The digital age is here and changing how businesses interact with their customers.
As technology advances, businesses must become savvier about digital marketing or risk being left behind.
For online stores, understanding the basics of digital marketing can be daunting, especially when creating a successful strategy.
But this doesn’t have to be a challenge!
With the right guidance and tools, your business can create an effective strategy to help you reach your goals and maximize profits.
To put things in perspective, here are some digital marketing statistics to think about:
In 2018, 12% of all retail sales globally were eCommerce sales. (Statista)
43% of eCommerce traffic comes from organic Google searches. (Wolfgang Digital)
There are 286+ million active PayPal accounts in the world. (Statista)
65% of consumers look up price comparisons on mobile while in a physical store (KPMG)
Exit-Intent campaigns convert between 2-4% of abandoning visitors into email subscribers (OptinMonster)
The total average that each US consumer spends a year on eCommerce is $1,800. (Statista)
In 2017, Amazon accounted for 44% of all US eCommerce sales. (CNBC)
When asked about conversational marketing, 82% of consumers expect a response within 5 minutes via live chat. (Drift)
So, if you are still on the fence about this, go through these stats once again.
What is Digital Marketing?
In a nutshell, digital marketing is an essential part of any online store’s success.
It is a broad term that encompasses all the efforts business owners can use to reach their customers and potential customers online
The goal of digital marketing is to connect with customers in meaningful ways that create loyalty and ultimately drive sales.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Why should you care about online marketing?
a). Cost effective way to reach your audience
Digital marketing provides a cost-effective way to reach potential customers.
You can reach a large audience with the right strategy without breaking the bank.
And also target specific groups, such as age, location, and interests, to ensure your message resonates with the right people.
b). Improved ROI
This is your answer if you want a better return on investment of your campaigns.
By leveraging various platforms and technologies, you can track the results of your campaigns and adjust them accordingly to maximize profitability.
c). Increased visibility
Digital marketing can help boost your visibility across multiple platforms.
For instance, optimizing content for search engines can increase organic traffic to your website and improve your chances of being seen by potential customers.
d). Improved customer relationships
By engaging customers with relevant content and timely interactions, digital marketing can help you create long-term relationships with them.
You can use email campaigns and social media tools to keep customers engaged and informed about your brand.
This can help you build brand loyalty and increase conversions.
e). Real-time insights
Digital marketing tools can provide real-time insights into customer behavior and preferences.
Then you can use this data to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and tailor campaigns to meet your customers’ needs.
Overview of Digital Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Businesses
Digital marketers use a variety of techniques to attract attention from their target audience.
Content marketing (such as blogs)
Search engine optimization (SEO) tactics like keyword targeting and linking building
Pay-per-click advertising campaigns on Google or Facebook Ads
Leveraging influencers on social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter
Email campaigns and retargeting ads that keep your brand at the top of mind with existing customers.
Most of these tactics can work without investing even a single penny.
Establishing Your Online Presence
Before you can reap benefits, you first need to establish presence online.
Here’s what you need to do.
a. Create Your Website
Creating a website is essential for any business that wants to be successful in digital marketing.
And it is not as hard as you can imagine.
You will need a domain name and web hosting to create your own website.
A domain name is like an address for your website; it helps customers find your site online.
Web hosting provides the space on a server where all of your website’s content will be stored so visitors from around the world can access it.
Once you’ve secured these two elements, you can use web design software or hire a professional web developer to create the look and feel of your site.
Your website should feature helpful information about your products or services and easy-to-use navigation tools that provide customers with the best user experience possible.
Quality content should also be included on every page of your site in order to capture customer attention and drive conversions.
Alternatively, you can use tools such as OLITT.com.
It eliminates the need to get a hosting space because it comes in-built and for free!
OLITT is a free drag-and-drop website builder.
With it, you can build a professional online store from scratch without touching any code.
b. Set Up Social Media Accounts
Once you have a website, the next step to get social accounts.
The number of social media users globally grew from 4.2 billion in January 2021 to 4.62 billion in January 2022.
This accounts for a 10.1% growth YOY of global social media usage. In comparison, January 2023 saw a modest 3% growth of +137 million users.
