We are all aware of the struggles that come with starting your own business and putting in so much time and effort for it to gain momentum and break even. Several entrepreneurs do not try marketing their products and services at this time since they cannot spare time and money for the same. However, it is crucial to new customers to your brand at an early stage if you want to consolidate your business. Even if you are new to a business or industry, it does not cost much to generate revenue and gain the interest of prospective customers.
If you have recently forayed into the e-commerce industry, you must be well aware of the cut-throat, winner-gets-all competition in the market. Searching for a single product online gets you hundreds of results from various websites, all of them trying to sell similar products to what you are selling or planning to sell. Establishing a business in the e-commerce industry is extremely difficult, and if you want your brand to be noticed in the rat race, you must distinguish yourself from similar ventures and showcase the plus side of your products and services. Only if you have a proper strategy will you be able to succeed in this aspect. In today’s world, marketing has ceased to be only about your product and is mostly about how you present it and the story you choose to tell. Find a few steps below delineating a concrete and successful marketing strategy:
- Outlining a marketing blueprint
The first and one of the most important step is to understand your customer’s needs and requirements, without which you cannot proceed. While this may sound so obvious and simple, you’ll be surprised at how many people don’t do this or are not able to clearly define their target audience.
Map out the target audience for your marketing efforts, prepare a rough budget and find out ways to make sure that the available and existing services reach the maximum number of customers. Conduct market surveys of existing customers and other business contacts. This will help you understand the market conditions and what the people expect from your company.
- Further, expand your blueprint
Using the feedback and suggestions from the surveys conducted, set up technology and online tools that will help you successfully execute the initial marketing plan you have in mind. At the end of this step, you should be able to know your customer’s likes/dislikes, interests, where they live, what are their ages and gender, what they fear, what they yearn for, who are their role models, what kind of ambitions they have, where do they hang online, etc. You may not get an answer to every question but the more you have the less money you will waste in marketing
- Start your marketing plan
It is important to be consistent and focused during the implementation of your initial marketing program. Focus on your daily goals and steps taken so that everything remains on track. Measure your return on investment by setting your checkpoint quarterly or half-yearly, as per your convenience or requirements. Once again, be consistent in implementing and measuring results of your strategy
What you should include in your marketing strategy:
- Identify your ideal customer and audience
Knowing your customer and target demographic is invariably the most crucial part of any marketing plan since getting this part wrong would completely upset the working of it waste your marketing money. Take as much time as it takes to identify potential customers. For example, if you are selling a product for children, you should have a clear idea and focus on capturing the interest of parents who are likely to buy your products. It does not make sense to target single individuals who are not a good fit for your plan.
- Create a unique brand statement
Perception is reality. See what is the perception your brand is creating in th minds of your customers or potential customers. A brand statement is what helps customers identify your product/service and makes your company stand out. There needs to be an interesting story behind this choice and your brand, which appeals to the emotions or passions of customers, hence making it relatable for them.
- Make the customer feel involved in the journey of your product
The next step is to make the customers feel included in the product development journey. This involves making your content relatable and empathising with the customer and the problems they face while purchasing a similar product or service in the market. Once you understand the shortcomings faced, make a list and strategize to overcome those problems.
Low-Cost Marketing Strategies:
It is not true that every start-up or developing business relies on their expert marketing team to make their business successful. In today’s world, the internet has expanded so much and even the most remote corners in the world have access to the internet and its facilities, making digital marketing close to inexpensive for start-ups to get initial sales started. Here are a few low-cost methods you can use to boost your company’s sales:
- Social Media Marketing
Given all the attention that social media is getting nowadays, using the increasing trend to your advantage would be an excellent way to start marketing your product. Organic marketing is low cost where you need not pay the channel but there may be a cost of content development. Through your content, you can focus on important aspects like customer satisfaction, rather than spending money on branding and paid promotions of your product or service.
Setting up a social media account for your marketing needs is child’s play. For instance, Facebook has about 2.5 billion monthly users and a properly executed Facebook marketing plan will definitely drive your sales free of cost. It is possible to create a Facebook page for your company with an e-commerce theme and post regularly about your product, information, contact details and other updates. You could invite your existing contacts to like and share the page, and answer queries and redressal via Messenger. Similarly, Instagram is skyrocketing when it comes to users, with over 1 billion users interacting every month. Create an Instagram brand page for your product/service, and post pictures of your product with details in the caption. Another useful feature is Instagram Stories, through which you can regularly interact with your followers and showcase your product. In the bio section, you could add contact details and links to your website, brochure, and other relevant information.
- Content Marketing
Writing blog posts and getting featured on blogs, vlogs and other pages are a great way to widen your reach. The scope of content marketing is no longer just limited to blogs, and it is considered an effective method for lead generation. By inviting people to subscribe to your blog or content platform, you can collect their email addresses and send them daily, weekly or monthly newsletters about your products and services. If you own an e-commerce venture, you should not only feature content that highlights the benefits of your product, but you could also talk about the various uses of the product.
For instance, if you are strategizing for a company that sells fitness trackers, you will have to tell customers about how your product is different from the trackers launched by your competition. Another method could be to explain the various activities, exercises and functions covered using the fitness tracker, making it easy for the customers to understand. Content marketing is a sure-fire method to get the attention of customers since a “how to” Google replace would lead them to your content, which would eventually get them interested in your product or service.
Another easy hack for e-commerce marketing is displaying customer reviews on the website. Most people check out the customer reviews before they purchase something online. Popular sites like Amazon and Flipkart show the rating of a product right below or next to a product’s title, and customers pick their products based on this. Other details displayed include the number of buyers who liked the product and the number of customer reviews. Getting customer reviews and feedback for your product or service is therefore very critical. This feedback loop is what will boost sales and lead to brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.