Wouldn’t it be great to drive more traffic to your online store and eventually, convert more visitors into buyers? Well, of course, it would. A better question would be how to do it without spending too much on online marketing, right? That’s why we put together a list of 6 sticky online marketing strategies that will top up your ideas bank.
Now, before you unleash these tactics into the world wide web, ensure your target audience is on point and perfectly aligned with your marketing goals. You should only implement any of the suggested techniques if it makes sense for your business. Does your target audience hang out on social media? Are they deal hunters? Where else are they shopping? If you don’t have your marketing personas figured out, no online marketing strategy can help you. Seriously.
Experiment with free samples to Instagram influencers
There are two ways you can go about advertising on Instagram. First, you can experiment with Instagram ads (we’ve covered this A to Z), or second, you can try to wiggle your way into Instagram’s backstage by working with influencers. The first one is pretty straightforward – you get what you pay for. The deal with influencers is a little trickier; getting featured on their feeds is as much a matter of luck as it’s a display of your targeting skill. So, here is what’s important to remember.
Instagram influencers are regular people like you and me, who managed to build a huge, almost-cult-like following and are basically earning a living off their ability to shape and influence others’ views and opinions. They can charge thousands for a dedicated post featuring your product, but for those with little money to splash, freebies is also a way to go.
You should start by clearly defining the goal of your Instagram influencer campaign – whether you want to gain more followers or increase your sales. Then, double down on identifying the right influencers. For the sake of the argument, let’s say you’re selling fashion products – hats, sunglasses, t-shirts, etc.
Now, use the same keywords (hashtags) to discover influencers as you would to search for your own brand. The relevancy is key here. With thousands of Instagram users actively posting every day, the search results may be overwhelming at first. You want someone authentic, with a real passion for your niche, who doesn’t post too much branded content and is active almost daily. Plus, you should only look at the accounts with 100k+ followers.
Having reviewed the most obvious hits, widen your approach to include accounts that are not necessarily in the same niche but could give your brand a significant boost. For instance, travel Instagrammers are a perfect match for fashion brands.
When you have the final list ready, think about sending free samples of your products to those influencers that tick all the boxes. And then, well, fingers crossed.
What’s the deal with the deals & coupons websites?
Ask any salesperson if discounted deals work. Or even better, ask yourself whether you’re more likely to make a purchase when you look at a full retail price or a special deal. There’s no doubt that special offers work magic on both new and repeat buyers. The question is whether they’re worth the trouble.
Offering discounts through deal sites like Groupon, Woot, or Fab is a great online marketing tactic if your goal is to rapidly grow your customer base, get some SEO juice or get rid of stock that isn’t selling well. It’s a small element of the online marketing umbrella, but the data repeatedly shows that coupons help retain buyers and bring in new leads. So why not?
If you see that it’s an effective technique for your business, consider a strategic partnership with one of the deal sites to automate the process and keep a constant stream of traffic.
Retargeting for eCommerce businesses
We all know that retargeting works. But fully-optimised retargeting campaigns can work SO much better. Even small changes can have a huge impact on the campaign’s success. If you’re thinking about testing it out for your online store, these are the factors you need to take into account.
The broadest segment is, of course, All Visitors, which doesn’t distinguish between first-time browsers and loyal fans of your brand. This is considered to be an “upper-funnel” segment that you should target with brand awareness campaigns; and nothing else.
Other key segments that you should consider for your retargeting campaigns include cart, product, and conversion.
Cart segment. Cart abandonment is one of the most frustrating issues for eCommerce retailers. Just because these visitors are so darn close to a making a purchase. If you have a good chunk of visitors who add something to their cart but never complete the checkout process, use retargeting to remind them about the forgotten goodies and entice them to come back to your site.
Product segment. Have a lot of visitors who simply check product pages and leave without taking any action? Pack your retargeting ads with competitive messaging and give it a second shot.
Conversion segment. What do you do once a visitor converts? A good idea is to exclude them from any campaigns targeted at first-time visitors and enrol them into some kind of reward scheme with special offers and deals.
Once the segments are set up, the next step is to design campaigns that use the right messaging for the level of intent your visitors have demonstrated on the site.
Upper-funnel campaigns. As mentioned earlier, this segment includes all visitors and should be used to keep the brand top of mind.
Mid-funnel campaigns. These are designed to target visitors who looked at product pages, different categories or viewed multiple products without proceeding any further. Use compelling ad creatives to drive them back to the site and convert.
Low-funnel campaigns. That’s where your cart abandoners wind up. They’ve shown the most interest in your products, so help them complete the purchase by reminding about what’s sitting in their basket.
Leverage product reviews
No one really buys anything these days without snooping around online for a second opinion. You can help your visitors make up their mind faster by displaying reviews from past shoppers. Product reviews is one of the most effective online marketing techniques of increasing the confidence and tipping visitors into the basket.
How can you get people to leave reviews?
- Make it super easy for people to leave feedback by placing the link/CTA above the fold.
- Save shoppers’ time by using their account data to pre-fill required information fields.
- Proactively ask people to leave reviews — if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- Consider offering incentives (discounts on future purchases or prize draws).
- Integrate with third-party review sites like Trustpilot to make the reviews more accessible online.
Play around with cross promotion
Online marketing can be a lonely place sometimes. Don’t let the bad times get you. Team up with relevant brands in your industry and do some cross promotion. It’s a brilliant technique if you’re running a niche online store and need to reach new audiences.
For example, if you’re selling stainless steel water bottles, any active lifestyle, backpack, hiking, cycling or camping brand would be a great fit. The sky’s the limit here, so challenge your imagination and put yourself into the customer’s shoes. What goes hand-in-hand with your product?
It’s important you pick a relevant but non-competing brand as your campaign partner — you don’t want to lose any customers as a result of this initiative! Cross-posting on social media, guest blogging, and newsletter promotions are some of the easiest ways to tap into another brand’s audience. And it doesn’t cost a penny!
Get serious about capturing email addresses
Squeezing your way into your customer’s inbox will probably be the best thing you do for your business. Not only is it the most effective online marketing channel, but people are expecting you to send promotional emails with special offers, coupons and exciting deals. That’s what they sign up for. It’s marketers’ favourite Christmas gift that keeps on giving all year round.
Actively promote your newsletter and make the subscription process as smooth as possible. It’s not enough to just say “Subscribe to our newsletter” — capture your visitor’s’ imagination with punchy copy and eye-catching visuals. You can also consider testing website exit popups to convert some of the abandoning visitors into subscribers. There’s no shame in trying.
We have recently written about the best email marketing examples that can help you convert online customers (go on, get inspired), but the most important thing to remember is — respect your customer’s inbox. Only send content that’s relevant and catered to their needs and interests, or you’ll get your heart broken by a million of unsubscribes.
Pick online marketing strategies that work for you
If online marketing was easy, we’d all be rich and famous by now. It’s a long and often frustrating journey that’s only bearable if you adopt the trial and error philosophy. Funneling money into online marketing is not a sustainable strategy. What you really need is a robust understanding of your target audience and a good mix of different initiatives. As you experiment with various tactics and channels, you’ll quickly come to realise that not everything makes sense for your business. Stick to those online marketing strategies that yield the best results and scrap the rest — you don’t need to be doing everything.