In today's digital age, online shopping has become an increasingly popular way for consumers to purchase products and services. As a result, online merchants face stiff competition and need to find ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Digital marketing provides an effective way for you to reach and engage with your target audience.
By utilizing various digital marketing strategies such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and pay-per-click advertising, you can improve your business’s visibility, attract more customers, and ultimately increase sales and revenue. In this way, digital marketing is a critical tool for any online merchant looking to succeed in today's competitive e-commerce landscape.
Search Engine Marketing, also known as paid search, is a strategy whereby search engines such as Google will allow companies to show their ads on their search engine results pages (SERPs). This method is a pay-per-click model, which means you don’t pay until someone actually clicks on your ad. Pay-per-click, search ads and bidding on keywords are all part of the SEM method of digital marketing.
The positives of paid search:
Targeted audience: paid search means that potential customers who are looking for the types of products or services that you offer will see your ads and will already have the intent to buy what you sell. This results in a better quality of traffic to your store with a higher chance of conversion.
Cost effective: you have more control over how your advertising budget is spent because you are using it to advertise directly to customers with the intent to buy your product. Additionally, because of the bidding format, the market will dictate the price you pay. If you bid $4 for a keyword, for example, and the next highest bid is $2, you will pay $2.01, meaning a lot of companies actually often pay less than their maximum bid price.
Something to take into consideration:
Because you are investing time and money into this strategy, it is very important to track the results and know how you will measure success.
New developments like ChatGPT will undoubtedly have an impact on SEM in the future, however for now, its reach is still extensive.
Social Media Advertising, also Paid social for short, is a way to display adverts or sponsored content on social media platforms. Considering that it’s estimated over half the world’s population has access to social media, this is a very powerful marketing tool. If you want to go deeper on this topic, check out our webinars on Social Media Advertising and Social Media Analytics.
|Improved targeting. You have the opportunity to target specific audiences based on factors such as behaviors, preferences, locations, interests, ages, genders etc. This results in groups with a genuine interest in your products seeing your ads.|
Improved targeting. You have the opportunity to target specific audiences based on factors such as behaviors, preferences, locations, interests, ages, genders etc. This results in groups with a genuine interest in your products seeing your ads.
Increased competition. Although the reach of social media is positive, it also means that more and more businesses also advertise there, increasing competition. It’s important to sell your brand through a story and make it personal so customers are more likely to buy into your brand ahead of others.
|Content visibility. With paid social, you don’t have to wait for potential customers to find your ads and click on them, you can put your content right in front of them.|
Content visibility. With paid social, you don’t have to wait for potential customers to find your ads and click on them, you can put your content right in front of them.
Choosing the right platform. You do not want to waste your time and money on platforms and ads that do not reach your target audience. Find out where your target audience spends their time and focus efforts there.
|Building brand awareness. The more social media users who see your ads, the more you can build a presence and an awareness of your brand. This creates a buzz about your business and word of mouth can be a lever for growing your business.|
Building brand awareness. The more social media users who see your ads, the more you can build a presence and an awareness of your brand. This creates a buzz about your business and word of mouth can be a lever for growing your business.
Targeted and relevant audience: Influencers often have a specific niche or demographic they cater to, making it easier to target and reach your ideal audience. This targeting can result in higher engagement rates and better conversion rates since the influencer's followers are already interested in the niche or industry relevant to your business.
Authenticity and social proof: Influencers have cultivated relationships with their followers based on trust and authenticity. When an influencer promotes your brand or product, it can be perceived as a personal recommendation rather than a traditional advertisement.
Diverse content creation: Influencers are skilled content creators, and partnering with them allows you to leverage their creativity and expertise. They can produce high-quality and engaging content that showcases your brand or product in a unique and appealing way, helping to increase brand awareness and drive customer interest.
Cost: Working with influencers, especially those with a large following or high engagement rates, can be costly. Influencers with a substantial reach often charge significant fees for collaborations. Additionally, there may be additional costs such as gifting products or providing compensation for sponsored content.
Potential for inauthenticity: While influencers can bring authenticity to your brand, there is a risk of inauthentic content or endorsements if you pick the wrong partner. Some influencers may accept collaborations solely based on monetary gain without genuinely aligning with your brand values or using the product themselves.
