If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already somewhat familiar with online marketing. But maybe you’re looking for some new ways to grow your e-commerce business. Or maybe you’re just curious about what others are doing. Either way, hopefully, this post will inspire you.
1. Find Your Niche
If you’re looking to grow your e-commerce business, you’ll first want to focus on finding your niche. What is your target audience and what are they looking for?
The first step is to look at the competition. If you do a quick Google search for your niche, you’ll likely see hundreds of websites and blogs vying for your attention. You don’t want to pick a niche that’s already saturated with competition.
To find your niche, you need to define what it means to you. What makes your product better than the rest? More importantly, what makes you different?
When you find your niche, you’ll also want to make sure that there isn’t already a similar, more established website or blog in your niche. Finding that your niche is already taken can be a pain. Make sure you don’t become a copycat and end up ruining your business. Instead, be unique, make it your own.
2. Define Your Goals & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Having clear and concise goals is extremely important. Without them, it’s almost impossible to know if you’re making any progress or truly succeeding in your venture.
With that in mind, you’ll want to sit down and write out your short-term and long-term goals. The short-term goals should be measurable and attainable. The long-term goals should be more aspirational but also have a clear path to get you there.
The first step is to establish what you want to achieve. Next, you need to establish key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the measurable things you’ll use to determine whether or not you’re on the right track. For example, are you selling the right amount of product? Are your new customers finding your website valuable and engaging?
Once you have your short-term and long-term goals and KPIs in place, you’ll be able to evaluate where you are and whether or not you’re making the right moves. This will help you determine if you should continue down this path or switch gears and try something new.
3. Create Buying Cues
We all like to be told what to do. And we all like it when our behavior is rewarded. So in order to convince your audience to buy your products, you’ll want to give them as many buying cues as you can. What are your goals for this marketing campaign? What do you want the potential buyer to do?
The best place to do this is through color, photography, and display order. When an audience sees these elements together, they’re more likely to be guided towards a specific action or behavior. For example, if you have a clothing store and you want to encourage your audience to buy clothes in green, you could use photography of succulents in pots along with the text “buy green” in an accent color. This is a quick and easy way to get your audience to think about what you have to offer while using the elements that will make them more receptive to your message.
4. Develop A Narrative
This is more of a long than a short-term strategy, but you’ll want to spend some time creating a narrative around your company and your products. A narrative is a story that you tell about your company or product. It can be as short as a few paragraphs or as long as a few hundred. The important thing is that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A good narrative will connect with the audience and make them want to learn more about your company. A great narrative can even convince the audience to buy your product just based on the story alone.
Take some time to brainstorm about the kind of narrative you want to create. Then, start building a collection of anecdotes, evidence, and examples that will support your story. Consider using case studies or anecdotes from your own experience when possible. The more details you can include, the more powerful the story will be.
5. Craft An Outline
An outline is a loose collection of ideas, hypotheses, and proposed experiments. It serves as a blueprint for your marketing plan and helps you organize your thoughts. An outline doesn’t need to be perfect and can probably benefit from some more work. But it should at least have some structure and form.
This is one of the most important documents you’ll create when developing your plan. Although you might not feel like you have enough time to sit down and put together an effective plan, outlining will actually make you work faster. Plus, it’ll give you a clearer picture of what to do. You can break down the tasks and create a to-do list. Then, you can check off each item as you complete it.
The most important things to keep in mind when creating your plan are the following:
- Be specific
- Organize your thoughts
- Make a list of everything you need
- Put an end to speculation
- Set a date for yourself
- Plan to follow-up
- Review your plan at least once a month
- Track your progress
- Revisit your plan if you experience any change of circumstance
Whether you’re new to online marketing or you’ve been doing it for a while and are looking to take your skills to the next level, these tips should help guide you in the right direction.