If you have perfected your products and your website it is probably time to progress on to advertising. If your website is hard to use, stop reading about advertising and focus on getting the website up to scratch, this is ultimately the most important aspect of any eCommerce marketing endeavour.
Now onto advertising. Before you begin advertising it is important to know where your brand stands. The easiest model to help you understand this is "Full funnel advertising". The full-funnel has 3 core areas, these are awareness, consideration and eventually a conversion. In order to optimise your ads, it is important to target each of these three levels.
Go to where your customers are. Where are your target markets, how often are they using,
The three phases
The first level of the funnel is awareness, this stage is all about reaching people to tell them that your product exists. The perfect platform to raise awareness is social media. This will be the first time anyone considers your product, the first time your brand is put in front of them and ultimately the start of the conversion funnel.
- Social media
- Display networks
The consideration phase is where you get people to consider your brand and products over your competitors. During this phase consumers are considering purchasing your products, they may even add products to their cart, but they aren't quite ready to purchase. Customers who are in the consideration phase are likely to be searching for products like yours on Google. This is where paid Google ads and SEO come into play.
- Search ads
- Social media
The conversion phase is of course the stage where a customer is finally ready to purchase from your brand. The conversion phase may be achieved through EDMs or abandoned cart emails, this is where after a user has added something to their cart they are sent an email saying "you have left something behind" and encouraged to complete their purchase. To further entice customers some brands may opt to offer a 5% discount after 24 hours to get the customer over the line. In addition to these EDMs, search ads and SEO will be vitally important in making sure the right people, find your brand at the right time. Finally, retargeting ads are also a great way to keep your brand front of mind, depending on the contemplation period for your particular product you may choose to retarget someone for a month or up to six months for larger purchases such as cars.
- Automatic dynamic retargeting ads
- Search Ads
Set and forget is not a word we like to hear, good advertising will always require constant tweaking. If you fail to keep your ads relevant, your competitors will always outperform you. Tweaking includes changing the products you promote based on the time of year, trialling different ad layouts and calls to action, and trialling different audiences. Of course in reality there are a number of other things you can switch up, but these are the basics you need to be testing. The metrics of each of these campaigns will help you to determine which ones are working and which aren't. Over time you should be trialling different platforms to see the return on ad spend of each in comparison to one another.
The imagery you are using is vitally important to the success of your brand, it is a great way for you to stand out from the numerous brands that are utilising stock imagery and tell a story to your customers of how they can feel if they purchase your product, Coca-Cola is a brand who has built their empire on making consumers associate their product with good times. Another household company that relies on this method is the much loved Kmart.
There are two questions that you should ask yourself when creating an advert or a post for your socials. These are questions you ask yourself about how your users will engage with your content. The first is why will they care? Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what about the post will make them engaged? The second question you need to ask is why would they share? Here you need to ask yourself why would your customers share the post. If you can't answer one or both of these questions then you probably need to rethink the post or ad.