Congratulations on building the website for your online business.
The next task would be to make money with it. For a steady income, you need to either sell stuff from the website or have an audience that buys your offerings. Achieving sales and revenue targets is one of the biggest challenges for small business owners.
In this article, I’ll talk about the 5 marketing strategies for promoting your online business along with examples of companies who are succeeding at it.
Why does your online business need a marketing strategy?
A good marketing strategy is like a roadmap with measurable goals. It helps estimate whether your business is in the right direction and which sales strategies are effective. You can promote your business to existing customers and attract new users with a solid marketing plan.
With 63% of the online shopping occasions beginning online, if your brand isn’t visible there, your competition will be. A fool-proof plan for marketing your online business can get you ahead of all those who do not have a strategy yet.
5 Marketing Strategies for Promoting your Online Business
The right marketing strategy for your business website would depend on:
- The budget – if you have a tight budget, you may want to explore using social proof in the form of reviews and referrals for customer acquisition.
- The target audience – for targeting millennials, TikTok and Snapchat as the sales channels make more sense.
- Service/product – if your service is for the B2B companies, LinkedIn as the marketing channel would be a good choice.
- Workforce – for a solopreneur, automating tasks would save time and improve efficiency.
Let’s dig deeper into each of the 5 effective marketing strategies for promoting your brand online.
#1. Blogging to drive traffic to your eCommerce store – Many niches in eCommerce are not yet saturated with high-quality content. Along with creating a beautiful storefront, investing in paid marketing and email marketing, don’t overlook the importance of blogging to engage with your audience. A thoughtful blogging strategy enables you to nurture relationships with your readers, generate regular inbound traffic and is a channel to promote your business. Start with setting up a blog using DropinBlog, a WordPress alternative.
Focus on creating a blog that:
- Adds value – Your content should address the needs of the customer by educating or entertaining them.
- Has clear goals – Your content must bring readers via search engines or social media and convert them to buyers.
- Build a brand – Use content to connect with your users so that your brand stands out from the clutter.
- Consistency – Even if it’s one blog a month, hit that mark regularly.
Stay away from making your blog:
- An overarching sales pitch – Instead, use content to create awareness about a product.
- Random and disoriented – The content about your product and the reader’s needs should overlap.
To make blogging work for you, here are the 2 types of articles to drive traffic to your business blog.
- Round-up posts – Think about who your ideal customer is, what are they excited about and what do they struggle with. The template for a round-up post is:
- An introduction about who it’s for and your reason for writing the post
- A link to the resource
- An image to go along
A round-up post could be about your best-selling products or your favorite products. When you struggle to find new topics to write about, this flexible framework comes to your rescue.
- How-to-posts – Teach your audience something that they are already searching for, be it organizing their work-desk or perfecting that summer look.
100% Pure Cosmetics created a how-to guide to help their audience transition their makeup from summer to fall.
#2. Use video tutorials to solve customer queries and to demonstrate the working of your product – The daily video consumption is on an exponential rise and it is predicted to go higher with the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, from the 3.7 hours we spend on our mobile devices every day, the majority of it is video.
The video trend is insane because people prefer learning about a product or its working from a video rather than scrolling through images or text.
Business owners prefer using product demo videos because they are repeatable. The same information can be watched by an unlimited number of viewers. Further, seeing a product in action garners people’s interest and captures their attention.
Demo videos also add entertainment value. One major reason why videos work so well is that watching a video takes little effort to consume. It is a great way to explain things simply or to show the working of a complex product.
The channels where you can distribute the demo video are:
- On your website – Homepage, landing page, pricing page, features page and even on the blog post.
- In emails to customers or prospective buyers.
- In the sales enablement material to prospects.
- For customer support.
- On social media channels where your audience resides (explore YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others)
Kylie Cosmetics often share demo videos of makeup tutorials. They frequently use made-at-home tutorials to make their brand and product feel more authentic.
These videos help to envision how the product looks on a real person as compared to product photos that are highly edited.
#3. Leverage product recommendations on your website – A staggering 56% of online shoppers return to a website that offers personalized product recommendations. Another 49% of buyers purchased a recommended item that they have no intention of buying. People relate a personalized approach to an excellent shopping experience.
