Succeeding in the ecommerce space today is more challenging than ever. Business owners have to work hard to stand out when so many websites look similar and sell the same products. Besides that promotional emails and spam have become prolific and the customer response rate to pushy marketing strategies has dropped significantly.
So what is the solution to reaching more customers without diluting your brand reputation? We believe the most efficient and cheap way to achieve the objective is through inbound marketing. It’s a method of drawing clients to your company by positioning yourself in the spaces where your customers are. This way customers find you, instead of you forcing your brand on them. The article explains why you need to turn to inbound marketing and the best online marketing strategies for ecommerce websites!
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What Is Inbound Marketing for Ecommerce?
In comparison to more aggressive methods of traditional marketing, the inbound strategy focuses on naturally inviting people to learn more about your product. For example, you generate blogs and videos containing free information your customers want. Clients find the information they need and related products by themselves. Users choose the brand that presents itself as a subject matter expert over competitors that don't.
Benefits of inbound marketing include:
- Boosts trust as most buyers conduct online research before making a purchase.
- Increases user engagement, resulting in deeper relationships with the audience
- Increases returning visitor percentage and ensures eсommerce conversion rate optimization at no extra cost.
Inbound marketing is also much more cost-effective. UserGuiding claims that for every new customer, acquisition costs reduce by $14 when compared to traditional marketing. At the same time, the inbound strategy is ten times more effective in terms of lead conversion.
Preparing for Inbound Ecommerce Marketing
Inbound marketing strategies take time and effort to develop. They require some planning and forethought before you can get started. Some key steps in the planning stage are given below.
Research Your Customers
You first have to analyze your target audience to understand what they want. What questions do they want answers for? What problems do they want to solve? One strategy for audience research is building buyer personas. A persona is a fictitious representation of your audience as an imaginary character. It features specific details such as motivations, objectives, demographics, age, hobbies, attitudes, and industry. You can then generate content keeping in mind that your persona is going to read it.
For example, if you sell gardening products you may have a gardener persona as Jimmy a 53-year-old male who lives in the country and has a large backyard. He grows his own vegetables, eats only organic food, and keeps his own pet chicken. You can then think about the challenges Jimmy faces. For instance, you can write articles about how to destroy weeds or publish videos on how to deal with specific pests. You can then casually mention related products in your content.
Build Your Brand
Your business should have its own unique selling proposition, irrespective of the items you sell. You then build a brand identity around your offering. Brand identity helps customers recognize you and know what to expect from your products. It drives decisions around colours, logos, graphics, language and tone of content, the models you use in your advertising, and much more.
Brand identity and customer personas go hand in hand. For the gardening example above, a brand selling to Jimmy would choose earthy, nature colors in its graphics, pick a rustic name and sell low-to-medium cost, long-lasting items that Jimmy values. Natria on Amazon is one such brand that Jimmy would probably enjoy!
Find the Best Keywords
A good keyword strategy focuses on high-performing keywords that bring in relevant customers. The keywords should be related to your business and help you stand out. This entails keyword research to identify terms that will help you rank higher. For example, you can:
- Research category keywords for your products.
- Use keywords your competitors are targeting
- Examine all of your website's pages and determine the terms that are most relevant to your audience.
Keyword Wizard for Amazon is a tool that gives you 200+ keywords for your product in seconds!
Once your customer, brand, and keyword research are complete, you can get started with inbound marketing! Let’s look at our top 7 strategies to increase your sales.
Strategy #1 Get Your Ecommerce SEO right
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your content search engine friendly. Search Engine technology uses artificial intelligence software to tag and rank content. You want your content to show up first when customers search for particular keywords. The most important thing to do is use keywords strategically in your:
- Video descriptions
- Image names
- Product descriptions
- Product listings
- Website pages
Quality content with the right amount of keywords ranks higher. You can’t use too many keywords and write content that is meaningless to humans either. The search AI software easily detects copying, missing information, or low-quality content. You can use Futurepedia to quickly find the right AI tools for your project and stay ahead of the competition.
