Make it Big: Pivot Your E-commerce Marketing Strategy for Winning Results
- Planning & Executing Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
- Define Goals & Objectives
- Mission Statement & Value Proposition
- Target Customers, Personas & Markets
- Pricing & Positioning Strategy
- Distribution & Fulfillment Plan
- Come up with a Sales & Lead Generation Strategy
- Buy Reporting & Analytics Software
- Refine & Expand Your Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Channels, Tactics & Tools to Consider
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Advertising
- Social Commerce
- Organic Social Content
- In-House Marketing Team vs. Hiring a Full-funnel Marketing Agency
- Final Verdict
“Ecommerce isn’t the cherry on the cake, it’s the new cake” Jean-Paul Ago
Millennials or Gen Z, there is no denying that e-commerce is the most preferred platform for brand connection. However, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd with increasing competition. Succeeding in turning your site visitors into conversions—regardless of competition might seem daunting. But it isn’t impossible; we mean it!
With USA e-commerce revenue predicted to hit $4.9 trillion in 2023, we bet that no e-retailer wants to miss this boat. Even so, remember that simply developing a modern, feature-rich, and user-friendly website is not enough. It just gets you halfway there. Unless you are working to generate brand awareness, your ecommerce website still exists in a vacuum that isn’t suitable for anyone, including the business owner, employees, and clients.
In order to effectively grow an ecommerce business, you need a well-thought-out ecommerce marketing plan to drive brand awareness and increase sales. There’s no way around it.
In this detailed blog post we’re covering the following topics to help you reinvent your e-commerce marketing mix. Let’s dig in.
Planning & Executing Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
The first step in laying the groundwork for your ecommerce business is to go through the process of planning and executing your marketing strategy and ensure that it will pass the test of time and is well thought out. There is no denying that “these are the prerequisites to creating an effective marketing plan and building a successful business.”
Define Goals & Objectives
We repeat, “keep your goals straight and very specific.”
Creating realistic and actionable objectives should be your primary focus because once you begin to execute, there might be some variations as your goals can turn out to be too low or too high.
Additionally, layering in “stretch goals” also excites your team. That being said, do add specific metrics and OKRs such as:
- Boost sales by X% during the economic recession.
- Increase ROI by X% on through the black Friday marketing campaign.
- Amplify overall email marketing conversion rates by X%.
Mission Statement & Value Proposition
The next step in planning your marketing strategy is to have a mission statement and value proposition. Not all businesses require a philanthropic element to the business (which would be nice), but there needs to be a clear mission and value proposition. You (or the company leadership) must be able to answer these basic questions.
- What do you do?
- What’s the purpose of this company?
- What do you not do?
Target Customers, Personas & Markets
Know your audience.
If you don’t know your audience preferences, what are their triggers, their geographical location, and how do they like to communicate across the scale. Then, you are bound to run in-effective marketing campaigns that are a complete waste of money.
| “Audience preferences and personas play a significant role in your overall campaign success.”
Make sure to keep the following demographics in check when creating a marketing campaign:
- Gender breakdown
- Geographic location
- Age ranges
- Purchasing power
Pricing & Positioning Strategy
|Did you know pricing and positioning provide real value to your target audience?
One of the common mistakes marketers often make is they think forcing products upon their target users that are overpriced. It is clearly a losing proposition, especially when price comparison is at the fingertip of every user. Who can convince them to buy your overpriced product? It’s not possible.
Therefore, prepare yourself with some market research!
Obviously, there are multiple product refinement and testing opportunities throughout the development lifecycle. Thus, by doing a little more work upfront, you’ll be better off in the long run.
Distribution & Fulfillment Plan
| “The supply chain stuff is really tricky.” ~Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.
Even if starting small, having a clear-cut order completion and distribution plan is a must. Even though you are packing/shipping yourself, managing a team, or leveraging a third-party distributor, you should know whether your order completion processes can align with the demand of the upcoming marketing push.
Once coming up with a solid plan, spend time tweaking, refining, and evolving them over time.
Come up with a Sales & Lead Generation Strategy
Let’s get creative. The way you can market your business is a Pandora’s box, which is good news for marketers.
Even though the enormous list of lead generation buzzwords can make your head spin, we’ll highlight the best lead generation strategies and tools that have proven track records of results and some newer strategies to consider.
For us, visual learners, consider a marketing funnel as represented in the above graphic showing your customers path from Awareness to Action.
The marketing funnel shows that each stage in that process comprises notes about a specific marketing tactic you’ll implement to usher prospective users through that funnel.
Right at the top, there is Awareness in the funnel because it doesn’t often generate conversions or leads. Awareness includes posting organic social content and display ads on google. As a digital marketer, you must consider the primary purpose of every marketing campaign you devise and where it fits in your funnel.
Buy Reporting & Analytics Software
If you are in a stage of your marketing funnel where you are about to make a serious marketing push, ask yourself the following questions before:
- Is the analytics software I am using to track the progress of marketing campaigns effective?
- Can the software help me determine that my marketing efforts meet set KPIs?
- Will it assist my marketing team in determining the ROI of our actions?
If NO is your answer, then it is time to consider a particular change before reinventing your entire marketing plan. However, if your answer is YES, that’s great!
But, we would also encourage you to double-check.
Here are a few great tools to consider:
As mentioned earlier, the market for marketing channels is getting saturated gradually, and the marketing tools and software you’re using to track that information must be sufficient.
To save yourself from the hustle of getting multiple marketing performance tracking software, you can always take the easy way out: hiring a full-funnel growth agency like Softception.
Refine & Expand Your Marketing Strategy
This is where the real fun starts!
After going through plenty of stages from the marketing funnel, you’ve seen some positive momentum and are ready to fan the flames.
By this time, you understand what is working for you and what’s not. And we know, at no point you might exhaust all your options.
Thus, once you get stuck with a roadblock, it’s time for you to refine and ramp up your initial strategies. Once you prove a positive ROI, it’s better to increase your budget and scale up!
Some strategies to consider are:
- Referrals – Offer existing clients the opportunity to refer a friend and reap the rewards. It’s a win-win.
- Increase AOV –Your discount codes incentivize larger purchases or offer expedited shipping for orders 50% higher than your current AOV.
- Joint Ventures & Partnerships – The opportunities are endless, and when the brands align, both brands benefit.
Marketing Channels, Tactics & Tools to Consider
Network giants like Facebook, Google, and Instagram are continuously introducing new ways to reach and attract users. And there is no harm for a marketer to have a trick or two up their sleeve to rock at these marketing endeavors.
With that in mind, here’s a list of the best channels, tactics, and tools to consider when crafting your ecommerce marketing plan.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
One of the key ingredients in your e-commerce marketing mix is Pay-Per-Click advertising. Just in case you don’t have an idea what Pay-Per-Click is:
“Pay-per-click is a marketing strategy in which your brand would pay an ad network, like Google, every time someone clicks on your advertisement.”
Of course, there are many types of PPC campaigns that we’ll bring to your attention, such as paid search, display, and shopping campaigns.
So, make sure you’ve done your homework.
Tools you must consider:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization has evolved in these last 20 years. The new algorithm makes it distinctive and exclusive at the same time.
The past of SEO was different and shady. The astute SEO experts used deceitful tactics to reach the top position in Google ranking. They were exploiting every possible rule to boost their ranking.
Today, everything has changed for good. Experts now have to use on-site best practices and understand the algorithm first. No more cunning games can win the top SERP.
Did you know that many SEO experts still ignore the growth marketing strategy and overlook its importance?
70 – 80% of Google users focus on organic search results today. For many, these stats are worrisome.
But don’t worry; with some resourceful sites, you can easily track your sites SEO health. It can help in improving overall SEO efforts while maximizing superior results.
In such case, the tools you should consider are:
- BigCommerce applications
Do you know Softception can change your SEO game entirely? It can monitor your website’s ranking, perform the audit, and make crucial changes over time.
Now that’s a relief!
When it comes to content marketing, the ecommerce space responds differently.
Almost every marketing channel becomes successful if you have a solid, tested, and comprehensive content marketing plan.
