A complete guide to ecommerce marketing: 73 tactics on how to promote your online store

Learning ecommerce marketing (how to promote your online store) needn’t be a tough battle.

Like anything else in the marketing world, taking each step one at a time can show serious results – you just have to stick at it. This week I thought I’d share a complete list of tactics on how to promote your online store with content & ecommerce marketing.

Not going to lie – it nearly killed me.

This guide is over 14000 words long – it’s the most thorough ecommerce marketing guide you’re likely to find online.

I’ve broken it down into 6 sections and headers for each ecommerce marketing tactic so you can pick and choose what you’d like to read. I’ve also added potential costs, time it will take to implement and level of importance below each tactic so you can get an idea of which might be best for you to focus on first.

You’ll find the following sections in this guide (click a title to skip to that section):

 

If you don’t have time to read this right now or you’d prefer a print out version of the complete guide to ecommerce marketing – you can get one here.

If you find this article helpful – please share it! Tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit. Spread the word and help out other entrepreneurs and ecommerce marketers along the way. (Also it will help me feel better about the many, many long hours I was tied to a keyboard writing this.)

Let’s get going!

 


 

Ecommerce Marketing: The basics

 

1. Research your market

Honestly, the best thing you can do for promoting your online store – or any business online – is to research your market. I don’t just mean try to find stats on everything – genuinely go out and online stalk your target customer. Find out what they really want and what their current options are.

Where can you find them?

Look into forums, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Twitter and search for groups that have an interest in your products. For example, if you’re selling dog treats online, you should seek out groups of local doggy enthusiasts, dog training groups etc and sign up. Get to know their problems and perspectives and it’ll make it much easier to connect  with them in the rest of your marketing.

Another great tip for finding these groups is to go onto competitors social media and look into the customers they have already following them.

Finally, make sure you search online for your products (e.g. in this example I would search for ‘dog treats’). Have a look at the competitors products and price points; even the ones on Amazon. How does your product compare? Be as brutally honest with yourself as you can. If your product is 10X more expensive than one on amazon, it simply MUST have a good reason for being so pricey. An you must have seriously good ecommerce marketing to back it up.Which brings me onto tip 2.

How long will it take: About a day

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: Not a penny

2. Find your USP

It’s something too many online stores I’ve seen fail to do – check out your competition and tell me a reason a customer should buy from you and not them.

Your USP is your ‘unique selling proposition’. 

It can be as simple as ‘you’re the cheapest’ or ‘you’re the highest quality’. Whatever it is, you must be the best at it and your website should scream it. If you’re the most expensive, there simply has to be a reason for it. Get certifications, lots of reviews/social proof and make sure your design and imagery is super high quality. Don’t scrimp and save if this is your angle – if you want to be the most expensive you need to prove there’s a reason for it.

The first impression a customer gets when they see your brand anywhere should be your USP.

How long will it take: 1 minute – 1 week (depends)

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: Zilch

3. Don’t be all things to everybody

This follows on from your USP – don’t try to be everything.

If you’re a luxury brand, don’t have a sale section giving things away for 10% of the cost of current products. If you’re a cheap brand, don’t try to skew your message with a super luxury product priced way above the rest.

It will only serve to muddy your promotional messages and people will be put off.

This ecommerce marketing tactic will make you the number one choice in your target market’s eyes – which is much better than being number 20 in everyone’s.

Specialise in one area – and do everything you can to be the best at that one thing. You’ll start to be known for it, which is great for word of mouth as well as your brand in general.

How long will it take: Ongoing

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: A little time for thought each time you put out a new message

4. Compare your website to your competitors

Checking out your competition shouldn’t be scary (although I know it can be intimidating).

The truth is, if you don’t keep an eye on it, it could be the end of your business.

Your customers are checking out your competition online – so it’s a good idea to make sure you know what you’re up against. Use the weaknesses in your competitors brands to your advantage; and highlight them in your content.

If you think they have a better, more trustworthy looking website and your sales are dipping – you’ll know it’s time to invest in an upgrade.

How long will it take: Ongoing (About an 30 mins – hour each time)

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: Free (possibly some anxiety)

5. Highlight the benefits of your products, then the features

This is incredibly important for any business. When you’re writing your content in any of your ecommerce marketing materials, highlight the benefits of buying that product.

Think about insurance adverts; they don’t call attention to the features of that type of insurance at first – they start with the emotional benefit. The security you’ll feel when you have insurance. They show happy, people with no care in the world.

They’re easing a ‘pain point’.

Get to know your customers pain points and highlight how you ease them. Using the doggy treat example, maybe your treats are the healthiest on the market. Your target customers might have money but no time to sort out fresh food for their dogs – let them know your foods bring huge health benefits. Maybe you know of a study that shows your treats are actually better than fresh food.

How long will it take: Ongoing

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Free

6. Research your customers needs

Your customers should be at the forefront of your business; I like to think they own the business, not us.

So finding out what their true feelings are about your products and what they want should be at the core of everything you do.

Join forums where your customers are likely to be. Look up Quora and follow interests they’ll be following. Like pages on Facebook similar to yours and see what customers are asking and saying. The more you listen, the better you can tailor your products and your message to your customers.

Ultimately, the best message wins in any promotional activity.

And the best message is always the one that talks directly to the customers needs.

How long will it take: Ongoing – initially a couple of hours

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: Free

7. Go above & beyond expectations

Word of mouth is the most effective ecommerce marketing tool you can use – it can increase the effectiveness of your marketing by 54%.

There’s multiple ways of encouraging word of mouth marketing – but the simplest is to go above and beyond what’s expected of you.

Offer something amazing – then deliver something even better.

Whether it’s as simple as a bag of sweets to say thanks in your delivery, amazingly fast responses to queries or even something secret your product does that you don’t mention until it arrives – it will help get your customers more excited about your product and your brand. It shows you genuinely care, and people love to buy from ecommerce stores that care and deliver more value than a competitor.

How long will it take: Depends on exact tactic

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Depends on exact tactic

8. Survey your target customers

Getting to know your customers exact needs is incredibly important. You can run a free survey using survey monkey – you can even pay a little extra to get them to send your survey to your target customers.

What you could stand to learn here is invaluable.

I can’t stress this enough. Getting to know the exact problems your customers deal with on a daily basis in regards to your products can help you to know exactly what to highlight in your promotional activity, no matter what it is – adverts, product pages, blog articles – everything should scream “this product will help you fix XXX issue”.

Finding out what really bugs them, for example with dog treats you could ask – what dog treats & food do you currently use? What’s the most frustrating thing about feeding your dog? What’s the most frustrating thing about training your dog?

You could get results like:

  • He’s got IBS so I can’t give him normal treats
  • He doesn’t pay any attention when I’m trying to train him
  • He loves chocolate but it makes him sick

You can turn lot’s of these things to your advantage when selling you products. Maybe you can stand out as the brand that doesn’t irritate sensitive dogs stomachs? Maybe you have a safe doggy chocolate treat? Or maybe your treats have extra fish oils that help excited dogs concentrate? Your customers are a gold mine of information that could turn your ecommerce marketing efforts viral.

Check out this amazing podcast for more information; or if you prefer to read – here’s the complete book (spoiler alert: it’s awesome).

How long will it take: 2-5 days

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: Free – £1000 – more info here

9. Follow up with your customers

Like my previous point, your customers are a complete gold mine of information. Following up with customers who have bought from you already can help you achieve multiple things:

  • You can get genuine feedback as to what you can improve
  • If you do it personally, you can develop a stronger relationship with your customer and increase recommendations
  • You can ask for a review which can insanely increase your chances at a new sale with someone else
  • You get a chance to reach out and help a potential unhappy customer before they badmouth you online

How long will it take: 5 minutes per customer

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: Not a single penny

10. Test, review, improve

Whatever you choose to do with your ecommerce marketing, make sure you track the results.

