How Can E-Commerce Startups Stand Out Using Digital Marketing?
Time has never been more favorable for eCommerce than now. In the light of the downturn brought about by this pandemic, eCommerce has given salvation for the businesses and customers worldwide to carry on a bit of pretense of a normal life amid the strenuous lockdowns. It was the fear of the coronavirus that led even the most traditional consumers and those from second and third-tier markets to look up their requirements online. And now, even as life is gradually stumbling back to normality, we all have become used to the new way of living our life; the eCommerce upsurge is not showing any signs of dropping off, at least not anytime soon.
During this period, a significant shift has been observed in consumer behavior, with most people increasingly inclined towards online shopping, including many first timers. Moreover, according to reliable reports, the eCommerce sector is recording higher GMVs (Gross Merchandising Values) in contrast with the pre-pandemic levels, which is undoubtedly positive news for all companies operating in this industry.
Nevertheless, things are not as rosy as they appear. While the growth potential in this sector at this time is massive, so are the challenges businesses have to face. As if evolving amid this long-lasting pandemic was not grueling enough that the job of staying relevant, visible, and appealing for the insightful online customers also needs to be done. You must know this is going to be a tall order. There is a cut-throat competition in the online marketplace with boatloads of online businesses offering the same products or services to the customers and not to forget about the eCommerce giants like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Flipkart, etc.
So, it all comes down to one question — how can a newbie eCommerce startup business compete and set itself apart from the crowd in this congested online marketplace?
The answer is — Digital Marketing.
How? Let’s dig in to find out some answers!
Being a bootstrapped startup business with finite resources, you should aim to market your brand in a manner that yields maximum results, i.e., boosts your brand awareness, reach, and revenue simultaneously.
If you have been keeping up with the digital world, you must know that it is an acknowledged fact that digital marketing is one of the most affordable mass media, and it is the best and easiest way to reach a broader group of audiences. It continues to rank as the best means to connect with your target customers, and almost among all the existing marketing options today, it indeed provides you the best return on investment (ROI). However, digital marketing is not just about creating an online store and promoting your products or services using paid online channels. It goes way beyond this now. That’s what makes it all the more crucial to have a well-planned digital marketing strategy in place before starting off and keep expanding it bit by bit according to the results it yields you.
Let’s discuss a few tips that can get you started with digital marketing.
- Understand Your Market
Well, this one sounds too obvious, right? Regardless of how basic it might appear, this is the first and most crucial step for every startup business. You just can’t afford to skip this one. If you genuinely want to be a part of the digital playground, you need to know much more about it. So, the best thing to do here will be to invest some time carrying out primary and secondary research to grasp category trends and consumer behavior in your sector. Doing so will reward you with some in-depth, valuable insights and ideas that could help you hone the products or services you are offering based on the need gaps in case you spotted any during your research.
2. Get Familiar With Your Competition
Being an eCommerce participant makes it easier for you to know your competitors because you’d be aware of where exactly to spot them — online. You can look through search results and do social media research to search for your competition and find out what they are up to currently. It never hurts to learn from others’ experiences. Moreover, you can also filter and narrow your competitors list down to ones who operate in the same niche as you or who target the same group of audiences as you want to, and then you can pick up from their digital presence. This would provide you with a solid base about things that are and are not working and hence serve as an excellent starting point for you to outline your digital marketing strategy.
3. Get to Know Your Audience
The conventional market segmentation on the basis of location, gender, age, etc., is a mere first step in the process. Since the digital medium comprises very narrow and accurate targeting, you could build customer personas of your ideal customers so as to get familiar with who you’ll be communicating with in the future. This wouldn’t just consist of demographic information such as age, gender, and location but also more specific details including, interests, income range, mobile usage patterns, web browsing behavior, social media channels that they mostly use, other brands that they prefer, the applications they would most probably be using and any further details that can help you know your audience better. This will reward you with some in-depth insights that will help you make marketing content that resonates with your audience and also help you find out what strategies and digital channels may work well with this particular group.
4. Build an SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization or SEO is an incredible online tool that will help you stay relevant and competitive in the long run and help place your business in front of the right eyes by ensuring you are easily discoverable online. The key to making your online business a success today lies in implementing the correct SEO tactics. If you fail to get this right, the odds are that your target audience wouldn’t even get to know that your brand exists. SEO is what helps you get found online by your ideal prospects. Nevertheless, you must understand that it takes a good deal of time before your SEO efforts start yielding noticeable results. But this doesn’t mean you should give it up. It means you should get started as early as possible to start seeing results sooner because it will be long-lasting and worth all your efforts at the end of the day. In case you are just creating your website right now, this is the best time to get started with your SEO. But if you missed it, you could start off right away; there’s nothing to worry about.
You might want to or should look after a couple of things, such as building optimized landing pages for all your product listings and search queries, including the appropriate keywords, high-quality photos and videos, and a powerful CTA button.
5. Content Marketing
In the modern-day world, there is not much product or service differentiation. Therefore, the content stands out as one of the best ways to distinguish your business from other competitors. In fact, today’s marketing is less about the products and services your brand is selling and more about the stories your brand is telling. Therefore, you need to spend time producing content that entertains and engages but, above all, relates and offers value to your target audience while also driving more leads in your sales funnel. In addition to this, well thought out and frequently updated content will make sure that your business always stays on top of the mind of your audience. You can keep up with your target audience’s consumption preferences by analyzing blogs, articles, newsletters, podcasts, videos, and much more. Think of content marketing as a means to grow and retain an engaged online audience.
6. Get Social
An active social media presence is an excellent way to generate online buzz without having to invest any significant amount of money. Producing and posting “like-worthy” and “share-worthy” content prompts engaging conversations that help to get your brand in front of more eyes and get people talking about it. Moreover, most social media channels provide you with great insights that let you see what type of content resonates with your audience and what doesn’t, allowing you to build better social media campaigns correspondingly. You might also want to go through the various paid promotions options on social media platforms to boost your posts’ reach and engage with an even broader audience if you are not completely satisfied with your organic reach. This also provides you with an excellent opportunity to connect with your audience, address their concerns, and answer their questions. However, be cautious when doing so because social media can sometimes be a very outrageous place, and all it takes is one mistake to ruin all your hard work and efforts. So stay away from any sort of behavior that may show your brand in bad light or that could trigger an unnecessary dispute.
However, just like in the case of SEO, growing your own social media community is again a time taking task. It isn’t something that you do overnight (but there might be rare exceptions; some people did become famous overnight on social media). Nevertheless, an effective way to earn quick visibility and reliability is to get social media influencers to talk about you. In fact, this approach has turned out to be so beneficial that people often opt for influencer marketing to boost their visibility and sales, of course.
7. Determine Success Benchmarks
Any digital marketing strategy is only good as long as it helps move your brand in the intended direction and yields the desired results. And the only way to find out whether or not your strategy is working out right for you is by determining the right benchmarks to gauge your progress and success. This can comprise anything starting from traffic, website rankings, boost in engagement, time spent on pages, conversion rate, follower growth, content likes, shares, etc. However, ensure that your success benchmarks are realistic and attainable in the time frame you have set. It is also crucial to understand that growing digitally and becoming successful is a gradual process, and it may take some time.
Wrapping It Up
These were a few fundamentals that will surely help give you a firm grounding for your overall digital marketing strategy. If you get this right by implementing the tactics mentioned above, you will definitely be able to grow your startup business and help it stand out even in this crowded online marketplace. Like we discussed before, too, the time has never been more favorable for eCommerce businesses worldwide than now. All you need to do is take a step in the ground prepared and play the field actively and vigorously. Keep in mind that it might take some time to yield clearly visible results. So don’t give up midway. Have patience because, in the end, the results will be worth the effort and wait.
Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for E Global Soft Solutions. E Global Soft Solutions is a Digital Marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC and Web Development company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing, Web Designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.
SOURCE : E-Commerce