Every experienced ecommerce entrepreneur knows that success doesn’t happen simply as a result of creating a product for people to buy. That’s only half the battle. In ecommerce, your job isn’t done and your success isn’t guaranteed just because you’ve figured out manufacturing, you’ve created your branding, and you’ve launched your store. There’s more work to be done—a lot more.
Building a successful ecommerce business doesn’t happen when you create great products. It happens when you put great products in front of the right people and ultimately convince them to buy. To get your products in front of the right people, you need to develop a promotion strategy that you can implement over time. You need a list of tactics that you can try and learn from.
Not sure where to start? Here are 9 actionable ways to promote your products in 2018:
One of the best ways to get the word out about your new product or ecommerce business is to start creating content.
Content helps you start positioning yourself as a trusted voice in your space. It can also help you rank for the terms you want your products to show up for in search engines like Google and Bing.
Content also helps your target audience understand what makes you different from your competitors, and what makes your brand and your products special.
Your goal with content creation should be to offer value to your ideal customer in an effort to help them and build authentic relationships with them over time.
Content creation doesn’t have to only exist on a blog. In addition to publishing content on your blog, the original content you create can also live:
- On your social media profiles, like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube
- On your product pages
- On landing pages or content hubs that focus on a specific topic your audience cares about
- In the physical marketing collateral (cards, flyers, lookbooks) that you send to customers and prospects.
Another great way to promote your products is to get help from trusted influencers and bloggers in your space. These days, consumers put a lot of trust in influencers. They rely on reviews, blog entries, videos, and other forms of content published by influencers and their friends more than the content and ads being produced by brands.
According to a study done by Collective Bias, “70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions.” The same survey reveals that, ‘30% consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Consumers can relate more to these influencers and value their opinions more than that of celebrity influencers.”
As an ecommerce entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to gain direct access to your target audience by partnering with the people they already know and trust: bloggers.
To get access to their audience, send product samples to well-known bloggers in your industry. Ask them to write up an honest review of your product to share on their blog. Alternatively, you could pay them to create sponsored content about your products that they share with their audience.
A launch party can also help you boost brand and product awareness when you’re just starting out in ecommerce. The goal with a launch party is to connect with people who might be willing to buy your products, get active support from your loyal family, friends, and early customers, and capture leads from people in order to begin nurturing them down your funnel. There are three ways you can do launch parties:
- Option 1: In-Person – You can plan a small in-person party and invite local consumers in your area to come and meet you, see your products, and get special deals that no one else will have access to. To boost incentive, create a contest or giveaway that you can run during your event.
- Option 2: Facebook Live – You can also plan a digital launch party using Facebook Live. In this scenario, you’d be doing everything you did in option 1, but instead of connecting with people in-person, you’re connecting with them on your Facebook page. It’s a less-expensive option than planning an actual event.
- Option 3: Special Launch Deals – You can also just create special launch promotions or coupons and release them as part of a bigger marketing campaign for online shoppers. In this scenario, there is no actual event. Instead, it’s a period of time that you’re offering special deals during.
One of the easiest and best ways to promote your ecommerce products early on is to get help from your biggest supporters: your family, friends, former coworkers, neighbors, local business contacts, and anyone else who exists within your inner circle.
The truth about entrepreneurship is, most people want you to succeed. If you’re willing to ask for help, a lot of people will be more than willing to support you early on by purchasing your products, giving you testimonials, and spreading the word about your business and products to their inner circles.
A word of caution: don’t abuse this kindness. You should ask the people you know for help sharing your products on social media, sending emails, or just talking to their friends about you, but don’t keep bugging them if they aren’t comfortable helping. Not everyone in your network is going to be willing or able to help you, and that’s perfectly OK. Focus on your biggest supporters and advocates.
For those willing to help spread the word, make it easy for them by sending them pre-crafted messages that they can share on social media sites.
Creating content for your own blog is an important way to start building trust and relationships with your target audience, but it’s not the only way you could be leveraging content to promote your products.
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Another tactic worth trying is publishing guest or contributor content on other blogs on the internet that you know the people in your target audience are visiting.
The purpose of guest posting is again, to boost awareness and get direct access to the people you’re trying to reach, but guest posting can also help you create trust a lot faster with people than you might be able to do on your own. Guest posting offers the same benefit that working with influencer bloggers offers: you get instant credibility because you’re working with people and sources that online consumers already know, love, and trust.
To leverage this tactic to promote your products, dig into these helpful resources:
Launching a referral or ambassador program can also be an effective way to get the word out about your products.
Referral programs offer rewards and incentives to people who are willing to share your products on social media and via emails to their networks. Each time someone buys a product through a referral link, the person spreading the word receives a reward.
There are a number of tools you can use to build a referral program for your ecommerce store. Here are a few worth looking into:
To learn more about why referral programs are valuable, see real-life examples, and find out how to create the right strategy for your ecommerce business, dig into these helpful resources:
In ecommerce, customer experience is just as important as product quality. Your customers have a lot of companies and products to choose from when they shop online. It’s up to you to show and convince them that they’ll have the an unbeatable experience when they buy from your store.
With that in mind, one great way to promote your products early on is by going above and beyond to delight your very first customers. The goal? To build an army of brand and product advocates. You want your first customers to be excited to spread the word about your products to their friends. You want them to be excited to leave a review. You want them to be excited to buy from you again. To do it all, you need to invest in customer experience and delight.
Customer delight is all about creating amazing experiences for the people who buy products from you, from the moment they come across your brand for the first time to the day one of your products arrives on their doorstep—and beyond.
Here are some ways you can delight your very first customers:
- Idea #1: Invest in The Unboxing Experience – Don’t just send your products in a brown box. Instead, invest in branded boxes and include other swag items—stickers, magnets, notebooks, pencils—as a small thank you.
- Idea #2: Follow Up Asking for Feedback – Send a follow up email and make sure your your customers got what they expected and are happy with their products. Make sure they know that you are here to help, even after they pay for and receive their products.
- Idea #3: Delight Them with Extras – Send customers little thank you gifts and special VIP promos every so often to show your appreciation and to increase the chances that they’ll talk about their experience interacting with your brand on social media.
As social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter continue to prioritize videos over other types of content being shared on their platforms, brands have the opportunity to reach more prospective customers by investing in video.
Consider the following statistics about the importance of video:
- 79% of consumers prefer watching video to reading about a product (Source: Wyzowl).
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined (Source: WordStream).
- After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online (Source: HubSpot).
When it comes to promoting products, there are a number of different types of videos you could be producing and sharing with your audience to boost brand awareness and drive more sales. Here are a handful of ideas:
- Video #1: Product Explainer Video – Videos that showcases your product and helps your prospective customers understand what to expect.
- Video #2: Customer Spotlight Video – Videos that allow prospective customers to hear from other people who have purchased your products in the past.
- Video #3: Behind-the-Scenes Video – Videos that show your prospective customers how your products are made, what materials are used, and who makes them.
- Video #4: Facebook Live Video – Videos that allow you to engage with your audience in real-time.
- Video #5: Education Video – Videos that educate prospective customers on a topic that you know they’ll care about. For example, if you sell running shoes, you might create a video that helps people understand how to train themselves to run faster or longer.
A final easy way to promote your ecommerce products is by running a viral contest or social giveaway. A contest can achieve a few things for your business: it can boost brand awareness, drive more engagement, allow you to capture more leads, increase traffic to your website, and also ultimately lead to more sales.
To build and run your contest, use one of these tools:
To learn how to run an effective contest or giveaway for your ecommerce store, dig into these resources:
What other product promotion tactics have worked well for you? Share your ideas in the comments below.