Every year, it seems like there are new marketing trends that seemingly appear out of nowhere and that people swear by. Whether it involves paying influencers to promote your products, using chatbots, or implementing quizzes, polls, and giveaways in order to entice shoppers, keeping up with it all can be a daunting premise.
How do you know which techniques are actually worth pursuing? Effective digital marketing is all about helping users find what they are looking for as easily as possible. Your focus should be on real-world problem solving using digital tools and strategies, rather than simply “promoting” your products and brand.
If you want your online store to prosper and truly meet the needs of your customers, your eCommerce marketing strategy has to reflect these intentions. Relying on trends and tricks will only get you so far. You need to implement rock-solid strategies that will bridge the gap between your products and the users who are searching for them.
The following guide will cover some of the best digital marketing techniques for eCommerce businesses that you should be investing your time and money into. Starting with search engine optimization, we’ll run through each of the key areas you want to focus on so that you will have the best chance of increasing your traffic and sales.
SEO For eCommerce Stores
Every solid marketing strategy for online stores should begin with SEO. Being able to rank higher in Google can be a massive advantage, especially if you are in a competitive industry. While it does typically take a while before you see a return on your investment when it comes to SEO, it does seem to have the best ROI over the long haul, compared to any other form of marketing.
What do you need to know about implementing effective eCommerce SEO?
- Start with the integrity of your website. Do the pages load fast and is the design intuitive? Does the navigation help users find what they are looking for and do the product categories make sense? Google is unlikely to recognize your website and rank it if these fundamentals aren’t taken into consideration.
- Next, address your meta titles and the keywords you use throughout the content on your website. At this point you should already have at least twenty to thirty keywords in mind that you want to rank for, and you should be placing them throughout your website where appropriate. Keeping in mind ranking factors like keyword density and context between pages, you should perform these actions with a set strategy.
- Most importantly of all, you need to be creating useful and informative content on a fairly regular basis. This accomplishes two things for your SEO: one, Google prefers active websites that are regularly updated. While you might go weeks or even months without adding a new product to your store or making some other kind of adjustment, having a blog full of constantly updated content shows Google that your site is fresh and relevant. And two, high-quality content provides value to users who are searching for how-tos, reviews, and other important bits of information that they may not find on a typical product description. If this content is optimized with SEO best practices in mind, it will have a great chance to rank well in Google, thereby pushing authority to the rest of your website and helping you to build your brand in the process.
- Backlinks are still important as well. In fact, acquiring a diverse and strong backlink portfolio is still one of the most critical aspects of an effective digital marketing strategy.
If you have had difficulty getting backlinks in the past or if you simply need assistance with content creation, you may want to consider professional eCommerce SEO services. There is no substitute for a well-managed SEO plan if you are serious about succeeding online.
Mix in Some eCommerce PPC
Paid advertising is probably the most common marketing outlet for online stores, and also one of the most understood. Many businesses see PPC as a means of magically turning on traffic that will buy from them, not taking into account how PPC can affect SEO and also be utilized to improve (or harm) your brand image.
Just because you can run an ad, doesn’t mean you should. You have to know your audience, have an incredible understanding of how to target on each specific platform, and then have a solid grasp of sales copy and other visual marketing techniques in order to manage a healthy and successful PPC campaign.
If you want your pay-per-click ads to get more action, you will want to develop a full-scale strategy and implement your ad campaign in waves, slowing scaling once you see an actionable return. You don’t want to rely too heavily on PPC, but at the same time, you can leverage paid advertising to grow your business quite effectively if you know what you are doing.
Here are some eCommerce PPC tips to consider:
- Spend enough time pinpointing your audience. The key to any successful ad is serving it to the right people to begin with.
- Choose the right platform to market your products and services on. Not every platform is perfectly suited for every kind of audience or product, and some simply work better for others for certain industries.
- Research the creatives in your industry, find out what works, and use this knowledge to your advantage. When it comes to getting clicks, some tactics simply don’t work. You’re better off figuring out what your audience is looking for early on and developing new creatives based on this information rather than stabbing in the dark and hoping something works.
- Don’t spend too much too quickly. While you do want to spend enough to get a decent amount of data to work with, which will help you make better PPC decisions as your campaign goes on, you also don’t want to waste money on a defective ad. It’s always better to start small and as you see some nibbles, increase the ad spend accordingly. By spending a small amount, you can also more confidently split-test with another ad, which will give you enough information to see what works and then put more money into the winner as needed.
