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If you ask any entrepreneur, founder or small business owner that how tough it was to get an Ecommerce Website developed, the answer would be - "It was easy", or "it took time but eventually got developed". If you ask how are they integrating their business into the market and get customers, that's where things start going north and it's not a smooth ride anymore.
Marketing a new Ecommerce Business can be tricky and often one common mistake that people make is to not identify and stick to a marketing channel that will work for them.
Organic marketing is a great way to gain new customers, but that takes time. There are various forms of paid marketing options, figuring out which one suits you is essential. This article will take you through the various marketing channels so that you can figure out your plan to get the first 500 or 1,000 customers.
1. Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are a type of PPC, but since Facebook is such a massive platform, it is essential to know how Facebook Ads work and how can you employ it to your advantage. Facebook reported over 2.5 billion active monthly users. That is gargantuan; roughly one-third of the world’s population.
Facebook has extensive data on the people on its platform. This further helps them categorise people based on their interests, hobbies, occupation, purchase habits, employment, and other attributes. If you want to run a successful Facebook ad campaign, you need a solid well thought out plan.
First, you have to figure out what is the purpose of your advertisement campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to get direct sales? or generate leads? Deciding the purpose of the ad campaign should be your first and foremost consideration.
Typically, for Ecommerce Businesses, Facebook/Instagram Ads can do wonders because they help brands showcase their products directly and then with the help of retargeting capabilities of Facebook Ads you target the ads to website visitors as well.
The advertisement should stand out and engage people. Content marketing will come in handy here. Great content and graphics on an advertisement will make the user click on the ad. Don’t get worried if you aren’t getting returns in the beginning. Try and test different forms of the campaign to find out what works the most.
2. Google Ads (Pay per click- PPC)
SEO is gaining unpaid visits to your website. On the other hand, PPC (or SEM) is getting visits to your website by paying a fee each time someone clicks on your ad on Search Engines like Google. SEO is an attempt to gain visits organically while PPC is paying for the visits.
Due to SEO being very technical, complex and time-consuming, PPC also acts as a great way to get early visitors to check your products & services, study their behaviour and try to convert most of those visitors to customers. In a way, PPC can give your Ecommerce Business the initial push and first 100 customers.
Search engine marketing or Google Ads is the most used form of PPC. Suppose you are in the business of selling sneaker shoes. So if somebody searched for Blue Sneakers on Google, you would want your Ad to show up on Google search results.
Many factors have to be considered with PPC advertising. Here are a few of them to help you understand PPC:
The performance of PPC or Google Ads is measured mainly on 2 key metrics. One is the Click through Rate (CTR) and the other is the Return on Ad spend or Sales from Ad spend (ROAS).
PPC is a complex model that has to be done with great consideration. Startups or Small Businesses can actually book free consultations PPC Experts and book PPC services.
3. Content Marketing
This is a marketing technique that entails curating and disseminating creative and valuable content to retain a specific target audience to drive sales. Have you ever been extremely frustrated with Youtube ads? But there must have been times where you enjoyed an ad and clicked on the link. That is the magic of content marketing.
Users seek out content and consume it instead of actively avoiding it. The primary goal of content marketing is to provide value to the audience. You can create informational content to promote your brand. If you’re in the business of selling clothes, you can engage a fashion blogger to make a video explaining what outfits should a college student have.
Content marketing also goes hand-in-hand with SEO. It provides an important tool for social media marketing. Quality content helps a website climb the rankings ladder. For many companies, the focus should be on content marketing for better SEO.
You can hire a good firm to do your content marketing, or you can start your blog to do it. It won't be an easy task, but it will save you money and give you interesting insights into marketing. You should be looking to create great content, not just good content. Content that people would be willing to pay for. Did you see The Lego Batman Movie? Yes, that was an amazing example of content marketing. You just watched a Lego Ad for 100 minutes and didn’t even know it. Content marketing is a marvellous tool that shouldn’t be undermined.
4. Referral Marketing
This is a technique that promotes products by word of mouth. Referral marketing is one of the most efficient marketing channels churning out more leads than any other. Just like content marketing, referral marketing can hide in plain sight. Your customers may not realize that you are employing it, and that is a highly effective way of marketing.
A Nielsen study has concluded that people are four times more likely to buy a particular product if a friend referred it to them. You can ask your customers to refer your website to their friends and give them store credit or a discount on their next purchase. But you have to make sure that referrals are organic since organic referrals are more likely to promote sales.
Ideally, you shouldn't have too big a reward for your referral programs because then it becomes a commercial exercise. With a small reward and customer satisfaction, users will organically promote your products. This is the most effective way of utilizing referral marketing. You can also nudge a customer to refer right after they have bought something since that is the time; they are most excited about a product. A referral program is one of the most lucrative marketing techniques, employ it wisely.
5. Influencer Marketing
Social Media Platforms like Instagram and Youtube have given rise to a wave of Influencers which has further led to a new technique or channel of marketing called Influencer Marketing.
Basically, an Influencer is anybody who has a cult following which can be measured in terms of their followers on any social network like "followers on Instagram" or "subscribers on Youtube". Based on the range of followers, Influencers are also categorised as Nano, Micro, and Macro Influencers where Macro can mean anybody having more than a Million followers.
Also, each Influencer has his or her own niche or industry. For example, one Influencer can be a Fashion Influencer and a brand can hire her for promoting their clothing lines, cosmetics, etc and another influencer can be a travel Influencer and a brand can hire her to promote their hotels and restaurants.
Influencer Marketing though can be expensive or capital-consuming but give a great initial push for your label or brand and get the first 500 or even 1,000 customers. You just need to browse through and shortlist Influencers who fit your brand the most and partner with them to promote your brand. You can even try bartering for promotion like give them your products for free for promotion on their channel.
There is no straight jacket rule when it comes to marketing. Try and test different marketing strategies until you can figure out what is the most effective strategy for you. Every technique has its pros and cons, knowing when to use and how to use each technique will grow your business significantly.
But as Small Business or a Startup, it should always be first about getting to your 500 or 1,000 Customers as early as possible, take feedback, form them as a community and grow from there.
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