If I were to start an online store, this is how I would promote it. Most of the medium mentioned here are free or doesn’t break your bank balance. But before doing promotion, I’ll make sure to
- Work on the ‘differentiator’ or the ‘selling point’ of the store. The store should be doing something better than competitors.
- Make the store easier to use and order. Basic conversion optimization will be done.
- Install Google Analytics on the store and it will be configured to track every useful (Ecommerce tracking, events, search tracking etc) data.
The article omits the basics sometimes.
1 . Influencer Marketing
I’ll first email or tweet to bloggers, youtubers, instagrammers covering Startups, ecommerce, news or industry where which my store targets.
The message will be short, passionate and will ask them to have a quick look. Just something to start the conversation. It should be personal, shouldn’t look like a copied template and shouldn’t be spammy.
Once someone shows interest, I would ask them to feature the store. I would be also open to offer demo products, paid incentives or special promotions for their audience.
The process looks simple but requires a good amount of hustling. These are some good resources on this form of marketing:
- Influencer Marketing
- What Is Blogger Outreach & How Do I Do It?
- Buzzstream Tool for Outreach Management
2. Content Marketing
The store will have a blog. It will be self-hosted and will use WordPress (one can also use Blogspot, tumblr or Medium. I prefer WordPress because of simplicity and more control).
As I am not really good with content creation part, I will hire someone to take care of that. The blog will publish useful, interesting targeted information on a regular basis.
Blogging is the only thing I recommend for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) along with basic on-site optimization and faster site load.
I’ll also allocate some resources on the Guest Posting on other blogs. Guest blogging is very effective to build initial visitor base at zero cost.
Some resources on content marketing:
3. Social media
I would set up a profile on major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. The purpose of social media presence will not be just about selling but building an engaging community. It will be used for sharing useful (and interesting) contents from our blog or other places.
Social sites also act as a wonderful support and review platform. Many businesses also use social media to run a contest to gather some buzz. There has been some updates on social commerce too (Facebook Shop with Shopify).
In short, I’ll make sure that the store has a very active social media presence and it is well monetized.
- 10 Inspiring Ecommerce Examples of Social Media Done Right
- 12 Social Media Tactics to Drive Traffic to Your eCommerce Site
4. Email List Building
I am a big of good old emails. Email marketing still offers the best return on your investment and it’s not going to change very soon.
The list building be done by the usual practices like offering signup incentives, blog subscription, abandonment emails and customers list. The purpose of email campaigns will be similar to social media and will send existing and potential customers information about the new product, offers or any useful content.
I’ll use proper segmentation of list though. I’ll make sure that there is an autoresponder setup to onboard new subscriber. The process will be automated and Drip and other services are very good at doing that.
- MailerLite for affordable email marketing
- Drip for better email marketing automation
- How to Build Your List
- 37 email marketing tips
5. Affiliate Marketing
I’ll setup an affiliate campaign with ShareASale. Affiliate marketing or referral marketing is basically a subset of influencer marketing discussed at the beginning of this article. You pay publishers, influencers and coupon aggregators etc a commission on orders.
Affiliate marketing is easy to setup and its performance (you only pay after the sale) based nature makes it cost effective. I’ll make sure to onboard new affiliates and provide them with useful resources. Drip will be again used here to guide affiliates.
- Affiliate Marekting
- Affiliate/Referral Marketing campaign for Indian Retailers
- Affiliate Marketing Is Broken But Ecommerce Companies Can Adapt
- Eight Things Affiliates Look for in an Ecommerce Affiliate Program
6. Paid Advertising
Finally we have the paid medium. I am pretty sure that I will be bootstrapping with tight marketing budget. Therefore, the paid advertising gets the lowest ranking. However paid advertising is still the fastest way to get qualified traffic without any doubts.
Paid advertising has two major purpose- Find new audience and re-marketing. I’ll be focused more on the re-marketing (also known as retargeting).
Did you ever notice some of the sites you visited recently in your Facebook feed? That’s because of a remarketing campaign. You target people who already visited your site via ad platforms such as Google, Facebook, Youtube, twitter etc.
A Remarketing campaign has usually higher conversion rate and it’s cheaper than standard paid marketing.
I’ll be also doing some Product Listing ads. They are very targeted and usually offer better ROI as well.
That’s it folks! Let me know if I am missing something or made a mistake. Thanks for reading!