Running a successful eCommerce business in 2019 means having a killer digital marketing strategy. Marketing is critical to growing your customer base, driving sales leads, and increasing revenue. The right eCommerce marketing strategies can help you to grow your business exponentially, and turn into a serious profit-making enterprise.
In this article, we will look at the key digital marketing strategy to take your eCommerce business to the next level in 2019. While some of the strategies we will discuss are specific to selling on Amazon, most can be applied to any type of eCommerce business.
1. Define Your Brand
Before you can develop an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to know who you are as a brand. Your brand effects everything you do, from your business name and the products you sell, to how you market yourself: not just in terms of messaging and sales copy but in every aspect, such as the channels you use.
In order to define your brand, consider these key elements:
- What is your unique value proposition (UVP)?
- What is your target market?
- What sets you apart in terms of how you work?
2. Product Development
Product development is a fundamental part of marketing. Even the best digital marketing will not allow you to sell an unsellable product. In eCommerce, getting visitors to your listings by ranking in search results is a big part of the picture. This involves having products which people want to buy, but are not oversaturated with strong competition.
Running split (A/B) tests will help you to identify the products and marketing strategies that are most likely to sell. Pricing your products correctly is also critical. As part of the product development process, set prices which will drive sales at the same time as maximizing your profits.
3. Keyword Research
Keywords are important for two reasons. Firstly, for SEO purposes – whether ranking your product on Amazon or through Google searches, depending on the platform you use. Either way, SEO is critical to driving traffic to your listings. Secondly, keywords can assist with conversions: that is, converting visitors into sales.
Keyword research is, therefore, an important step in forming your eCommerce digital marketing strategy. Start by brainstorming all the phrases and keywords which your target customers may search for. Then run these through a tool like SEMrush or keyword planner, and use the ‘related keywords’ function to find more keywords, and from there work out the most profitable and high volume ones. To check Amazon-specific keyword search volumes, a good to tool to use is MerchantWords, which allows you to sort keywords by search volume and check for any high volume keywords you may have missed.
4. Optimize Your Product Listing
The next stage is to optimize your product listing. When we talk about optimizing a listing we mean two things:
- Optimized for searches, and specifically for Amazon, containing all elements to secure a high ranking on Amazon searches
- Optimized for conversions, through effective copy, images and other elements which are designed to sell your product
Having the right keywords in place will go a long way to achieve the first point. You should have multiple primary keywords in every product listing, and long tail keywords (phrases of several words) wherever possible. In the case of Amazon product listings, make sure to include all primary keywords in the title, the bullet points at the top of your listing, as well as the product description.
In terms of maximizing sales conversions, this is a complex picture. However, some key things to keep in mind are:
- Use persuasive sales copy throughout to sell your product, and be sure to spell out the benefits (and benefits of benefits) of your product
- Include as many details as possible about your product: dimensions, materials, accessories and so on
- Use strong images which clearly show your products’ features. On Amazon make sure images are large enough to be “zoomable”
- Make sure your listing looks great on mobile devices
5. Maximize Your Product Launch
On Amazon, rankings are largely determined by sales volumes, as Amazon wishes to promote those products which are most likely to make it money. This means in order to rank and therefore get more sales, you first need to make sales. The first 7 days after launching your product are critical to ranking your product, so it is crucial to driving sales in this first week. Whether operating through Amazon or elsewhere, having a strong product launch is important to establishing your product and building your brand.
Prepare thoroughly for your product launch. Create a buzz ahead of time by promoting your product and publicizing the launch date. Create a landing page for your product and collect emails from people who are interested. You can then get in touch with them once the product goes live and encourage them to make a purchase, not to mention building a strong email list will be important for marketing down the line.
You can also prepare reviews in advance of your launch, in order to encourage positive reviews right from the start. This will assist with both better conversion rates and help to improve your rankings on Amazon, as reviews in one of the factors which Amazon considers in its algorithm. Get in touch with your email list of past and potential customers ahead of your product launch and ask them if they will be prepared to purchase your product and leave a review once it goes live. If your business in new and you don’t have a strong list yet, ask your friends and family! Be sure to follow up and remind them to leave their review as soon as your product is launched.
6. External Digital Marketing
Once your product goes live, there are a few other ways you can go about driving traffic to your listing. PPC (pay-per-click) advertising involves some investment but can be a good option, particularly if you do not yet have a strong customer base.
Social media marketing, whether on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube is also a great way to build awareness for your product and drive visitors to your listing. By creating engaging, shareable content, you can reach a far greater audience than you may have thought possible. As users share and re-share your content it can spread widely through their networks, all of which represents potential customers.
Other forms of content marketing can also be highly effective. You could, for example, write interesting blog articles relevant to your niche and have them published on sites or online publications. This way, you get attention through your interesting and insightful content and provide a link to your product at some point in the article.
With a basic understanding of eCommerce and marketing principles, you can create a digital marketing strategy which will build your customer base and your brand, bring more visitors to your site and convert these visitors to customers. This in turn, will foster increased sales, and could substantially grow your business in a relatively short period of time.
About The Author:
Tom Buckland is a digital marketing and Amazon seller consultant specializing in technical SEO, product listing optimization and improving Amazon rankings. He’s the founder of Ghost Marketing and Amazonseoconsultant.com in the UK and loves helping businesses profit through smart digital marketing strategies.