Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
If you have a product to sell and a website. There are few things you can do to promote your business and reach new customers.
Content marketing is the practice of publishing blog posts, videos, photos, infographics and any other kinds of content, with the aim of attracting your target audience to your website. Let’s say your ecommerce store was focussing on handbags, and it’s getting close to Mother’s Day. As part of your content marketing strategy, you’d publish a blog post called “The Perfect Outfit for a Mother’s Day Tea.” In the article, you’d list a dress, shoes, jacket, and most importantly, a handbag from your collection. Include some good photos of everything you mention, and ensure to link to a product page where readers can order the handbag you covered. This will help the chances of a fashion-conscious woman searching for ideas for her mother’s Day Tea outfit, and stumbling upon your blog. The most important part of good content marketing is knowing your target demographic (age and interests for example), in order to publish content that will be attractive and valuable to them.
Email marketing is another powerful tool you’ll have at your disposal. If you’re not utilizing a mailing list for your ecommerce website, you are missing out on reach and impressions. If you get a visitor to your site and they decide not to buy from you, the next best thing you can hope for is to get their email address. The most popular way of doing this is using a box with a sign-up form somewhere fairly prominent on your site. If you need to outsource and splash out on some professional ecommerce website development, then make the investment. Ideally, you’ll be able to offer your target market some kind of incentive for signing up to your mailing list, for example, “sign up here and get 10% off your first order.” Pop-ups are popular when it comes to sign-up forms, but it’s also quite effective to add one to the end of your blog posts. Obviously, a lot of people will want to actually sample some of the content before they give you access to their inbox. You can also include a chance to sign-up as part of the checkout. Once you get a few email addresses, you should be aiming to send out at least one email a week, using them to promote new products, share relevant blog posts, offer discounts and advertise sales.
Social media marketing is an essential component to a good marketing plan. The goal is to converse with your customers where they are. Ideally. you want to turn them into brand advocates, who will promote your business for you with little or no prompts. When launching a social media strategy, the first thing you need to do is focus on the kind of platforms you’re going to use. Typically, ecommerce sites should be using visually-orientated social networks, such as Pinterest and Instagram. However, Facebook and Twitter may have a better reach for your intended audience. Don’t feel like you need to be on every social media site. Focus on the ones that reach your audience first and grow from there. Make sure your social media strategy is closely tied to your content marketing. (If you need help with this, try J & A Creative Group!) Plan your posts out so that they’re around 10 percent promotional. This means for every 10 posts, one is promoting the business or sales focused. Review your analytics regularly and make sure you’re adjusting this to your target audience.
Leveraging PR to help your brand can be very difficult, but if you can pull it off it can give your brand a huge booster. Magazines, newspapers, industry journals and popular blogs are always on the lookout for new articles. The key is to have a story, and ensure it’s one that’s relevant to your audience. Start off by drawing up a list of publications and blogs that your target market is likely to read, picking up contact details for the editors of each one. Next, you need to work out a good angle. Going back to the handbag example, let’s say you were reaching out to a blogger that has a strong focus on sustainable fashion products. A good angle would be centering a pitch on your locally sourced materials, or how your business has become more eco-friendly in its manufacturing process. If the blogger or magazine was more about style alone, you could focus the pitch on a certain design element or an emerging new trend. Finally, try to make it easy for the contacts you list. Editors and journalists are extremely busy people, and they’re constantly receiving pitches like the ones you’re pushing on them. Make a point of keeping the pitch clear, concise, and including some feature to it that will make it stand out from all the usual noise. Be sure to include your contact details as well.
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