Limited control: When collaborating with influencers, you relinquish some control over the content and messaging. Influencers have their unique style and tone, and their content may not always align perfectly with your thinking.
Measurement and ROI challenges: Measuring the success and ROI of influencer marketing can be challenging. Unlike traditional advertising channels, influencer marketing may not provide direct attribution or clear metrics for evaluating the impact of campaigns. Tracking and measuring results can require a combination of tools, customized URLs, and engagement metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your influencer partnerships.
Affiliate marketing is a method of partnering with someone who will promote your brand or business in exchange for sales that they generate. This usually comes in the form of reviews, blogs or affiliate partnerships through social media.
Cost efficient: because you only pay commission when a sale has been made through your affiliate partner, there’s no upfront fee so you are paying only when you’ve made a sale. This encourages your affiliate partner to promote your brand and products which in turn means more sales for you.
Building brand awareness: having an affiliate partner promoting your products, or having positive reviews or blogs written about you is a great way to increase your brand awareness through word of mouth. The more people who read or hear about you and your products will mean more potential customers with genuine interest in your products, meaning that the increased traffic to your store from these leads should result in higher conversion rates.
Something to take into consideration
Finding the right partner: like with paid social, you need to make sure you find the right partner to promote your brand. It needs to be someone who is in front of your target audience, on the same platforms your audience are on or writing about you in blogs and reviews that your audience go to and trust in. If you put effort into partners who aren’t right in front of your desired customers, you will be wasting time and money on your marketing efforts.
|Free advertising. Organic digital marketing is a free method of marketing with no advertising costs, so won’t cut into your profits.|
Free advertising. Organic digital marketing is a free method of marketing with no advertising costs, so won’t cut into your profits.
Slower to build. It takes time to build quality content and get traction from organic campaigns, referrals or word of mouth. Traffic to your store is likely to be slow to start with as you build brand awareness, and it can take months to collect enough data to make more informed marketing decisions.
|Good conversion rate. If people come to your store from organic digital marketing, it means that they’ve reacted to one of your campaigns and therefore are interested in what you have to offer. This leads to a higher conversion potential.|
Good conversion rate. If people come to your store from organic digital marketing, it means that they’ve reacted to one of your campaigns and therefore are interested in what you have to offer. This leads to a higher conversion potential.
|Sustainable. Once you build a following, organic traffic will continue as long as you maintain the quality of your products or service. Think of some of the biggest brands in the world; customers will always search for their products regardless of the advertising campaign they are running at the time.|
Sustainable. Once you build a following, organic traffic will continue as long as you maintain the quality of your products or service. Think of some of the biggest brands in the world; customers will always search for their products regardless of the advertising campaign they are running at the time.
There are some key things to focus on to make sure you’ll get the most ouf of whichever channels you decide to invest in.
Know your audience
Speak to your existing customers to find out what they love and their pain points and combine this insight with market and competitor research to create a picture of the customer profile you’d like to attract.
Define your goals
Are you looking to increase website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Knowing your goals will help you determine the best channel, strategy and allocate your budget effectively.
All of us are bombarded with a ton of content daily, which means whether it is for Ads or your owned email communications, compelling headlines, concise ad copy, and a strong call-to-action (CTA) are important. Don’t be daunted by this if you feel you are not creative, there are many online resources like ChatGPT or Microsoft Designer to help you.
A/B testing & analytics
Especially when it comes to online advertising, noone gets it right on the first try. A/B testing is essential to learn and optimise, so try using different content or keywords across multiple methods. To conduct an A/B test, change one aspect of your campaign and run both variants at the same time, collecting the data on the performance of both. Then, you can implement the change that gives you better results.
As you are investing time, resource and budget into your marketing efforts, knowing if you are successful is key. And although a mix of different channels might yield the best results for your business, consider starting with one or two to become familiar with the metrics, and have enough time to analyze performance before moving on to the next.
Digital Marketing is an ever evolving field, so continue to research, stay up-to-date with industry trends, test new strategies, and refine your campaigns to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Use resources from Gelato.com to help inform your strategy, read up on what other merchants are doing well to get inspiration or consider seeking professional assistance or consulting with an expert.