Now that you have your e-commerce platform set up, you need to attract customers to it. If you already have a robust customer list, reach out to them to share how they can now find your brand/product/services online. In addition to creating this awareness among existing customers, you’ll also want to develop a marketing plan to direct new customers to your e-commerce channel. One method is to divide your marketing into two strategies: push marketing and pull marketing. The tactics that you employ will depend on your budget and how familiar your customers are with your product or service.
In push marketing, also known as outbound marketing, you are targeting prospective customers that aren’t necessarily looking to purchase your product or service at the moment. One main reason is because they don’t know your product, service or business exists, and this is why brands spend a lot of money and effort on building awareness through advertising, public relations, etc.
Assuming you’re running a B2C (business-to-consumer) business, Facebook and Instagram ads are a good tool for reaching your customers. For as little as $5/day, you can target people based on geography (e.g. 10-mile radius of Madison), age, gender, education level, interests (e.g. music) and/or other demographic qualifiers.
To get started, log into Facebook and click Create, then choose Ad (Facebook owns Instagram, and Instagram ads are set up through Facebook). Note, you must have a Facebook page before you may begin advertising.
The steps are self-explanatory. In addition to creating your target audience, you’ll be asked to create your ad (text, images/video, link), set a budget and choose a duration.
Use a platform such as MailChimp (free for up to 2,000 contacts) to manage your email marketing. If you don’t have an existing design, you can use a template or build one from scratch.
In terms of format, if you’re looking to update your customers frequently (e.g. at least once per week), you’ll probably use a simple design that has one prominent “article.” Examples include a product of the week and or announcing a sale/promotion/contest. If you’re looking to update your customers less frequently (e.g. monthly), you’ll probably want to use a format that more closely resembles a newsletter.
If you don’t have an existing email list, you can purchase one from various suppliers. Make sure these lists are vetted—meaning, that the suppliers guarantee that the people on the list have given permission to be on the list.
In pull marketing, also known as inbound marketing, your prospective customers are looking for your product or service, and your goal is to get in front of them. These prospective customers may or may not know your business exists. Thus, similar to push marketing, building brand awareness - or even top-of-mind awareness - is important.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are several steps you can take to improve your search engine ranking. First, and most importantly, is regularly updating your website with new content. Typically, this is done by having a blog section. In that section, you can post news, updates, announcements, etc. Try to publish at least once per week.
Next, make sure you have the right keywords on your website. You can actually see what terms people are using in Google by using its
Keyword Planner tool
. Make sure to embed those terms as naturally as possible into your website.
One other thing to do is to acquire inbound links to your site. That can include media coverage, listings (e.g. your business profile page on the local chamber website) and social media posts (e.g. Pinterest pins).
While you’re working on improving your search-engine rankings, you can pay to have your website show up in a search result. For Google, go to
. For Bing and Yahoo, go to
In each case, you’ll start by researching the keywords people would use to find your products or service. You will then need to decide how much you’re willing to pay to have your ad (“sponsored result”) show up whenever someone uses those keywords. This is known as pay-per-click advertising. Bids can be as low as five cents per click to many dollars per click, depending on how many other advertisers are competing for the same keywords.
Lastly, you will create your ad, which will be comprised of a title, description and link. A best practice is to create multiple versions of your ads to see which one garners the most clicks and/or leads to the most sales.
Brian Lee is the President of
, Advertising & Social Media.