A robust digital marketing strategy will help boost your business. A few years ago, it was simply enough to be found online. But, today, with the evolution of Google’s core search algorithms, it’s in the best interest of your business to adapt your marketing strategies accordingly.
The best way to market your ecommerce business is to be found organically at the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Still, this is easier said than done. Investing in search engine optimization will aid your rankings as you analyze, tweak, and optimize your ecommerce site for specific keywords. But, the truth is, not every business can make it to the first page of Google — or the other search engines for that matter.
So, what does it take to market your business online? Some marketing strategies will offer a better return on investment than others. And others can take years to pan out. Let’s look at how you can navigate the ever-changing landscape and create an online marketing strategy that will propel your business forward.
What is paid advertising, and why is it important?
Paid ads are one of the most important assets in your digital marketing arsenal. As technology has advanced, advertisements are no longer bound to just billboards, television, radio, and print formats.
Considering the extent of competition in today’s digital marketplace, paid advertising is crucial to the survival of your brand. It’s the key to increasing sales and enhancing your brand’s overall presence and recognition on social media sites.
A paid advertisement is essentially a digital advertising model where advertisers pay to show their ads within slots on a specific platform or social network. Examples of paid ads include Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, online partnerships, and website takeovers, to name a few. These ads are presented to an audience that you define in an ad platform, and you pay when someone clicks your ad.
Digital and social media advertising are generally more affordable for small businesses. Plus, since they primarily target an audience in search of products or services similar to the ones you offer, they tend to have a high return on investment and are incredibly effective at building brand awareness.
Here’s why paid advertising should be an integral part of your ecommerce marketing strategy.
1. It’s an effective way to promote your content
It can take a while to grow an organic following on social media. Yet, you still need to meet your business objectives. Paid advertising makes it more likely for people to stumble upon your brand and its offerings and nudge them towards your social media or online shop for the first time.
2. Paid advertising channels have an extensive reach
Google Ads reach over 90% of internet users. The fact is your audience is online, and you can effectively reach them with PPC ads. Same case when it comes to advertising on social networks like Instagram and Facebook. Search engines and social media sites carry a lot of data about their users, allowing you to target your audience based on characteristics like gender, age, device type, and online behavior to maximize your reach.
Paid and free advertising methods
There are different ways to advertise your ecommerce business online and bring a competitive edge to your business’s online presence.
Paid advertising methods that are worth the time, money, and effort for the revenue they can generate for your business include:
Search Ads offer you an opportunity to place your ads on various search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo! These ads pop up when a user searches for a specific set of keywords that align with your ad campaign. They’re a great way to beat the competition and rise to the top of organic and local search results.
If you’re looking to increase your market share, Google Ads can definitely work some magic. Reach in-market shoppers with a Google Shopping campaign that automatically generates ads for your products whenever a potential customer searches for a relevant query.
Social media ads
Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest allow brands to advertise to their users. Considering the staggering numbers of visitors that flock to these sites every day, social media advertising can be highly beneficial to your business.
Display ads are placed on relevant third-party websites by display networks like the Google Display Network in the form of banner, image, or text ads. They can be used to attract audiences to your websites, social media platforms, or any other digital medium to take a specific action. Display campaigns are also incredibly effective at retargeting users who’ve already visited your ecommerce site.
Now, you don’t always have to pay for advertising on the web. Here are some free ways you can get your name out there and expand your reach.
Generate blog content
Generating new blog content is a great way to stay relevant, particularly with SEO to encourage hits on search engines. Whether you create your own blog on BizSugar or Medium or you write a guest blog post for a relevant site, it’s important that you establish your audience, generate engaging content and keep posting. Having a blog is not enough, it must be updated regularly.
Include calls to action within your blog posts, with a particular focus on subscribing to your mailing list. A growing email list gives you a chance to conduct email marketing which can help convert first-time visitors into repeat visitors.
Setting up social media pages
With built-in features such as hashtags, shoppable tags, and linked stories, social media pages offer some of the best ways to get free advertisements. By creating relevant content, you can leverage endless opportunities to expand your audience. Setting up a Facebook page with promotional covers is a great way to spread the message of your brand, while Pinterest gives exciting visuals that draw in new users.
To make professional connections easily, consider creating a LinkedIn page for your business. Linking to your personal profile can also strengthen your brand, giving potential customers a clear, comprehensive idea of the business. It’s important to make your profile SEO-friendly too, as Google uses the first 156 characters of your “about” information to categorize you.
Whichever social media page you create, it’s important to keep generating new, relevant content. So share exciting news, behind the scenes information, or new products to gain interest.
4 key marketing trends to know for 2022
Google announced it would phase out third-party cookies by 2023, giving digital marketers just over a year to find new channels to retarget their audiences. Facebook has recently changed its name to Meta as it seeks to embrace the metaverse — a 3D virtual world that will revolutionize the digital marketing landscape.
On the whole, the world of digital marketing evolves at the speed of light. New developments are the norm making it crucial to keep up with key digital marketing trends.
1. Storytelling marketing
How do you market your brand in a world that’s overly automated and fast-paced? Your best strategy is to humanize your brand. Humanity is becoming the new premium, and businesses can no longer be faceless entities. People seek and crave more connection as the world becomes more technologically advanced. Brand storytelling is the key to connecting and engaging with your audience on a much deeper level.
Besides, it’s a crowded marketplace out there. How do you compete with millions of businesses that are all creating content on the same platforms you are? The internet has democratized marketing, making it accessible to everyone, which means it’s that much harder to stand out. It’s not enough to have a great product — you need to talk about your brand in a way that differentiates you from the crowd.
