The Everything Guide To eCommerce Marketing And Increasing Sales

Friends of mine are often surprised when I tell them they need social media for their small business, or to promote themselves as the artsy types they are. They’re surprised because the game only recently changed, and people who don’t work in online marketing, like yours truly, are often totally blind to it. Publishing houses now expect authors to promote themselves via social media and blogs, and are much more likely to take an author who already has a large Twitter following. Seriously? Yep. The last journalism job I applied for required a minimum of 2,000 Twitter followers AND high emotional intelligence which is also totally a thing now. The truth is, without social media and marketing knowledge it’s not likely that your Etsy store, eCommerce biz, or blog will get off the ground or that you’ll be able to compete effectively on the interweb of MEGA COMPETITION.

 

If you own a traditional brick and mortar store, an eCommerce business of any size, if you want to start an Etsy store, if you write a blog and want to take over the world, if you want to be an artist, musician or author, if you want to do anything at all in the United States of America, there is a chance that reading this guide will hugely improve your chances of success, increase traffic and visibility, and increase your sales conversion. The goal of this guide is to be THE GUIDE to everything you need to tackle, along with my favorite resources, to make you an eCommerce marketing champion. Winning!

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

What is it and why do you need to do it? There are plenty of complicated ways to explain it, but it’s basically how you write content, posts, updates, etc., to make it easy for search engines to locate. Why is that important? If a search engine can find you, then every time someone searches Google for content relevant to your site or business, your link will pop up, and more traffic will go your way. I didn’t understand this very well when I first started, so I didn’t optimize my stuff until a year into it. I spent one month working on SEO and my site traffic TRIPLED daily. It’s important. You have to remember that you’re competing with thousands of other sites. If Google can’t find you, nobody can.  

The Very Basic 10 Things You Should Be Doing Starting Yesterday

1) Monitor where you stand with stat tools or site ranking sites like Alexa and Google Toolbar. You’ll never know how amazing you are if you don’t know how far you’ve come.

2) Use keywords. Make sure you use your keywords in all the content you use—in titles, a few times in every post (but not too much), in posts you make on Facebook, in your hashtags, in your website design and site text. Don’t have keywords? Pick some and go through your stuff and optimize!

3) Link back to yourself. When you’re writing new stuff in your blog it’s always a great idea to link back to your older content. It’s a great way to boost SEO and increase traffic.

4) Create a sitemap. A sitemap is basically a page of links to all the major content on your site. It makes it a lot easier for people to find all your content and it makes it easier for spiders to search your site—bot spiders, not the gross kind.

5) Use URLs that explain the content well. Vague URLs won’t help anyone find you, bot or human.

6) Use simple coding. Flash might be fancy and cool but it’s not good for SEO.

7) Add captions to your images.

8) Add amazing content. Your content needs to be awesome, updated, fresh and interesting. Good content can go really far. If you can get the CEO to blog or write about the daily or weekly challenges of running a business it’s priceless.

9) Social Media is an important part of SEO. You should be spreading relevant links to your company blog and on various social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.

10) One of the best and easiest ways to get more traffic to your site is by linking to other sites. It’s even better if you shoot them an email saying, “Hey! I’m linking to you!” and ask them to return the favor.

For More In Depth SEO Instruction Check Out These Sources Below:

Beginner's Guide to SEO

Beginners Guide To SEO by moz.com

 HOW TO RANK WITH SEO 

SOCIAL MEDIA

epic-images_05

Social media marketing is one of the fastest-growing careers in the US right now, and for good reason. Social media has a further reach than cable TV, or any other form of media. 93% of marketers use social media to market their products. If you have a business, chances are you know of the extreme benefits of a solid social media campaign. It’s cheap, yet it can be especially effective for driving traffic to your site, increasing trust with potential consumers, gaining customer loyalty and of course, increasing sales tenfold.

Five Basic Social Media Things You Should Be Doing Right This Minute:

1) Update Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus at least twice a day. Space out your updates, use hashtags with your keywords (remember, no spaces). Whenever you send something out, think, “will this be valuable for others?” Don’t just Tweet, “Hey my business is the bomb. Buy our stuff!” That’s not cool. Keep to a 20/80 ratio of 20% stuff about your company and 80% stuff from other sources that might be useful to your followers.

2) Go around the social media sites I mentioned above and “Pin,” “share,” “like” or “1+” other people’s content. Leave comments. Ask questions. Interact. Basically, hang out and make relevant friends with potential customers and influencers. DO NOT TRY TO SHOVE YOUR PRODUCT IN THEIR FACES. Just be friends. Treat the strangers the same way you’d treat people on your own personal social media site. You wouldn’t spam your family and childhood friends.

3) Ask your existing customers what social media platforms they use and focus on these. If you run a B2B biz make sure you’re active on your client’s platforms.

4) Read blogs and build friendships with the bloggers. Comment on their posts. Interact with their followers. Don’t ask them to read your stuff or post your own blog links all over their comments section. Most people are reciprocal, if you interact with them, eventually they’ll start interacting with you. These relationships build slowly but when they take off you’ll reap the rewards of an organic friendship.

