Online marketing for small business is tough. Small budgets, tight deadlines and so easy to spend all your money on ads if you’re not a pro. But without marketing, your new eCommerce store won’t grow as fast or as big as possible. It also won’t generate as many conversions and sales as it can. In short: online marketing for small business is something you should master before you launch your small eCommerce store!
Online marketing has repeatedly been proven to be the most cost-effective and far-reaching type of advertising in the 21st century. As such, it’s a no-brainer for your eCommerce store. Small online businesses don’t have the resources or endless manpower to engage in lengthy and complicated marketing campaigns. Again, online marketing comes to the rescue in terms of efficiency and ease of use.
There are many methods related to online marketing for small business. Some are more effective than others. I repeat: Not all online marketing methods will get you the same ROI because there are different factors that are always involved.
In this article, we’ll look at the most effective ways to use the web to drive traffic, leads and new business to your eCommerce store.
Develop your brand online to master online marketing for small business growth
Your brand on the web—it’s everything that people think about when they think of your online store. That’s why branding is so vital: it communicates to people what your products stand for even before they visit your store. When you develop your brand effectively, you can also get people into your eCommerce store more easily.
You may have heard that dropshipping doesn’t require you to brand since you’re just selling someone else’s products (and, presumably, their brand) on your eCommerce store. While that’s true in some cases, it isn’t true in other cases. The bottom line is that you can develop your own brand even when you’re dropshipping for someone else; you just have to reach the right agreement with the manufacturer.
For example, find a manufacturer that agrees to give you private label rights. Such manufacturers may be hard to find, but they do exist. Once you have private label rights to their product that you want to sell, you’re allowed to sell it under your own branding!
Let’s say you find an awesome manufacturer of a product you’re passionate about—like finger foods. Private label rights let you modify the original product and change its branding to yours. From there, you can develop your brand around that product.
Start your own Facebook store
Starting your own Facebook store is a great complement to your separate eCommerce store. There’s a misconception about Facebook: some people think that you can only use this social network to drive traffic and therefore leads to your online store, but that’s only half the picture. The reality is that you can actually open up a Facebook store and directly sell your products from your Facebook store!
It’s easier than you might think.
First of all, setting up a Facebook store is a cinch. It has to be in order to keep all the businesses that use it happy. Let’s put it this way: When you have a Facebook store, you remove friction in getting conversions because you don’t have to persuade shoppers to click through to your online store.
Here is Facebook’s own app that allows you to set up your online store on Facebook in only a few clicks. Essentially, you’re just setting up your Facebook store as one of the tabs on your business’ Facebook page, but if you can convert only a tiny fraction of all of your Facebook visitors and viewers, that still amounts to a considerable amount of revenue.
Work on getting more email subscribers
Did you know that you can actually get more conversions with email marketing than with social media marketing? It’s totally true! According to the stats, using email leads to better:
- Click throughs
- ROI (return on investment)
So now knowing this, why wouldn’t you use email? It wouldn’t make sense not to.
One of the biggest favors you can do to your online store’s success is consciously work hard to get more email subscribers. Unlike social media, where people may follow you just because they like your brand, the people on your email list are actually interested in the products you sell and follow you because they’re always interested in purchasing from you.
Therefore, be very engaged in advertising your email newsletter to your visitors on your online store. For instance, you can install the good, old Hello Bar right on your site, so that this bar drops down across the entire length of your homepage, always reminding your visitors to sign up to your newsletters!
Similarly, you can use an opt-in form popup like Optin Monster to capture the email addresses of your visitors.
Generate more product reviews for your online store
At the end of the day, social proof is still a very powerful form of psychological persuasion to help convert your visitors. Social proof is basically when anyone online (be it a brand, an authority figure or just regular people) says that they use your product. This has the effect of motivating other people to also try your product. That’s the power of psychology at work, and one of the best ways to garner social proof is by getting product reviews for your store.
The stats say that including product reviews in your online store will increase revenue per online visit by a healthy 62%. This makes it clear: to earn more money, you have to find a way for people to leave more customer review in your store, but how?
Since you’ll never see your customers face-to-face, you’ll have to use email to ask them for a review. It’s a bit challenging to succeed, but here are surefire tips to get good results:
- Prescreen your customers by asking them first if they’d be open to writing a review for your products
- Then, and only then, ask them in an email, but make the email in the form of a personal request coming from a real person’s email address at your eCommerce store
- Include a very clear and impossible-to-miss call to action button asking for the review
- Test different subject lines to see what works best
- Test various email copy to determine what clicks with your customers
Now, you’re ready to master online marketing for small business growth
Making your small online business grow is a challenge, but it’s a fun and exciting challenge when you know how to market online. As you can see, the different strategies and options available to you aren’t that difficult, nor are they costly to the point that you wouldn’t consider them. In short, marketing online gives you a fighting chance to make people hear about your business!
When you’re dropshipping, remember that social media like Facebook and good, old email marketing are still extremely effective. Don’t think for a second that these two strategies are going away anytime soon. They’ll only get more widely used—and you can use them right now to make your eCommerce store grow.