Promote Your Online Shop Like a Pro
No matter what niche you are in, setting up a successful ecommerce store requires both planning and a lot of smart work. If you take into account that customers now have around a gazillion of online stores to turn to for their shopping spree, you can understand why you have to develop both a short term and a long term strategy. From figuring out exactly what you have to sell to choosing the right platform for you (this comparison might be of use here), you have to take into account almost everything.
Offer Deals on a Regular Basis
Most online marketplaces will give you the option to hold sales and/or use promo codes to help entice shoppers. Be sure to do this on a regular basis. From taking advantage of holiday shopping (get 15% off for Father’s Day, 31% off for Halloween, 50% off of select items on Black Friday, etc.) to simply offering great deals for no reason at all, this will help ensure you have regular web traffic.
Use Email Marketing to Remind Customers to Shop
When you first open your store, you’ll want to send out an email announcing it to your database. Make sure it links directly from the email to your store. Once you’ve done this, start sending out weekly (if possible) newsletters that highlight your products with great images and persuasive, yet succinct, content that links directly to each product for easy purchasing.
When you have sales, be sure to announce and promote them via email so customers can take advantage of your exclusive pricing right away.
Start a Blog
A blog is more than a great way to establish yourself as a leader in your industry, it’s also an indirect way to help promote your online shop. Include one relevant link back to your store in each blog post (either link the home page of your store or link directly to a product) and make sure each blog is informative and helpful. If the content isn’t strong, it’s not going to do you any good. Quality blogs will help you grow your online business, however, so if you have the time, it’s a great project to invest in.
Contact Bloggers About Your Products
Do a search on Google Blogs for whatever industry your products are in. (For example, if you create candles, you might look for lifestyle bloggers and/or bloggers who write about homemade goods) and then reach out to the ones with the largest following. Be sure to look for how many comments they receive and how large their following is on their social media accounts to gauge their popularity.
When you contact them, tell them why you love their blog (be specific), then briefly explain why you feel your product would be a good fit for a review on their blog. Provide a sample of your product for free, and if you can afford it, offer to provide another sample for a giveaway. You’ll get a review, a reader will get a free product, and you’ll get priceless promotion direct to your target audience.
Start Guest Blogging
Guest blogging can be a great way to reach a larger audience you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Research who the top bloggers are in your industry (see above), read through their posts to see what topics they normally write about, and then contact them about guest blogging opportunities. Most bloggers will let you at least have a link to your store in your bio, but you possibly may also be able to get one in your content as well.
Offer Video Tutorials/Behind-the-Scenes Shots
People love a good video — they’re easy to share and they can add depth and clarity to your products, as well as help them gain popularity amongst your target market. For example, if you sell headbands for babies, show parents the different ways their babies can wear them. If there’s only one way, just show adorable babies wearing your headbands in videos. If you sell dog treats, why not show a little behind-the-scenes action of you baking them? If you make clothing, show model fittings, fashion shows, you sewing, etc.
When you’re done, share these videos on YouTube (create your own account for your business) and also share on all other social media sites you’re on.