5) Link your social media to everything. Put your social media links on your website, at the bottom of emails, on your business cards, and stationary. Give people the opportunity to follow you. FOR MORE SOCIAL MEDIA ARTICLES:  A SCIENTIFIC GUIDE TO WRITING SHARABLE CONTENT by Fast Company

Social Media Marketing

 

CONTENT MARKETING

epic-images_07

Content marketing simply makes sense. Instead of trying to pull people towards your business, you reach out and entice them by publishing content about your prospects’ interests. It’s hot. It’s THE marketing trend right now. The best part about it? It works. The idea behind it, is to figure out what your client base is into and share that stuff with them. Are your clients business owners? Create great blog posts about business-related content. Confused? This blog post you’re reading is part of our content marketing campaign because all our clients are business owners.

How To Get Started With Content Marketing In Four Easy Steps

1) Think of things your clients or potential clients are interested in. Go through social media and see what the conversations are about. You don’t want to write about your product, you want to write about things that interest your clients. What are they talking about?

2) Get someone on your team with a journalism degree, English degree or experience in marketing. Ask them to produce content regularly on the subjects you’ve found to be useful to your clients.

3) Mix it up with video, blog posts and great infographics that you can get for $5 on fiverr.com

4) Get the content out in the world by means of influencers (see next section), paid ads, social media or by mixing up your content with user-generated content. Have clients write articles about things of interest to them, and offer to publish it on your company blog. This can be a valuable way to produce content that will bring along its own audience.

BLOGGING

epic

In my opinion, every business should have a company blog. I’ve touched on the importance of company blogs a few times in this guide but let me reiterate: YOU NEED TO HAVE A COMPANY BLOG. A company blog should be seen as the little marketing gem it is. It allows you to provide great content to customers and future customers (content marketing), it lets you develop trust and friendship (social media) and it can increase traffic a great deal. Many companies have their blog connected to their site so all that SEO magic pulls people in to their products (SEO). Blogs help you achieve all your marketing goals as long as they are done right. You have to produce great content regularly in various forms, from videos to infographics to guides. It sounds more challenging than it is, and requires the skill of some decent writers with a little bit of marketing experience.

How To Start A Blog

1) Figure out who your audience will be and create a well-designed, clean, easy-to-navigate blog that will appeal to that group. I prefer WordPress.com to start out. It’s free, and there are a lot of free plugins in place to really help optimize your site.

2) Map out your content and start writing. Your content should not be about your business, It should be about topics that your audience will find valuable. Spend at least a few hours on every post. This post took me a week to write. You want your post to give value, and value takes time. Keep in mind that longer posts of up to 1,200 words are more valuable to Google.

3) Use MailChimp, and put a signup form on your blog to encourage people to sign up for a weekly newsletter. Email campaigns are a great way to keep people engaged with your blog, brand and website. Send a weekly newsletter out that summarizes what’s happened on your blog that week.

4) Make friends within the blogging community by commenting and linking to other blogs. Don’t forget to link to your old posts in your new posts.

5) Do some promotion swapping by asking your fellow bloggers to contribute to your blog. Ask them if you can contribute to theirs. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BLOGGING:

How to Increase Blog Traffic  

INFLUENCER MARKETING

epic-images_08

To effectively bring visitors to your website, you want to grab the attention of influencers—people whose reputation is respected within their online communities. Influencers are the most important component of Audience Development. Start by identifying the influencers in your space: the individuals and organizations in your topic that have a lot of traffic to their sites, followers to their Twitter accounts, etc. In other words, these are the places on the web where your prospective clients or followers are. Influencers may be bloggers, forum moderators, news reporters, freelance writers or really social humans with similar interests. Before you start trying to market to people, you need to identify who your influencers are, where they are and how you reach them.

How To Get Started With Influencer Marketing

1) Start interacting with them. Treat it like you are developing a new friendship. When it comes to business, focus on providing value to them. If they have a question, seek to answer it. Don’t spend any time telling them what value you bring, just deliver it to them.

2) On an ongoing basis, show that you will be active in sharing their stuff to your audience. Even if your audience is much smaller, the give and take attitude will be noticed.

3) Actively help out others. When you focus all your attention on one person to the exclusion of others, it starts to feel a bit creepy. Give value to others. Publish great stuff. Share other people’s good stuff. Tip: try to find great content from authors who are still small. Influencers will love you for coming across new talent and sharing them.

4) Keep in mind that influencers are under a lot of pressure to share great stuff every day. They need you to help them. Once you figure out the best way to do that you’re on your way to building a great audience for your product and brand. For More On Influencer Marketing: INFLUENCE THE INFLUENCER  VIDEO

TO DOWNLOAD THIS GUIDE AS A PDF TO READ IT AT YOUR LEISURE OR ON YOUR KINDLE CLICK HERE.

Brought to you by Trust Guard @epicecommercetools.com Enhanced by Zemanta

You may also like...