Apart from content quality, you also have to use keywords in meta tags and meta descriptions. They are additional information that search engines can see but humans can't. They help increase the relevancy of your content to your audience.
Google Search Optimization
Google SEO is important if you have an ecommerce website and your own domain. It prioritizes four factors in ranking:
- Long-tail keywords consist of three or more words.
- Backlinks to your site from other trustworthy, authoritative sources.
- Page load time
- The number of site visitors and how long they remain on your site
To increase your Google SEO, you must also focus on the technical aspects of your site. It's critical to keep an eye out for issues like crawling failures and fix them as soon as possible.
Amazon Search Optimization
Amazon SEO is important if you sell on the platform. Amazon search prioritizes short-tail keywords with one or two words rather than long-worded inquiries. Additional factors that influence product ranking on the site include:
- Number of positive reviews.
- Conversion rate of listings
To achieve a high ranking, you must prioritize maintaining excellent ratings and gaining conversions. Search Insights for Amazon is a tool that gives insights into product rankings and how to improve them on the platform.
Strategy #2. Start Running PPC for Ecommerce Campaigns
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an ecommerce marketing strategy that lets you target specific keywords to show your ads. When buyers type the search terms, your products or content shows up under sponsored results. You only pay for the ad if the visitor clicks on it. PPC campaigns exist for both Google and Amazon.
Any pay-per-click marketing campaign has three essential components —the ad, offer, and landing page. Your ad text should contain some enticing information to attract the site visitor. On clicking, the user reaches your website page called a landing page. It should be a logical continuation of your ad, offering what was promised as the reward for clicking on the ad.
PPC on Amazon works similarly to Google. However, instead of landing pages, clicking your ad takes the visitor straight to your Amazon product listings.
Strategy #3 Use Influencers to Build Brand Awareness
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 93% of marketers often turn to influencer marketing. Businesses partner with influencers to get them to talk about products with their followers. For example, let’s say you sell fashion accessories to young women. You have to find influencers in that niche and ask them to share content with your products in it. They could take photos wearing your jewelry or share a video unboxing your brand. Buyers view your products as being used by those they take inspiration from. They will immediately purchase the items if relevant to them.
You need to find out what will make an influencer marketing campaign effective before launching one. The first and most crucial step is to confirm that you are targeting the appropriate influencers. Other influencer marketing strategies include:
- Google the industry's leading influencers.
- Look through Instagram hashtags associated with your niche.
- Connect with creators by using influencer platforms.
Strategy #4 Get Active on Social Media
Social media is probably the most critical channel for inbound marketing initiatives. Brands today have to develop their social media presence, engage with an audience and share relevant content. You need a content calendar and a team to regularly post, like, comment and engage with your audience. However, the organic growth and brand following from the channel are definitely worth the effort. Mind that each social media needs its own unique ecommerce marketing strategy.
According to BigCommerce, 47% of TikTok users said they bought something they saw on TikTok, and 39% of users learned about a brand they didn't know before from TikTok. TikTok allows businesses to connect their online store to their account. So it has become a popular medium for online stores to reach new audiences and drive more sales. The platform also provides several ecommerce capabilities, such as analytics, product links, and advertising possibilities.
TikTok consumers desire authenticity and humor. Thus, the challenge is to be yourself if you want to get your brand seen! To get started, you only need a TikTok Business account and the TikTok Ads Manager, which includes tools for producing and managing various ads. Since TikTok has the best algorithms for trend promotion, you may make your product viral by cooperating with creators who can set the trend!
Instagram claims that 44% of users shop weekly on the platform. It allows you to integrate your account with your ecommerce website, create catalogs and add shopping tags to the pictures for the most efficient promotion. It’s also possible to publish paid ads with a link to the store in the formats of posts, stories, and reels.
Lately, the social network has accentuated the reel features and integrated a system similar to TikTok, where the media translates trendy videos into your feed. This system also helps in promoting your products through valuable and entertaining videos.
