5 Brilliant Ways to Advertise your Ecommerce Retail Business
The playing field for many ecommerce businesses has become saturated to say the least. You’ve likely noticed new brands popping on your social media feeds every day via targeted ads. This trend can make pulling ahead of your competition a bigger challenge than ever before. Whether you’re in fashion, fitness or any other imaginable niche, you need to get your brand and products in front of the consumer.
Marketers are also tasked with exploring and capitalizing on new avenues to achieve this tall order effectively. That’s why it is more important than ever to have a digital marketing strategy that works for you and can produce tangible results.
Here are 5 practices you should include in your ecommerce marketing strategy:
1. Run Google Shopping ads
Google is getting better and better at showing the content they think viewers are most likely to want to see (and will also produce revenue). Search marketing is a trend that is going to continue to evolve and is on the upswing to becoming a massive marketing driver for brands who choose to leverage it.
You may have noticed in the last year that the top bar on Google searches is often taken up by ad space related to the subject of your search. Google is focusing on strategic ad placement based on searcher’s keywords, and it looks like Ads through Google’s Merchant Center is becoming an extremely powerful tool for ecommerce brands - especially those who are re-sellers of existing, trusted brands.
For example, I Google’d “white shoes” while writing this blog and this is what popped up:
These images link directly to your store and can drastically increase your odds of finding ready buyers. In fact last year, Google Shopping ads generated 85.3% of all clicks on AdWords and Google Shopping campaign ads.
2. Short Instagram video ads
You can say a lot about your brand in a matter of seconds. To be precise, 10 seconds is enough to have an impact on your viewer.
Human’s brains process imagery at lightning speeds, meaning viewers can formulate a notion on your brand almost instantaneously after consuming a short video. When produced strategically, a short video can effectively demonstrate everything you need to tell in 5-15 seconds.
Viewers should know:
What your product is
Who your target audience is
What the message of owning the product sends
General idea on price range
How to purchase
Here is an example of a short, effective video advertisement from Inkbox.
The video is short, visually appealing and explanatory.
The caption is concise and informative & includes a call to action.
The click through button links to their online shop.
The ad title and subheading are attention-grabbing and informative.
Why Instagram Specifically?
Instagram is also arguably the social media platform that hosts the shortest attention spans - making it extra important to keep your content succinct. While users scroll through Instagram feeds faster than other platforms, it is still the best place for ecommerce businesses to invest their time and money.
In fact, engagement with brands on Instagram is 10X higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter. As many as 90% of customers say that video has helped them make a buying decision.
Basic Best Practices:
Run your video as a paid campaign and target your specific audience with a call-to-action to visit your online shop. You can also post the video on Instagram (you must request to be approved) and tag the products that appear in the video which will link to your online shop as well.
3. Podcast marketing
Podcast production and consumption is at an all time high. More and more podcasts are popping up and many have carry with them an extremely dedicated and extensive following. 69% of podcast listeners agreed that podcast ads have made them aware of new products and services.
Podcasts can be an extremely effective way to get your message across to a very specific audience. Hosts will often add their own twist to the ad copy you’ve provided, which increases the odds that the listeners will stick around for the entertaining audio.
It’s also useful for brands advertising on podcasts to let the audience feel like they’re part of special club that grants them access to exclusive discounts. If you’ve listened to a monetized podcast before, then you’ve like heard something similar to:
“Use promo code “NAME RELATED TO PODCAST” to get a 10% discount on your next purchase at “advertiser’s ecommerce shop.”
This is actually incredibly effective, and typically inexpensive method to gain brand awareness and ultimately make more sales.
Be a guest on a podcast
Another interesting angle to consider (if you’re up for it) is to join as a guest on a podcast. One of the luxuries of a podcast is that you don’t necessarily have to visit a studio to record. Many guests today simply call in on their phone, tell their story and leave a call to action to learn more, follow or buy their product. Potential customers can build a rapport with you, the founder, and feel more confident in who they are buying from and what the brand represents.
4. Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-Generated Content, or UGC is precisely what it sounds like. This is content that your customers produce in support of your product and share on their own social media channels. It could be an incentive as part of a contest you’re running, a paid influencer campaign, or sheer fandom. However, it can be a powerful tool to capture the product from a relatable view.
Brands have experienced an amazing 25% increase in the ecommerce conversion rate when they use user-generated photos instead of professional product shots, for example. Shoppers are smarter than ever. You can’t simply blast ads at people until they buy anymore. People want to feel a brand connection, and envision themselves using a product or service that improves their life.
Basic Best Practices:
You should repost and share valuable pieces of UGC on your company’s social media channels that work to help build the community around your brand.
Think UGC like: Review videos, contest-related posts or hashtag campaigns.
5. Interactive Lookbooks
Most ecommerce stores are templated displays that showcase your products in a very predictable way. Mind you, this is a good thing. Your purchasing process should be simple and user-friendly.
However, sometimes it’s good to mix it up. Mixing it up might look like an interactive lookbook on your front page that shows off your your seasonal line of products. This type of display is more likely to resonate because it allows you tell a story associated with the product (and you know how much we love storytelling). The story might be carried by the way you choose to display your model (ie. scenery, expression, how they are wearing the product.)
Here is an example from Joules, a women’s fashion line. Inside, you can see how they showcased their products in a relatable manner - almost like a digital mannequin. The “+” allows you to purchase the item from the store.
Interactive lookbooks are very effective, especially for clothing and luxury brands. However, that doesn’t mean this formula can’t be replicated and used by a multitude of other categories. Consider getting creative with how you display your products on your website.
Need some help building out a digital strategy for your ecommerce business?
Digital strategies are by no means a one size fits all type of thing. Beyond the time it takes to conduct the research, establish the messaging for your brand and gather the content… You need a team of creative and experienced personnel at your disposal.
Lucky for you, at Magnified PR, we specialize in digital strategies for all types of brands.