Ecommerce Marketing With A2X’s Denym Bird
This article is a summary of a video interview conducted for the Ecommerce Back Office Facebook group.
This group is a community of ecommerce business owners, sellers, accountants, and anyone else involved or interested in selling online.
It is always open to new members, and there you’ll find interviews like this one, discussions, polls, and new connections across the world. Check it out here.
In this blog, our Marketing Manager here at A2X, Denym Bird, spills the beans on what he’s learned about marketing online over the years. Plus, how ecommerce sellers can ensure their businesses stay competitive in the digital space.
And don’t worry, you don’t need any foundations in marketing to leverage these expert tips!
Watch the full webinar
Or, read on to discover…
- What are the first things a business needs when getting ready to market its products?
- What are some of the first things a business should do with regard to marketing?
- What is SEO and where does that fit in?
- After setting up the foundational elements, what comes next?
- With so many marketing tactics and options, how do you decide where to begin?
- Is it better to outsource your ecommerce marketing to an expert?
- Key takeaways.
What are the first things a business needs when getting ready to market its products?
So one of the first things is to get your business ready for growth. Setting up the right foundations is super important.
It’s like having the right infrastructure in place, the right highways and everything else ready for busy traffic.
You want a strong website with a succinct value proposition. This should become a foundational element weaved throughout the entire web experience you offer as a brand.
That’s your key conversion element.
What are some of the first things a business should do with regard to marketing?
There are a few foundations to put in place right at the start.
A value proposition
People care most about the benefit they get from the product, so that’s what you need to sell them.
The proposed value that this product will have in their life.
People don’t really care about fancy features. I mean, those are nice, but most people buy things because it adds a benefit to their life.
Find yours and use this to drive your brand identity, voice, and messaging.
Once your value proposition is clear, you’ll want to communicate it well too.
Your customers should be able to tell almost instantly what your brand is all about when they interact with it, and the benefit it offers to their lives.
Try to create messaging that is memorable, original, and that will appeal to your target audience.
A good website
Ensure that your website or ecommerce store is as simple, aesthetic, and user-friendly as possible.
Display your value proposition and messaging, as well as plenty of further information about your products and any reviews you might have from other customers.
You’ll need to set up and track where your visitors are coming from as early as possible. This will help shape your marketing activities and where you spend any money boosting them.
Pixels are bits of code that you can set up and use to track your traffic.
You can use them for social media platforms with advertising networks, and will need one per channel. You can set these up from within each platform, and then manage them all from Google Tag Manager.
This will all help you build a sphere of influence and grow your network and connections while having the data to make meaningful decisions.
You can learn why people come to your website, why they leave, and retarget (advertise to) those that didn’t convert.
What is SEO and where does it fit in?
SEO is incredibly important, and probably next on the list after those foundational elements above.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and helps your website stand out to Google when it chooses which sites to show its searchers.
It’s a free way to show up to someone that is searching for your products. If you sell comfy shoes in a size 10, you want to show up for the keyword “comfy shoes size 10”, right?
You might need to target something a little more specific, but the sentiment is the same.
Learn more about SEO…
We have a few dedicated SEO guides on the A2X blog to help you with this, because it’s an ongoing task you’ll want to get familiar with as early as possible:
- Our comprehensive guide to SEO for accountants is tailored to the best practices and approaches for accounting websites, but it can be used for any website in general.
- Amazon SEO Guide: How To Rank At The Top Of Search Results
- eBay SEO Guide: Tips, Tools & Strategies for Success
- 11 Actionable Shopify SEO Tips for Your Shopify Store
- Etsy SEO Guide: Everything You Need To Know
SEO is just another rung on your ladder of audience building, but it’s one you’ll need to keep adjusting and improving over time.
After setting up the foundational elements, what comes next?
There are three typical stages that we discuss in marketing:
- Attracting leads (top of the funnel - gaining awareness).
- Warming them up (middle of funnel - building trust/interest in your offering).
- Converting them into customers (bottom of the funnel - closing the deal).
This is also known as a sales funnel. By deconstructing the overall approach to getting customers into three overarching steps, you can focus on the right things at each stage of the journey.
This helps to ensure that you’re focusing on the right objectives and showing up in the right places, with the right message, at each stage of the funnel.
In this stage, you want to become a magnet for visitors.