That way you’ll have something to review later and you can decide on how successful your efforts were. Something that works for one shop, might not work well for yours. Track your results on your ecommerce marketing efforts, increase investment and time into the ones that work and either stop or change your tactic with methods that aren’t performing well enough.

How long will it take: Depends on tracking method

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: Time

 


 

Ecommerce Marketing: Website optimisation

11. Design your website from a customers point of view

This is a powerful mindset shift, and if you can make it – it will make a HUGE impact on your promoting your online store.

You’ve got to get out of thinking ‘what do I want from my website’ and into the thinking of ‘I’m a customer – what do I want to see?’.

First thing’s first – the most important thing when someone first comes to your website is that you reassure them they’ve clicked on the right place. If you’re selling dog treats, it should scream it at the top of your home page “healthiest dog treats around”.

Secondly – make your content easy to find.

Especially if it’s the answer to a customers question. Are prices important to your customers? Put them on the browse pages – don’t make them have to click through to each item to figure out how much it is.

Design your site to be easy for your customers to use – and sales will soar.

How long will it take: Months – duration of your web development

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing above your web design cost – unless you add extras for customers needs.

12. Make life as easy as possible for your customers

If you’re looking to increase sales through promotion, make sure your landing pages and buying process is as simple as possible.

Something as simple as reducing the amount of times your customer has to enter in their home address can increase sales – as well as making your landing page very relevant to an ad.

(Side note – if you aren’t aware, a landing page is simply the first page someone enters your website at)

Basically if you pop up an advert about your organic dog treats, make sure the page you point it at is the organic dog treat section – not just the home page. Not only does this help drive up sales, it can even reduce the cost of your adverts on some platforms like GoogleAds.

How long will it take: Ongoing

How important is it: 6/10

How much will it cost me: Mainly Time

13. Do your keyword research

I can’t tell you how important it is to do your keyword research and focus on driving customers to your website for certain terms.

If you don’t focus on anything – don’t expect to get any traffic from Google.

Too many people are doing SEO and content marketing out there, and if you’re not doing it right – then you’ll be left dead in the water in terms of customers coming from search engines. Think about it like this – when did you last do a search where you clicked below the top 3 results? Went onto the next page?

As internet users we’re lazy, and we want answers to our queries instantly.

Make sure you research a term you want your website to be found for; such as “dog treats online”. You can use Google AdWords free keyword planner to find out information about how many people are searching monthly for each term. They’ll also give you an idea of similar terms you may not have thought of that might be drawing even more traffic. Once you’ve decided which term you’d like to appear for, make sure you optimise your home page text for this term (sign up to the POP Content email list for a free guide to show you how).

I’d also recommend researching terms used for each of your product pages so you can optimise the text on there too – if you optimise enough product pages, you should see a great impact on the numbers coming to your website.

How long will it take: 2-3 hours research, dependent on area and number of products

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: Free

14. Write more content on your product pages

I know it came seem like a complete bore to write text for every individual product on your website – it’s possibly even intimidating if you have hundred or thousands to do.

But it is completely vital that you do this – for both driving more customers to your website and getting them to buy when they get there.

Online, no customer who visits your website knows who you are or whether you’re trustworthy. Your job as an online store owner is to ease their fears about making a purchase with you. If they land on a page with nothing but a small image and a title, they’re going to struggle to feel confident that your product is the right one for them.

Think about the questions people might be asking before they buy; is this a reputable brand? What are the ingredients? What benefits & features does this product bring to the table in comparison to another? How much should I use daily? Is their a warranty? What’s their return policy if I don’t like this?

Set about answering as many questions as possible and you’ll end up developing a great product page that will bring in sales – and traffic too.

How long will it take: Depends on number of products – around 15 – 20 minutes per product.

How important is it: 9.8/10

How much will it cost me: Your time, or a hired intern could work too (as long as you train them on what needs to be done)

15. Optimise your product titles & text

As long as you have at least 300 words on your page, it’s time to optimise it for the keyword you want to be found for.

The best way to do this is to install something like Yoast as a guide, or you can sign up to the POP Content email list if you don’t have wordpress for a complete guide.

Basically it’s about making sure your keywords appear in the right places on your page – not too much and not too little. You want your text to appear natural, but at the same time you want Google to be able to figure out what your page is about.

Currently, I’d recommend getting your keyword content to around 1% if you can. 3% or higher can be suspcicious, but lower than 0.5% could be too low for Google to know what the page is about.

Make sure your title tags (H1s and H2s) contain some keywords if possible too – it doesn’t have a huge effect, but every little bit helps to make your website more legitimate in Google’s view.

How long will it take: 5-10 minutes for each page after writing the content

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Free

16. Make your product URLs search engine friendly

Similar to ecommerce marketing tactic 11, making sure your urls are search friendly can bump you up a little in the search engine rankings.

Make sure your urls contain the keywords you want to optimise for and use dashes between each word (Google reads ‘-‘ as a space in urls).

How long will it take: 60 seconds or less for each page

How important is it: 6/10

How much will it cost me: Free

17. Add Google Analytics

Google Analytics is completely free to use and can help you figure out lots of useful information about your website.

Things like:

  • Where your traffic is coming from
  • How your customers are finding you
  • Where they go when they’re on your website
  • Where they leave your website

It can help you to gauge which ecommerce marketing activities are working well for you and which aren’t. For example, you might see about 300 people visiting per month, but no sales. When you review your traffic, you might notice a big spike from Twitter, but they’re not buying. This could be an indication that your marketing efforts aren’t quite right – or that you need to invest time elsewhere. This is just an example, Twitter might produce lots of sales depending on how you use it.

Analysing where your best leads come from and where you’re not doing so well could save you so much time and money, that this is a hugely important step for your ecommerce marketing – not to be ignored.

Plus it’s free!

How long will it take: 30 minutes to setup

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing at all!

18. Add Google Search Console

Here’s another free hidden gem.

A lot of online store owners have Google Analytics – but not Google Search Console. If you’re serious about getting traffic from searches, this is a great tool to have.

It will help you (or your developer) clear up any pages that aren’t working well, tell Google how you want to be shown in search results and help you track where you’re getting links from.

How long will it take: 30 minutes max

How important is it: 7/10

How much will it cost me: Free

19. Connect the two to find out what Google thinks your website is about

If you connect your Search Engine Console & Google Analytics you can get some amazing data back.

You can literally form a picture of what Google thinks your website is about – and where it’s placing you in search results too. It’s something I personally check on a weekly basis.

Here’s a full guide on how to do this and how it can help your ecommerce marketing.

How long will it take: 30 minutes max

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Free!

 


 

Ecommerce Marketing: Social media marketing

20. Tell your own personal network

This ecommerce marketing tactic is incredibly helpful but is missed a lot. In the early stages of opening your online store, no one will be around.

This is the time when you need to call in the troops.

No one will support you quite like your personal network in these early stages. Ask them to like your Facebook page and if they’re keen, join your email list too. They may not all be your target customers – but if you can get some family and friends to like and even share your page to their networks, it could results in your very first paying customers.

Not only this, when a new customer finds you online, it’s going to make your business look a lot more legitimate if your Facebook page already has a few hundred likes – rather than 0.

I told people in my network about POP Content, then released  short welcome video – it completely exploded and got shared a number of times. I’d highly recommend a quick video for extra shares – it’s a bit more exciting than a text or image post.

How long will it take: An afternoon

How important is it: 5/10

How much will it cost me: Nada

21. Use emotive content to bring in followers on social media

When people use social media they spread the news about things that are interesting and that they like.

People are emotional beings.

If you can use your social media content to make them laugh, cry or shout – you’re much more likely to get noticed (and shared) online.

Some of the most ‘liked’ pages on Facebook and Twitter simply put out consistently hilarious posts – not images of products. Offer great content to your network, and they’ll reward you with more likes and follow you more closely.

