Everything You Need to Know About Ecommerce Marketing, a comprehensive guide for reference. With nearly every marketing operation now taking place online, it can be tough to distinguish between the various types of digital marketing people use today. For example, take ecommerce marketing — what is it and how does it compare to practices like social media, content, search engine, and email marketing?
Ecommerce marketing and digital marketing are not mutually exclusive. Ecommerce websites can use all of the above digital channels to promote a product and grow their business. This ecommerce marketing guide will explore all of the digital media available today.
Ecommerce marketers can use social media, digital content, search engines, and email campaigns to attract visitors and facilitate purchases online.
Before we dive into more detail about what ecommerce marketing is and how to implement a strategy of your own, let’s review the definition of ecommerce advertising and advertising’s parity with marketing for an ecommerce business.
In similar fashion to the way advertising falls beneath the umbrella of marketing, ecommerce advertising falls beneath ecommerce marketing — and when used in tandem, you have the ability to more effectively reach your audience members to boost conversions and improve brand awareness.
As mentioned in our definition above, ecommerce marketing is about driving awareness and action towards your product or service.
Meanwhile, ecommerce advertising includes the methods through which you actually promote your product. In terms of online or ecommerce marketing and selling, these ads may come in the form of display ads, banner ads, or rich media ads.
The main takeaway here is that ecommerce advertising is a highly-effective method to implement while developing your ecommerce marketing strategy to focus your product or service promotion.
Now, let’s get back to our in-depth discussion about ecommerce marketing.
Types of Ecommerce Marketing
To give you a sense of what an ecommerce marketing strategy looks like, here are some common marketing channels and how you’d use them to build an online store.
Social Media Marketing
Brands, publishers, contractors, and growing businesses all launch pages on today’s most popular social networks to connect with their audience and post content that the audience is interested in.
As an ecommerce marketer, you can do the same thing, but the campaigns you run might look a bit different, and not every social network is a good fit for your needs.
Ecommerce websites are highly visual — you have to show off the product, after all — so your success on social media depends on your use of imagery to drive attention and traffic to your product pages.
Instagram is an appropriate platform for ecommerce businesses because it enables you to post sharp product photography and expand your product’s reach beyond its purchase page.
You can take your social media posts a step further by creating shoppable content, which is content that enables visitors to buy right away. That can include anything from strategically placed display ads within a social feed to additional tags that take users directly to a shopping cart. These methods help you eliminate friction from the buying process.
An ecommerce business is no stranger to product reviews, either. Using a Facebook Business Page to share product praise is a perfect fit for businesses that already solicit customer reviews across their online store.
When you hear “content marketing” you might think of blogging and video marketing — content that is meant to improve your website’s ranking in search engines and answer questions related to your industry. But if you’re selling a product online, do you really need articles and videos to generate transactions? You sure do.
Here are some ways to use content to market your ecommerce store.
Optimise your product page copy.
Optimize your product pages for short, product-driven keywords that include the name of the product. If you sell wedding dresses, for example, a Google search for “brown bridesmaid dress” is more likely to produce product pages like yours if you’ve included that term on the page.
Also, make sure that your page titles, headers, and image alt text focus on the right keywords so search engines know to return your ecommerce store for the right query.
Write relevant blog posts.
If you manage an online wedding dress store, writing blog posts about “how to plan a wedding” can attract everyone involved in wedding preparations no matter where they are in the planning process.
As visitors become more engaged, you can create posts that will move them into consideration, like “how to select the right wedding dress”, and turn them into leads, like a downloadable “wedding planning checklist”.
Create guest posts for external websites.
Guest posts can get you and your products in front of relevant audiences (oftentimes for free). Submitting guests posts will also help you get more domain authority for your ecommerce site, thereby telling search engines that you have a reliable site.
You’ll need to search for sites that rank for keywords related to your product. Sometimes you won’t even need to create an entire post. If a site already has a relatable post, offer to expand on it by providing additional context, like a video or infographic with a link to your site
Put product-related videos on YouTube.
YouTube has over a billion active users … chances are your target audience is somewhere in there. It’s also the second-largest search engine behind Google. If you’re looking for a massive, captive audience, YouTube is where you’ll find it. Use highly searched keyword terms to determine your topics, then share videos that are related to your product and helpful to your audience.
This is also a great option for tutorial videos that show current customers how to use your product — these videos can show people how best to use your product, increasing customer satisfaction and building long-term relationships with website visitors.
Include a keyword-driven FAQ section on your website.
If your audience is asking questions related to your product, then you need to be the one to answer them. Create an FAQ page on your website with responses to high volume, long-tail keyword searches to get users to your site. You’ll be building both authority and traffic — two crucial components of a successful ecommerce store.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) includes both search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid advertising. While SEO relies on your knowledge of Google’s ranking algorithm to optimize content, SEM can involve pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, display campaigns, or product-specific ad campaigns (think Google Shopping), which allow you to pay for top spots on search engine results pages.