Facebook has 2.958 billion monthly active users
WhatsApp has at least 2 billion monthly active users
Instagram has 2 billion monthly active users
Pinterest has 445 million monthly active users
As such, social media is a powerful tool that can be used to promote your online store.
Setting up accounts on these platforms is essential to digital marketing and helps you reach potential customers, build brand awareness, and establish credibility.
Creating your presence on the major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat is a great way to start.
Before setting up your accounts, you should create a detailed plan which includes what type of content you will post on each platform and how often it will be posted.
Also, consider where you target audience hangout.
That means you must first know who is more likely to buy from your store. And then investigate what platforms they frequent.
c. Build Your Audience
An audience is an essential component of digital marketing.
I mean, with it, who are you targeting?
An effective digital marketing strategy needs to reach as many potential customers as possible, and having a large, engaged audience is key to success.
One way to grow your audience is through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
You can create content that resonates with the type of customer you are trying to attract and use these platforms to share your message.
And if you have a budget, you can leverage influencers in your niche on social media who will help you expand your reach even further.
Whichever way, you need an audience for your efforts to work.
So, if you decide to join Facebook, work on getting page likes. On Instagram encourage people to follow your account, so does Twitter.
But if you look at what we’ve talked about so far on preparation, it is all about looking for that audience.
Designing Your Digital Marketing Plan
Once you have presence on the right platforms, and have an audience, the next step is to plan how to wow them.
a. Identify Your Target Audience
When you are marketing your online store, a key step is to identify your target audience.
Knowing your audience allows you to tailor content and advertising specifically to their needs and interests.
To properly identify your target market, consider factors like age, gender, location, education level, and income.
Once you have these demographics, research their interests – what do they like?
What type of products or services would appeal to them?
Once you have identified the demographic traits of potential customers for your online store, understand the psychographic traits that can influence consumer behavior.
Psychographics include attitudes and beliefs about lifestyle choices such as fashion sense or values surrounding environmental issues.
It’s helpful to create customer personas based on the data you’ve gathered so you can easily visualize different types of shoppers who may be interested in buying from your store.
b. Define Your Goals
Like any part of serious undertaking, setting goals is an important part of any digital marketing strategy.
It helps to define what success looks like.
Goals should be specific and measurable – they should also be realistic and achievable within the scope of your digital marketing plan.
For example, some common types of digital marketing goals include increasing website traffic, improving engagement on social media platforms, increasing the number of leads or conversions, and boosting brand awareness.
Before setting these goals, understand your target audience and their needs well.
That’s why you should know who they are first before you do anything.
Once you have that information in hand, you can develop a clear picture of how your digital marketing efforts will help meet those needs and achieve your desired results.
Know your goals?
Next, identify key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rates or ROI.
How will you know when you have achieved your goals?
KPIs can help provide valuable insight into which tactics are working best for your online store.
c. Selecting the Appropriate Platforms
As mentioned earlier, not all platforms are the same.
Different digital platforms have different features and characteristics that can help you reach a variety of audiences.
Therefore, when selecting the right platform(s) for your business, consider these factors:
First, determine what types of customers you want to target with your digital marketing campaigns.
This will help you decide which platform(s) will give you access to them.
For example, if your goal is to reach young adults, then using platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat would be ideal because this demographic heavily uses them.
On the other hand, if your focus is on older demographics like senior citizens, then utilizing Facebook may be more beneficial since it’s popular among this age group.
Next, think about the type of content you’ll be sharing.
Each platform has different content formats and capabilities, so it’s important to understand what works best on each platform.
For example, YouTube would be an ideal choice if you plan to share videos.
If you plan to share more text-based content, then a platform like Twitter may be better suited for you.
TikTok – Best for creating and watching short-form videos, following trends and challenges, discovering new music, and running ads for businesses targeting younger audiences.
Pinterest – Best for discovering and saving ideas, products, and inspiration, following creators and brands, planning events and projects, and running visual ads for businesses targeting women.
Finally, consider the cost and time associated with each platform.
Some platforms require more resources to run a successful campaign and may be more expensive than others.
Also, some platforms may require more time and effort to maintain, so keep that in mind when selecting the right platform(s) for your business.
Executing Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Now that you have a plan, you need to pull the trigger.