If you do it well, not only will customers follow what you have to say more closely – they’ll develop a closer relationship with your brand and be there to support you when you do run an offer or promote your products.

How long will it take: Ongoing – a couple hours weekly

How important is it: 5/10

How much will it cost me: Not a penny

22. Get involved in the right twitter conversations

Getting involved in Twitter chats can boost the number of followers you have but also gets people engaged with you.

Afterall, 100 engaged fans is much better than 1000 followers who clicked then ignored you completely.

I’d recommend getting involved in chats that your potential customers could be in. So for example here, you might want to find twitter chats where dog owners are involved.

I’d do this:

  • Go to Tweet Reports Chat Schedule  where you’ll find a long scary list of Tweet chats
  • Hit ctrl+F on your keyboard (cmd+F if you’re on a mac) and type in a word related to your industry (in this case ‘dog’ or ‘pet)
  • Scroll down and read up on the different Tweet Chats available in your niche
  • Schedule a reminder on your phone or calendar (remember to pay attention to the time zone it states)
  • Type in the hashtag on the time and get chatting!

How long will it take: 5 minutes to find a chat – around an hour each time you get involved in one

How important is it: 6/10

How much will it cost me: Completely free (and quite fun)

23. Automate promotion on social media – carefully

One thing I don’t like on social media is spam and automation – and it’s not something you want to apply to everything.

Basically, social media is all about being social (shocking, I know). And it’s not very social (or good ecommerce marketing behaviour) to blast out your products & offers, annoy all your followers and not respond to anyone.

However, being a busy ecommerce store owner doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to be sitting on social media all day.

So what’s the answer?

I’d suggest a couple of things – first off, Tweet Jukebox is a GEM.

Twitter is chocked full of so much content, that if you post out an article once, it’s unlikely that more than about 4 people will see it. If you have ‘evergreen content’ (content that is basically amazing and will be relevant and useful to your audience for a long time) you can pop it into Tweet Jukebox and it will tweet it out at random, as frequently as you like (up to 100 tweets per day). You can test out times that work best for you using this method too. I wouldn’t recommend tweeting more frequently than once every 30 minutes – I only tweet every 4 hours – as you don’t want to spam people’s feed and annoy them.

Secondly, you can use automation tools like Hootsuite to schedule posts; so for example, you don’t want to post lots of the same thing on Facebook – it’s not like Twitter. BUT you do want to remember to put your latest content out onto your social media channels (like LinkedIn, Google+ & Facebook) when it’s released. By using Hootsuite you can schedule it all in one place, to avoid you having to log in and repeat the same actions on all the different channels – which is a great little time saver. Plus you can schedule your posts to go out at whatever optimum time you find people interacting with your posts, so you don’t have to remember to log on at that particular time of the day.

How long will it take: Setup 30 minutes max. Will save time in the long run.

How important is it: 6/10

How much will it cost me: FREE

24. Follow the 80/20 rule

I HATE being salesy. So sometimes I’m guilty of the 100/0 rule unfortunately.

The 80/20 rule is about how often you tweet/post about your products and offers versus how often you post useful, interesting stuff to your followers. Basically 80% of the time you want to increase the number of followers you have by posting completely non-promotional but awesome content – either from your website or from others. As long as your target audience will love it, it’s a good idea to post it. They’ll love your brand more for doing this.

The other 20% of the time you can post about your latest  product and offers. And guess what? Since you’ve been so generous with great content before hand – your followers are much more likely to be all ears when you let them know about your new offerings – because they’ll start to like you.

How long will it take: No extra time

How important is it: 7/10

How much will it cost me: Free

25. Start a Facebook Group

If you know your niche well, starting a Facebook group can be a seriously effective ecommerce marketing tactic.

Page posts barely get seen in news feeds these days – Facebook wants you to pay for the privilege. Groups are a great way to get your posts actually seen in newsfeeds.

On tops of this – they’re a lot more interactive. Members can post what they like, and people can have full discussions. The best thing to do is develop a Facebook Group built around your target audience rather than your products.

For example, if you’re selling IBS friendly dog treats – create a group for Owners of IBS Dog Sufferers. And don’t be tempted to blast out lot’s of ads. Just get people talking – share genuine tips and advice, and get people to share their experiences. The more you do this, the more approachable and likeable your brand becomes. And when you become more likeable – people are much more likely to trust and buy from you.

You could even offer a free sample when people sign up to encourage your first 100 members.

Side note: if you’d like to share marketing tactics, get feedback on your business blog and help other’s with theirs you can join our Facebook Group here.

How long will it take: 30 minutes to setup – considerable management time

How important is it: 4/10

How much will it cost me: Not one pence

26. Be personal – not faceless – to build up customer loyalty

People react better to faces than logos; our eyes are naturally attracted to images of people.

So when you’re creating your profiles and pages – don’t be faceless, it’s a sure fire way to make your brand fade into the background.

Add a face to your cover photo, get your face out there on Twitter instead of your logo – people will be much more likely to engage with you. Adding a video to a pinned tweet or post is even better – people can more easily relate to you that way and will feel better about sharing your stuff!

How long will it take: 30 minutes

How important is it: 3/10

How much will it cost me: Free

27. Follow your competitors

This is an odd ecommerce marketing tactic, but seriously useful!

Following you competitors let’s you keep track of their marketing activities – which is no bad thing. Being aware of what you’re up against is the first step to beating it after all.

Keep an eye on your competitors social media activities. They’ll give you:

  • ideas of what works with your target market
  • ideas on where you can be better (when you see them doing rubbish stuff)
  • customers to poach (if you see someone complaining, you can jump in and offer your store as an alternative)

How long will it take: 10 minutes

How important is it: 7/10

How much will it cost me: £0 ($0)

28. Follow DIY marketing blogs

If you’re trying to get ahead with your ecommerce marketing, believe or not – things change fast. You need to stay ahead of the curve if you’re hoping to have continual success online. Obviously, this is an extensive list of tactics – but who knows what the future holds?

Facebook could be blown out of the water tomorrow. Pinterest might become the next ecommerce platform.

You need to stay on top of your game, and the best way I would suggest is to follow some good online marketers blogs or social media. They’ll be the ones educating themselves daily on what’s working – and they’ll pass the relevant knowledge onto you if they’re worth their salt. Check around before you jump in and follow anyone in that space however. Believe me, there’s a lot of nonsense, rubbish content and half truths in the online marketing world.

I’d suggest looking for some blogs that contain genuinely good tips and tricks – stuff you can implement on your own. Have a look at some blogs and if you like 2 or 3 articles – sign up to their email list and get their latest stuff to your inbox. You can, of course sign up to this one any time!

How long will it take: 30 minutes a week to read about the latest trends

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Free

29. Start a quirky YouTube channel

This ecommerce marketing tactic could help your store go viral – if you’re willing to invest the time.

If your product could be turned into something interesting on a YouTube Channel, you can definitely increase your traffic and sales by getting on camera.

Check out the hydraulic press channel here . These videos get shared all the time – simply because it’s interesting to watch. There’s even a few spin off YouTube channels from this ones success.

If you’re the kind of person who can come up with nifty, interesting ideas – I’d get your content on YouTube if you can, especially if any of your target audience are there. You could even do something less viral, but more useful, like setup a set of doggy training videos and add a mention of your brand during the video. As long as the main content is good, your video will be watched and shared.

How long will it take: Average good video could take a day to plan, film and edit

How important is it: 3/10

How much will it cost me: Differs – could be free, could cost a lot depending on video production

30. Test different benefits headlines on Twitter

Whatever content you’re writing about your products, whether on social media or your ecommerce store, it’s great to highlight the benefits of your products.

But which ones matter most to your customers?

You can use something like Twitter to test out which benefits work the best – simply add a few different headlines along with your link to your product, and get them into a tweet jukebox. You should be able to later review your stats on Twitter analytics to see which benefits caused the most clicks to your website -and voila! You now know the best benefits to highlight on your promotional material.