- Reinvest the money back into your business. You can use the revenue gained from PPC to increase your marketing budget, slowly scaling your eCommerce business.
Effective digital marketing demands patience and execution. Expecting immediate results is a recipe for disaster. You want to approach your marketing strategy slowly, with diligence, and then execute decisively on what you find. Rushing into a halfhearted strategy and latching onto every new marketing trend you see is how businesses waste money.
Finding the Right Social Media Channels For Your Store
It’s easy to get distracted with all of the different social media platforms out there. Narrowing down which ones to market on can have even savvy store owners spinning in circles. Facebook and Instagram? Youtube product videos? Pinterest and Twitter? What about newer platforms like Snapchat and TikTok?
First, it’s worth noting here that by no means should you expect to be prosperous on every single social media platform, nor should you try to build a follower base on each platform. There are mega-influencers and social media personalities that have millions of followers on one platform yet are non-existent on others. Even many celebrities simply forgo having accounts on every single platform, because it would just bog down their marketing team.
For online stores, there are really only a few platforms you want to focus on. Forget Twitter, LinkedIn, and similar platforms, as these don’t really apply to eCommerce. For your purposes, you will want to stick with some combination of Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
How do you know which of these marketing platforms will be effective for your online store? There are a few ways to tell based on your target audience. If your shoppers are young and trendy, Instagram is probably the way to go. If you sell boating parts and supplies, the older and more affluent denizens of Facebook would likely suit your needs better. Each platform has its own demographics, and while there is a lot of crossover, taking the time to really know your audience can save you a ton of trouble here.
Some online stores can prosper across all three of these social media platforms. For instance, a trendy sneaker company could easily advertise on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest if the ads were created correctly. You wouldn’t want to try and sell fishing supplies on Instagram however, as your mileage there might be less than par. Research each platform and understand who uses them and why, and this will give you the proper direction you need to market your products effectively, using both paid strategies as well as organic outreach.
Other Effective Digital Marketing Techniques
Once you have a solid strategy outlined for your SEO, PPC, and social channels, there are other digital marketing opportunities that you will want to be aware of. While you don’t have to utilize every one of these techniques, it’s important to be aware of them in case you feel as though you need to supplement your marketing strategy or fill in the gaps anywhere.
One area of digital marketing you don’t want to overlook, especially these days, is the use of video. Depending on your specific business and industry, you don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole with this, but suffice it to say, adding some video content to your online marketing could work wonders for brand appeal and pushing your products.
Video content is digestible, relatable, and proven to be effective at getting clicks and building brand awareness. You can also use it just about anywhere to strengthen the rest of your digital marketing efforts. Videos can be embedded on your blogs and throughout your website, including your product pages. You can drop YouTube videos in your Facebook posts, or upload videos straight to Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest to generate immediate attention. You can even use videos in your Instagram stories to announce flash sales or simply connect with your audience. Videos can also be utilized in email campaigns and in your social media ads. Don’t underestimate the power of video to build bridges and make that “connection” that gets traffic and converts.
One other important marketing tactic that’s quite effective is the use of emojis. You might think that this is something like a spam technique, but these days online communication has grown to accommodate emojis and they are extremely relatable. You can use emojis in your meta titles, social media posts, and even ads if need be. When used succinctly, they can generate immediate attention in a way that’s both fun and unobtrusive. Rather than relying on spammy tactics like popups, emojis are attention-grabbing yet don’t interfere with the user experience.
Why You Might Want to Consider eCommerce Digital Marketing Services
Once you realize what you need to focus on with your digital marketing, things get a little bit easier. However, building and maintaining a full-scale eCommerce marketing campaign isn’t exactly light work, to say the least. If you want your strategy to be executed flawlessly, you may need the assistance of a veteran eCommerce agency to help you with some of the heavy lifting.
Here at Genius eCommerce®, we specialize in running powerful and effective digital marketing campaigns for eCommerce businesses. From comprehensive search engine optimization strategies that include content generation and backlinking, to enterprise-level PPC campaigns that can help you grow your store, we know how to put online stores on the virtual map. There is no area of eCommerce digital marketing that we don’t excel in, so whether you need to run an email campaign, build a social media marketing strategy, or rank higher in Google, we are the team you can rely on to get it done. You can reach us by calling 888.982.8269, or by messaging us on Facebook or Instagram.