Pinterest is a social network for content sharing. It is a catalog of ideas that employs visual content to assist people in discovering items online. Pinterest is ideal for ecommerce because it allows you to add a link to each image you share(pin). Each image on Pinterest has a description, which you may use to rank your image. It is critical to employ descriptive keywords that explain your product and relate to its purpose. Paid advertising on Pinterest can also help you take your business to the next level. Here are several forms of advertisements on the platform.
- Promoted Pins.
- Promoted video pins.
- Promoted carousel ads.
- Pins with promoted advertising that allow you to download a mobile app directly from Pinterest.
- Buyable pins (or Shop the Look pins).
Strategy #5 Create Informational Content
Your audience wants to read solutions to their problems, not about your business. You have to present complex information simply to reach a wider audience. Tips include:
- Creating infographics to summarize information
- Using brightly colored images to explain points.
- Linking related content systematically
- Creating a free course or ebook with lots of valuable information.
Strategy #6 Upsell and Cross-sell
Your clients may be unaware that a premium product is available, or they may require additional evidence to comprehend how an upgrade is a better fit for their requirements. Does one of your product models, for example, have better technical characteristics? Or is one constructed of somewhat superior materials? Ensure to underline the difference and ask the customer if they want to upgrade at checkout.
When implementing upselling to enhance sales, consider the following factors:
- Make sure that your upsells are relevant to the original offering.
- Be aware of your consumers' expected price range.
- Your product should meet the customer's original requirements.
- The new product should offer a noticeably better fit than their original choice.
Strategy #7 Invest in the Latest Marketing Technology
Digital marketing is full of innovations, many of which are truly worth trying. Why not implement these technologies on your website if you have sufficient resources? They will help you stand out from the crowd of similar ecommerce stores. Here are some ideas.
Inbound marketing benefits greatly from the use of personalization as an ecommerce marketing strategy. Personalizing improves client experiences and leave a lasting impression. Here is where you may take advantage of customization:
- Product customization options on your website
- Smart product recommendations
- Email send-outs and Push notifications;
- Adaptive content that changes text and images on your website to suit your customer.
AR/VR Ad Campaigns
While relatively new, VR/AR technologies are altering ecommerce marketing. You can use them to bring your products to life in your customer’s hand. For example, AR, lets customers place your products in their living room and visualize how they would look. VR lets them walk into your store and interact with items without stepping out of the house.
Let's see how Nike used both virtual and augmented reality technologies. Nike made their first foray into the metaverse by collaborating with Roblox to build Nikeland, a virtual realm modeled around Nike's Beaverton, Oregon headquarters. Nikeland consists of structures, fields, and spaces where players can participate in various minigames. Online gaming is powered by real-world movements recorded by accelerometers on users' mobile devices. Motion in real life can transfer to actions in Nikeland.
As far as AR is concerned, Nike partnered with AKQA So Paulo to offer a unique experience. The experience is available via a mobile website. When the phone is pointed at the sky, users see a cloud-shaped shoe that provides access to stories from various music and dance artists. The AR campaign generated 32% more model sales and 22% more website views.
Ecommerce Chatbots are artificial intelligence technologies that online businesses use to interact with their consumers. You can use these chatbots to answer queries about their items directly on their website or on other messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, etc. They provide conversational marketing opportunities and address buyers' concerns about the product before they purchase it. You can also use them for customer service, eliminating the requirement for human customer support.
Apart from being available 24/7, chatbots have much more benefits:
- Provide personalized search
- Give customer support specialists more time to deal with complex tasks;
- Act as a knowledge base
- Provide recommendations along the buying process
- Collect feedback.
Inbound marketing should be your primary strategy for building a solid brand with a permanent and loyal audience. You can start with audience analysis, SEO optimization, and content planning. Understand the target market's wants, challenges, and aspirations then target your content to them. Focus on solving buyers’ problems and engaging with them through social media, content, and the latest technologies. Don't sell to them—just connect with them—and they will automatically buy from you!
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