On Google, PPC campaigns guarantee that potential buyers will see a link to your page when they enter search terms that match the terms of your campaign. But because you’re paying Google each time a person clicks on your result, the payoff to you should be high.
This is why ecommerce marketers often register with Google AdWords and promote their product pages through PPC campaigns. The campaign puts searchers right in front of the business’s product when they click on a paid result, increasing the likelihood that the searcher will make a purchase before leaving the business’s website.
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, and believe it or not, it holds specific value in the world of ecommerce marketing.
The best part about email marketing? It can be automated. (You knew we’d get the SwiftERM at some point). Automation means that you can set up a successful drip campaign to subscribers that are segmented by interest or stage in the buyer’s journey and let your email campaign do its magic. It’s one less marketing tactic that you need to worry about on your long list of tasks.
Even so, it’s imperative that you’re meticulous about your email list so you maintain trust among your leads. In a time when data privacy runs high on an internet user’s priority list, not every commercial email is welcome in that user’s inbox. Ecommerce marketers need to be careful when and how they add website visitors to their mailing list.
Here are two ways an ecommerce marketer might use email marketing.
1. Post-Purchase Follow Up
If a user has already purchased a product from your website — and agreed to receive emails from you during the checkout process — sending a follow-up email a few days after the product is delivered keeps the conversation going and gauges their future interest in your product line.
A post-purchase follow up also shows that you care about them beyond a sale and that your company has an interest in their success using your product. It gives you an opportunity to get feedback on their purchase experience, which, in turn, helps you reduce friction for future customers.
Some best practices for this type of email are to ask them to write a review of your product and/or read original content on how to use your product (those YouTube videos you created would be perfect here).
2. The Abandoned Shopping Cart
Users abandon their shopping carts for a number of reasons, and emails to diagnose the problem and retain their business can make the difference between a purchase and a lost customer. We’ll cover ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment below.
If a website visitor fails to complete a transaction while they’re in your shopping cart, consider sending a polite email to remind them to complete the checkout process, offer assistance, or recommend other related products to get their mind back on you and their browser back to your ecommerce store.
Influencer marketing focuses on people or brands that influence your target market. The term is commonly used to denote Instagram accounts with several thousand followers, but it could also mean a celebrity or community that your target audience follows or belongs to.
Influencers build communities of people that know, like, and trust them. It is, therefore, easy for them to garner attention around your online product through a recommendation, or “sponsored post.”
Unlike most social media influencers, affiliates generate interest in products via old fashioned (yet effective) marketing tactics. They often use paid advertising, content marketing, and other means to drive traffic to your their pages on yourproduct — it’s like having a team market for you.
This is an often-overlooked tactic for ecommerce businesses, but local marketing allows you to double down on the areas where most of your prospects are (if you have a large population of them in one area) and allows you to offer incentives to your potential customer base.
Here’s how: use tracking cookies to determine where your prospects are located. Then, offer discounted (or free) shipping to potential customers in the areas where you have warehouses or shipping facilities. The incentive might be just what you need to gain a new customer.
Ecommerce Marketing Tips
Capitalise on user-generated content (UGC).
Build a loyalty program.
Invest in live chat.
Cater to the shopping cart.
Implement a responsive website design.There are countless ecommerce marketing tactics that you can employ to drive visitors to your online store beyond the traditional methods that we reviewed above.
Use personalisation.Companies that use personalisation are seeing revenue increases ranging from 6-10%. What is this magic bullet? Personalisation is finding ways to cater to individuals within the marketing materials that you already have; it is tailoring your outputs to reflect the unique needs of your consumer.
This can come in the form of a prospect’s name in the subject line of an email, recommended content or products based on a visitor’s behaviour, or even showing smart content on a webpage when a user visits for a second time or has moved along their buyer’s journey.
Personalisation can move people along their buyer’s journey faster — instead of searching for what they need, you put it right in front of them, making it easy for them to take your desired action, that is, make a purchase. Remember SwiftERM is an additional email software system that uses predictive analytics to identify imminent purchases for each individual consumer, nothing is more personalised than that.
Capitalise on user-generated content (UGC).What if you could have your customers market for you for free? That’s exactly what user-generated content, or UGC, is. It’s about finding ways for your customers to promote and share your business.
This helps in a couple ways: 1) It drives traffic to your ecommerce store, and 2) it builds an authentic following of people who are interested in what you offer.Coca-Cola® did an amazing job of this with their “Share a Coke” campaign by creating customized Coke® bottles with people’s names, which naturally was shared across social media platforms.Here are some effective ways to drive UGC: