Month 2: Overview



In month 1 we showed how you to get your ecommerce website and store ready for marketing. Now it is time to start marketing your business.

Month 2 shows you the basics of how to start marketing your ecommerce business. The topics covered in this month deal with actionable marketing strategies that you can do now, today, and these strategies will help you in the long run.

The topics covered in this month are (click on topic to get detailed guide):

Download PDF and a Link to 3 Bonus Marketing Videos


Every online business, even eCommerce websites should give something for free on their websites. The reason for this is because it provides a low-commitment, next step choice for prospects that aren't quite ready to make a purchase. This free service doesn't necessarily have to be a product. It may very well be additional information, or personalized data. Nevertheless, it will ensure that the visitor becomes more interested without fully committing to the buy. The only way to make sure that the strategy works is by following-up. Many companies have "not-following-up-on-good-leads" skeletons in their closets, and this usually leads to bad results in their campaigns.



While it may have been a bit difficult to respond to emails and prepare personalized follow-ups a few years, nowadays there are plenty of autoresponder services which will enable you to capture lead information and automatically send out email follow-ups. Most of them require monthly subscriptions, but there are also installable, one-time-payment tools out there. What makes autoresponders different from newsletters you might ask?


First of all, autoresponder campaigns send out template emails on pre-determined dates, and they are triggered by "opt-ins" like completing a form on the site etc. Autoresponders will help you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers because they will help you nourish strong after-sales relationships with your prospects. There is no doubt that autoresponders are excellent eCommerce tools which every business, no matter the size, should implement in its online sales strategy as soon as possible.


There is an entire manual for setting up the GetResponse Autoersponder (which you can check out here)


How to set up a Time-Based Autoresponder with GetResponse


Even the best planned campaigns fall through if they are not backed by powerful tools. Contacting people at the wrong time, or failing to contact at all will significantly decrease your chances of success. This is where the GetResponse Autoresponder comes in handy. Its action and time-based messages will ensure that your message reaches the right audience, at the right time. The great thing about this software is the fact that you can set it up in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is edit some information, and the program will run messages for you. Here's a step-by-step guide for setting up the auto-responder:



  • The first thing you need to do is import contacts and mails into your GetResponse account. This can be done simply by pasting the emails, or uploading them as a file. Go to the general settings tab and adjust your profile and template emails.
  • Go to your Dashboard -> Messages -> Create Autoresponder. You will see that there are several options in the Messages section (including Create Newsletter). Click on the Create Autoresponder section, and begin customization. You can choose on day if you want follow-ups to be sent at specific intervals, from the moment that a contact opts in. The sending day can also be set according to the number of days you wish to wait from the moment that the contact is added. (Day 0 = the day the contact subscribes, Day 1 = the day after the opt in).

  • Additional time-of-day settings: you can also fill up extra details for future follow-up messages. The sign-up option will schedule autoresponders as soon as a contact subscribes, while the delay option will wait 1-23 hours until sending a message. Lastly the custom option will give you full freedom of editing arrival time of emails. (Particularly useful for time travel and delivering at local times for subscribers).


How to Create Event-Based Auto-Responder with GetResponse


Now that you know how to create time-based autoresponders it is time to create event-based ones. You have probably already noticed that in the Create Autoresponder tab you have several options like opened, subscribed, goal reached, data changed etc. These parameters will help you send out follow-up emails more efficiently:



  • Opened Option: When your subscriber opens message 1, then message 2 will be sent. It can be sent immediately, at an exact time or with delay. Make sure you click the recurrence option to send message 2 every time a subscriber clicks your link. When you are finished with the settings click Save & Publish.
  • Goal Reached: When pages with conversion goals are reached by the prospect he will trigger a follow-up email. Typical subscriber actions include purchasing products, loading files, registering for events and setting up new accounts. Like with the opened option, you can choose your goals, create your personalized message, check the recurrence option and send mails when the goal is reached.
  • Data Changed: This one is a bit tricky. It triggers a message whenever a change occurs in your custom field value. Go to campaign -> custom field -> action and do one of the following: a. when the custom field is changed the program will send an autoresponder, b. custom field is modified manually: mail is triggered.
  • Birthday: Sending thoughtful messages on special occasions is nice, and also good for business. It creates closeness between you and your client. First you have to create the custom field type "date" under Contacts -> Custom Fields. In the "create autoresponder" menu chose your campaign and a custom field. Create a personalized message which will be sent.
  • Clicked Option: The clicked option is similar to the opened one. When a subscriber clicks on link 1 from your message, then message 2 will be automatically sent. For example, if he has subscribed for a service and confirm the email, he will automatically receive a follow-up with a thank you note or account details. You can set up the message and days of the week in which to send them. (delay, exact time and recurrence options apply to the clicked option).


