“If you build it; they will come”, is an expression of a common idea that if you provide people with what they want, even if they do not know that they want it, they will automatically find it. While that might be true for baseball fields, it is most definitely not true when it comes to ecommerce. To build a successful estore, you need to have some sound marketing strategy to be in place.
Building A Website Is Just Not Enough
Simply building an ecommerce site and expecting sales is a recipe for disaster. To get eyes on your site and people putting products in their shopping carts, you need to make a marketing strategy for the social web. Fortunately, with the onslaught of social media and social sharing sites, adding a social element to your marketing strategy is not as hard as it used to be.
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An Example Of Marketing Strategy
So let us take a look at some examples on how this can be done in a simple way. Consider an imaginary store that sells buttons; all those things you put on your jacket or other appropriate items of clothing. On the imaginary ecommerce store you can order your own buttons, but to market them, they will more than likely need to create a blog where they share all the buttons they make for different clients.
One of the reasons for doing this is they are not actually selling these buttons. You cannot go to the ecommerce site and buy these particular buttons because they are created for some specific customers. But they still want to showcase what they are doing. What is cool about this kind of marketing is when people see pictures, they share them.
Having A Blog Or Tumblr Photo Stream
How to set up a blog easily? If you don’t like to set up a full blog, you can set up a Tumblr photo stream where you just share photos of your products. You can do this if you are making a lot of products or if you want to share customer products. Just make sure if you want to share customer products that you get the okay from the customers first.
And, make sure you have Pinterest integration in your ecommerce site and also that you have sharing buttons.
People Like To Share
And when the customers see good pictures on a blog, they also share them. Meaning, every time an image gets shared, either on a blog or on social media, the traffic is driven back to the blog. From the blog, people can go directly to the ecommerce website and buy your products.
YouTube As A Search Engine
Consider a computer store that sells products in the U.S. and Canada. Suppose they have not one but two YouTube channels featuring tech tips and also discussions about technology in general. The reason why they have two channels instead of just one is because one is very focused on just tech tips and how to do specific things with computers. While the other one is focused on more interesting topics, like discussing what is going around with tech, going to conferences and things like that.
Nowadays, a lot of people are using YouTube as a search engine for information. So by putting up information about product handling and also what is going on with products, our computer store is able to make their brand associated with giving people tips on how to do things.
That way, if they are searching for something like, how do I install RAM in my computer?
Or, what are the latest computer events that are happening in my area? They might very easily stumble upon the content of our computer store on YouTube and from there they will jump to their site and buy products.
Social Media As A Tool
Let us consider an imaginary health store that does pretty much the same thing, but instead of using YouTube, they are using Facebook. And what this health store is doing, they are using the power of Facebook by publishing a tip on how to make your life easier, one tip every single day of the week. So by liking this drug store, in your feed, you will get one tip on how to make your life easier every single day. And this can be really useful for customers, and it also makes customers associate such companies with a brand that gives you tips on how to do things.
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Make Your Customers Like You
So, instead of marketing their products and saying, “Hey, now we have a promotion for this”, they are saying, “Hey, if you got gum stuck in your hair, here is an easy way of getting it out.” Or a tip that shows you how long different types of products last either on a counter, in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Now, of course, this is not a product that is being sold, it is just a post on Facebook, but it is providing quality content.
Because of how the online space has evolved, we are now moving from simple search in search engines to social search. And to rank well in social search, you first have to get people to share your content. The easiest way to get people to share your content is to add simple sharing options on your site.
Things like a Like button for Facebook, a Tweet button and also very importantly, a Pin it button from Pinterest because Pinterest is becoming extremely important when it comes to ecommerce. Pinterest is this new way of sharing content that is especially appealing to women. And when things are pinned on Pinterest, you are not just pinning the item, you are actually pinning an image and people get these large streams of content on Pinterest that they can look at and whenever they see something they like, they can put it in their own little pin libraries.
By adding features like sharing buttons, like Tweet and Pin it, you enable your customer to share the content they are buying or share content they are interested in with their friends.
And once it is shared on the social networks, it gets ranked up. So, when people start searching for it, they’re more likely to find it.
Marketing Strategy for Ecommerce
To sum up, to reach and engage with your ecommerce customers:
- Consider starting a blog, talking about your products and also talking about what you are doing in your company.
- Consider starting a YouTube channel to give information about how to use your products or even information about how the product works or how to troubleshoot things.
- Start a Facebook page and give people tips about how to use different products or how to just make their lives better.
- Consider adding a Facebook Like box to your site, so when people go to the site and they are logged into Facebook, they will see which of their friends already like your site. This is effective at getting more people to like your site.
- Create a Twitter handle for your company, so if people talk about your products on Twitter, you can respond to them and you can also troubleshoot issues for them on Twitter directly which is a great way of interacting with your customers.
Paul Lucas is the founder of YurTopic, where just about all topics are discussed in depth.
**Disclosure of Material Connection:
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.”