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Building an effective eCommerce digital marketing strategy

Creating a digital marketing strategy is no different than creating any other marketing strategy, so don’t discount digital platforms due to a lack of knowledge. Digital marketing for your eCommerce site is vital and can lead your business to success if introduced correctly and managed well.

Understanding where you currently stand compared to competitors is important so that you can envision your business’ progression. Outlining this plan by thinking about all the platforms you want to target, as this will guide the way to achieving digital marketing brilliance.

Why start your digital marketing strategy now?

Marketing for eCommerce sites has become a lot more results-focused in recent years, meaning it’s now possible to track and measure everything you do, making your targets clearer and easier to reach

What does a digital marketing strategy include?

A digital marketing strategy should include the following as a minimum. Other platforms are a bonus but these should be the foundation of your strategy:

  • Google Ads
  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Email Marketing

Google ads - Build a structured eCommerce strategy

Pay per click (PPC) ads are usually the foundation of an eCommerce marketing strategy and are the most relevant when it comes to the success of an eCommerce site. PPC campaigns guarantee that potential buyers will see a link to your website when they enter search terms that match the terms of your campaign, which makes PPC ads a worthwhile investment.

Remarketing ads is a clever marketing strategy that drives more sales from those that have visited your website but did not make a purchase or contact you. This is usually one of the best conversion techniques as it reminds people who were already interested in your products. It works through targeted PPC ads that “follows” the user around the web as they browse other websites. When a customer visits your site they are tagged with a special cookie allowing you to advertise to them online.

To start off, you should build a remarketing list of abandoned carts, and this should be the first step to composing a successful remarketing campaign. Remarketing is a powerful tool that can not only expand the growth of your business through an increase in brand awareness, but also can increase sales significantly. A must in successful digital marketing

Social media - Organic posts and shopping ads on social media platforms

Popular social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are key in eCommerce digital marketing strategies. These sites are continually adding new features and tools to help brands reach their target audience with hard hitting content. Brands can upload their entire catalogue to Facebook, tag photos with the link to a product on instagram, and curate unique brand stories with the help of Pinterest. If you’re not using these three sites in your digital marketing strategy, you’re really missing out.

With social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of endlessly promoting your products, while forgetting about building customer relationships. Cement yourself within the community and you’ll find yourself dominating each platform in no time.

SEO - Optimise your eCommerce website for search

Search engine optimisation (SEO) will always be an essential part of any eCommerce marketing strategy. You want to ensure that your site and all of your individual product pages are fully optimised for the exact keywords your audience is searching for.

Your ability to rank for searches is heavily dependent on the quality of your website. First, you should perform an audit of your site with the help of this free tool: https://www.sureoak.com/seo-tools/seo-website-crawler-tool

After entering your domain, this checker will scan your website and look for top level technical SEO issues. The fewer issues that the scan detects, the more friendly your website is to Google. 

Following this, there are a number of things you can do to improve your position on Google’s search results page, including, but not limited to:

  1. Remove low-quality content
  2. Using Robots.txt and Robots Meta Tags to resolve technical issues
  3. Identify speed & mobile page issues
  4. Find structured data errors
  5. Check your meta descriptions
  6. Compare content to your competitors
  7. Improve your on site content (increase word count, add trustworthy sources etc)
  8. Add more internal links on your site, pointing to other pages
  9. Checking your backlinks

Email marketing - Scheduled offers and updates to loyal customers

Email marketing holds such a high value in the eCommerce world. It can be automated, meaning that you can set up a campaign that runs for you, targeting different buyers based on their position in the buyer journey.

Here are two ways an ecommerce website might incorporate email marketing into their digital marketing strategy.

1. Follow up post-purchase - Request past customers to write a review of your product. Reviews are vital when it comes to SEO and building trust.

2. The Abandoned Shopping Cart - Users abandon their shopping carts all the time. Emails can help to diagnose the problem and retain business. This can even be the difference between a happy customer and an unhappy customer.

Once you've mapped out your digital marketing plan, it's time to start running your campaigns. The most effective digital marketing strategies are multi-faceted, it's important that you coordinate your campaigns across multiple channels. Before you start running your campaigns, it's wise to plot out every action necessary in a document shared amongst your team members to ensure that all your efforts align harmoniously, and that nobody steps on anyone else's toes. 

Learn from your data

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field, which means there is always room for continuous improvement. It's important to carefully monitor and analyse your results both during and after your campaign, so you can determine exactly what works and what doesn't. Did you achieve your KPIs? Did you have any unexpected benefits? Was the customer journey what you expected? Did any channels underperform? The answer to these questions will provide a valuable basis for re-working your strategy going forward. 

written by:
Tori Breillat
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