How long will it take: 30 minutes max

How important is it: 4/10

How much will it cost me: Free

31. Run an engaging competition

Competitions can drive a lot of followers and likers to your social media accounts, that’s for sure.

Running a competition gives you a unique opportunity however – you can use it to get your customers engaged with your brand.

If you run a competition where they have to create some form of content – such as the ice bucket challenge – it can really get things going viral, as well as providing you with some amazing ‘social proof’ of people using your products, you can then use on your product pages.

Incentivising customers to get involved with your products can not only get you more shares on social media, it can build a unique, memorable and fun relationship between your customers and your brand.

More on user generated content later!

How long will it take: A few days to plan and setup, then likely a few weeks to manage

How important is it: 4.5/10

How much will it cost me: Price of an iPad probably (or whatever else you want to giveaway)

 


 

Ecommerce Marketing: Website design

 

32. Focus on good imagery

I’ve seen a lot of ecommerce stores in my time ruining their chances of a sale with this one flaw – bad imagery.

Remember – online customers have NEVER seen your product in real life.

You need to give them every opportunity to get to know the product as much as they can through a screen. You can write all the good articles you like, but if you have bad images – no ones going to take the leap to buy.

On your product pages, make sure you have good clear  images, fairly large if possible, at least 300 x 300 pixels or more (don’t make people have to click to make them big enough to see). And make sure you have multiple images; show the size and maybe even the product being used. You want to build up the confidence your customer has in your product, so the more information and imagery you can provide – the better.

If you’re worried your photograph quality might not be up to scratch, something like this small setup can work really well. As long as you have a semi decent smart phone, a good plain white or black background and learning how to focus on your product properly with your phone is all you really need to boost your store’s conversions with images.

How long will it take: A LONG TIME – to setup and take photos, edit then upload

How important is it: 9.5/10

How much will it cost me: Depends on camera and setup used – but can be done free or £100 or less

33. Title your images properly

Search engine’s can’t see your images – they figure out what they’re about by reading your images meta title and alt tags.

You can use this to your advantage by optimising your images with the keywords you want to appear for online. Much like the url optimisation (see tactic 16) you’ll want to make sure you use dashes in place of spaces in your image titles. Also remember – alt tags are meant to be used by the visually impaired (a computer can read out what the alt tag says about the image to describe it to someone who can’t see it well). So although it’s good to use keywords for your SEO, use them sparingly and only where they are relevant.

How long will it take: Extra 2 minutes when editing and uploading images

How important is it: 5.5/10

How much will it cost me: Free

34. Use a lot of images

As said previously – your customer’s can’t see your product in real life to pick it up, see the size, touch & feel. Unfortunately, they only get to use one sense – sight.

Using multiple images on your product pages only serves to help them trust their buying decision, making them more likely to make a purchase and less likely to return something – for being the wrong size etc.

Show your product from a few different angles and even how it might appear when they arrive. Anything that helps to give your customer confidence in what they’re buying will help encourage sales.

How long will it take: Extra 10 – 20 minutes per product

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: 0 (if you’re taking your own photos)

35. Make sure your website is responsive

If you aren’t aware, a responsive website is one that changes size according to the device you’re using.

The design makes sure you can see and use the website well on phones, tablets & computers. It’s becoming more and more important these days; just check your analytis to see how many people are using their tablets and mobiles to browse your website.

If your website isn’t working well on mobile – your customers will find a competitor website that does.

Not only do you risk losing customers after they click onto your website – you even risk lowering your traffic in general.

Google uses “responsiveness” as a factor when it decides where to rank your website in searches.

If you don’t have a responsive website, you’re giving yourself 2 major issues – less web visitors AND less sales (something I doubt you want). Now’s the time to get it done. Don’t panic about having to spend thousands to sort it out either – there’s plenty of online platforms that will do a decent job for free. This whole website is built on a free responsive theme – granted I do know more than an average person about websites. But there’s some seriously good options out there that don’t have to cost the earth, so there’s not much excuse these days not to get your ecommerce store responsive.

How long will it take: 6-8 weeks depending on size of site & help

How important is it: 9.5/10

How much will it cost me: Free – ££££’s

36. …and fast

The speed of your website is very important.

On average, we won’t wait more than 3 seconds to load a website.

Not only that but, according to Kissmetrics:

 “79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online.”

On top of this glaring fact that website speed is very important to get shoppers to your site – it’s also yet another ranking factor in Google’s search engine algorithms.  Which means, like responsiveness, you’re hit doubly hard if you don’t speed up your website.

Here’s a short guide on how to speed up your site.

How long will it take: First instance a day or so, ongoing maintenance needed

How important is it: 8.5/10

How much will it cost me: Can be done free (if you follow the guide)

37. Test your online store on friends

No matter how much you test your own website, the thing of it is – when you work on something for a long time, it sometimes becomes impossible to see the most obvious errors because you’re so involved.

It’s time to call in the troops – ask your friends and family to test your website. And ask them to be as brutal as possible. 

A fresh pair of eyes can really help you to tidy up some serious mistakes – spelling errors, unclear messages, bad designs or broken buttons – my family have found them all on this website! (Thanks guys)

An unclear message or broken button can mean the difference between making sales and not – so it’s a huge help if you can get these errors fixed asap.

No one is perfect – so if you’re human, you’ve likely made a mistake or two. Better that a friend find it than a customer!

How long will it take: A few 30 minute stints with family & friends

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing (but you will have to spend time with family and/or friends – no idea of the emotional cost for you as a person 🙂 )

38. Use video

Using video is a step up from imagery.

If there’s not a lot between you and a competitor – I’d definitely get going with videos.

You don’t have to do anything too fancy; get a cheap setup on amazon and film your products properly. A good smart phone is all you really need.

For small products something like this small setup can work well.

For larger ones or videos including yourself/models, you can get one like this for less than £100.

It gives your customers the chance to get to know your products even more, and they’ll be more convinced of your authenticity as a store if you have real videos of the products.

How long will it take: 2-3 minutes filming, 10 minutes editing and uploading per product.

How important is it: 6.5/10

How much will it cost me: Free – £100

39. Establish trust – eliminate fears

This is the most important lesson you need to learn if you want have success with ecommerce marketing.

If you want people to buy from you, they HAVE to trust you. No matter how amazing your product is, if your site looks dodgy – people won’t be willing to take the risk and give you their credit card details.

You can build trust multiple ways:

  • Pay for a decent design – or make sure your cheap/free design looks the part
  • Use reviews throughout your website – it’s the closest thing to word of mouth you can get online. Using reviewers faces, or even better – video – is the ultimate trust building review
  • Highlight licences you have (if you have/need any).. Especially if other competitors don’t – it will make you look more trustworthy than them.
  • If you can get or have certificates in anything related – highlight these too. Whether it’s an award for top seller, or a certificate in ‘canine nutrition’ – if it will help to add authority to your brand it can only be a good thing.
  • Respond to public questions quickly & professionally. If people check up on your social media channels, they’ll feel assured if they see that you’re responsive and polite – and a real person is behind the brand.

How long will it take: Ongoing

How important is it: 9.5/10

How much will it cost me: Unknown (very dependant on tactics used & industry)

40. Don’t overload your customers – keep focus on 1-3 products max. on your site

Unlike this crazy long article (sorry for information overload), when you’re selling online – you don’t want to overload your customers.

Too many options often results in no decision – which basically means less sales for you because your customers are overwhelmed with choice.

Here’s a quote from a paper at the American Psychological Association about consumers:

“…they’re 10 times more likely to make a purchase if they choose among six rather than among 24 flavors of jam.”

Simply put, when you put too much on display it can make customers feel overwhelmed. They start to feel concerned that they’ll make the wrong choice, and regret not getting something else later – and the chance of making that bad purchase decision and feeling regret puts them off purchasing anything at all.

Focus on just 1-3 products on your home page, and your customers will have a much happier experience. You will avoid overwhelming them and they’re much more likely to quickly figure out who you are and what your brands all about.

Let them decide where they want to browse; don’t display lots of items before they’ve decided what they want to buy.

How long will it take: Up to a week depending on current state of home page

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: Dependant on changes needed and technical ability

 


 

Ecommerce Marketing: Content marketing

41. Write shareable articles

Search engines like Google want to make sure they show the best results to their users – after all, none of us would use Google so much if it was rubbish at answering questions.

It figures out the ‘best results’ using a number of factors; many listed in this article.

One of those factors is how much a website is shared on social media.

This is one of the great things about content marketing – not only does it build up trust with your customers, it also is the only way to truly rank well in search engines these days.

Writing ‘shareable’ stuff needn’t be a guessing game either:

  • Check out your competitors articles
  • See what articles are shared the most, and by who
  • Write articles even better than theirs about the topics they’ve written (I can’t stress how important it is to write content actually worth reading – if you don’t, you might as well just delete your blog and stop wasting your own time)
  • Send them to the same people that shared your competitors articles and ask them to critique and share if they like it too

This is called the ‘Skyscraper’ technique, and it works really well.

Here’s some other methods you can use to find article ideas that will get noticed – and shared!

For help on how to optimise each article for search engines too (it can be done in about 10 minutes after you’ve written your article) just sign up to the POP Content email list and you’ll get a free guide that will show you how.

How long will it take: About 3-6 hours a week

How important is it: 9.5/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing

42. Write ‘How to’ articles

How to articles – like this one – are really popular online and are a great addition to your ecommerce marketing efforts.  You can get a decent amount of traffic from them; and the great thing is, if you right them for your target market, you’ll be driving lot’s of customers directly to your website.

With the dog treat example, you could write how to train your dog articles, include videos and get mentions of your treats involved. You could even write recipes for IBS friendly doggy dinners. This kind of great and genuinely useful content goes a long way to building up a good reputation for your ecommerce store and helps tremendously with driving your target customers to your website.

How long will it take: About 3-6 hours per article (or a few days if you set yourself a ridiculous 73 tactic challenge like this article)

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Not a dime (you could pay for training on how to do it better or have your articles edited by a content marketing consultant like POP Content – but this entirely depends on your level of confidence & seo/writing ability)

43. Write articles on individual products

Writing articles about individual products is a great way to introduce them to your customers AND search engines.

A couple of internal links (links from one page to another in your website) can help the search engine ‘spiders’ to gauge what your new products are all about. Not only that; but if someone does a search for your type of product and you’ve written a long article about it (and chosen good keywords) they’re more likely to arrive at your website than someone else’s if you have better content.

More is often better when it comes to content length and SEO.

How long will it take: About 1-3 hours per article

How important is it: 6.5/10

How much will it cost me: Free

44. Edit the articles to attract search engines

Once you finished writing your articles, you can make them even more attractive to search engines. Using tips I’ve mentioned earlier make sure you:

  1. Optimise your page titles (popping your keyword closer to the beginning of your title can help – but it’s more important that it’s an attractive title that people want to click)
  2. Write h1 or h2 tags containing keywords if you can
  3. Pop a couple of keywords into your article (above 0.5% and below 3% is a good amount)
  4. Make sure your url contains your keywords
  5. Make sure you have a meta description written (see free guide for more details)

My best advice I can give you is to ignore these factors until you’ve finished writing. Write the article as best you can, thinking about how useful it will be to your customers. Once you’ve finished, go back and edit in keywords here and there – it will keep your content natural and ‘shareable’ first and foremost which is most important.

How long will it take: 10 minutes at the end of writing your articles

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: FREE

45. Promote those articles on social media

Half of the battle with content marketing is creating brilliant content.

The other half? Promotion.

Promoting your article is just as important as making it as brilliant as possible. The thing is, even if you wrote the best guide in the world, if no one notices it – it’s not going to do anything for you.

First thing’s first with promotion – social media. Get onto Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest – where ever your target market is – and get involved in the conversations.  Once you’ve got to know that particular platform (you don’t want to just dive in and spam people – that’s the easiest way to get your ecommerce store blacklisted) start posting out your articles in places where you think they’re relevant. 

For example, with the dog treats, if you joined Facebook dog training groups – why not run your latest article by them? Break the ice and get involved in conversations (without asking for anything in return) and build trust with the community. Then when you reach out for help – people will want to help. Simply ask for their feedback and ask them to share it if they found it useful.

The trick to sharing your articles on social media is not to be deceptive or spammy – it’s to be genuinely useful to the right audience.

How long will it take: 20 minutes – 40 minutes a day should be a maximum (although feel free to do more in your spare time)

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing at all

46. Start an email list

Some people browse about, but aren’t quite ready to buy.

There might be multiple reasons for this – they don’t have the spare cash, they want your product as a gift for someone in the future, they’d like to spend more time researching before they buy. Whatever the reason might be, they’re potential customers you won’t want to miss out on.

You can start an email list with something like mailchimp really easily and completely free of charge. 

If you offer something in return for their email address – such as future exclusive discounts – you should be able to capture a few customers that you might have lost previously.

Once you have their emails – don’t spam them. A weekly email with your latest article or a discount will suffice – if you’re like me, you’ll know that it leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you’re constantly bombarded with emails.

The reason you want to keep in touch is so that when they do decide to make their purchase, they’re much more likely to remember your website as your brand will still be fresh in their memory, even if it’s months down the road from when they were browsing.

How long will it take: 30 minutes to setup

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Freebie

47. Reach out to influencers & bloggers

Newsflash guys – there’s already loads of website’s out there that attract thousands of your target customers daily. You can get involved in some of that action and grab some of those customers. Simply try searching for blogs in your target market’s interest.

For example, I might search for top dog training blogs, or canine nutrition blogs.

Take a look at the top results, as these are the ones that are likely to get more traffic (since they have fairly decent SEO already). Another hint as to whether it’s a good site to aim for is to check out their ‘Domain Authority’ – here’s how:

  1. Download Moz’s free ‘MozBar’
  2. Once installed, Google your topic + ‘blog’ (e.g. canine nutrition blog)
  3. Open some blogs and check the ‘DA’ number
  4. If it’s about 20+, it’s probably worth getting in touch and finding out a bit more

You can do a couple of things once you know which bloggers you’d like to write about your products:

  • Ask if you can sponsor a post or offer a free amount of your product in return for a review & backlink (backlinks are VERY important for SEO)
  • Forge a relationship in general – since you have mutual interests – before asking for a post about your product
  • Offer a cross promotion deal – see tactic 62 below
  • Offer an affiliate deal – see tactic 71 below

How long will it take: Couple of hours for searching and negotiation

How important is it: 6.5/10

How much will it cost me: Most likely around £100 – £250 or some of your product

48. Do some online PR

PR is a GREAT way to drive new customers to your website and build great quality backlinks to your online store. It’s an essential part of any ecommerce marketing strategy.

So how do you do it?

Well there’s a lot to PR (that’s why there are PR agencies out there) but you can do a surprising amount on your own if you have the time.

Definitely enough to make a big impact on your ecommerce marketing results.

I’ll write a full guide on this soon, but basically – get networking and seek opportunities to feature in stories, especially if they’re on trustworthy websites (see how to check domain authority above in ecommerce marketing tactic 47). Follow journalists on Twitter by using the search function (find news sites you’d like to appear in, search for their twitter name/handle and check out ‘people’ – a lot of journalists will reference the newspaper they write for in their bio so there’s a good chance some will pop up. I like to pop them into a list so I can check out just the journalists feeds when I need to (you can follow my list of PR people and journalists here).

You can check on that list periodically to see if any journalists are looking for comments or sources on articles. It’s simple – see a request? Reply! Let them know your email and what you can contribute.

