As digital marketing guru Neil Patel says, when it comes to marketing on a budget, you should first think of driving traffic. Your goal as an e-commerce business owner is to sell, and to do so you need people to arrive on your website and see your products or services. In other words, you have to make sales, but to do so you need to market your business. The problem is, this can get quite expensive. No need to fret, here are 10 ways to market your e-commerce business on a small budget.
Join Social Media
One of the best parts of social media is that it’s free. There’s no entry fee, no maintenance fee, no exit fee — no fees whatsoever. To top it off, the vast majority of your audience is already there, so why not enter the scene and give them more opportunities to connect with your business?
Not only is social media is an excellent space for increasing brand awareness and fostering relationships, but it’s also one of the best ways of disseminating information to a wide audience. For example, with a single status update you can let your audienceknow that:
- You’re having a sale or promotion
- You have new products on the way
- Fan favorites are dropping in price
Make Content Marketing a Priority
We’ve heard that ‘content is king’ time and time again. It’s up to you to capitalize on this and actually make content marketing a priority. This includes all types of content — videos, images, designs, infographics, blog posts… everything. More specific to content writing like blog posts and articles, the more you write, the higher your authority on any specific subject in your audience’s eyes. Posts are also an excellent tool to build your link profile, as you can link other blog posts or products from your site. This is especially true if you’re guest posting on someone else’s website. If you’re unsure as to what to do, here’s a handy guide on content marketing on a budget.
SEO Is a Must
Something that cannot be stressed enough is that SEO is a must. For those who don’t know, SEO stands for search engine optimization, and its goal is to get your pages/website found by improving their ranking on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. An immediate positive is that you can embark on an SEO campaign by yourself for the wonderful price of $0 (you can also employ a digital agency like Aumcore, who comes with a lot of experience ranking e-commerce sites on top spots). There’s a lot you can do, such as making use of keywords your audience is already searching for (and strategically placing them throughout your site and audience), building a strong link profile that search engines will love, pushing a lot of content that your audience will find useful, making your site intuitive and easily navigable, and a lot more.
SEM (search engine marketing) is like SEO in that the end goal is to get your website found, but unlike its free companion, SEM involves paid marketing in the form of ads. Don’t let the aspect of paying deter you though, one of the best parts of SEM is that when you use services like Google AdWords, you can choose how much and how you pay. For example, if you’re using text ads, you only pay if someone actually clicks on your ad, if you’re using display ads, you only pay when you get an impression, and so on.
Tap An Influencer (If You Can)
If you have some extra money in your budget, consider tapping an influencer for some help. For one, influencer marketing delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. Second, unlike ads, people actually want to hear from influencers, making their messages that much stronger. Influencers are people who have thousands, even millions of followers on their social channels, so you know that whatever they say will definitely be heard.
Or, if you have relevant products to some the influencers, you have a great chance to market your e-commerce business on a small budget. Try to send them incentives or samples to make them try your products.
Ask for Reviews
Reviews can make or break your business. Think about it, what do you do before going to a restaurant or making a purchase? You go online and look for reviews; you turn to other people who were in your exact shoes because they know what’s what. For this very reason, you have to build a good review profile. You, of course. have to deliver a positive experience at all times, but you also have to make the most of this by asking your customers to leave a review.
The more positive reviews you have, the more likely a potential customer will become a customer (maybe even a repeat customer). Even better, search engines like Google use your store’s reviews in their algorithms to determine your ranking. In other words, more positive reviews = more chances of being found and getting that sale.
Referrals Are a Must — Reward Them
One of the best ways to market your e-commerce business on a small budget or even free is using referrals and word-of-mouth. Seeing as how referrals are an excellent way of getting more people interested in your brand, make sure to incentivize your existing customers to turn their friends and acquaintances into customers as well. A very easy way of doing this is by offering some sort of reward for doing so, such as a coupon, a free gift, or a referral program in which the more they refer, they better their reward.
You can also reward the person being referred to if they create an account, sign up for newsletters, make a purchase, and so on. In this way and by rewarding both parties, everyone ends up happy and with a positive experience derived from your brand.
Email Is Not Dead
Despite what you may have heard, email is not dead. As a matter of fact, email marketing comes with a staggering ROI of 3800%. The thing is, even though many people are on social, even more have an email account. It’s a perfect avenue for reaching your audience and converting them along the way. Just make sure to be compelling, don’t use words that sound too much like a sales pitch, and definitely personalize your emails, as open rates for emails with personalized messages is 17.6%, compared to 11.4% without.
Use Strong CTAs to Keep Users Online
What’s the point of achieving high traffic if it’s accompanied by equally high bounce rates and low conversions? Exactly, which is why apart from getting traffic to your site, you also need to keep it there. And because of good CTAs (calls-to-action) = high conversion rates, keep them strong and compelling.
When crafting them, think to yourself, why would someone want to click on my site AND buy something? Also important is to use logic and common sense and place them in the user’s path. Of equal importance is to not compete with yourself by placing two or more CTAs near each other — how are they going to click on what you want if you’re also offering them another, option?
Use Analytics to Make Sure Everything & Running Smoothly
Finally, use analytics with a service like Google Analytics to make sure that everything’s running smoothly. Whatever strategy you’re using to market your e-commerce business, campaign you’re running, or modification you make, you can check the progress and status of everything — including your most important metrics — with an analytics program. This will give you insights into what you’re doing, what you should be doing, and what you shouldn’t be doing.
Let’s Take a Second Look
Let’s go over everything one more time to make sure that nothing gets overlooked. Here, all over again, are 10 proven ways to market your e-commerce business on a small budget:
- Join Social Media
- Make Content Marketing a Priority
- SEO Is a Must
- Consider SEM
- Tap An Influencer (If You Can)
- Ask for Reviews
- Referrals Are a Must — Reward Them
- Email Is Not Dead
- Use Strong CTAs to Keep Users Online
- Check Your Analytics to Make Sure Everything Running Smoothly
Best of luck with your e-commerce business!e-commerce marketing