It does not matter if you have not started advertising your new business or you have recently been trying to get sales without any luck on that, getting your first real customer is a major milestone for all e-commerce entrepreneur. Marketing your business takes time, and it needs concentration.
With over hundreds of channels, tactics and different methods to promote your business, it can be difficult to sift through all of them to get the ones that highly convert for your own business, producing instant results.
In addition to that, it is easy to fall into the trap of fine tuning your store infinitely in the pursuit of perfection, instead of paying that attention to the essential part which is driving traffic to your store.
Why Traffic Is very Important for New Stores
As an entrepreneur who owns a new online store, it is very easy to fall under the fantasy of improvement, flip-flopping on fonts, second-guessing the pricing, changing brand colors, and getting caught up in the details as you build your business.
Real advancement, however, is only possible when you reveal your business to the world. You cannot know what you are improving until you establish a benchmark that you can evaluate through hard numbers. This is the more reason why traffic is so vital.
What Happens When You Don’t Drive Traffic.
- You will not know if your brand is dealing with the desired audience.
- You won’t know if there are people that are interested in your products.
- You won’t know if your prices are on the high side.
To assist you to build up your marketing, I have organized most of the widely applicable e-commerce advertising tactics into a list that you can use to direct your marketing efforts, along with beginner friendly resources that will land you a first sale like a boss.
We’re going start this checklist with free but natural traffic sources before moving on to a more highly targeted marketing that might need you to invest some more time and money.
Free Traffic Sources
The first sources of traffic you should consider trying out are the free ones that require sharing your store manually on your network and relevant online communities.
Since these options for traffic are so easy to carry out and are available to every online shop owner, they are a great place to begin driving traffic.
Below are few tips you should have in mind as you tackle these free traffic sources:
- Consider giving a discount code to entice visitors to at least check out your store.
- Add your online store URL to your personal social media profiles so that every action you take online has a high potential of bringing traffic back to the store.
- Do not spam the same audience repeatedly with the same promotional messages.
TAP INTO YOUR PERSONAL NETWORKS ON THE INTERNET
A lot of entrepreneurs get their first sales from people there know personally, and there is nothing wrong with that. On that note, share your store URL on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts to announce it to your personal connections.
Try emailing your closest connections directly to get some information/advice about your store’s launch. You can ask them to share your post/URL as they do not need to buy from you to show their support.
While any sales you make from this method is not going to be as satisfying as when you generate a complete strangers trust has been reliable, this is a good way to get early feedback about your store.
If you do not get any sales out of this, don’t be frustrated as this is one of the least traffic sources in this entire article.
Post On Social Media Forums
Do not underestimate the power of putting the link to the store in the right place. Social networks like Facebook Groups and Discussion Forums like Reddit, signify an opportunity to reach people who Discussion Forums like Reddit, have structured themselves around a demographic set. Try to search for people with passions that relate to your business. Post a link to your store in online communities and forums that your target clients are regularly involved in. You will have more success if you are already an active/known member.
Paid Advertising: Spending Money to Make Money
The best and easiest way to get targeted traffic quickly is through paid adverts. The good thing about it is that most paid advertising channels allow you to pay per click(PPC), and in the most cases you can start with a budget that is as low as $5(e.g., Facebook)
Each advertising platform differs from one another, and you should select these platforms based on the type of users you want and the tools provided by the platform for you to reach them. If you want to target a particular country, you ought to check out which websites that are popular in these countries.
Facebook is among the most popular social networks with all the most diversified user base when it comes to age, gender, profession, and ethnicity. That is why many brands can take advantage of Facebook targeting options in advertising which include age group, gender, occupation, location, and interest to reach their ideal customers.
Instagram’s visible format and mainly millennial target audience are not the only appealing aspects of the platform.
It also has one of the highly engaged user bases amongst social networks, making it, not just a great platform for marketing, but also for your frequent unpaid posts reach many people(if you make use relevant hashtags). With Instagram advertising, you can upload and display your visual advertisement in others people’s newsfeed thereby driving traffic to your store.
Pinterest is one of the best channels for advertising which is often under-appreciated. But it is also the one with the most precise user base, consisting mostly of women, that have disposable income. Also, you can drive significant traffic through free and paid means.