Another GREAT way to perform PR is to join a service like ‘HARO‘ (help a reporter out) where they link up journalists with people who need PR. You can also look for the hashtag in Twitter to see what people are posting, or if you’re in the UK like me, check out the hashtags Journorequest or PRrequest daily.

How long will it take: Daily 15-20 minutes

How important is it: 9.8/10

How much will it cost me: NOTHING

49. Build up your backlinks

Backlinks are still the number one factor in your search engine rankings – need I say more?

If you want to rank well for searches in your area, get backlinks – quality ones.

Bad backlinks can damage your online store, so make sure you do it the right way.

Any ecommerce marketing strategy needs a good back link plan.

Full guide on getting backlinks here.

How long will it take: Ongoing work, should be worked on weekly

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing, just time

(Unless you hire someone to do it – then you’re looking at thousands if they know what they’re doing – hundreds if they don’t – if you can it might be better to get training for yourself or a team member)

50. Answer FAQs – and turn them into articles

Imagine every customer question as a road block between them seeing your website and making it to the checkout.

  • Is this website trustworthy?
  • How true to size is this product?
  • What does it look like in real life?
  • Can I return it if it doesn’t suit me?
  • How will this make me feel better?

It’s your job to assure your customers when they get to your website that they’re safe buying these products and they’re the right thing for them. If you start to get questions from customers – or if you collect questions from your surveys/friends/family – use them to make an FAQ page.

FAQ pages are amazing for lots of reasons – not only do they help assure a customer who may have a concern before making a purchase, if you have a heat map installed or you use page analytics in Google analytics, you can even start to figure out which questions are most popular – and start to react.

If there’s a question that keeps being looked at, figure out if there’s a way you can make it more clear elsewhere on the website. If people are concerned about returns policies – highlight them on your product pages. Chances are, some customers will have left before checking your FAQs, so you’ll be gaining sales by doing this.

Ecommerce marketing – sorted.

Once you’ve done this, make sure you use the most popular questions as article inspiration.

This VERY article is written from a clients question.

Do your keyword research and find out how to best phrase your keywords – but ultimately – answer questions better than anyone else and search engines will reward you with traffic.

(As long as you write them correctly & work on promotion so they notice the content)

How long will it take: Ongoing, but likely half a day to make the page

How important is it: 8.5/10

How much will it cost me: Free – unless you pay someone to make your website

51. Answer questions on forums

Forums are a great place to position yourself as an authority in your space.

Find relevant forums, (e.g. dog training forums, dog diet forums or even local dog owner forums) and get involved. Answer questions and just leave your website in your signature if you can.

The more knowledgeable you seem in your space, the more likely people will trust you and want to check out your online store. If someone asks a question that you’ve answered with an article, you can even post it as part of your answer and get a great backlink.

Don’t spam the forums though – you want these guys on your side after all. With ecommerce marketing, or any content marketing really – always give before you take.

How long will it take: Up to you – frequency can be key

How important is it: 5/10

How much will it cost me: Not a dime

52. Use & encourage user generated content

User generated content is awesome for ecommerce marketing.

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically any kind of content your customers create about your product. For example, Diamond Candles has a photo stream on their product pages showing images their customers have sent in of their candles (and rings).

user generated content ecommerce marketing

It’s shown just before the reviews, so it adds a lot of “social proof” and makes buyers feel a lot more comfortable buying their products. Seeing so many different, real photos of happy customers is one of the best ecommerce marketing tactics you can take.

Another GIANT plus is, if you can get customers to generate this kind of content – obviously you need their permission to put it on your website – but they’ll usually be so excited to be featured on your website that they’ll spread the word online and off about your online shop. Possibly even on Facebook, Twitter etc.

Increase conversion rates, more exposure to new customers, shared more on social media, better relationship with current customer. That’s 4 giant benefits in one action.

How long will it take: Potentially a while as you must develop a strategy for this.

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: Whatever it costs to make the strategy & add the necessary sections where you’ll display user content

53. Leverage your passion & personality against the big guys

More often than not, if you’re opening an online shop – you’re going to be up against a giant competitor of some kind or other.

Don’t be afraid.

Content marketing can seriously level the playing field.

You have something they don’t. You’re not a giant marketing department – you’re a passionate business owner with a dream.

Passion shines through in content and it will win. If you’ve spent years learning about your product and getting to know your customers you’re at a much bigger advantage than the big guys. If you’re the one writing your content and not a marketer you’re at a huge advantage because you ACTUALLY know this stuff. You know your products inside out and you can answer customers questions better than any marketer. After all, if their worth their salt they’ve been studying marketing for years – not your products.

Use your face on social media, be personable in communications and show your customers you really know your stuff.

There’s nothing wrong with marketers – obviously we can help guide you, show you how to edit content better an promote it properly – but ultimately – you’re the one with the passion, personality & knowledge to leverage yourself into a good place in the market.

Take charge of your ecommerce marketing and simply get help and education where your skills are weakest.

How long will it take: 0 minutes

How important is it: 6/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing at all

54. Write gift guides & include your product as well as others

Gift guides are a great way to get your content out there in a shareable way.

A great idea is to not only include your products, but other similar stores products too. For example, if you have a good relationship with a dog trainer, you could offer to feature their gift vouchers in your gift guide as long as they help share it on social media.

If they do, it gains you even more exposure to your target audience.

If you can include 4+ other stores, it can really help drive your target customers to your website, as well as helping out your fellow businesses. What’s more, is might even do the same for you in the future – and include your products in a gift guide of their own!

Getting others on board to help you spread the word about your online store is a major goal for your ecommerce marketing – and this tactic ticks all the boxes.

How long will it take: 4-6 hours writing & networking/organising

How important is it: 7/10

How much will it cost me: Zilch

55. Don’t forget to encourage reviews

As you now know (I hope) social proof is a top priority in ecommerce marketing.

Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.

I can be honest with you in that I know when I buy online, I’m always looking for reviews – they help answer questions and give you an unbiased opinion on a product.

So what can you do to encourage reviews?

  1. Ask for them – it might seem a bit overwhelming to ask every person who buys to write a review. If you’re at this stage, it’s a good idea to implement an automated email system to help. Try to aim for a certain amount of time after their product has been delivered – a few days at least. Often a simple reminder email can be enough to get a couple of reviews
  2. Reward people for reviews – offer a discount off their next purchase or enter them into a prize draw. People do love free stuff, and it’ll be worth it in the long run for you if you can make more sales
  3. Make it really easy for people to leave reviews – obviously you don’t want to encourage competitors to leave bad reviews – but making the process as simple as possible can infinitely help encourage reviews, especially for those less tech savvy customers

How long will it take: Ongoing

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: 0 (potentially a cost for making your review system slick or buying an ipad to giveaway)

56. Use ‘you’ language

Using the word “you” and not “our customers” or “most of our fans” or even “guys” can seriously benefit your online store.

Words are powerful – and You is among the most powerful words you can use in your ecommerce marketing efforts.

Write your content as if you are talking directly to one target customer. Just one person.

Because although you’re talking to many different types of people – the one you have to convince is your customer. And they’re not in a room looking at your website with thousands of other website visitors around- they’re looking on their own at their desk/sofa/bed/bus stop/anywhere. Keeping the conversation personal is a far more effective way to sell online and anywhere else.

It makes us prick up our ears and pay attention when people are talking directly to us and not just blasting out messages to the world.

It also makes it easier to write the right kinds of things.

When you’re not focusing on pleasing everyone, and you’re just having a natural conversation (albeit to yourself online) it becomes more obvious which benefits and features of your product you should be pointing out. You’re not here to convert people who aren’t interested into customers. You’re here to convert your interested target market into customers.

Focus on them – and they’ll reward you with more sales.

How long will it take: Potential website rewrite – a long time

How important is it: 8.5/10

How much will it cost me: Not a dime (unless you hire a copywriter)

57. Use their language to entice them to buy

In tactic 8, I told you to survey your customers. Not only does this help you figure out if your products are viable – it helps you learn how to sell to your customers.

