You know those days when you’re all dressed up and bursting with confidence and you don’t meet anyone “important”?
The feeling is probably similar to the one when when you defied physics, scored from the middle of the court and again – there was no one there to see it?
Not the greatest feeling in the world, right?
Now imagine, how would it be if something similar would have happened with your online store.
While other examples simply reflect cases of bad luck or pure accidence, a similar scenario on your online store is real and it can cost you a lot.
Still, it can be easily avoided by creating a winning marketing plan.
From Idea To Success
So, you have decided to start an online store and you have probably carefully thought that through.
However, in order to ensure success, you have to think through every next step equally thoroughly.
Nothing is more or less important, they’re all valuable, but there is one that can be crucial – the way you promote your online store.
In order to be efficient in promoting your online store, you should take into account SEO tactics, building email contact list, Google Ads, social networking, article writing etc.
You’re feeling dizzy, aren’t you?
This, however is good news, since the broad spectrum of online promotion elements can give you loads of possibilities and space to create a strategy that will be coherent and in accordance with your budget and business as a whole.
It seems that without an adequate business plan – there is too much left unsaid.
If hope is the only thing you rely on, you risk wasting your time and money and they will never return.
What detailed marketing strategy will do for you, is that it will give you an idea and help you reach the goal.
The goal to create an online store that will generate profit and attract customers over and over again.
Meaning – you have to formulate strict and clear goals wrapped up in plans that will help you accomplish them.
But, the question is – where to start?
Before you start spending your resources promoting your store online, do us a favour – try answering these six questions:
1. What is your story?
The most important thing that you need to address to is – defining your brand.
If you haven’t thought about that extensively, or you haven’t elaborate everything in details, now it’s time to dedicate yourself seriously to that task.
Think, what differentiates you from others? What are the values that you’re offering to your buyers, that they cannot find anywhere else?
These answers can serve you as a guide and help you create the plan, and at the same time they will represent the focus of the message that you want to communicate to your buyers.
2. What are your assets?
Before you start planning your moves seriously, it is crucial to be honest and evaluate your possibilities.
How much money are you ready to invest in promoting your online store?
Think of payed ads, hiring people expenses and all that jazz. What are your talents? Are you skilled with PhotoShop or you’re bursting with amazing business connections? Maybe you don’t have enough time?
You’re not good at writing?
By being honest and by honestly perceiving your flaws, strengths and resources, you will create a position where you will be more than able to be more practical about promotion planning.
3. What’s your target group?
After you have formulated in detail what are the specific of your product and what you have to offer, the only thing remaining to do is to answer is “To Whom?”.
Who are your customers? How old are they? Where they’re from? What are their interests?
What are they wishes, possibilities, fears and ambitions?
The more you define your potential buyer, the easier it gets to create marketing strategy that is precise.
This will help you to better understand your future buyer and ensure ROI.
4. Which marketing channels are you using?
Will you use Pay Per Click adds (PPC)? Should you invest into content marketing or will you focus on Facebook ads?
What about Email marketing? Do you need Twitter?
Choosing methods that will help you promote your online store will essentially depend on information and knowledge that you have gained by answering previous questions. Think, what would be the best for your product, how much money do you have at your disposal, where are your buyers,etc.
A vast number of entrepreneurs that ventures into online business makes the same mistake by believing that is necessary to be omnipresent.
However, reality is that time and money, like other resources are all limited. That’s why you should research what is the most useful strategy for your online store.
And of course – what is the competition doing? After you have done that, choose the most appropriate marketing channel. You should rather have account on one social network that will help you the most when promoting your products.
Maintaining quality company social accounts requires lots of time, and that’s another reason why you should dedicate your time to only one and give it your undivided attention.
That way you will keep your customers engaged and informed, rather than scattering your time and energy maintaining five bad ones.
5.How will you implement your strategy?
After you’ve done your research, determined general plans and goals, it is time to make them more precise.
That means that you should have only one question in your mind and try giving an answer that is as specific as it gets.
The questions is “How?”. Will you hire someone to run your Facebook account?
Will you invest a certain amount into Google AdWords or will you rely on organic traffic from the browser?
Will you create a blog and even offer your articles to other blogs with audience the same as your target group?
Would it be good if you would engage into affiliate marketing?
6. How can you measure success?
Testing and measuring.
Huge advantage of internet marketing compared to other marketing channels is, along with lower cost and bigger audience, that everything is measurable, it can be turned into useful data and give useful insight.
Those are the information that can help you develop your online business significantly. By using tools for web analytics, from which Google Analytics is the most famous one, you can find out what is it that visitors are doing on your store, where did they came from, what are the pages they most often visit, how much time do they spend on certain pages, what is the route that leads them from your web site, conversion rates (how many visitors took the necessary action) and so on.
Also, you have at your disposal different tools for A/B testing.
These are the tools that you can use to find what are the changes that you can implement in order to attract buyers to conduct a certain action and behaviour.
No matter which channel of promotion you choose, make sure to follow and measure results and adjust your marketing plan accordingly.
When planning marketing strategy make sure you establish measurable goals and KPI – Key Performance Indicator.
There is nothing “easy” about internet marketing, and competition is fierce.
There are plenty of techniques and tools that can help you promote your web store.
That is why you should make smart marketing choices, especially if you’re new to this. That way you will not risk waisting your resources.
If you are already experienced store owner it’s more than important to conduct thorough analysis and conclude which parts didn’t function quite so well, and then, having your conclusions in mind, create new marketing strategy.
Observe your online store’s marketing strategy as a living organism that needs time to develop and changes.