If you want to establish your online business, BigCommerce is the ecommerce platform for you! They have all the plugins and top apps integrated, that help you to launch, sustain and grow your online store.
Once you have listed all your products, and have an active website – the wait starts for the “sales” to come in. The newly launched brand requires a lot of promotions / reviews / word of mouth acclaims before the products are “accepted” and the “brand” gets recognised in the online market.
Its a slow process – creating brand recognition, before BIG sales can start coming in. There are no short cuts possible, but what we are attempting here are just a few simple starter “tips and tricks” to set the ball rolling in the right direction.
It’s very important to engage with your followers / customers / target audience.
You can do this in multiple ways. You can:
- Promote images of your own products you have on offer
- Share your promotion campaigns — Eg: a collage of different products in a particular “collection”
- Announce sales — this tempts your existing customers as well as target audience to visit your online store / estore
- Provide discount coupons — exclusively on social media, so that audience becomes your regular followers, and eventually loyal customers
- Post suggestions on related products / accessories — For example, if you are selling ladies dresses, you can provide suggestions on shoe types that would “match” the look.
It’s important to plan precisely and then go in for multiple, short-term campaigns.
Launching contests and discussing future launches to get feedback is also important as it arises interest and builds a returning traffic. Just keep the information flowing, and keep your followers, viewers and prospective customers ‘engaged’. This engagement grows into ‘fan’ following and eventually converts to sales.
Well, let’s say you have launched your campaigns, but how do you achieve a long term growth? This is possible by creating a brand presence — building your fan following on the social media.
For this, you can follow the below listed suggestions:
1) Keep the message simple
It should be easy to understand, having an effortless comprehension. Use small sentences with simple words. If a 12yr old can understand the message, you are good to go. Eg: If you are selling handmade fused glass jewellery, and you describe same with ‘spectrum 96 glass’ — it may complicate understanding for someone who is yet to use fused glass jewellery. So, you lost the chance of a potential sale. Instead, you could use simple, common use words like handmade glass jewellery in the promotion, and give the exact description in the ‘materials / specifications’.
2) Use hashtags
You need to use hashtags so that prospective followers / buyers can ‘find’ your products easily, and with time can become loyal to your brand.
Eg: #handmadegifts, #glassjewellery, #pearlnecklace, #giftsforher, #exquisitexmasornaments, #handmadejewellery could be few suggestions for a shop selling handmade glass ornaments targeted at female buying audience.
You can actually test out your hashtags by searching products with your chosen hashtags. If products similar to yours do appear in the search result, then you are on the right track. Competition mapping also plays a very important role – check out the hashtags being used by your competition / other shops selling products similar to yours.
You can take help from some hashtag sites like www.hashtagifyme.com, etc for the trending hashtags for your segment of products. Do not try to be different by ‘creating’ your own hashtags. Commonly used hashtags appear in SEO. Follow the leader, even if that’s your competition.
3) Display links
This is needed for a path to your online store / estore while promoting products on the social media, for easy access whenever your reader wants it. Regular, multiple promotions are required and that will only lead to a brand name established over a period of time.
You can use help from websites like www.bitly.com to shorten the links to your e-store (to save on the character space). Try using the customization option on ‘bitly’ to display your brand name or an easy recall name in the link, for full optimisation.
4) Use a lot of images
“A picture speaks a thousand words” goes an old saying, and it stands true even in today’s times. They get more views on any social media, and increase the chances of traffic directing to your online store and building brand recognition.
Eg: If you are selling jewellery, and you need to promote a pendant, you can use 4 different images for 4 different promotions of the same product:
- Image of the pendant — front view
- Image of the pendant — back / side view
- Pendant with a chain
- Pendant with a chain on the neck of a lady
5) Promote on the relevant social media networks at appropriate timings, consistently
A promotion is not worth anything if its not seen by the audience it is meant for. Eg: If you are selling apparels for teenagers, and you promote the products say early morning, when the teenagers are not even online – the promotion is wasted. Or if you promote the apparels on a media not even used by teenagers, the promotion would not get you any traffic or sales!
You need to be strategic about this –
- Carefully list your target audience and the time when they are expected to be online
- Match it with the media they frequent
- If you cater to multiple buckets of audience, you would need to work this out for each target group
- Then start promoting on the relevant social media networks, at the mapped out timings
- Better to choose uneven hours – like a promotion at 4:12 P.M. is way better than the one going out at 4:15 P.M. – it stands a better chance of being noticed and clicked
- Keep promoting day in and day out – a promotion takes time to “build” its audience and “perform”. If you leave after a post or 2, the whole effort of teh initial 2 posts also goes waste!
6)Find the gaps and use them to your advantage
The already established players in your category are already on the social media before you started – so you have a slight disadvantage. You have to compete for eyeballs with BIG brands having a BIG follower base already on Twitter / FB / Instagram, etc. So, the smart way would be to find alternative routes for yourself – there is enough fish in the ocean for all!
Start promoting on product discovery networks / not-so-common networks to build your brand-name online. And also continue with the common networks like FB / Twitter / Tumblr / Instagram / Pinterest simultaneously.
These are frequented by serious buyers, who are actually looking for products to make a purchase. So, conversion rate of traffic to sales is quite high compared to other common networks. Works really well when you are a new brand trying to find your space in the online worls, looking to make a start with sales and then repeat sales can follow.
Finally, how successful have been your efforts? This is determined by measuring the ROI (return on investment). You can use analytics to measure the clicks (eventually sales) through each medium. Once you have the inputs, invest more time / money in the channel that is most productive for your kind of products. Social media sites provide some limited analytics for free promotions
Eg: You can get the number of impressions as well as link clicks from Twitter. For a more detailed analysis on whether that click resulted in an actual sale or not, you would need to invest money in a ‘paid’ promotion.
Your next steps – Connect your BigCommerce store to your Outfy account, and see how life becomes easy for you!
You can spend hours on the promotions yourself, or you can choose the “smarter” way by registering your online store with Outfy, and using the Outfy tools to establish your brand name online. Let’s see how Outfy can help you:
- Promote more and more — be ‘noticed’ – Outfy can do this for you round the clock, without you being hooked to a laptop all the time
- Do repeated promotions to ensure maximum traction – Outfy can repeat the posts for you as many times as you wish. Outfy can also rotate the promotions using “wheel of promotion” feature
- Promote multiple times — With different frequency rates as recommended for each network – Outfy can do this for you through autopilot. You can easily choose different frequencies for each different network you want to post on
- Schedule promotions for optimal time, networkwise – Outfy’s autopilot can even do this through multiple tasks
- Use most popular hashtags, increasing the chances for your products to be ‘found’. Monitor them regularly, and rotate them over time – You can attach different tag clouds to each category separately @Outfy to easily be found with SEO
- Keep the message short and simple
- A picture speaks a thousand words — so use lot of images – You can even make a collage using Outfy’s Shoutout feature and promote a single products better or even a whole collection
- Use links back to your online store for easy access by your customers, customised links for increasing brand recall – You can add your links to your posts using Outfy’s “post template” feature
- Keep analysing the results at regular intervals, and tweaking your promotions – Outfy supports bit.ly for easy analytics
Try out these suggestions and you will find the ‘sweet spot’ for your business soon!
Happy marketing and happy selling!