Every Shopify store owner wants additional traffic to their store. Most importantly, they want relevant, engaging, and ready-to-purchase customers to be that traffic. In drafting your digital marketing strategy, spreading your budget across the various channels you intend to spread the word there are several key tenets to consider. Below we cover all the different ways to get the word out and the pros and cons of each one.
The basics of marketing
Before we dig into each form of marketing, the preface to a successful marketing campaign is having the right elements in place - otherwise, any traffic generated will yield very little in return.
Is there demand in the market for the products you offer? Either through market research with focus groups, or with your friends in your garage - getting a solid understanding of the demand, what they would be prepared to pay for it, or replace it.
How competitive is the space, and are your products differentiated such that they stand out? This could be color, function, interoperability with other devices you might have - the features and usage must show clear advantages over the competition.
Is your target market sizeable and can be reached through traditional means? Targeting subscription model customers can be more challenging as their benefits may not be clear to competitively target. Additionally, the loyalty factor will be a high bar to breach unless you have detected a flaw in their customer experience.
Are the products being offered to that target market solve current issues in the market? It could be quality, usability, form factor, features - enough for the market to see a cost-benefit in purchasing decision.
Do you have your Marketing 4P's in order - Place, Price, Promotion, and the right Product? Promotion is usually the least driven, and it isn't just a promotional price (discounted, free shipping, etc.), it could be a bundle, added service, warranty, or software support.
Can you reach your target audience in a cost-effective manner? This leads back to the cost of penetrating that market/space. If it is cost-prohibitive, a different approach might be required. What you look for is how you can insert your products at a point of sale where they will see the benefit of your offering. This ideal scenario not only filters the buyers vs. browsers but also your target audience at the same time.
This is an obvious, but usually expensive and has short-term brand residual yet it does have its uses in various situations. This will require a keyword planner since in today's digital marketing methods, you need to target the keywords people express themselves in either through social interactions on the various social platforms or via Google search. A clear understanding of what impressions are, and how conversions are measured is a must - each method varies in this regard.
Google Ads - It all started as pay-for-clicks and now has evolved into optimized search methodologies and even visual ads returning via impressions on the keywords you have defined. The profiling of the search engine individual is more sophisticated and requires a deeper understanding of the Google Ads environment to target and assess cost when it comes to conversion. You are at the mercy of search volume and impressions in that space when it comes to cost-per-click for your Google AdWords where conversion is based on impressions vs. competition and volume.
Facebook Ads - for years Facebook has been profiling its users through the type of groups they interacted with, the keywords they have used in comments and posts, all to create a segmented users portfolio in order to offer to advertise to those users in their home feed. Impressions are made to the categories you have selected, with different types of Ads and the way you engage with your audience. Some Ads might require going to the Shopify store, or subscribing to an Email registry if interested. How your funnel takes place can yield better results.
Instagram Ads - Given that Facebook (or Meta) is the owner of the platform, it has a very similar approach to segmentation/user-profiling while the advertising tools are naturally more visual in nature. It is a feeds-based presentation and cost-per-click and engagement have similar cost-related measures and traffic yields. The tools do vary however in that you have product teasers and Instagram stories that Ads content marketing value to digital marketing. Additionally, collecting user-submitted photos as testimonials and engagement with the products can assist greatly in your conversion.
LinkedIn Ads - For the B2B Shopify stores, this can have a more effective targeting when it comes to reaching business owners and professionals. While most will have a Facebook or Instagram account, they would most likely be for entertainment, so selling office supplies in that medium may not have the same engagement as in a professional network. The same rules apply when it comes to industry demographics, feeds-based, keywords, and optimizing your Ads.
There are Pinterest Ads, TikTok, Youtube, and other social media marketing methods to engage with your audience, such as Facebook Messenger App, or have a "Users Group" where you can interact with your customers, however, getting the initial word out is going to be hard and can be costly using paid advertising. Your social media marketing strategy requires the need to study the user behaviors and engagements and be able to add value to the community - which will be expanded on below.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Probably one of the least understood marketing techniques in this article, yet probably the most important one due to its cumulative effect on your efforts in content marketing. If you think that landing pages and blogs are effective, you are partially correct - when it is "Keyword Optimized" it is very effective. Traffic to your Shopify store via search engine keyword matching and using your ranking for your keywords to rise in the search results makes your organic traffic, your website do the work - and it can save you marketing costs for the exposure it will give you.
Understanding your competition: Being able to see how your competition drives traffic, analysis of their keywords, brand names, and doing your keyword research is key to seeing what traffic pools you want to engage with and "steal" from your competitors.
On-site SEO: An SEO Audit is important in removing the errors, ensuring that your meta tags are set, meta descriptions as they all matter to search queries. Doing this with keyword optimization is even more effective.
Content Generation work: Your site's content and changes in the content and links are key to gaining authority and attracting a keyword-focused audience that is looking to engage with your business, products, and services. Here your marketing effort is cumulative as you add landing pages, blogs, and expand your own site pages to elaborate on your offering. Keywords that can compete with the competition, as well as long-tailed keywords that specifically match your content can work to attract competitive traffic, and the long-tailed keywords make it more difficult for the competition to do the same to you.
Unlike a Google Ads campaign, articulating your message, showing your successes, and adding testimonials to your pages will increase your traffic, and by targeting it by keywords, it will be relevant traffic. Showing up on the results page is what you are looking for - it is hard work. But if you are in it for the long haul, it is well worth doing. You get long-lasting residual, and as you cross-link blogs and use blogs with your email marketer to mail out, you get even greater exposure.
Social Media Engagement
While Social Media Ads are a component of visibility on the various platforms, much like SEO work is to Google AdWords, the engagement has a greater residual value as well it helps convert ready-to-buy customers that get onto the groups/pages to explore, ask questions, and show their unboxing experience. Having the ability to interact with your customers, helps immensely on the customer experience, as well as user feedback. However, some take it one step further and engage with influencers.
Social Media influencers: While most of these engagements are "paid", the influencer having a large audience will bring product awareness to their following. There are a couple of caveats in this arrangement. If the influencer is actively participating in the space and industry or application of your product review and experience then the followers will be the right target market. The more specific the influencer is to an audience the more effective this strategy can be. The second is confidence in the product - both the audience and the influencer have to genuinely believe that the product is innovative, adds value, saves money, makes life better in various ways. When an influencer cannot reach that threshold, it is a detractor and the effort fails. Influencers can end up with "free product" to being paid for their effort - the latter relates to the large follower and high-demand influencers since their time is competing with other products being asked to show.
Video and Visual Content
Visual and Video content is limiting for its SEO but can be a significant enabler to customer experience and demonstration of the use of the product. Rich Snippets can assist in the image/video space for SEO with the "add more information" to the content being offered. Search Engines are in tune with Rich Snippets, and adding this additional content layer will enhance the experience and the searchability of your site - yielding content drive traffic.
Driving Traffic will cost time, money, and effort regardless of the approach - having a good and well-studied digital marketing strategy is key to success. Observing the cause-and-effect of your efforts and focusing on what works well, pulling back on what doesn't, and re-analyze and approaching it differently will help you to succeed. If you have questions on how to drive additional traffic to your Shopify store - give us a shout at email@example.com