The action on Pinterest is comparable to scrapbooking where the users create boards to collect and save Pins consorting to particular themes. It is used mostly to save interesting contents, plan events, and curate wardrobes, therefore keep that in mind when you consider Pinterest.
One thing that many people do whenever they want to purchase anything is look it up on Google. Google AdWords assists your website to be come up whenever they search for things related to it. AdWords offers a couple of different options including text advertisements that show up conspicuously in search results, and Shopping Advertisements that show your product picture and price in a more purchasing-oriented style.
Do some keyword research to see the search volume that is for terms that your target customers may be searching for. Many people take AdWords to be intimidating because of its complicated interface, so consider hiring an SEO expert if you would like to maximize this opportunity by outsourcing it.
Outreach: Connecting With Your Existing Followers
Information about your brand will not be very effective if you are the only one propagating it. The good news is that the internet has made it possible for anyone to build his platform and, as a result of that, you can partner with them.
Not only does the following ways help you drive visitors, but they also do so by the creation of contents, product review or news, which helps you create your brand’s credibility online.
With every opportunity you effectively create with these outreach strategies, you will be killing two birds with a single stone.
Reach Out to Bloggers
Publishers are always looking for fresh content and stories to report. With a solid sales pitch based on a good story or an excellent product, you can win a spot on a popular blog page or publication where the visitors are your needed clients. Look for publications that are in concordance with your niche and trying delivering them about:
Writing a guest post/guest blogging: Sharing your experience about a topic, using your bio to describe it and putting a link to your business.
Asking for good product reviews: giving out your product to a blogger at no cost and asking for a review.
Pitching a news story: Making use of your compelling story or unique product as the hook for an interview. No matter what you choose, the pitch needs to be appealing not only to the writer or publisher but the particular audience as well.
Seek Strategic Partnerships
Partnerships can be a good way to get your products known another person’s customers. The key here is to find non-competitive and similar brands that already attract the kind of individuals that you are looking for.
It will take some time and luck to search and create these possibilities, but the result is that you could get creative with the kind of the partnership. Ways you can do these include:
- Run a contest and make your product the reward.
- Package few samples of your product or offer exclusive discount rates on complementary products
- Sponsor an event.
You do not need to get all your traffic online. If you are struggling to make your first sale, consider your marketing offline and promote your brand by yourself. Guerrilla marketing is a combination of guts and creativeness, but in the connected world that we live in, it is very easy to say, Check out my website to somebody offline and see it lead to traffic online.
Work together with Influencers
Big brands are not the only ones that can make use of celebrity endorsements to promote their products. You can collaborate with influencers (people that have a large audience in your niche) to tap into their existing fan base for traffic and make them create some good content about your product while you are at it.
Influencers exist on every social media channel from Instagram to Twitter. While you can still directly reach out to them to strike a deal, they are several influencer platforms that connect them with brands
Analyze and Reflect, and You will get Better Each time
At this stage, you have tried enough tactics to get a get traffic, and maybe some sales. This problem is meant to be an exercise in developing a feedback loop, to reveal your store to traffic, set a standard for its performance, and then try to improve on it.
Now you can begin to diagnose the problems with your store by checking the statistics on your analytics dashboard, and also the feedbacks that you have gotten from promoting your store.
There are several reasons why customers may not be buying from you, and you can make some informed speculations based on how your traffic is behaving:
- If you your bounce rate is high: This is when visitors come to your site and leave immediately. The traffic might be low, or your store might be taking too much time to load.
- If none of the visitors has added products to their cart: It may be that you have not achieved a right market fit for the product (in which case you need to find the right niche or try another set of products) or maybe they do not just trust your shop enough to order.
- If you have many abandoned carts during checkout, then you may have to reconsider your shipping cost.
Based on the knowledge that you have gained from these studies, you can begin to change things about your store. By doing this, you will have a better chance of making your first sale if you try marketing further.
Driving traffic to your store is all about connecting your brand and buyers in an ever growing world of possibilities. The fact there are just so many opportunities in out there is partly what makes marketing so overwhelming. There is no single approach to marketing. Trying, failing, exploring, and improving is the only way to find out what works for you. Put your store out there and promote it, since it is the only way for it to grow.
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