Luckily, there are several ways to execute your digital marketing strategy.
a. Running Ads
Ads are an important part of digital marketing for your online store.
They can help you reach more customers, increase brand recognition and drive sales.
So, with the right ad strategy, you can reach consumers who are interested in your products and services, and convert them into paying customers.
That said, when running ads for your online store, consider where to advertise—for example, social media networks such as Facebook or Instagram, Google Ads or even other websites—as well as the type of ad that best suits your business goals.
You should also create relevant ad copy that resonates with potential customers so they are more likely to click on your ads and visit your store.
b. Creating Engaging Content
As you will hear a lot in this industry, content is King!
But not just any content!
It should be relevant to your products and services and provide valuable information to readers.
For blog posts and product descriptions, should be optimized for search engines so that it can help drive more traffic to your site.
Beyond that, aim to keep things interesting and informative while maintaining a consistent voice throughout all of your posts.
Try to create stories or explain the benefits of using your online store in a creative way.
You may also want to include visuals such as pictures or videos in order to draw attention and keep people engaged with the content.
And try adding interactive elements like polls or quizzes that customers can participate in on social media or your website.
With all these in mind, you might wonder what kind of content works best for an online store.
Here are some ideas:
Product demos and tutorials: Create videos or blog posts that showcase how to use or style your products. This type of content can help potential customers see how your products can fit into their lives and make informed purchase decisions.
Seasonal or holiday-themed content: Create content tied to upcoming holidays or seasonal events. For example, you can create gift guides for Valentine’s Day or Halloween or share tips on decorating for Christmas.
Customer testimonials and reviews: Share customer reviews and testimonials on your website and social media channels. This type of content can help build trust and social proof for your brand and products.
Contests and giveaways: Host a contest or giveaway that requires customers to engage with your brand by sharing your content or tagging friends. This can help increase engagement and grow your social media following.
Educational content: Share educational content that is related to your products or industry. For example, if you sell fitness gear, you can create content about how to build a home gym or tips for staying motivated during a workout.
c. Tracking Your Progress
You cannot scale what you cannot measure!
As such, tracking your progress is a key step in understanding the basics of digital marketing for your online store.
Knowing how well you are doing helps you determine which strategies are working and which are not, so that you can make adjustments to maximize your efforts and achieve better results.
Using tools such as Google Analytics will help you measure the performance of your digital campaigns across several metrics, such as number of website visits, conversions, bounce rate and more.
And for each campaign, define what constitutes success or failure for that particular effort.
This allows you to measure whether each campaign is delivering on its objectives or if additional changes need to be made.
To further refine your tracking efforts, set up goals within Google Analytics specific to each campaign so that progress can be monitored over time and analyzed in detail.
Besides GA, consider these tracking tools:
Adobe Analytics: This is a comprehensive analytics tool that provides real-time insights into website traffic, conversion rates, customer engagement, and more. It offers advanced segmentation, data visualization, and reporting features, and integrates with other Adobe products like Adobe Experience Cloud.
Mixpanel: Mixpanel is a product analytics platform that helps businesses track user behavior and conversion rates across web and mobile platforms. It offers customizable reports, dashboards, funnel analysis, and A/B testing capabilities.
Hotjar: This is a behavior analytics tool that allows businesses to track user behavior on their websites, including heatmaps, session recordings, and conversion funnels. It provides insights into user engagement, usability, and conversion rates.
Kissmetrics: Kissmetrics is a customer analytics tool that helps businesses track customer behavior across multiple devices and channels. It offers cohort analysis, funnel visualization, and A/B testing features, and integrates with a wide range of marketing tools.
Piwik PRO: An open-source web analytics platform that offers a range of features for tracking website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. It offers advanced data privacy and security features, customizable dashboards and reports, and integrations with other marketing tools.
Now that you know the basics of digital marketing for your online store, let’s take a look at some final thoughts on the subject.
Digital marketing can be an incredibly effective tool for driving traffic to your store and creating awareness about your brand.
However, remember that digital marketing requires a lot of time and effort to be successful.
It also requires constant monitoring and optimization to keep up with the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.
Also, understand that digital marketing is not a “one size fits all” solution.
Different businesses will have different needs regarding their digital marketing strategy.
And that’s why you should customize your approach based on the goals and objectives of your business.