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):
Getting your store readyMonth 2
Start marketingMonth 3
Setup paid marketingMonth 4
Start inbound marketingMonth 5
Review, Calibrate, & UpdateMonth 6
Promote, Promote, PromoteTools
Ecommerce Marketing Tools
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)
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:
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:
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:
You can create a great video that will show your product and explain all the benefits of using your service.
Having support and video tutorials on your website will keep your customers happy and we'll also help them choose you over your competitors.
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.
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.
You can use videos to do reviews or give demos of your product. Like a webinar, then post the webinar on your resources pages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some of the top ways that successful businesses are using video for marketing.- Interviews
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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
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:
Your videos won't always become viral, but by respecting the following advice you will increase your chances in the market space:
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
The first info graphics that you can see is the spread of the followers across the globe. This is a great data because,
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 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.
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
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
You have started marketing your eCommerce store, it is time to set up Google Adwords.