Whether you’re just starting off your eCommerce business or are looking for innovative ways to market, there are ideas for everyone, from Etsy sellers to those who sell on their own website can benefit. None of these strategies are cost prohibitive (and some are nearly free!); the most they will cost you is your time.
Ready, set… Market!
Low Budget Ideas
If you’re just starting out, use these ideas in conjunction with one another, or bolster an existing campaign by adding one of these ideas.
Publish More Content
If you were to only take away one strategy from this list, content should be it (that’s why it’s considered “king.”) From keeping people on your website and providing useful information to supporting search engine optimization (SEO), content is a must for any e-commerce site.
Take ThinkGeek for example. This purveyor of geek culture paraphernalia got a blog post idea from a meme going around Facebook: List ten bands you’ve seen live, one of which is a lie. ThinkGeek modified it for their audience and instead listed nine sci-fi and fantasy-themed musical acts they’d like to see. Electronic photo frame company Nixplay’s blog posts revolve around all things photography and making memories
Think of what you sell. Is it makeup, craft supplies, old tools, or something else? Whatever it is, write up some content that the user of your product or service will enjoy. Make tutorials (video and/or written), provide history, make a Top 10 list, go crazy! Write content that not only relates to what you sell but also provides your customers with valuable information.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the discipline of growing your website’s organic (non-paid) visibility in search results. In layman’s terms, it’s getting your website as close to the top of page one of a search engine without paying. Customers conducting research are unlikely to go past the second page of results, so the higher you are in the search results, the more likely customers will visit your eCommerce website, and the more likely they are to buy from you (and not someone else).
So how is it done? Moz, one of the leaders in search engine optimization, offers a great beginners guide for SEO. While SEO is a discipline that is complex enough to make a career out of, you can learn the fundamentals on your own. Even a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. What to know:
- Internal links. A search engine’s bots need to “crawl” (read) websites to retrieve the ones that are most relevant to a user’s search. Internally linking helps increase “link juice,” or the strength/reputation of these links, making the bots more likely to find them.
- Use keywords. Take some time to use the Google Adwords keyword tool and find keywords relevant to your business. Craft content that utilizes these keywords so search engines can classify your page correctly. Be sure they appear in your URL, ALT tags, headers, and body content in a natural way.
- Make it easy to read. Your content should include title elements (<H1> and <H2>) and ALT attributes (e.g. on photos). You will not only visually break up the content and make it easy for your human readers but also make it easier for bots to read.
- Write fresh content. Not only will you provide new content for your customers to read, you’ll also continue to support your SEO through new keywords and internal linking. But don’t publish content just for the sake of publishing content. If it’s not high quality, credible, or informative, don’t bother.
- Have a navigable site. Your website should be easy-to-use and understand. Too many redirects, bad coding, and large images can cause a website to load too slowly, which can affect how a bot views your website.
Web Push Notifications
If you’re looking for effective communication with your customers and the ability to re-target prospects, web push notifications may be for you. These notifications come from a website and do not require you to gather any of customer’s contact information (like name or email). Instead, customers can opt-in to receive timely notifications on their desktop/device when your store’s website is not open on their browser.
Whenever you send a web push notification, customers who opted in will instantly receive the notification on their device. It is like push notifications from mobile phone apps. The benefit of web push notifications is that you can re-target or re-engage with customers who may have left items sitting in the cart, alert them of a flash sale, or send out some other type of communication. Plus, studies have shown that, compared to mail, web push notifications have a 30 times higher conversion rate. They also have higher opt-in rates and lower opt-out rates versus other forms of communication.
Social Media Profiles & Ads
Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram—your customers are on these platforms and you should be too. Share new products, offer sneak peeks, or model products. Hold giveaways and announce sales or special coupons (such as only on Instagram, share a code INSTA20 for 20 percent off total purchase). Need some more ideas? See what your competitors are doing; how can you do it better?
You can also sponsor posts or pay for ads on these social media sites. Sponsored posts are videos, images, or text that you publish through a website and then pay for them to show up in a targeted audience’s news feed. Let’s say you posted about a new product available on your site, and its audience is teen males. You can sponsor the post to appear in the news feeds of male users ranging in age from 13 – 18. It does not affect how others outside this demographic see your post. Ads show up on your audience’s news feeds based on similarly selected demographics, previous search history, and more.
Put Them Into Practice
With some self-education (there is a lot of valuable, free content out there on these topics) and dedication, you’ll see an improvement in your marketing efforts. Remember that even implementing these ideas at their most basic level will make more of an impact than if you didn’t!
Author Bio: Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google