You’ve got products ready to sell and ship, but the buyers aren’t coming in. Or maybe you’ve got a loyal customer base, but want to expand your sales? The solution lies in marketing. It’s the key to growing your online store’s reach and sales. Best of all, an online marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
At Jimdo, we asked our users and social media followers what their greatest challenge was in marketing a small business. The results were clear: Most people view reaching a bigger audience or getting more sales as their biggest pain point.
We’ve heard you loud and clear. That’s why we’ve come up with these five easy steps to help get your store’s online marketing strategy off the ground. We will teach you how to figure out what works best for reaching a bigger audience and boosting sales.
Tip: For more detailed information on how to build a successful shop, we have a step-by-step guide on how to start selling online.
Step 1: Free Marketing Through Word of Mouth
At the beginning, it’s important to just get people “through the virtual door,” so to speak. Reach out to family, friends, business contacts, and even your suppliers to make initial sales and, most importantly, get initial feedback. Often, you’ll see your most obvious store pain points come to light.
What’s more, every positive experience inspires your first shoppers to spread the word to their friend and business networks. By giving them something to talk about (i.e. a positive shopping experience), you’re already taking your first online marketing strategy steps.
Step 2: Get Business Listings on Google (and elsewhere)
Business Listings put your store on the virtual map. Listing your business on Google, for example, helps people find you via search engines and learn basic information about your store – and it’s free! Having up-to-date information on Google also helps your SEO (more on that later). From an online marketing strategy perspective, it’s a no-brainer.
Tip: For an even faster method, try Jimdo’s Business Listings. This service will update your information across multiple platforms and directories automatically.
Keep your business info up to date. All the time. Everywhere.
Step 3: Use Social Media Marketing to Reach New Customers
To build a broader customer base, you may need to start with some paid advertising. Social media can be the perfect conduit to target your outreach. If you can build a buyer persona for your store, you will know better where to focus your advertising. Think about the basic demographic information that makes up your average customer – age, gender, location, and interests, for example – and use it to guide your initial ad spending.
Many social media tools like Instagram Insights include detailed statistics about how your posts and ads perform (known as analytics). This lets you know what kinds of online marketing methods work best for your store.
Tip: For an in-depth look at how to grow your business with social media, we have created a guide to social media marketing.
Step 4: Utilize Your New Customer Base
Now it’s time to use your best asset for building brand loyalty: the customers you already have. If you reward your early shoppers with perks like discounts or personalized packaging, they will leave with a happy shopping experience. Most importantly, they’ll feel valued and want to return.
Other ideas to consider include featuring shoppers on social media and in newsletters, or sending personalized “thank you” notes.
Tip: Testimonials can be a powerful tool for growing your customer base. Consumers are far more likely to feel confident in a purchase if it was recommended to them by a friend or trusted source. That can include social media influencers.
Step 5: SEO vs. SEA: What is it and why do I need it?
SEO and SEA. Two three-letter acronyms that can play a big role in your store’s long-term online marketing strategy success:
- SEO, or search engine optimization, is a long-term investment, but the good news is that it doesn’t cost any money. The idea is to include popular and relevant keywords that people search for in your online store product descriptions, pages, and images. Even spending just a small amount of time optimizing your store for SEO can have long-term benefits, as our introduction to SEO explains.
- SEA, or Search Engine Advertising, is basically paying search engines like Google to display your ads when people look up keywords related to your store or its products. If done right, it allows you to efficiently target potential customers.
Once you understand the keywords behind your shop and its products, and the kinds of customers you want to reach, you can use SEO and SEA to increase web traffic to your online store.
These five steps are just a broad overview of how to get your store’s online marketing strategy off the ground. For more detailed business tips and web design tricks, visit the Jimdo blog.