Building an online store and making it live so that customers can access it and purchase your products through the internet is only the beginning of running a successful e-commerce business. Next, you need to drive traffic to your online store (this means you need to get people to visit your online store) - how else are you going to bring sales in?
In theory, the more traffic you drive to your online store, the more orders you process, the higher your revenue and, hopefully, your profit. In practice however, this model only applies if you are sending the right kind of traffic to your online store. In other words, provided your pricing is right, your website design is appealing and you offer a pleasant, frictionless experience on your online store, an increase in traffic will only result in an increase in sales if the people visiting your online store are actually interested in the products you sell.
So, how do you market your online store in such a way that the majority of the people who visit it have an interest in the products you are selling? The answer lies in using the tools provided through digital marketing to run adverts which are targeted towards specific groups of people and linking that ‘targeting’ to your product. You do not want to waste time, money and resources on showing your ads to groups of people who have no interest in your product.
Whilst there are a number of tried and tested methods of achieving the above, here are the 3 which I believe work best:
1. Facebook / Instagram Ads
As mentioned in a previous article I wrote – ‘Top 5 Social Media Platforms For Business’ – Facebook has a remarkable paid media product which enables you to run a variety of adverts to a very specific target audience. Through using this paid media product, you are able to get your adverts seen by hundreds of thousands of people who display similar attributes to those of your ideal customer, and compel them to ‘take action’ (such as visiting your online store) after seeing your advert.
Facebook owns Instagram and when you create your first ad using the Facebook Ads Manager, you will see that you can choose from a number of placements upon which you can showcase your ad, such as: Facebook feed, Facebook stories, Messenger, Instagram feed, Instagram stories and many more.
Facebook also allows you to get very specific with your targeting, so as to ensure that only people who are likely to be interested in your product see your ad. As an example, let’s say you sell makeup through your online store and you determine that your best customers are ladies between the ages of 17 and 30. In this example, you decide you want to run a campaign which targets potential customers who live in Sandton, Camps Bay and Ballito. Using Facebook ads manager, you can customize your target audience and ensure your ads are only shown to ladies between the ages of 17 and 30, who live in or around Sandton, Camps Bay and Ballito, and who have expressed an interest in topics such as makeup, lip stick, mascara, beauty, etc. You can even specify that you only want these adverts to be seen on mobile devices which are connected to Wi-Fi, between 10:00 and 19:30.
How’s that for getting the ‘best bang for your buck’? You’re spending money on marketing, but you’re ensuring a very relevant target audience is seeing your ads, which should result in an increase in your website traffic, revenue and profit.
2. Google Ads
Google Ads is another fantastic, cost-effective tool which, when used correctly, can have a massive impact on the profit generated through your online store.
Facebook ads are an example of ‘push marketing’ – this means you are serving your ads to people who may be interested in your product, however you do not know if they are really in the market to be buying your product just yet.
Google Ads, on the other hand, are an example of ‘pull marketing’ – this means that your ads are seen by people who are actively searching for products like yours and have the intent to make a purchase.
When running ads using Google Ads, you get to specify search terms which people may enter into Google – the idea is that when someone runs a specific search on Google, your ad shows up at the top of their search results.
Example – let’s say you’re looking to start following a fitness routine from home, and you need a couple of pieces of gym equipment to make this possible. You’ll likely go onto Google and run a search using the following keywords: ‘buy gym equipment online’. If a company that sells gym equipment is running an ad which is triggered by that search term, you should see their ad at or near the very top of your search results. If the ad is compelling, you’ll click it and visit the company’s online store, where it’s possible you will place an order for the products you are interested in. Thus, by using Google Ads, the company has ensured that their ads are shown to people who are searching for their specific product or keywords relating to their product, the industry in which their product falls or the problem which their product solves.
When I refer to ‘emails’, I am not talking about opening the email program on your laptop and sending an email to each client or customer you have. I am talking about using an email marketing service, such as MailChimp, to send a well-designed email to a database of people in one go.
This is a very cost-effective way to market your online store, because it generally comes at a monthly fixed cost where you then have the ability to send out as many emails as you wish. That being said, it comes with a fair amount of work which needs to be done upfront – that work being the collection of data to add to your database.
What do I mean by ‘data’? For the most part, data refers to the following: name, surname, email address and cell phone number. There are many other points of information you can include in your database, but these are the ones I recommend covering from day 1.
Generally, it’s advisable to build a database of existing customers as well as potential customers, leads, clients, etc. Building your database over time allows you to reach more people through email over time and, as mentioned above, the cost will remain fixed (unless you collect enough data to exceed the threshold for whatever email marketing package you are on, which would result in you being moved to a more expensive package with greater capacity.)
Used wisely, marketing emails can be an incredible tool to communicate with your database, build trust in your brand, showcase your product, drive traffic to your online store, and increase your sales.
Keep in mind that you do not want to appear spammy – so don’t abuse this tool.
There you go – 3 highly effective, modern, relatively inexpensive ways to market your online store and increase your revenue! If you have any questions, require more information or would like assistance with marketing your online store, feel free to get in touch with Level Up Media – we’re always happy to assist.