by Gary Paige for JeannieLacroix.com
These days, if a brand does not have or cannot afford a digital marketing strategy, they are not going to survive. Simple as that. There is no way for a brand to succeed in today’s e-commerce ecosystem without an effective, cost-efficient digital marketing strategy in place to help pull in the customers they are targeting. Without digital marketing, success is just not going to happen.
A part of that strategy is going to include social networking. But there are other aspects to it as well. For example, say what you want but without traffic, you are not in the game and none of your digital marketing strategies will work if you have just 10 visitors (on a good day!) to your website. So how do you get digital traffic when you have none? You are going to have to buy it. You can buy good traffic from Google Adwords. This is safe traffic that will not get you banned from Google because it is from Google directly. Are there other legitimate sources of traffic that you can purchase? Well, most of these traffic mills will get you in trouble with Google. So you are advised to avoid them as a general rule. But have you heard of SEO and SEMrush?
SEMrush is a software program that any brand interested in improving its digital marketing strategy should consider getting. It is pricey if you don’t have the budget for it. A monthly subscription runs anywhere from $100 to $500 dollars. SEMrush will help you with SEO, content marketing and other digital marketing methods and hopefully by implementing it, brands will be able to increase their traffic and ultimately increase their sales.
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. With search engine optimization, the objective is to optimize your content so that the search engines like Google and Bing can find your content and your website and expose you to people searching for what you are selling. This is a sure way to improve your traffic. But how the heck do you “optimize” your content so that search engines will find your content and expose you to potential customers? That is a darn good question. It seems that the trick is getting traffic by using the right keywords. It is all about keywords, backlinks and content and how this triangulation results in Google liking your site and ranking it higher than other sites. With keywords, you can actually do a keyword search for relevant keywords that pertain to your website. Backlinks is where other sites link to your content/website, and your content has to be good enough for people to interact with it and for it to be seen as an “authority.”
- CONTENT STRATEGY
You need to have a strategy with your content. As far as digital marketing strategy goes, You can’t just throw up content willy nilly on your website and think that you will find customers who are going to patronize your ecommerce store. Content has to be relevant, useful and reliable. It has to be differentiated from your competitors as well. No point just regurgitating what your competitors are doing. Sure, you want to research your competitors and see what they are up to and what keywords they are using as well as what the content strategy they are using is. But then you take that information and formulate a strategy of your own that distinguishes your brand and product from the competitor.
- GOOGLE SHOPPING CAMPAIGN
Who even knew that Google had a “shopping campaign”? Sure, you see the shopping ads displayed above your search results for the exact same product (just maybe a competitor’s brand) but do you realize that this is a “shopping ad” that is part of some brand’s digital marketing strategy? Not really. But guess what? If you were not aware that there is such a thing as Google Shopping ads, now you are, and you have to find a way to incorporate Google Shopping ads into your digital marketing strategy.
- INSTAGRAM SHOPPING CAMPAIGN
Ditto for Instagram and Facebook ads. Both platforms now allow you to tag your feed with your links and content when you have a business account as opposed to a personal account.
- SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
There is a terrifying number of social media websites that brands must imperatively familiarize themselves with. And these include some emerging social media networks in Asia such as wechat and Weibo. On the other side of the ocean, however, take your pick and this list is hardly exhaustive: Linkedin, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, Quora, Reddit, Pinterest, Youtube, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.
Each and everyone of these social media channels is a potential bonanza for e-commerce brands looking to increase and grow their traffic and conversions, raise brand awareness and create customers out of visitors. But the key to a successful strategy is not just to have millions of followers but to have millions of engaged followers. This is very difficult to achieve – this getting potential customers to engage by leaving comments, liking your stuff and clicking your links. This is not a job for the faint of heart. But you have to use metrics to measure the level of engagement, and be vigilant about doing audience analytic; and then you have to leverage that engagement to your benefit, by giving them incentives for example, to buy your products.
Using video on your website is another digital marketing strategy to consider especially if your target market is under 40 years old. Gen Z and millennials love video (witness the successes of Youtube and TIk Tok) and using this feature on your website has reportedly been a means to significantly increase your traffic and conversions.
- EMAILS, CONTACTS LISTS & NEWSLETTERS
Emailing, exploiting contacts lists and sending newsletters are also digital strategies you can use in your digital marketing campaign. These tactics are probably more effective than others for certain target groups, like men, for example. Email marketing seems to be especially effective with the male demographic. And using your contact list as a ready and primary source of contacts is a no brainer as well. With Newsletters you can use your contact list and/or buy a mailing list from a reputable source.
And then of course, you have the mobile apps which is another huge investment of both financial resources and time, but which are absolutely essential to your digital marketing strategy.
- Make Accurate Decisions with Social Media Analytics