Using your industry terms isn’t the way to convince them they need a “canine digestive supplement high in vitamin b12”. Your customers have problems and they use specific language to describe those problems – and potential solutions.

Even if you survey just 5 people – you’ll get a much clearer idea of how your target customers talk about your product.

If their biggest problem is:

“My dog keeps vomiting after he eats peanut butter. He loves it so much – I need something like peanut butter but for dog’s with sensitive digestive issues”

You can almost parrot back their words on your product page:

“Does your poor dog love peanut butter – but he just keeps vomiting?

We created this treat just for you. This is the only peanut butter alternative for dogs with sensitive digestive issues – and they love it even more!”

When a product page talks directly to your issues, you are far more likely to buy that product than when it simply said “Peanut digestive supplement high in vitamin b12”. If your customers aren’t searching for supplements with b12, there’s no point in optimising your page for it.

Your ecommerce marketing efforts are going to be much more effective if you use your customers language.

How long will it take: Ongoing

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: Zilch

58. Guest blog on good authority websites

Guest blogging is when you write a blog for someone else’s website. It’s a good idea because it allows you to get your brand in front of a new audience as well as a good backlink to your website.

The key to it is to find the right blogs and develop a good relationship with the website owner. Check out tactic 47 to find out how to find a blog with a good domain authority. Aim to write for websites with at least a DA of 20 or more if you can. Something is better than nothing though when you’re starting out, so if you can’t find someone more than 20, it’s ok to go for a few 10s.

Good blogs are often being pitched lots of different articles, so you  need to make sure you pitch the right idea to them. Check out their content, and make sure you pitch a few titles of articles you think would fit in well with their audience.

Make sure you write something good – if it’s really good stuff you might be asked to write for a different blog in your industry.

Remember to include a bio about yourself with a link back to your website in your guest articles.

How long will it take: 3-6 hours

How important is it: 5/10

How much will it cost me: Free

59. Don’t be bland, take a stand & be yourself

You don’t want to spend hours writing articles for them never be seen, right?

The best way to avoid this is to write articles that are worth reading. The worst kind of article is something rehashed, completely blandly, because of too many company policies stopping your blog having any genuine original material or opinions.

Opinions are worth reading.

People want to know what you really think in your area of expertise. It’s not breaking news that you agree with what all the said experts in 2014. If you strongly disagree, and you show facts that back you up – be controversial. It’s the kind of things that will actually get your article read and spread on social media.

If you notice a lot of people in your industry only giving half the story – be the first to tell the whole story.

If you don’t, someone else will and they’ll get the customers and SEO boost for it instead of you.

If you’re thinking of posting an article – Google what’s out there first. If you can’t contribute anything better; it’s  unlikely your post will get noticed. Save yourself a bunch of time and do your searching before you start typing.

The great thing if you’re going up against a large competitor is that you won’t have millions of company policies banning you from saying this or that – take advantage of your freedom and take a stand. It’ll get you noticed.

How long will it take: 2 minutes

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Freebie

60. Track your promotions properly with unique urls

Here’s a great tip – if you’re running any kind of advertising campaign for your online store you can track the exact results with unique urls.

Let’s say you have an offer on a popular blog – you can create a unique link for that advert such as “www.yourwebsite.com/blog-offer”. Doing this ensures you can track your different ecommerce marketing activities properly – so you can monitor what’s working and what’s not.

That way you can quickly figure out what to keep investing in and what’s not worth a penny.

If you set up goal tracking in Google Analytics, you should even be able to monitor not just the traffic, but the number of sales you’re making from that particular ad. Just pop goal tracking onto your thank you page after they complete checkout.

How long will it take: Couple of minutes, or a couple of hours depending on page

How important is it: 7/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing extra unless you’re paying  for each page to be made

61. Interview influencers in your market

Interviewing an influencer can be an awesome way to drive great traffic to your website.

If you can find someone who’s being trusted and followed by thousands of your target market, interviewing them creates a strong link between you and the influencer. In a customers mind, you’re instantly seen as being at a similar trust/authority level.

Not only does it instantly build a lot of trust – and therefore make people more willing to buy form you – but if you publish an interview, whether it’s on YouTube or a blog, your influencer will more than likely help you spread the word and promote that content – which instantly gets your brand & ecommerce store in front of many more of your target customers.

Of course to do this, you’ll likely need to build up a good authority in your industry first so that the influencer sees it’s worth being interviewed by you. Or the other quick option is to simply pay the influencer for an interview. If you do go the payment route, just make sure you’ve optimised your website well for conversions already – the last thing you want is a bunch of good traffic to get to your website and only 1 or 2 sales.

It’s definitely an effective ecommerce marketing tactic if your store is ready for it.

How long will it take: A few days work

How important is it: 5/10

How much will it cost me: £££s (depends on industry and influencer)

62. Use cross promotion with another shop or service in your industry

Cross promotion is an amazing way to build up a good reputation and your SEO online.

It’s simple really – there’s other businesses looking to promote themselves to a similar target market to you out there. They might be selling something slightly different – but you can work together to achieve mutual benefits.

Say for example, I’m selling organic dog treats, but I also know a charity set up for dogs with stomach cancer. Or a website selling dog training courses. Or an organic cat food store. What you can do is, reach out to these people and collaborate on few articles and offers.

They need relevant links to them and so do you; so by working together, either guest posting on their blog, running a collaborative offer or interviewing each other etc. you can both reap massive rewards.

You get double ecommerce marketing points for this too. Not only will Google like the fact that you have lots of relevant links to your website,the other businesses will help to promote your articles and get them in front of a new, very relevant audience.

How long will it take: Ongoing

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Nothing!

63. Do a collective list article with guest experts

Much like cross promotion, if you can get a bunch of experts in your field to get involved in a list article, it can seriously benefit your ecommerce marketing.

The idea is that people really like list articles – you just have to see the success of buzzfeed to know that.

They’re a bit easier to digest, you can skim through them and read what you want and ignore whatever’s not relevant to you. So when your target market sees something like “40 tips on easing your dog’s stomach troubles from canine experts” they’re going to want to read it. Much more than usual boring stuff they see online that’s not relevant to them.

Not just that, but if you have a seriously long list with lot’s of guest experts – they’ll help you to promote your article. Featuring in an article that says their an expert can only be a good thing for them after all.

Make sure they’re experts with a good domain authority (see tactic 47) and a decent following on social media, if you can – this will ensure an extra traffic and SEO boost!

How long will it take: Organising & writing 6-8 hours total

How important is it: 8/10

How much will it cost me: Zilch

 


 

Ecommerce Marketing: Extra marketing tactics

64. Add a few products to Amazon, Gum Tree (or Craiglist), or eBay

You may never have thought about adding your products to any of these ecommerce websites; after all, you’ll make more money if you don’t have to sell through someone else.

However, using these avenues to sell a few of your products can do something unexpected for you – it can give you great exposure.

Some customers won’t search Google for your products – they’ll search directly on these shopping sites. So if a couple of your products feature here, it’s a great way to get your brand in their homes. Plus stores like Amazon already have great automated methods of getting reviews and suggesting your products to the right people while they’re browsing.

Firstly, ensure you name your product effectively using keywords your customer will be searching for (see tactics 13 & 57) . Then ensure you fill out your product descriptions as effectively as possible. More is better when it comes to product descriptions. Make sure to make a backlink to your website if you’re allowed to on the platform too.

Once everything’s setup, the final step is to make sure once you sell through one of these avenues, to offer that customer something extra when they go to your website to buy next time. Simply add a little offer leaflet in with their package when you send it off. You want them to buy again, but hopefully through you (so you can make more profits – and hopefully get recommended to more customers). Whether it’s 15% off or free delivery if they buy through your site; grab their attention and use the delivery opportunity to turn them into a repeat direct customer.