Not sure why this happens? Content marketing is a proven tactic that can distribute your brand’s product to potential customers. A full-proof strategy can change the game irrespective of the medium.
Whether it is a blog post, video content, or an infographic, the internet can do wonders, perplexing many laymen users.
Any well-thought content strategy via inbound marketing can change everything compared to outbound efforts. Inbound marketing is when the shoppers come directly to you. Outbound marketing is where you need to find the shoppers yourself.
So, do you have a unique product with a positive environmental cause? Or have you come up with an advanced technological solution? Or is there a simple, innovative idea that can cause a stir among the masses?
Then, consider writing a blog post to outline its specificities. You can also receive organic traffic with these blog posts using relevant keywords.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is an advancing landscape of diversified platforms that continually change how people interact with online brands.
Marketers must understand and utilize best practices to implement strategic campaigns. They should know the art of engaging customers, creating a brand voice advocating its image, and fueling the bottom line.
Fortunately, leading social media platforms are innovating new cutting-edge features, helping brands effectively reach their target audience.
For instance, Facebook has a new feature known as ‘Dynamic Ads,’ where brands can completely upload their product catalog. It allows automation where each product reaches interested customers only with availability and the latest pricing.
According to Pinterest, “users spend 50% more on purchases than the average social media user, and 20% more than people who purchased after clicking on a search ad.”
Here are some strategies that have a phenomenal impact on your brand. They can change the future of your business.
Social Media Advertising
Almost every renowned social media platform has tools to serve targeted ads for your prospective customers. The majority of them work similarly to Google PPC advertising. They allow businesses to create an ad, set the budget, and pay for every click they receive.
What’s more interesting is that these social media sites offer various services. For example, they allow tailored advertisements suitable for your brand. It’s up to digital marketers to utilize these golden opportunities with innovation. The more they get creative, the better.
Some leading ecommerce marketing options are:
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Twitter Ads
- Snapchat Ads
- Pinterest Ads
Social networks are now continuously looking for newer ways to allure brands and advertisers on their platforms.
Hence, social media giants like Instagram and Facebook create some pretty exciting ecosystems, allowing customers to discover brands. With their significant creativity, they aim for customers to purchase your brand’s product without leaving their platform.
Pretty exciting and fruitful for your business, right?
Organic Social Content
Social media platforms were not always money-making giants. Instead, they were social forums encouraging brand engagement and boosting brand advocacy.
So, what changed?
Paid advertisement is the new oil to fuel these mediums. As a result, brands are moving towards a paid ads pathway for producing better results.
Organic social content is still there and plays a vital role in building brand awareness and maintaining SEO presence.
Therefore, couple up your organic strategies with the leading social commerce features. For instance, tag your products on Instagram and Facebook. And don’t forget to create a “buyable” Pinterest post.
Through these ways, you can build your brand. Along with it, you can help potential customers find you soon.
In-House Marketing Team vs. Hiring a Full-funnel Marketing Agency
Whenever a company outlines its growth strategy, the inevitable question arises, “should they hire an agency or develop an in-house marketing team?”
As you guessed, there isn’t one correct answer as it’s a question of circumstances, needs, and suitability.
Can a marketing agency amplify your overall growth trajectory while keeping costs down? Yes, it can!
Depending on where your need and preferences fall, either option could work well, but there are several factors to consider before making this decision, such as:
- Primary marketing needs.
- The amount of money you can allocate towards either route.
- If full-time employees match what an agency can offer in skills and expertise.
Mark our words, hiring an experienced marketing agency can be an excellent choice for any company.
At times, digital marketing agencies can provide a wide range of services conducted by highly experienced, specialized professionals. Not to mention, they can be much less expensive than full-time employees.
Based on this blog post, you have all the background needed to confidently reinvent an ecommerce marketing plan that can effectively scale your business and accomplish your goals.
But remember that there is no “magic bullet” when it comes to developing brand awareness and driving ecommerce sales.
This means that the tactics and strategies we’ve outlined here are defined as “best practices” ; however, your team’s ability to think critically and get creative will be the “special sauce” your brand needs to expedite sales growth.