If you run an ecommerce website or just sell products online in your spare time, there has never been a greater number of places to promote and sell your products as there is today. The below suggestions work well alongside your main website and can really help to drive your online sales forward. Below we discuss ideas for digital marketing and some of the services available – some of which you may not have considered!
Facebook is part of the everyday from some people and with the consistent rise of mobile apps this has made this type of social browsing super easy. One of the most effective ways of selling products is to be active on Facebook. Sharing news, connecting with specific audiences, holding competitions, and persuading your followers to share information is great for getting your product in front of the right eyes.
With Facebook, you can prospect which will be top of the funnel marketing, as well as remarketing to encourage people back who have engaged with you. This gives you a good spread of opportunities and the chance to learn more about the people who are interacting with you.
Its worth noting that all social requires you keep the content and images new and fresh as the audience will fatigue if they see the same ad, words and visual repeatedly.
This channel is a generally more time consuming as your FB account will have to be monitored and optimised daily. You have to keep going and be consistent to see a significant increases in sales, but it can be very successful you put the time in either through and agency or yourself.
Twitter is another popular social site you can use to increase sales and promote products. By building up followers, you have a group who are interested in your brand or your products which enables you to promote any new offerings or information to this audience.
If the audience likes what they are seeing, then there is a good chance that they will then share the information you tweet with other followers. This activity should build a greater number of followers as time goes on and this number increase through retweets.
Similar to Facebook, Twitter requires time investment for it to have a significant effect on sales. This activity is also arguably top of the funnel marketing in both the aware and unaware stages of the buyer journey. For a greater insight into push/pull marketing we recommend reading this.
Remember to avoid being too self-promotional so as not to annoy your followers – a traditional advert is not what twitter is about. The focus here is ‘soft selling’ and a more direct approach rarely yields the desired results.
Pinterest is something that perhaps may have been overlooked in your digital strategy. The whole premise of the Pinterest platform enables users to create theme focused boards to which they can pin images to from across the web.
This works well in several capacities. If you have a lifestyle, luxury, or visually appealing product, you can showcase these on Pinterest with gorgeous visuals. Equally if you have a great USP, a service or brand you are trying to build, Pinterest could be a strong consideration.
Seeing the ease of creating a new pin and the number of people who use and are willing to re-pin things they like; it can be great for exposing your products and website to a whole new crowd. The platform is easy to set up which means that it is worth regularly posting; even if you do not see much from this initially, it only takes a few people re-pinning your pins to get a decent level of traffic from it.
Daily Deals Sites
There are quite a few daily deal sites – for example Groupon and whilst this is not the option for every online retailer out there, it is worth considering if your offering fits the bill. This could form part of your strategy and be employed to work with the seasonality of your business, stimulating those off peak times.
These sites are centred on offering consumers great deals on products, gifts and holidays based on a certain number of people purchasing.
If companies choose to use these types of platforms for promotion, they can create a lot of sales in a fairly short period of time as well as increase the awareness of the brand. There is a good chance that these people may return to purchase again after the initial daily deal offer.
It is worth noting that there have been times where people have underestimated the number of sales that can be achieved through these types of platforms and have found themselves in a position where they cannot fulfil the orders.
All in One Platforms
Shopify is a complete ecommerce and hosting platform that allows you to set up your own shop, selling whatever you like without having to attempt to build your own site or to spend lots of money getting this done.
You can easily build your store and customise it as you like and there are various pricing solutions available to you to suit your needs. It is more expensive than hosting your own site, however you can potentially save a lot as the development cost of an ecommerce site can be quite high.
Big Cartel is much the same as Shopify however it is mainly aimed at clothing designers, jewellery makers, bands etc. This solution offers full customisation of the sites and does not take a percentage of the sales generated through the site which makes it a good solution for smaller, independent, from home-based businesses.
Google Shopping Results
If you are actively selling products online, one great way of promotion is to get them listed to display on the Google shopping results. These results are sometimes displayed on the Google search results pages for various product queries. Google shopping can be a great way to gain more business and send more traffic to your website, especially if your business offers products with an edge over your competitors. This may be the price, cost of shipping or even that the user has shopped with you before.
