Starting a retail business is easier than it ever has been. Thanks to ecommerce, you don’t need a brick-and-mortar store and all of the accompanying costs. As long as you have products to sell, you need little more than a laptop and an internet connection to start an online store.
While getting started might be the easy part of online retail, raising brand awareness and attracting customers can be difficult. You don’t have the benefit of finding a prime physical location and relying on foot traffic. You have to learn how to promote an online store if you want to have success with an ecommerce business.
Any online seller can learn to promote their store using digital marketing tactics, and you do not even need to break the bank to do it. You just need a little time and a willingness to learn.
Optimize Your Site for Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the fundamentals of online store marketing. Without a physical location, you won’t get foot traffic, so you need to generate internet traffic. With SEO, you enhance the content on your site with the goal of increasing visibility in and traffic from search engines.
One of the most basic steps in optimizing for search engines is to target the keywords and phrases people use when they search for products like yours. Using these words and phrases in the content on your site can help to make sure your pages come up in relevant searches and boost the search ranking of pages. Beyond keywords, you can expand your SEO strategy with factors like title tags, meta tags, meta descriptions, internal linking, external linking, backlink strategies, image optimization and more.
Build a Social Media Presence
Social media should be a part of the marketing strategy for any online business. Social media sites offer a simple way for an online store to communicate with customers and provide information about your brand.
The first step is to open accounts with the platforms your customers use. After that, you need to develop a content strategy and post regularly. It is also important to remember that social media is not all about the hard sell. Create content that is engaging while showing the personality of your brand. You could also encourage user-generated content to get your customers involved with promoting your online store.
Create Content That Offers Value
Content marketing is another key to having success in the online marketplace. Once again, this isn’t about creating content that is going to push the sale directly. Instead, you want to create content that will offer value and attract customers to your brand.
One good option is to create content that teaches customers how to use the type of product you sell. You could also consider buying guides that will help customers find the right product for their needs. This type of content can generate traffic by helping customers solve a problem and it can be a way to establish your site as an authority in the industry.
Work on Email Marketing
Email is hard to beat if you are looking for marketing tactics that deliver value. It is a low-cost way to communicate with customers and it can offer significant returns when it is done right.
Start by building your email list. One of the best strategies for email marketing is to offer a small discount for signing up. Something as little as 10% off can go a long way toward helping you collect email addresses. You could also consider offering referral bonuses to encourage sharing your brand with friends.
Once you have a list, you will need to develop a content calendar to ensure a steady flow of emails. Send your subscribers emails about sales and promotions you have coming up. If you have new products coming in, make sure to send an email to raise awareness.
Paid Online Marketing
While there is a lot you can do to promote your online store with little to no cost, you can take your digital marketing to the next level by paying for ads. Beyond expanding your reach, online ads can be a great way to target the customers that will offer the most value to your online store.
If you are already on social media, you can find significant value in advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Beyond social media, you could also consider Google Ads. Search engine ads can be good for moving your advertising to the top of the search results and it can be a smart way to supplement your SEO efforts.
While it is possible for any business owner to promote an ecommerce store, you need to recognize that it is not something that is going to take off overnight. You need to have patience and be willing to stick with it as you build on your efforts over time. You may even want to consider hiring professionals to deploy a more comprehensive strategy so you can focus on running your online store.