Types of Autoresponders & Their Benefits:


As we already mentioned, autoresponders are excellent eCommerce tools which can easily be implemented in your online strategy to generate ales. There are several types of autoresponders. The first sale ones occur after a buyer places an order on your website. A follow-up message in which you thank them for the purchase can never go wrong. It will help you earn their trust and create bond. Activity-based autoresponders are sent based on the prospects activity. They can be sent when an order is placed, when new discounts appear, when they read your newsletter etc.


Personalized automation is the future of eCommerce marketing. Not only is it effective, but it also means less work for you. GetResponse has many more incredible uses which can be understood after a little exploring. Once you figure out how it works, you will have it run on autopilot. This way you will be able to focus on the vital aspects of your campaign.




All ecommerce businesses need to have video. It is very important and very shocking that many businesses do not use video to sell more. How can you not have video in your ecommerce business in 2014? Videos can help ecommerce companies sell more and get more traffic and customers. Not only that, they can help the business explain themselves better and get more customers. Actually, videos increase people's understanding of your product or service by 74%. Using video, ecommerce companies can get more customers by using the videos to market the business and also to sell more. They can use the video to explain to the customer their products.


When using videos, businesses need to have a goal in mind. Why do you need to have videos in your website? Is it to sell more? To explain the product to the customers? To provide support for the customer? Or as a tool for online marketing? You can use videos to get more traffic to your website and you will find steps on how to do that below.


When a business uses videos it will increase their sales and traffic by 64%. How can that happen? The video can be posted in YouTube because YouTube is the number two search engine in the world. By using the correct keywords and optimizing the video on YouTube for your business, you can get more search traffic and if they land on your website that will mean sales and conversions. Videos, if done well, can also convince customers to use your website over the competitors. Videos are a great tool to show how you stand out from the competition and why customers need to trust you with their investment of time and money.


Some popular methods for using videos for an ecommerce company are:


Product Tour

You can create a great video that will show your product and explain all the benefits of using your service.


Support

Having support and video tutorials on your website will keep your customers happy and we'll also help them choose you over your competitors.


For Marketing

You can use videos for marketing in many different ways. You can use videos as content posted on your blog. Then you can market that blog post to get more customers.


Build Links

As a sub of marketing, creating great videos that help your customers can also build you links. Other online businesses and bloggers who find your videos helpful will post them on their websites. This will get you links and also expose you to a new market.


Review

You can use videos to do reviews or give demos of your product. Like a webinar, then post the webinar on your resources pages.


Steps to create videos

Here are some quick steps on how you can create videos for your business with the goal of using the videos to get more traffic and sales.


Step 1 - Create a video that will be useful

Because you are in your own niche and industry, you will need to find videos that will be helpful to your potential customers. For example, we sell affiliate software and some of our customers have ecommerce business. So, we created a video that shows these companies how to optimize their pages. We added to a blog post and promoted the blog post. We got great results from doing this.


You can do the same for your business. Find the needs of your potential customers and then create a video for it and have it on your website.


You will be amazed by the results you will get from this strategy. Not only will your customers find it helpful, but you will also get people to link to it and this will help with your inbound marketing.


Step 2 - Host your video

Find a great hosting service to host your video. Maybe YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia. They all have their benefits so you can research to find which one is the best for your needs. YouTube is always good, because it is free and as mentioned earlier it is the second most searched platform in the Internet.


Step 3 - Embed Video on your Website

Once you have selected the host for your video. Get the code and embed the video on your website. You can have it in a blog post, in a guide, in a resource, etc.


Step 4 - Promote the Video

This is the most important step. Once you have created a great video, it is time to promote it. You can promote your video in these websites and also do outreach to other people in your industry that will find it helpful. The more you work on promotion the better results you will get from marketing using video.


Best ways to use video for ecommerce marketing

Here are some of the top ways that successful businesses are using video for marketing.

               - Interviews
               - Product reviews
               - Tutorials
               - Welcome message
               - Product explanation

Get more sales and growing your ecommerce business will need different marketing channels working together to bring you customers. Video is one of these channels and is always neglected by many businesses. Do not neglect video for your business. Have more videos for your customers in different platforms and make sure you have links bringing them back to your main website. This way you will get more customers and you will quickly grow and expand your business.




How is your eCommerce website doing? Have you already managed to amass a decent number of loyal customers? Is your presence on social media steadily growing? Are you promoting high-quality, compelling and insightful content? If the answers to all of these questions is "yes", then you should probably think of taking your internet marketing campaign to a whole new level. We are talking about video marketing.



Not only is video content the most popular type of content on the internet, but it will also add a new dimension to your marketing mix. According to MultiVision's study, consumers are 64% more likely to make a purchase after watching a relevant video.


Here's an excellent example of video marketing success: have you ever heard of Luxury Hair? This is one of the most successful online stores selling hair extensions. In 2010 they created their YouTube account, and since then have amassed over 1,400,000 subscribers and over 173,000,000 total views. They are the epitome of an audience enabled business that relied on alternative channels for promotion.


The reasons for video marketing, especially on YouTube are easy to understand (especially since YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world), but you could read this interview to learn more. Here are a few extra statistics that should convince you to take this step:


  • 60% of consumers will spend at least two minutes on a video with educational value, or about product planning.
  • 88% of users will spend more time on a website with videos
  • 96% of IT decision makers & tech buyers enjoy watching videos.
  • Videos under 2 minutes attract the most visitors.


Setting Up YouTube Marketing for your Ecommerce Website


Before we start the in-depth guide on YouTube marketing we would like to mention that you don't have to create viral videos. The whole point of video marketing is to tell your story, talk more about your products and offer additional information to your loyal customers. In addition to this, you should also focus on engaging the prospect, through behind-the-scenes videos, testimonials and client-shared videos.


Since the introduction of Google Search Plus Your World, entertaining and engaging content has enjoyed even more visibility (all the more reason to invest in video marketing). Keep in mind that the quality and quantity of your visual content will shape the way that your business is perceived in the oh-so competitive eCommerce landscape. Here are a few things that will help you get started:


  • Set up a branded YouTube Channel: Assuming that you want to post multiple videos in the future, you should set up a branded channel. It looks professional, it will further promote your web presence, and it will make it easier for clients to find you. A word of advice would be to segment your videos according to categories, to increase usability (examples: a segment for the history of your store, tutorials for products, lines of product features, competitions etc).
  • Work on your Strategy: what do you want to achieve through your videos? How often will you post? What customers do you want to view your videos? These are only a few things you should keep in mind when working on your video marketing campaign.
  • Experiment with your first video: You can't simply create videos with your iPhone and expect people to enjoy them. Professional equipment is essential for video success.


Integrating your Video Efforts into Your Content Marketing Campaign


Now that you have set up your YouTube account, and purchased the proper tools it is time to start your campaign. In order to create viewable content that communicates the vision of your brand you should follow this step-by-step guide:


1. Define your Audience


The first and most important step to a successful marketing campaign is understanding the audience. It is of vital importance to create videos that appeal to your audience. While it is ok to create videos which appeal to the general public, and get overall views, it is better to focus on a specific demographic, which are more likely to create a high number of quality leads. So before you create your videos it is recommended to check your Google Analytics account. Think about title/role, gender, age, or location of your customers.


2. Your First Videos


Like the blank page of a writer, which seems impossible to fill, the first video can be the most difficult thing to craft. Where should you start? Experts say that a FAQ (frequently asked questions) video is a great idea. Just write down the questions, sit in front of the camera and answer the questions. Information should include how your products are packaged and delivered, what payment methods work, how you can combine orders etc. Remember that the first video is an experiment, and it will help you get passed the fear of camera.



3. Use Analytics to Monitor Your Performance


Your website is not the only thing that you can monitor. YouTube also provides with a plethora of information and data on your video performance, so why not take advantage of it? By regularly monitoring your analytics sheet you can understand what works, and what doesn't.


