Welcome to our final segment of our “Selling Online” series. Now that you know everything you need to about launching your online store, let’s talk about how to market it. Just because the shop is up and running doesn’t mean your work is done. Keep reading to learn about some great tools you can use to market your website to launch it properly.
The web can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to marketing. In many cases people will top their budget on a great looking website and will be left with nothing to market it. To avoid this common problem, we came up with a few recommendations to help you not only to increase the visibility of your online store, but to manage your operation budget wisely.
Building a Marketing Strategy
Once you have established your budget for marketing, prepare a strategy for your campaign. Simply think about what kind of people you are interested in approaching, those you believe will be interested in what you have to sell. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for their opinion, sometimes it takes an outsider’s view on the situation to get a more accurate take.
Once you know who you would like to target, it is time to examine where can we find them online. This will establish an understanding of where to focus your activity and advertising budget. Once you figure out who your customers are, try to find out how to reach them and how to capture their interest. Here is a little formula that simplifies this whole process.
Who are my customers? +
Where can I find them online? +
What are they looking for?
= Your sales pitch
Now that you have a clear direction of where you want to go to talk about your product or service and what message you believe will attract your audience, you should prepare advertising pieces such as web banners that will facilitate your effort in transferring the message. It is always advisable to discuss this with a professional graphic designer.
Now that you have your message and your ads, you’re ready for the market. Welcome to the sea of opportunities. It is quite scary to think about where to begin, but you’ve come a long way and established some great looking ads, clear message and most importantly, you know who you want to talk to.
Social media is an ever-growing tool for advertising and visibility. When used properly, it can be the only tool you will need to reach your traffic goals.
Let’s use Facebook as an example. The first step you need to take is to create a page for your brand to ensure all content is published under your store and not your personal account. Having a page is important to be able to publish content, but also build a following of loyal customers and fans.Social networks offer a more personal approach to consumers that traditional advertising just cannot achieve. And at even lower cost!
To reach a larger audience, do not neglect other networks, make an Instagram to post pictures of your products or, share updates on twitter, share some ideas on LinkedIn and get in contact with other small business owners. With social media, everything you post is a reflection of yourself and your brand. Make sure to post responsibly because while good posts bring you good feedback, negative ones can do just the same.
Advertising online is not limited to social media. Many popular websites or blogs offer slots for sale where you can post an ad that you created. However, you can also have your ad appearing anywhere on the web where a slot is available, this requires working with third party services and is much trickier. To maximize your budget in an ad campaign like this, consulting with a professional marketing agency is crucial.
After reaching out to your shoppers and collecting their email addresses.
Keep in touch with your customers by sending out newsletters.
To hold onto to the customers that you have, it’s essential to keep them engaged in all your store’s news and promotions.
Capture people’s attention and gain a loyal following through blogging. By writing about things that are related to your store, (for example is you sell clothes, blog about fashion trends, review stores etc.) your target audience will find you. It is very important to keep writing consistently, even if things start out slow at first, because the more content you put out, the more chances people will read it. By updating your blog, you are showing readers that you are involved in the industry, keep your site up to date and that you are passionate about your industry and not just out there to make profit.
In conclusion, it’s important to remember that your reputation can make or break you, especially on the web. Make sure you run your campaigns properly and professionally in order to maximize your results. Also, keep in mind that not all online marketing is overwhelmingly costly and don’t ever be afraid to get creative! Thank you for reading our four-part web series on starting your own online store!
If you have any questions or would like more information on certain aspects, let us know in the comments and we will be sure to write about it, stay tuned for new content!
This segment brought to you by our contributor Itsik Romano. Itsik Romano is the creative director and founder of Definite Image Productions Inc., a Montreal (West Island) creative studio that specialises in web development, graphic design and online marketing.