Everyone is selling shit online these days. It's never been easier to build your own ecommerce store — why wouldn't you try to sell your homemade baked goods to your Instagram followers?
It's also easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you can do to bolster your ecom game. Where do you focus? How do you know what to do?
Well I'm here to tell you...this article isn't going to give you the answers. BUT it will show you a few cool things you can do right now to improve your ecommerce marketing strategy. So add these four tactics to your toolkit, your ecom repertoire, your marketing quiver.
1. Branch out on social media
As Generation Z becomes the largest demographic on the planet (followed closely by Millenials) you no longer have a choice — you have to meet these buyers where they are. And they're all over social media.
When it comes to social consumerism, young people aren't necessarily loyal to one platform or another. They use all of them — Instagram for product discovery; YouTube for product research; Snapchat to see how others are using products; maybe Facebook or Instagram to actually convert on a purchase.
The point is that you need to develop a strong social media presence on all relevant social platforms — and at least some of your products should be available to purchase there too. When you're all over social, your customers can go through the whole buyer's journey and never even hit your website. As Gen Z explodes, give them as many opportunities to learn about and purchase from your brand on social media. Give the people what they want.
2. Make product videos
The stats are in — a ridiculous amount of people around the globe upload and watch an absurd amount of video all the time. 45% of the world's population watches 1+ hours of video content on YouTube and Facebook every day. There's never been a better time to create branded video content for your ecommerce business.
If your ecom video marketing strategy is still in its infancy and you're wondering where to start, feast your eyes on product videos. These are simple videos that highlight the features, benefits, and uses of your products. You can get as detailed as you want with them, from short overview clips to narrated product demos.
Let's look at some examples for context. One of our clients is ALPS OutdoorZ, a manufacturer of packs and accessories for the hunting industry. The videos below show two different approaches to product videos — one is short and simple; the other is much more detailed and provides a touch of humanity. Both are effective.
VIDEO 1: SHORT & SWEET
VIDEO 2: ALL ABOUT THE DEETS
Besides being extremely helpful for potential buyers to evaluate your products, these videos are also versatile. Once you produce a few of them, you can embed them on your product pages, promote them via organic and paid channels, and use them in your promotional emails and nurturing sequences.
There's a lot more you can do with video for your ecom brand, but you might as well start with the most effective type. Online shoppers want to understand what you're selling, why it's awesome, and how it benefits them — use product videos to show them.
3. Diversify your advertising
Guess what? Online advertising works. It works really well. When was the last time you went anywhere on the internet and didn't see an ad? But with great prevalence comes great oversaturation. As companies spend billions of dollars to create and promote their ads on Google and Facebook, it's getting harder and harder to stand out on those platforms. So take your ads elsewhere!
Redditors, conveniently, have already segmented themselves into interest groups — called subreddits. These online communities are organized around all sorts of topics that might be relevant to your brand. This makes it easy to find your target audience and design highly targeted ads for them. And at $0.75 CPM, Reddit is cheap. Just don't expect your Facebook ads to work here — Redditors are notorious hard-asses, so show them something funny and interesting.
You probably sell your products on Amazon already...so why not advertise there too? Marketers across all industries are finding Amazon advertising much more compelling than Google or Facebook. Why? Because calculating the ROI of your ad spend on Amazon is much more clear-cut than on the other platforms. Whereas Google and Facebook ads often lead to more indirect courses of action, such as product research or resource downloads, Amazon ads usually lead directly to Amazon sales.
Have you ever wanted to watch a live stream of someone else playing a video game? Well good, you can join the millions of users on Twitch. The Amazon-owned streaming service is now exploring advertising opportunities in the realm of influencer marketing — brands can only market themselves through partnerships with certified channels (i.e. streamers who fit certain top-tier criteria). Pairing your brand up with a Twitch influencer means exclusive promotion to that person's following, which can number in the thousands, tens of thousands, millions...you get the picture.
4. Segment your database and send them cool emails
This one is really simple, and not exactly groundbreaking. But it's surprisingly uncommon, especially amongst smaller brands without the necessary experience or resources to automate these processes. But, once you set up your system on the front side, you'll save yourself a ton of time in the long run.
Let's start with your database. No matter what system you have in place to store contacts (a CRM, an ERP, an ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, hell...even an Excel file), you have the ability to segment them into different categories based on their behavior. And once you have the segments set up, you can target each with highly relevant email sequences.
For ecommerce brands, we recommend starting out by building some of these tried-and-true segments and corresponding email series:
- Welcome. Once someone creates an account or subscribes to your email list, personally welcome them to the family. Welcome emails are meant to be simple thank-yous — but you might want to throw a small first-timer discount code in there too ;)
- Nurturing. Not everyone is ready to buy immediately. Don't bombard your newborn contacts with BUY NOW offers and discounts right off the bat. Try educating them with helpful content first (like product videos!). As people move into the buying cycle, you can remove them from the nurturing sequence.
- Abandoned cart. A lot of people recklessly dump items into their cart, but when it comes time to purchase they get a little gunshy. We've all been there. Coax these people back with some gentle reminders that their cart is waiting for them!
- Repeat customer. Your repeat customers are arguably your most valuable contacts. Treat them well — offer them exclusive discounts, ask them for help in improving your products, and show them other products they might be interested in.
- Average order size. Knowing exactly how much your customers are spending comes in handy when promoting other items to them. Shoot for similarly priced offerings or go in for the soft upsell.
Barely scratched the surface
Everything above is just a taste of what you can do with a comprehensive ecommerce marketing strategy. If you're crazy, like almost everyone in this agency, go nuts and do it all by your lonesome. Or make it easy on yourself and work with us to compete and win in the ecom universe.
If you're wondering what we can build together, check out our guide to setting up an ecommerce ecosystem: