviews regularly before buying a product. You can also collect email addresses from customers and website visitors and create a database.
Nurture leads/customers with emails
Sending periodic emails containing information about new products, coupons, or newsletters can encourage brand recognition and drive traffic to your online store. Email marketing has one of the highest rates of return on investment (ROI) at $38 per every $1 spent. Some top email platforms for eCommerce include:
- Constant Contact – Constant Contact is one of the oldest and best-known email services available. It is beginner-friendly and easy to get up-and-running fast. It allows users to manage contacts, segment mailing lists, use templates, and use valuable analytics to improve their marketing efforts.
- Mailchimp – One of the unique things about Mailchimp is that it is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month. It is simple, easy-to-use, and includes behavior-based trigger automations, social post scheduling, shoppable landing pages, and many more interactive features.
- Emma – Emma emphasizes the service end of email marketing and has a highly-rated customer service team. It is easy-to-use and is somewhat unique in offering full integration with Facebook and Flickr for image hosting, as well as various other forms of social media for automatic content sharing.
- Aweber – Aweber offers lots of templates and a drag-and-drop editor that makes customization easy. It includes unlimited image hosting, easily managed subscriber lists, and industry-leading spam management options.
Work with an expert
Digital marketing can be time-consuming and requires some specialized knowledge, so working with an expert is a good idea. Once you start receiving online orders, you’ll have other things to focus on. A professional can manage important data and make sure your website is reliable and functional for a positive, streamlined experience for your customers. A digital marketing agency can help you develop your new eCommerce business, connect with new customers, drive quality traffic to your site, and help your start selling online quickly.
To get started developing a marketing strategy for your eCommerce business, contact Dragonfly Digital Marketing today. Not sure if you’re ready for a digital marketing agency? Read our 9 Things to Do Before Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency.