There is no shortage of competition in the ecommerce arena, as there are hundreds of thousands of online stores out there, many of which in your industry. You will need to stand apart and one of the most straightforward ways to do that is with a little bit of digital marketing.
Despite various “experts” telling you that digital marketing is the easiest thing in the world, there are still innumerable ways in which you can mess it all up and end up throwing your money away.
Today, we will be looking at some of the most important don’ts of digital marketing for ecommerce companies.
1. Don’t Wing It
Digital marketing is a relatively new discipline and, as such, it is plagued by various experts and gurus who know very little about marketing in general and what it is all about. They are boasting various skills and experience that, when you scratch the surface, all come down to various esoteric accomplishments that are suspiciously devoid of any hard numbers.
The reason for this is that they rarely produce numbers and this is a problem. This is a problem because marketing is all about numbers, digital or not.
In order to get numbers, you need a strategy, a set of tactics that you will use, awareness of the data you will track and a regular audit of how your marketing efforts are going.
Above everything else, you need clear goals. The good news is that the world of ecommerce is perfect for clear goals. You can, for example, aim to increase the number of visits to your online store by 15% in the next three months. Or, you can aim to increase conversion rates by 35% in the next half a year. Perhaps it is something much simpler, such as boosting your revenue by 20% by the end of the year.
Once you have a goal, you create a strategy and decide on tactics and tools that you will use.
Always have a digital marketing plan. Do not wing it.
2. Don’t Neglect Content Marketing
It can be difficult doing content marketing for one’s ecommerce store, there is no doubt about that. This is particularly true if you are selling products that are not exactly the high end of innovation or especially sexy. It can also take a while before you start to reap the benefits of doing content marketing.
This being said, you don’t want to neglect it, and for a number of reasons.
For one, running a company blog and publishing regular content is a great way to build your mailing list (which you will later use in email marketing, for one). If you come out with amazing content, people will gladly give you their email in order to receive regular content.
Furthermore, producing good content is good for your SEO and SEO is quite important for ecommerce websites. An ecommerce store with a decent blog will have the upper hand over a virtually same store without a blog. Moreover, you will find it much easier to build links to your ecommerce store with content (link building for product pages is notoriously difficult).
With great content, your social media presence will also be more varied and less likely to look like a spammy practice (more on this later). Who knows, a piece of your content might just go viral on social and you’ll end up with fantastic amounts of new traffic.
Make sure that your content involves a lot of visuals too. Perhaps you might want to do a YouTube video instead of a 300 words product write-up? If nothing else, then pepper some stock photos (like from Shopify’s Burst) throughout your articles.
To reiterate our first don’t, don’t wing your content marketing. Learn about it. Make a plan. Put the plan into action.
3. Don’t Be Spammy On Social
Your ecommerce business will be present on social media; there is no doubt about that. Social networks are a great place to connect with your customers and to build your brand.
Unfortunately, a huge number of ecommerce stores see social media as nothing more than ad space and that makes people angry. Sure, a promotion here and there will not be a problem, but when you start doing nothing but blast tweets about your individual products, people will start to hate.
Your social media accounts should be an eclectic mix of sharing your content, getting involved in industry conversations, interacting with your (potential) customers, doing some customer service…and some promotional messages.
Also, don’t be stuck in 2010 with your social media presence. Go visual. Use videos, gifs, images. Make sure that people understand these are modern social accounts.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot
This goes back to the first don’t that we covered today. Namely, when ecommerce business owners come up with a digital marketing plan that they think will work, they sometimes tend to stick with it no matter what. This is not the point of being smart about your strategies and tactics.
Sometimes, you simply make the wrong decision and it is essential that you realize this sooner rather than later. When you do, you stop wasting time on subpar tactics and you start diverting your money into something that will work.
For example, you might discover that your social media marketing is showing very little success while your tiny email marketing campaign is working fantastically. You might find out that the more money you spend on SEO, the greater the returns are.
You need to track data, analyze it and make timely decisions.
There is no place for your ego or pride when doing ecommerce digital marketing.