How long will it take: A day or so to setup

How important is it: 6/10

How much will it cost me: Slight cut of profits (depending on platform used)

65. Join a meetup and share tips with other entrepreneurs

Joining a business group can be a really effective way for you learn how to grow your online store faster – a problem shared is a problem halved after all!

You can learn a bit faster about what ecommerce marketing tactics are working (and what isn’t) for other entrepreneurs so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. Plus they might have ideas you’ve never thought of! You can join LinkedIn groups or Facebook groups online or meet people in person through local ‘meetups’ – it’s a lot easier to share tips in person so Meetups is a great way to find similar people in your local area.

Join in, browse the groups in your local area and share your experiences with like-minded people!

How long will it take: A few hours

How important is it: 7/10

How much will it cost me: Depends on the group – varies

66. Reach out to bad reviewers tactically

Sometimes a bad review will come in – no matter how amazing your product and service is, it is going  to happen.

Sometimes people are just in a foul mood and want to be mean.

Before you go ahead and tear your bad reviewer a new one for being a meanie – check this story out.

Honestly – look at your bad reviews as an opportunity to shine. It is much better to approach your bad reviewers with care & kindness – as people we all know some people are just out there to be negative and mean. This is your golden ecommerce marketing opportunity. If someone sees a bad review about your services, they know some people can be unreasonable, but if they see your response as being amazingly open and kind, you can turn that bad press into good press; and more customers!

Not just that – often if people feel like they’ve been hard done by a faceless company, they will lash out. But as soon as you approach them personally and apologise, they can actually feel bad and more of a personal connection with you. Some of them could even become your next brand advocates!

People love to check out reviews before they buy; and if they see that you’ve been nothing but gracious when people have been overly harsh, it will only make them want to buy from you more.

The other thing is – if you treat bad reviewers badly – it can have the complete opposite effect. You can put off new customers completely because you’ll come off as aggressive and a little bit psycho.

Seriously – if you have nothing nice to say – say nothing at all!

How long will it take: 30 mins – 1 hour per review

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: Free

67. Put a link to your website in your email signature

Super simple, but a step that’s often forgotten when you’re first starting out – get your website noticed more and pop it into your email signature!

Not only will this gain you a little traffic boost and up your ecommerce marketing game, it just looks far more professional.

How long will it take: 5 minutes

How important is it: 3/10

How much will it cost me: 0

68. If you have a bricks and mortar store – promote your online site there too

If you’ve just taken your store online and you already have some loyal customers in real life, these guys can be a complete godsend when it comes to boosting your ecommerce store.

Promote your online store to your current customers – maybe you can offer them reserving products there to pick up in store. You’ll not only encourage more custom online, they will likely spread news of your store through word of mouth – the most effective type of marketing you can find.

Your current customers can offer you some great insight into what’s working well and what isn’t too – so pay attention to their feedback!

How long will it take: A couple of minutes to mention your online store (ortime to design & print a leaflet)

How important is it: 4/10

How much will it cost me: Free – leaflet price

69. Automate an email sales funnel

Email sales funnels are amazing. It goes something like this:

  • Customer is browsing dog peanut butter treats, signs up to receive offers later, but leaves because they’re unsure they want to buy
  • They receive an email about peanut butter treats and how they can prevent dog cancer (or some other amazing benefit)
  • Couple days later they receive an article or video about training dogs to ride a bike with peanut butter treats
  • Couple days after that they receive an email about new flavours available, like peanut butter & jelly
  • Couple days later they receive an amazing discount offer

What you’ll find is often by making these email funnels super relevant, you’ll capturing more sales and new customers.

They do take some time and investment to create; but once they’re setup, you can pretty much just leave them running and the ROI can be amazing. They’re like a cheap 24 hour salesman. It is something I would recommend setting up after you’ve optimised your website well first though, by making sure you have sufficient traffic, the right message and  your checkout system is working well etc.

There’s a lot of different systems for this, but infusionsoft is the best one I’ve tested out.

How long will it take: Weeks to setup; 0 time after

How important is it: 6/10

How much will it cost me: It’s expensive – prices here

70. Delegate the right things (if you can)

Running a successful business of any kind, especially something as big as an ecommerce store, is going to take a large number of skills. From accounting, marketing, logistics, product development and fulfilment – there’s so much going on that it’s impossible for one person to manage it all.

The trick to it is to delegate well – delegate things that will help you grow and that other people are more skilled at than yourself. For example, if you’re really bad with the accounts, when you get enough profits coming in – hire an accountant.

If you hate social media marketing, get a social media marketer on board. If you can’t face ecommerce marketing -get someone like POP Content to help.

The thing is, you will likely have some major companies competing with you who have a lot of money and people. If you want to stand a good chance of competing, you need to get talented people on board doing the right things for you; and invest in the right areas of ecommerce marketing.

How long will it take: Will reduce your workload

How important is it: 10/10

How much will it cost me: A whole heap

71. Try out affiliate marketing

If you haven’t heard of affiliate marketing, then you’re about to be blown away.

It’s a bit of a game-changer when it comes to ecommerce marketing. Basically, it’s a method of online marketing where people write about your products, or make videos etc and encourage others to buy them. You’ll get more links and traffic to your website from real customers.

The catch? If someone from their link buys your product, you give them a share of the profit you made. You set the terms and decide how much they get, so it won’t end up costing you more then you get out of it. It’s completely win-win.

They make a bit of money and you get more customers.

You can either seek out particular bloggers currently in your market and strike a personal deal with them directly, or try out a website that can help set it up for you and reach lot’s of affiliate marketers already setup like ShareASale.

How long will it take: Negotiation time or setup on 3rd party website, likely 30 minutes – 2 hours

How important is it: 7/10

How much will it cost me: Small share in profits, nothing upfront

72. Sponsor events

Sponsoring events that your target market are interested in, such as a charity run for dogs or an animal rescue event can really help boost your sales – which has got to be your biggest goal in ecommerce marketing!

Not only does it get you recognition as a trustworthy brand in your target market, it can even get you some very reliable, relevant and trustworthy backlinks to your website which can result in a major boost in organic traffic to your website.

You can easily search Twitter for sponsorship opportunities, or go straight to Google, search for relevant organisations & reach out to them directly.

How long will it take: Could take up to a day to find and reach out to relevant events

How important is it: 6/10

How much will it cost me: Expensive – will depend on event and sponsorship deal

73. Get an SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate gives your online store customers security when they buy from your store online. When a store has one, you’ll either see a green bar or padlock in the url bar at the top of a web page. It means payment information is secure – I honestly would never buy from a website that didn’t have this.

Not only can it build up trust in your online store and therefore increase sales, it can also give you an SEO boost – Google likes to show secure sites to it’s users.

The costs can vary, but if you’re an online store it’s so important that I’d recommend getting the best one you can. Usually your hosting provider will offer SSL certificates, so that’s the best place to start browsing for one.

How long will it take: 30 minutes to find the one you want

How important is it: 9/10

How much will it cost me: Varies

Ecommerce Marketing: Conclusion

I hope you’re not too overwhelmed with all that information. If you’re not sure where to really start with your ecommerce marketing, I’d download & print off the pdf and tick off what you have done as you go. The level of importance rating should act as a guide as to what you should consider doing first and foremost; but obviously the ecommerce marketing basics at the beginning is probably the best place to start.

Let me leave you with this:

Ecommerce marketing, much like any kind of online marketing, is ultimately all about serving your customers. Serve one customer exceptionally well and they’ll likely tell 2 more. Put them at the forefront of every aim you have and you’re likely doomed for success.

Amy Jordan, POP Content, After her fingers nearly fell off for writing so many ecommerce marketing tactics.

Good luck with all of your ecommerce marketing – let me know in your comments if you have any questions or extra tips that should be added. Can’t wait to hear what you think!