Updated: Aug 9
So you built your ecommerce business and other than your friends and family no one is purchasing anything. The truth is, no one
knows your brand yet and they don’t know if they can trust you. The first thing you need to know is that this will not be an overnight success. It will take months and years to establish a brand that’s recognizable. You can do it, here are some proven tips that will help you see success sooner than later.
Find your niche products and know your industry and competitors
Whether you’re drop shipping, reselling stocked items, selling custom built items or selling a digital product it’s important to know your industry, competitors and all about your products. The key is to target a specific niche and become an expert. I’ve seen many new ecommerce businesses that sell so many products that they don’t even know how to market all or any of them or who their target customers are. It’s easy to think that if I sell so many products, someone out there must be looking for one of my items. Yes, someone out there is looking for your items but they can easily go to Amazon or somewhere else that they are familiar with to purchase it.
When you select a specific niche you’re better able to target your marketing directly to those companies. For example our customer www.headpointe.com only targets campers, hikers and rock climbers. This allows them to pinpoint their target market and start providing value in those communities.
Provide Value To Your Target Audience
So after you niche down your products and select your target audience you will then want to find out where people with these interests hang out. I recommend using social media for this, however, don’t think you can just join these groups and start posting ads then everyone will flock to your website, it’s not that easy. Each social platform has its own culture and its own best practices for marketing and promoting. Most of the social media sites will encourage any kind of value added content. For example for the rock-climbing community you could simply share a video of how to tie a special knot or how to start a fire using sticks. The key here is to do this very often, in fact, do it as much as you can for your niche. “How will they know I’m selling anything?” It’s okay to point people back to your website if they want to learn more and it’s okay to even post an ad for a specific product but do not make it look like an ad. The more natural a post looks the more people will interact with it. I try to send out three useful content first before I send out any product ads.
Start with Social Advertising
If you don’t have deep pockets like most startups and have a limited or no budget that’s okay but you will have to put in the effort to get any results. Social media are typically free platforms to use and will give you access to millions of people in your particular niche. On most social media platforms you can join relevant communities especially if you're just getting started and don’t have a lot of followers yet. You can create posts and start interacting with these communities that are in your niche. You can post your blogs, vlogs, how-to’s or images that you think will inspire or bring value. Please keep in mind that this is probably not going to generate much sales right away but what it’s doing it’s creating a buzz, getting people familiar with you as an industry expert so it’s creating brand awareness. The more you can do this the more exposure you will get.
It’s important to find the right social media platform that’s right for your niche and for you. It’s really a waste of time to go to all the social media platforms and create an account. You will spend way too much time trying to manage and build each one. It’s better to target 2-3 social media channels than trying to do them all at once. You will want to learn all you can about these platforms and how to market on them. There are tons of YouTube postings that can help you learn strategies and dos and don’ts. I highly recommend this.
Paid ads can get your content in front of thousands of people each day but it’s not that simple, there are strategies and rules to most of these social media platforms so it’s important to learn them and implement them when creating these paid ads. For example creating an ad for rock climbing on LinkedIn may not be as effective as creating it on Facebook or Instagram. LinkedIn is more of a professional site and attracts a more B2B and corporate audience while Facebook and Instagram are more casual and you're likely to find more communities that are related to your target audience. Now if you were selling a software product for business or business services then LinkedIn may be a better option but I can not express how important it is to learn the best practices, strategies and tactics for each social media platform that you select.
Everyone hates to get spam or junk emails especially when you get too many emails from the same company. That does not mean that email marketing is bad however. First let’s start with the don’ts. Don’t pay for a list or download some free list of random people and just start spamming them. Paid lists are not bad but only if they target your target-market and your niche. You must always give your list of targets an option to opt out of getting your emails, this is for compliance purposes. Do not send hundreds of emails per day, especially to lists that you have not verified that most or all the email addresses are correct. I strongly recommend using a tool like Zero Bounce to clean up all the bad email addresses, we recommend using ZeroBounce. Sending too many emails to a bad email address can lead to your domain being marked as a spammer and most email platforms will simply start sending you straight to peoples junk or spam folders so all your efforts will be wasted. Do not get your domain flagged as a spammer because even regular emails you send to people you do business with could end up in their junk or spam folder.
After you have established a good clean list, don’t just send one email blast and expect any results. You will need to continue to market to these contacts on a regular basis. I suggest once or twice a week. Do not overwhelm your prospects with too many emails otherwise they will all opt out before they take any action. I suggest sending three value added content like your blog or vlog then you can send an ad promoting your product/s.
Optimizing Your Message To Resonate With Your Target Audience
Finding the right words to title and to say in your content is very important. It’s simply just asking yourself or people in your industry what they think beginners in this niche want to learn more about. What are some of the challenges, and how can you overcome them? What are the top do’s and don'ts? If you want to promote a product you can include an image comparing two or three products or more but you can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each and then give your audience the option to purchase either one. You can clearly let them know which one is best in your opinion but based on the information you provided they can now make an informed decision on what’s best for them. When you start addressing people’s problems and concerns they will start viewing you as an authority in your target niche and will be more willing to buy from you as they trust you and your brand more and more.
I can not stress enough that this is not an overnight success business. Competition is growing each and every day, however, with innovation, discipline and creativity you will stand out and become successful.
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