Recommended Read: 10 Ways to Track Video Performance


4. Optimize Videos with Tags, Keywords & Other SEO Tweaks


One of the most common mistakes video creators make is to not optimize their videos for SEO. This means that their content will never become visible on search engines, because the crawlers cannot see the meta-data and tags of the video. SEO for videos is similar to that of written content, here are a few tips that you should not forget about:


  • Description: like the meta-description on your blog posts, it should include two lines (140-160 characters) that summarize the content of the video. Make sure you also include your keywords in the description.
  • Title: it is arguably the most important element of your video. It should be a call-to-action and strong incentive that attracts visitors. If possible, also include your tags and key-phrases in it.
  • Closed-Captioning: More and more companies are transcribing the audio of their video to help the search engine make correct associations. Transcribed videos rank better because they allow access to data in different formats.
  • Tags: Youtube lets you enter tags, descriptions and a title for your video. The tags should accurately describe the content of your video. We strongly advise you to use long tail keyword phrases? to attract targeted traffic.
  • Categories: you can add up to 15 categories on your Youtube videos. Make sure yours fits in the right one.

 

 



5. Marketing Takeaways


Your videos won't always become viral, but by respecting the following advice you will increase your chances in the market space:


  • Splash intros and exit pages will wrap your content and expand your branding options.
  • Qualified URLS should use the first words in your video descriptions, because they show up as clickable YouTube links.
  • Be consistent with content production. A beautifully designed YouTube channel isn't of much use if it isn't properly updated. Are you prepared to commit on long term? If you decide that YouTube is worth it you must mentally prepare for a long haul.
  • YouTube Annotations: while they can be used to suggest products to your viewers, try not to exaggerate.
  • Deep Niche Fishing: eCommerce is all about targeting deep niches which are rich in determined customers.
  • Videos should be Useful and Informative, don't turn them into annoying marketing pitches.
  • Social media isn't a strategy, it is a technology.



                                  "Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine."

                                                                                                                                                                ~ Peter Sondergaard


Its been just under 8 years and twitter has already transformed itself from a humble micro blogging website to a mainstream mass communication platform. Revolutions are organized on twitter, election campaigns are run on twitter and most importantly business brands started to use twitter to reach out and market to million of people with a single tweet.


When everyone is jumping onto twitter bandwagon and trying to capture that little attention of your prospective customer or fan base, you have to be on the vigil at all times and it has become more than an imperative for businesses to track, measure, analyze your social media channels for changes and further optimization. And this where Followerwonk makes your life easier.


Followerwonk is the most comprehensive twitter analytics tool that in general helps you to track, measure, gather business intelligence and optimize your social media channels for better performance and larger reach.


Who Should Use Followerwonk ?


Well ! Everyone who is active on twitter must use this tool, and below is the list of people for whom this tool might be a lifesaver.


  • Marketing and business analysts.
  • Small businesses who are trying to find prospects and leads
  • Business consultants and Market mavens
  • Digital and Social Marketing teams
  • Niche business experts

Without much ado lets us jump in and explore the full potential of this tool and let us try and understand its features by considering a scenario wherein you are the marketing analyst of a small ecommerce company and let us see how would followerwonk help you in making sense out of the hidden and intimidating social data.


The features of Followerwonk can be broadly divided into


  • Search twitter bios
  • Compare users
  • Analyze followers
  • Track followers
  • Sort Followers

Powerful "Bio" Search

"Data are becoming the new raw material of business."

                                                                         ~ Craig Mundie


Rather than having thousands of followers who are mostly irrelevant, who won't use your services in the near future, who are located in geographies where you are not operating or sometimes even bots, it makes more sense to put in a little effort to chose and handpick followers who would interested in your service so that you can help them make their life better.


One of the best way to go about handpicking followers in followerwonk is through the Twitter "bio" search. Twitter's equivalent of "about myself" is called a "bio" and its 160 character limit, forces(read as inspires) people to explain who they are, what they do and what they are interested in, in the most precise and concise way possible.


Finding prospective customers


Let us say your online ecommerce business is now expanding to foods and beverages niche and you offer something new that no one in the state does, OK now the big question is how do you reach out to prospective customers? One easiest and highly efficient way is searching and following the most active and authoritative foodies in California.