Put simply, you want to make your brand memorable by wrapping your marketing into a story that evokes an emotional response and increases favorability in your audience’s eyes. So, share your challenges, success, and your brand purpose to connect with people in a way only you can.
2. New visual technologies in marketing
While virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are still in the early stages of their evolution, there’s no denying the impact they already have on the advertising and marketing realm. These visual technologies are changing how consumers interact with services and products and effectively how brands communicate with their audiences.
More and more brands are incorporating VR and AR into their marketing strategies to create an immersive experience that’s bound to leave a lasting impression by enhancing a person’s perceived reality. AR marketing is more feasible and less expensive to use than VR marketing which requires wearable technology to create a multi-sensory experience for users. Plus, AR only requires a smartphone or a desktop app, making it more accessible for users.
There are several ways you can incorporate AR or VR technology into your marketing. For instance, online retailers can use AR to allow customers to try on various products virtually. Customers can also use AR applications to see how furniture and other furnishings will look in their space before buying.
Thanks to breakthrough developments in data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, the marketing landscape has evolved drastically over the last few years. These advances have given marketers the ability to create more personal and “human” experiences across customer journeys.
Why does it matter? People are constantly bombarded by all kinds of advertising media, from billboards and TV commercials to email newsletters and social media ads. As a result, they’ve become accustomed to tuning out information they deem irrelevant. Personalization offers brands the opportunity to engage with audiences in a more natural, non-intrusive way.
In fact, personalization is not just a competitive advantage, it’s become expected of businesses. Personalization allows you to provide a more seamless, customer-oriented experience. You have to deliver exceptional customer experiences if you’re to grab and retain the attention of your audience. Customers are extremely responsive to tailor-made messages, discounts, and offers as well as personalized reading and product recommendations.
It’s simple, really: you have to customize your offerings to each individual customer if you’re to remain competitive in the current landscape.
4. Social commerce
Social commerce involves using social networking sites to sell your products and services. Most internet traffic today originates from mobile devices, which means customers are more likely to start their buying process from mobile applications. Social commerce is what happens when you couple the best of ecommerce with social media to create a seamless buying journey.
In essence, the entire shopping experience — from product discovery to the checkout and customer service processes — take place right on a social media platform. Sites that have been adapted for social commerce include Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
The problem is mobile users have a much higher shopping cart abandonment rate. For this reason, it’s crucial to make the checkout process easier, faster, and more convenient for users. Since there’s not much you can do to optimize a social media site to your preferences, your customer service has to be exceptional if you’re to leverage this potential revenue channel.
4 key digital marketing strategy tips for your online business
There are plenty of levers to pull to effectively market your business, grow your audience and your bottom line. Here are some tips on how you can leverage key digital marketing platforms and tools to extend reach for your business.
1. Use social media marketing
Your marketing strategy is incomplete if it is not purpose-built for social media. Social media marketing allows you to engage with existing customers and reach new ones. With apps like TikTok making it easier to gain a following or go viral, social media is key to building your brand, increasing sales, and driving website traffic.
Find the platforms that work best for your brand and get started with publishing relevant content. A major strategy is to develop messages and content that’s personalized to your audience to increase likes, shares, and comments. Don’t be afraid to join in on some trends as long as your brand image remains consistent. Customers have to see a more personable side to your brand if they’re to authentically connect with you.
2. Strengthen your visual strategy
Most digital marketing channels rely on visuals more than text. Therefore, your marketing campaigns should have a clearly defined visual strategy. You can incorporate many visual elements into your marketing, including images, video, AR, and VR technology. While video is currently reigning as Instagram Reels and TikTok take over social media, it’s important to have a comprehensive visual strategy that’s tailored to your audience and their preferences.
Your audience dictates the kind of content you produce and where that content should be distributed. Even then, visual content has to feel youthful, energetic, and fun if it’s to be widely shared. Another crucial content marketing strategy is to have a consistent brand image in terms of color palette, illustration styles, and other visual elements across all your media.
3. Invest in SEO (text and voice search)
Investing in search engine optimization is a no-brainer for ecommerce marketers. SEO is a multifaceted strategy that can help advertise and build your brand. People do everything via search engines — with Google carrying over 90% of the market share. Consequently, investing in SEO can help increase website traffic, attract high-quality leads, and improve user experience.
The mistake most brands make is to ignore voice search. Odds are your blog posts, and ecommerce websites are optimized for keywords to provide a positive user experience and rank better on Google. But with over 1 billion voice searches conducted every month, you’d be remiss not to optimize for voice search, too.
4. Optimize your email marketing strategy
Email is an incredibly effective ecommerce marketing tactic, especially when it comes to nurturing leads. The one thing you have to consider is that your emails will probably end up in a sea of messages all vying for your recipients’ attention. That’s why personalization is of crucial importance.
Some actionable tips to help you optimize your email marketing campaigns include:
- Pay special attention to your subject lines and ensure they’re relevant to your content. First impressions matter and are integral to ensuring the emails you send get opened.
- Develop personalized messaging. Emails that include a customer’s first name have a higher click-through rate. You can also personalize emails with demographic and behavioral information, including shopping history.
- Impart a sense of urgency. Let your recipients know that good things don’t always last and that items in their carts are quickly going out of stock.
- Write compelling content that’s easy to read. Remember, attention spans are low, so your content must be brief yet engaging.
- Include a clear call to action. The ultimate goal of an email marketing campaign is to generate a conversion, like using a discount code to make a purchase.
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