Using multiple online strategies to market your ecommerce store is one of the most critical things you can do to ensure your store is successful. There are several facets of digital marketing, and while the avenues you choose largely depend on your industry and your budget, you should use two or more at a time until you find the long-term, sustainable strategies that will bring in sales.
Customers use different ways to discover brands and products, so it’s important to make sure your small business can reach customers where they already spend time. Using multiple online marketing methods can also insulate you from changes in the industry and updates to search engine algorithms. If one area becomes obsolete, or an update severely restricts your reach, you can lean on other strategies to hold up your website while you figure out your next move.
Using multiple strategies also gives you the ability to take up more valuable real estate on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The most classic example is taking a space in an organic slot as well as a PPC text-based ad and a Shopping image ad. With the amount of space ads take up nowadays, these strategies cannot be ignored, while organic results are still seen as extremely trustworthy and drive a huge amount of total online traffic. However, don’t just think about the space you’re taking up on a SERP. Remarketing display ads, for example, can put your site’s ad on a network of frequently-visited websites in order to entice folks back to complete a purchase (and, I might add, can be very effective when done correctly). Combining your strategies is crucial for ecommerce stores because the competitive landscape is constantly changing; with the relatively low barrier to entry to start an online store, business owners need to be thinking two steps ahead of the competition to identify gaps and opportunities.
Each marketing service hits different parts of the decision-making process that customers go through. In fact, some hit several:
- SEO: Can hit multiple phases of the decision-making process, depending on your strategy. Broad pages like the home page and main navigation pages capture browsing audiences, while product pages capture people who are ready to make a purchase. SEO can also affect the information-gathering part of the purchase funnel, as well as the post-purchase phase, with content pieces that educate customers.
- Social Media: Essential for brand discovery and post-purchase follow up. Social media can deliver educational pieces to your audience and keep a bead on if customers are happy with their purchases. In some cases, with the right strategy, social media can also drive sales if it catches the right audience at the right time.
- PPC: These text ads can use several different strategies to target every single part of the sales funnel including discovery, education and purchase. The great benefit to this marketing tactic is that you can get very granular with your keyword targeting to make sure you’re reaching the right audience, and that you’re leading them to the specific landing page that will result in a conversion.
- Shopping Feeds: Perfect for capturing shoppers who know what they want and are ready to spend their money. Shopping feeds ads tend to have a low cost-per-click compared to other online ad types because people tend not to click into the website until they are ready to buy. With the price comparisons done for them right in the search engine, additional product research is typically not needed.
- Email Marketing: This tactic is ideal for encouraging conversions once someone has become familiar with your brand, as well as soliciting repeat conversions and post-purchase follow up. Not only can you segment this audience, you can deliver content they care about. It’s an extremely effective tool for nurturing conversions.
If you’re not interested or able to run all of the different tactics at once, there are a few classic combinations that work really well together to deliver results. If you’ve already found some success in one of these strategies, you should consider adding another to push for greater online visibility:
- SEO and Shopping Feeds: This is probably our favorite combo for ecommerce stores. Shopping Feeds depend on product information in order to display for certain queries. Your SEO specialist can work on optimizing things like product names and product descriptions in order to increase the chance your products will be seen, and therefore increase your chance of conversion. Your Feeds and SEO specialists will work together to determine which products result in the highest Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) so they can optimize high value items first.
- SEO and Social Media: While there have been several studies done that show social media doesn’t have a direct effect on organic rankings, there’s no denying that social plays a big part in getting your content in front of more eyes – which then turns into more backlinks. If you’re investing into a content strategy to develop your site’s SEO, social media is a natural and important extension of that work.
- PPC and Shopping Feeds: There are lots of ways these two strategies work together. For expensive keywords that your brand might have a hard time showing up for, consider investing more effort into having your Shopping Feed ad show for that keyword. Since these clicks tend to be cheaper, this can help you capture shoppers while keeping costs down. This also frees up PPC ad budget to fill in the gaps for keywords that don’t trigger a Feeds ad.
- Social Media and Email: Since running email campaigns requires obtaining email addresses first, social media marketing and email marketing go perfectly hand in hand. Use your social channels to run contests that allows folks to input their emails in order to enter. You can also use your social channels to reinforce the content that you present in your newsletters, especially around the holidays.
- PPC and SEO: Both of these marketing strategies utilize keywords, but in different ways. Your specialists will work together to identify areas where PPC keywords can be incorporated into on-page content to reinforce the site’s authority and relevance. You can also find areas that may have high competition in organic results, but a much more attainable competition for PPC ads.
- Don’t forget Design: Design affects every single facet of online marketing. What’s the point of driving traffic to your site if the traffic doesn’t convert once it gets there? No matter what method you use to get customers onto your site, make sure your design continues their journey and helps them easily make the decision to convert.
The big takeaway from this post: make sure you aren’t putting all of your eggs in one basket. If you don’t have time to handle all the different methods yourself, consider hiring a company that specializes in online marketing a design, and make sure they know how these methods fit together.