How do I market my online store? What strategy should I use? Since I am start up, do you suggest I manage my own social media presence?
I am in the process of marketing my e-store but I am not sure what is the right way to go about it. Since I am a start up, is it better to manage all social media activities on my own? or Should I hire an agency?
This question can be answered in a generic way. To be able to give a more accurate suggestion, can I know the following from you:
1. What products/ services are you selling?
2. Is your platform hosted in commerce platform (e.g. Shopify) Or own hosted website?
3. Have you decided what type of branding you are going to create online?
Yes you need to hire Seo and social media marketing service. The combination od se and social media is great for your website.
I tell all of my start up clients to keep their costs low. If you have the time to manage your social media while it does not cut into your business building time-go for it. If your not doing a good job and your rushing- hire an agency. Plan your budget first and tell them up front what your budget is. Typical budget for social media management one post per day up to 5 networks, check mail , respond to emails, keep the social media pages exciting can cost anywhere between $550-$1200 depending on how many posts you want per day, if they or you write the content their are a few variables to consider. Good luck!
A good way to generate sales at limited cost is to set up an affiliate campaign via one of the affiliate platforms such as AWIN, Commission Junction, Tradedoubler, etc. You pay a commission on sales to your affiliates. Also you might want to consider working with price comparaison sites which will charge on a CPC basis. I hope this helps.
You could hire some freelancers! This should bring you the same quality of results (as an agency) but for much more resonable price. I could help you with that too... so feel free to contact me here or on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/luciangrila and we'll discuss exactly the strategy to be implemented.
Have you defined your target market and ideal client? Do you know where they go to get their information to buy? Go there.
IMHO, you can wait for SEO and a social media hires. Do it yourself but you need to learn how to do it correctly. Don't assume social media is the best or only way to market your business.
Hi Madhavi -
I agree with Walter - you can do a lot of this yourself to begin with. You just need to spend some time and put together a plan of who your target customer is, what you are trying to achieve, your message, and best way to get your message to them and keep them engaged.
I often work with my start-up clients to put together their strategy, tactical plan and their message and then they can take it from there themselves.
I meet w/ a lot of small business people. Were I you, I would request a meeting with an agency and an independent digital master (often cheaper than an agency). The initial meeting should cost you nothing and you should learn much and more about what a good strategy might look like for you and your online business.
After the meeting, they should provide a proposal itemizing what they recommend you do (or they do on your behalf). Ask yourself, "Will I do that?" If you really won't, don't bother. Plan a budget (for at least 6 months to a year?) that allows you to contract that out and see what you learn and if it's working. If you love tech and computers and are a quick learner, there's much you can self educate on and do yourself~search engine optimization, SERPs (search engine results pages), how to turn your website into an app (for free), facebook (keep it fun, social, relevant), blogging (most people won't commit to this and do it properly).
Have you listed yourself in google business, google pllus and google pages? Have you added an analytics to your site so you can track the origins of your converted hits? And your non-converted hits (what works, what doesn't...where/how are people finding you?). You need to properly identify the search terms or keywords people search when they are trying to find you. Then you must embed those words to your site, your blog postings (if you do that), everywhere that you are online.
Youtube has tons of tutorials~just search "How to (Fill-in-the-blank)" There's also Lynda.com (free) and lots of other online resources. Find and use them!
Remember that successful businesses make a lot of smaller calculated risks, but none so great that it will break them. Baby-steps:)
Does this help at all?
Good luck and warmest regards,
Bridget, Marketing Consultant
Marketing your online store will really depend on the answers to some of Walter's questions- what defines your customer, who they are and where they can be engaged is part of the process of customer discovery that it sounds like you are still testing.
Establish a starting point for your company/product branding that will allow you to be consistent. Describe your ideal customer and do your best to support that with demographics from your first customers.
I recommend you or a co-founder manage your social media, especially if you are still learning about your customer. During the discovery phase it is important that you commit time daily to engage with customers and respond to customers you identify through social media channels. Start small with a plan and you won't fail. If you are just beginning and you believe Facebook is a good channel create a calendar and establish a posting schedule that allows you to share information about your industry and customers, curate content from sources in your niche, promote products, and engage potential customers.
A few Google Alerts and an account from a scheduler like BufferApp will allow you to time shift and schedule your posts at one time leaving your daily social media efforts to focus on replies and other customer engagement opportunities.
Creating a healthy e-community is all about providing quality consistently to your audience. There is no magic formula that says if you set up a Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn you'll magically see a leap in traffic, conversions and sales. Based on your "ideal" customer you can hypothesize the best channels and test them. You can also make the most out of the content you do create by re-purposing for multiple platforms, e.g if you share a tip on Facebook this week you can also share it via Twitter.
Testing channels and the engagement they achieve is important. Experiment with different media but remember that no action works without some consistency so prepare your marketing plan around what you can actually get done. As you determine where your time is best spent, a Twitter post may be lost in the stream but it is typically quick and easy to schedule, a well-written blog post will take time to prepare but will add to an e-content library that will continue to work over time to earn you customers.
Best of luck, I hope this is a helpful start!
Social media is one method to look into, for sure, But it has it's drawbacks. you limit your initial thrust to brand yourself. Remember you only have your immediate group, friends, friends of friends, relatives to begin with, unless you pay for your ads, and know how to manage your advertising budget. It is a good way to begin, if you want to be a slow starter.
Both ClickBank and Clicksure have beginners packages to release your products.
You can go with solo ads purchased from other marketers, They will email their list(s) for you.
Are adept in programing, build your own website , and squeeze pages. Or if your budget will support it, hire someone with the knowledge to help you get up and running. Take in a partner with the know how.
News paper advertising is the least expensive (classifieds).
Mobile media is the next and upcoming system.
I am conducting a 10 Step Lesson on LinkedIn. It talks about this. Here is a link to it. We are only on Step 4 and LinkedIn in has published it. https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/136193771
I gone through your Website.It looks nice.Being a consultant,I would like to suggest you the following
1.Being a Start up you need to do focus on SEO and Targeted campaign to increase your site visits
2.Social media is major channel for online Businesses like yours.So you have to play around with major social media channels
3.Last but not least,With the above things you can increase the site visitors(if you follow a streamlined process)
How to Convert site visitors in customers?That is a billion dollar question rite???
Recently We developed a Real time customer engagement Suite called Sensiple CAS.This is the one which helps you engage your online customers in real-time like you can push notifications or offers instantly when someone looks for a product .If someone struggling in Payment Cart,you can assist them instantly through your site.This will give superior customer experience to you customers.
why dont we have a call to understand your requirements?pls provide your contact information like Email and Phone number to take it further
Awaiting your reply
Karthik | Business Consultant
Social Media will be your best friend, because you can target by country, gender, interests, etc.
Can you afford to hire an agency?
I say bootstrap until you can't or it no longer makes sense. Hiring an agency could be very costly depending on what stage of your business you are in.
Run it word of mouth, niche, warm market type stuff. Hold on the agency for now.