Here are some ways to do that:
- Find out where your customers spend their time and show up there too. This might be online, on social media, in groups, at events, at markets - wherever your target audience tends to congregate. Get to know them and introduce yourself.
- SEO is part of this stage as well. By working on your SEO strategy, you are attracting searchers to your website when they are looking for what you offer.
- Running ads and sponsored posts can help boost your visibility. But to do this, you’ll need to research where your target audience is online to invest wisely. There’s no point being super visible to uninterested people!
Warming them up
In this stage, people are interested. You’ve got their attention and you need to help them warm up to your brand and your products in the hope that they’ll buy. Here are a few ideas for this stage:
Retargeting ads will show up to people that briefly engaged with your brand before but maybe didn’t convert. This creates a second digital touchpoint between you and your potential customer.
This is where your pixels come in handy. Find out where your audience is coming from (which social channels, for example), and target those visitors.
Social proof and testimonials. If you can show that others have bought and enjoyed your products (social proof), then this would be the stage to use them. You want to build credibility that aligns with the message and value proposition you’ve been putting out there.
If you don’t have any reviews yet but you’ve got a few customers, then ask for reviews. These are a crucial element of your marketing, because people will look for them before they buy. Even better is third-party reviews through Google or Trustpilot for example - so put some time into building these up.
You can automate asking for reviews after a purchase to ensure you capture every opportunity. How you do this will depend on your selling platform.
Converting them into customers
At this stage, your buyer is almost convinced! Your item is in their cart, but the deal isn’t quite done yet.
Here are some ways to help ensure a completed checkout:
A frictionless user experience. This should come before anything else to boost conversions - if your checkout process is too complex, or there are too many added costs not cited up front, this will probably put off a new customer.
If this process is smooth, and you’ve targeted the right customer with the right product at the right time, then conversion should be easy!
A flexible checkout process. Customers like options, particularly when it comes to how they pay, when, and shipping times. The more options you can sustainably offer and still make your margins, the more likely you are to convert the maximum number of interested customers.
Special offers and discounts. This could be the little push a new customer needs to try you out. You might offer them if a cart is abandoned, or to a new or returning customer for loyalty.
A key thing to remember with all these strategies is not to try employing them all at once. You have numerous options within each stage, so pick a few and give them a chance to yield some insights and results.
In there, we talk about these stages of the sales funnel as they relate to a specific goal, but there are some helpful tips and tricks in there for anyone growing a business - not just accountants.
With so many marketing tactics and options, how do you decide where to begin?
When you’re new to marketing, how do you know where to start? There are so many potential ways to grow, and sometimes deciding which activities to prioritize can be the hardest part.
With each of the stages above, pick one or two areas that matter the most to you. For example, in the attract stage (top of the funnel), you might pick SEO and pay per click (PPC) advertising. In this case, you’d choose those and explore them for a while.
The same thing with the consideration stage (middle of the funnel). Let’s pick one or two strategies. Let’s say that you want to cultivate lots of different reviews and run lots of different retargeting advertising.
How will you use the reviews you cultivate in remarketing, to bring more customers into the consideration stage? Everything is connected. Or instead of reviews, you could look for third-party or press mentions and use those in your remarketing.
And then inside of those different elements, there’s going to be different tactics. What are different tactics you can use to get free press? What are the different tactics we are going to use to get more views? And those will change over time.
As you can see, the options merge and evolve and change form. So you don’t want to be juggling too many plates all at the same time.
Is it better to just outsource to an ecommerce marketing expert?
Like any decision about your business, this depends.
It depends on your budget for a start, and it depends on the goals you have for your business and your role within it.
Marketing is all about understanding who your customer is and how your product can benefit their lives. That’s integral to a business and should guide just about every aspect of its growth. So as the business owner, wouldn’t you want to have the most knowledge about this?
Perhaps not, and that’s ok.
What are your key takeaways for ecommerce sellers starting out on their marketing journey?
The two things I would advise they should do ASAP are:
- To set up the pixels for traffic metrics and visitor tracking, and,
- To cultivate reviews - as many as possible!
Those two things will give you a grounding in finding your customers and luring them in.
Also on the Blog
- The Ecommerce Accounting Hub
- The Accountant’s Guide to Ecommerce Trends in 2021
- Shopify SEO Tips
- Etsy Advertising Guide
- eBay Promoted Listings: Are They Worth It?
- Amazon SEO Guide
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