Amazon, the pioneer of personalized recommendations generates 35% of its overall revenue through the recommendations generated by its AI algorithm. Also, shoppers who click on recommendations are 4.5 times more likely to add that product to their cart and 4.5 times more likely to complete the purchase.
For leveraging product recommendations on your eCommerce website, here are some tips to follow:
- Product recommendations that are above the fold are twice more effective than those below the fold.
- From all the product recommendation types, “what customers ultimately buy” are the most effective.
- Place the “best selling recommendations” for new website visitors towards the top of the website.
- Include product recommendations even in your emails.
ThreeDropsofLife that sells products for a healthy lifestyle used personalized recommendations to increase their conversion rates by 7%.
When product recommendations are combined with timely marketing messages, they can result in higher website visits by your customers.
#4. Email segmentation to engage with various customer segments – Your customers are reading emails. They prefer to get updates about your company through emails and it is a channel to connect with them instantly. In 2019, 3.9 billion people communicated using emails and this number is predicted to reach 4.3 billion in 2023. When half of the total population uses emails, this is one channel of marketing you cannot afford to miss on.
A combination of good visuals, content and an attractive offer can compel the email reader to start shopping. This is a classic example, as listed on Really Good Emails.
Send a sequence of automated emails to promote your brand to prospects and to reconnect with your customers. These are automated email messages sent to a customer segment at different time intervals.
Segment your customers according to their purchase behavior. When you categorize them into separate stages of the buying lifecycle, you will be able to send them email offers according to their needs.
The 4 segments based on their journey with your brand are:
- Prospects – A prospect is someone who has shared their contact details through a contact form to stay in touch with your brand. This means that they have gone through your website and are interested in the offerings.
Send them a welcome email as soon as they sign-up with your brand’s name and the products they browsed. You could give them a discount to nudge them to make the purchase.
- First time buyers – These buyers are trying out your products. Multiple factors play a role here, ranging from the checkout process, delivery and shipping cost. The overall brand experience decides if they would want to purchase from you again.
Once they checkout, you could send them an informative email walking them through the additional products or asking them to attend a webinar. You could send them an email offering a discount on their next purchase.
- Regular buyers – To woo the regular customers to purchase from your eCommerce store frequently, give them special offers via emails for their anniversary, birthdays, or a seasonal sale.
- Loyal customers – Loyal customers are okay spending up to 18% more with a brand when they are offered a loyalty program. Show them your gratitude by making them a part of a loyalty program.
#5. Customer support is the new marketing – The speed and quality of customer service are becoming the key differentiator that helps customers decide whether they would want to spend their money with you.
This year, customer experience is predicted to surpass price and product as the deciding factor for choosing a brand. Your customers know what they want and have clear expectations of how they should be treated. By demonstrating that you care for their time, you can set up your digital business for success.
In times where customers are empowered to find information about the industry and competitors with a single click, you will have to ensure that their matters are solved quickly. The financial decision your customer makes is dependent on how easy it is to do business with a supplier. Invest in creating an effortless experience in the key phases of their journey and even post-sale.
For businesses of all sizes, the speed of response can make or break a customer experience. If you run a single-person business, consider employing a chatbot to accelerate the speed of response and resolution. Chatbots have become an integral part of the customer service arsenal because of their ability to respond to multiple queries at the same time and resolve them. This way, your customers would not have to wait to receive your response over an email or a call.
Even a basic FAQ chatbot can address the commonly asked questions 24/7, 365 days. You can take over when the bot loses the context and is unable to help.
Additionally, the chatbot can:
- Make product recommendations
- Segment the audience for email sequences
- Collect the contact information of the website visitors
- Measure metrics such as new users, engaged users, chat volume and the bounce rate
Going a step ahead, the bot offers personalized product recommendations based on the customer’s history and on-site browsing activity. They can send discounts right when the visitor is on your Shopify store.
Using segmentation, you can send them relevant information or discounts through emails immediately after they leave your website.
Using Drift, the business payment automation website Bottomline reduced their response time from days to seconds to generate $4.3 million in the sales pipeline.
A quality product with a noticeable presence is the perfect combination to attract potential customers to your brand.
Keep researching and experimenting with marketing strategies to boost website traffic and to promote your online business. At the same time, enhance your product according to the current trends and expectations of customers.