To start using the Google shopping results you will need to be signed up to the Google Merchant Centre and upload data related to the products you sell. Time and budget will need to be factored into this decision and you will need to meet Google requirements in order to take part in Google shopping. Some of the day to day tasks can be minimised and new developments to make this channel smoother are always being released.
There will be competition online from like sites and so a well-formed strategy is critical in this route being sustainable and a success.
The power of videos is now far less underestimated than in previous years. There is a huge audience on sites like YouTube and other similar platforms where people are likely to search for products and related reviews. Demonstrations, unboxing, reviews and adverts are commonplace on these platforms and this is a powerful tool to increase engagement for your product or service.
If you create some well thought out, informative and good quality videos, you may be able to capture the attention of an audience that previously might not have found you. Short snappy videos between 30 and 90 seconds can have a greater impact on an audience than a worded advert that takes 90 seconds to read. Users like to be spoon-fed content to some degree and are more likely to watch a video as statistics have shown.
Videos also appear in the search results within Google and other search engines. They typically get shown on the first page which could be a good way of gaining an audience for more competitive keywords or just dominating that page if you are already ranking for that keyword. For a deeper dive into your keywords and some essential advice click here.
Reviews can help send traffic to your site, they can also persuade someone to make a purchase once they arrive. Price, postage and reviews are the top reason people choose to purchase from an online retailer. Reviews are perceptually associated with ‘trusted’ sites and this helps build your brand as reputable.
There are various ways in which reviews can be utilised for the benefit of your business. Firstly, you can make sure you are listed on the many external review sites so happy customers can find you if they wish to comment on a good experience, and in turn this can help send visitors to your site if people are using these directories.
You can also display reviews on your own website to help improve the number of sales you are likely to receive. People are much more likely to purchase if they can see that others have previously used the site and have been happy with their experience or products. If you have a number of good reviews on your website or other external sites, you can draw attention to these by using Snippets. This will display the average rating within the search results and help encourage searchers to click through to your website.
Ebay and Amazon
Ebay and Amazon are still great ways to sell products online. You can run an Ebay and/or Amazon shop alongside your other sites and methods of selling products. It will cost you a bit more for the privilege of using these platforms, but it will help get your products in front of more people, especially as they have millions of users combined.
As with all platforms these will need to be manged and optimised to get the best out of the platforms. For some users, Ebay and Amazon are the first port of call before going via Google or is often be used to compare prices if they have seen this item elsewhere online.
Amazon prime has meant that orders are speedily shipped and integrated with other benefits such as film subscriptions making this a popular choice for users.
Even though email is a comparatively old technology within the internet world, it can still be a great way to build awareness of new products to existing and new customers. Usually if someone has given you their email, they are already interested in your products. This gives you a chance to entice them with special offers or highlight to them products that they might like.
Free Products or discounts
Everyone loves to get something for free or with a discount; this can be a useful way of gaining new customers. There are various ways of doing this; some platforms enable the user to qualify for this if they enter their email or if they send a Tweet to their Twitter followers. Discounts and free products can easily lead to organic promotion if done successfully and gain you long term customers.
The food company Graze is a prior example of this, offering people who sign up a free first box with an easily acquirable voucher code.
If this is something that is possible, creating an affiliate program can help expand your reach to gain more sales and customers. Why not have people interested in your products do some promotion for a bit of commission for referrals that result in a sale? This could be worth trying and see if it produces results. This as will all digital endeavours will take time to build but can prove a valuable source and create new business relationships along the way.
Landing Pages & PPC
Pay Per Click (PPC) offers a guaranteed way to get visitors to your website. It ensures that you have full control over the amount of money you spend and if you have a rough idea of the percentage of visitors that convert when visiting the website, you can make sure that you always return a profit. By combining a well optimised PPC campaign with targeted landing pages you can make sure that each visitor is likely to be interested in the products you are selling. It is then down to the landing pages to convince them to make the purchase.
Remarketing is a strand of PPC. It will create a list of visitors to your website and is able to track them with a cookie. Once you have built up a list, these people can be targeted with ads on other websites they visit.
As they have previously visited your website, you can be fairly confident that they are interested in your products. Targeting these people with a banner campaign can be a useful way to build awareness of a promotion or sale, promote any new products or just create a second chance to convert them into customers.