Go to search for twitter bios click on more


options for advance search now enter the search term you wanted to search in this case let us say "foodie", enter the location as "California", set the max followers count as "500" and minimum tweets as "500" this is to filter the inactive users, and hit search. Viola!! There you go, followerwonk lists all the users who falls under this category.



Find experts and bloggers for PR


You can now export this data into an excel sheet and do further data analysis and filtering using pivots. For instance let us say you need to target only the most authoritative food enthusiasts, all you need to do is create a pivot table and filter users who have very high "social authority" index.



Suppose in you want to reach out to all food bloggers for promotional and PR needs, you can search them out using the pivot table.



Compare Competitors


"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."


With rapidly changing business scenarios the process of competitive analysis has become more of a science of number or data crunching. Any major changes on the twitter front, both positive and detrimental can be tracked using followerwonk.


Let us consider a scenario wherein you are consultant who specializes in providing and recommending an optimal CRM solutions to businesses. Let us see how followerwonk helps you be on top of some of the CRM solution providers in the market.



Click on compare users and enter the three companies you want to track and click Do it ! Followerwonk will now through easily comprehensible graphical illustration helps you understand how big the brands are and how they are performing on twitter.




Followerwonk not only lists all the essential twitter metrics like total number of followers, total number of followings but also engagement metrics like total number of retweets, total number of replies, average tweets per week, average followers per day and total URL tweets that helps you gauge on how engaged companies are with their customers which is indeed a sign of social success.




Analyze Followers


Of all the followerwonk features the most important is analyzing followers, be it your followers or your competitors. Let us see how followerwonk helps you do this.


Click on Analyze followers and enter the name of the account you need to analyze and be prepared to get amazed at the amount, depth and the extent of graphical analysis that followerwonk gives.


Geography


The first info graphics that you can see is the spread of the followers across the globe. This is a great data because,


  • If you are a business then it helps you manage geography specific campaigns.
  • If you are local business then this chart helps you to see if your social media efforts are paying off, because there is no point in having followers in Europe when you have your business at California.
  • It also helps you to find where your competitor's followers are and hence you can ascertain their business markets.


Twitter Engagement Timings


Social media is all about engagement, especially at a time when supporting customers on social media channels have become a well-established norm.


The most important aspect of any form of engagement is audience and you have to engage and get their attention only at times they are active on twitter. Followerwonk gives you a 24-hour bar chart representing the hours at which your followers are more active.



Followerwonk also gives the graphical representation of when your twitter channel is active. For those who have misaligned engagement timings can now optimize your engagement timings based on this data.



Next up, there is an statistically interesting frequency chart that shows how influential your followers are by taking into account the total number of followers your followers have.



Followerwonk has did a commendable job to specify both the average and median number of followers because as you know average is not always the right metric as you can see in this case if you go with the average number of followers it is too high at 5000 whereas your median is just 195 which is indeed the correct approximation of the average number of followers. Followerwonk also lists a similar frequency chart for the average following count of your followers.



The metric "followers" is a not an accurate way of measuring the authority of a twitter account, the most accurate way is finding the number of "active followers". This can be roughly calculated by tracking the recency of tweets, for instance those accounts who has not tweeted in more than 6 months can be deemed as inactive and hence the total percentage of inactive accounts can be subtracted from the total followers count.


Track Followers

Track Followers feature in followerwonk allows you to track and keep updated on the followers gained and followers lost count. Followers gained over a period of time can be a better metrics to measure the success of a marketing campaign or a new product or feature release.



Followerwonk also allows you to track the followers of one other account, may be your competitor to compare their traction with yours over a particular period of time.


Sort Followers


The last and the final feature of followerwonk is a dashboard that helps you to manage all your followers and helps you sort followers based on total number of followers, tweets, social authority, and number of days on twitter



Conclusion and Verdict


Having tried all the other social media analytics tool, one can say Followerwonk is the best and the most comprehensive analytics tool for twitter. Since Followerwonk is acquired by Moz, all Moz users can now, in addition to search marketing analytics that is provided by Moz can now manage and track social analytics all in the same account.


But at the end of the day,


"Listening to the data is important.... but so is experience and intuition. After all, what is intuition at its best but large amounts of data of all kinds filtered through a human brain rather than a math model?" - Steve Lohr


Next Step: Learn How to Set Up Google Adwords

You have started marketing your eCommerce store, it is time to set up Google Adwords.