Unless you have a dedicated marketing team at your disposal, not many small business owners know how to market an online store. Thankfully, it takes a lot less time and money to market an online store than it does a brick and mortar business – although who can resist the allure of an inflatable tube man on a windy day? Most of the tools you need are available digitally, and advice is free and plentiful.
Here at xneelo, we take pride in the advice articles we write to help website owners start and grow their businesses online. In this article, you’ll learn some easy and affordable marketing tactics you can apply right away. The first and most important thing you need to know is that promotion is the key to the success of any online store. The more effort you put into marketing your products, the more likely it is that customers will decide to buy from you. Customers can’t buy what they can’t see.
For many online stores, spending huge amounts of money on marketing isn’t an option. Fortunately, there are a few cost-effective ways to promote your online store. Some approaches, like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), require some of your time but very little upfront investment.
So without further delay, here are five affordable ways to promote your online store.
1. Reach out to bloggers and influencers
One of the best ways to promote a new online store is to establish relationships with bloggers and social media influencers.
There are several ways you can approach influencer marketing. Here are a few examples:
- Give out free samples of key products in exchange for promotion (a review or social media mention, tagging your account or website).
- Offer to provide unique discount codes to their followers.
- Offer a free guest blog post on a topic their audience will be interested in.
The way you approach influencers and bloggers needs to be natural. Ensure that your products are in alignment with their brand. Focus on influencers who care about their reputation and only endorse products they genuinely believe in. This will make their promotion of your online store more authentic.
2. Publish videos on YouTube
The number of global YouTube users is projected to reach 2,854.14 million by 2025.
Some online stores spend thousands on over-produced commercials, but you don’t need to do that. Use your smartphone – it’s all the equipment you need to get started.
Some helpful DIY video ideas include:
- Product showcases, where you highlight key product features.
- Tutorials on how to use your products.
- Unboxing videos, to show potential customers what they’ll get when they order from you.
The best part about online videos is that you can easily use them for cross-promotion. This means you can publish a video on YouTube, social media, and your own website, all in a matter of minutes.
3. Create quality content
Another great way to promote your online store is with a blog. By publishing frequent high-quality content, you can help more people find your shop through search engines. Let’s break down why this works so well:
- Blogging provides you with a platform to talk about your products’ benefits, as well as why you started your online store and what your brand stands for.
- You can write content that helps answer questions for potential buyers.
- It gives you the opportunity to show off your expertise through product guides, tutorials, and comparison posts that feature your and your competitors’ products.
Blogging is a fantastic low-cost promotion method because it’s highly scalable. You can publish one blog post per week or one a day. The more consistent you are, the better the results will be.
WordPress is a great platform to use for blogging. Not only is it easy to set up, customise and create an online store, the dashboard makes it simple for anyone to start a blog, and see the results of your efforts.
4. Improve your SEO
SEO is a collection of techniques that you can apply to get more attention and traffic from search engines such as Google. Creating strong content is the cornerstone of good SEO, but it’s not the only thing you should be doing.
Some other key optimisation techniques include:
- Getting backlinks from reputable websites
- Crafting attention-grabbing titles and descriptions
- Using the right keywords, so that relevant users can find your store
These days, you don’t need the services of a professional to tackle SEO. If you pay attention to the basics of SEO, it can make a world of difference for your e-commerce store. Here’s how to do an SEO audit so you can be sure your website is performing at its best.
5. Google ads
Online promotion does require a bit of a budget, but you don’t have to spend a lot to see returns. Google Ads is a highly-targeted way to promote your online store, where you can spend as much (or as little) money as you want.
Google Ads currently dominate search advertising, which means that if you’re going to spend money on one platform, this is the one you should choose. Ideally, you’ll test out multiple campaigns with small budgets until you find one that works for you. Once you’ve struck gold, you can focus on the ads that consistently perform well.
Promote your online store without breaking your budget
Paid promotion is a strategy that works, but at a high cost. If you pour massive amounts of money into marketing for your online store, it’s bound to get attention. However, there are plenty of ways you can grow your store’s business without a huge marketing budget.
If you want to take a more low-cost approach to promoting your online store, here’s what we recommend:
- Reach out to bloggers and influencers
- Publish videos on YouTube
- Create quality content
- Improve your SEO
- Use Google Ads
All of these techniques have the potential for a big impact on your store’s growth. Once your store is bringing in consistent business, you can consider expanding your marketing budget. Having tested out these strategies, you’ll also have a better idea of what works for you – and your customers.
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