It’s one thing to have a great idea for a new store, line or—why not?—global super-brand. It’s quite another to make the jump to turning that dream into a reality. From Facebook advertising to SMS campaigns and beyond, here are a few practical ways to find and then target customers—and start building your empire.
Takin’ care of business: it all starts with strategy
There are many strategic things you can do to set yourself up for ecommerce business success:
- Take advantage of what’s widely recognized as the best-in-class e-commerce platform for small businesses and startups.
- Use the design expertise that comes with such an adaptable platform to provide the best possible user experience (UX).
- Avoid customer friction which causes cart abandonment.
- Use smart, customer-first marketing techniques to get and keep a loyal following, which will get them what they want (a great product and a great experience acquiring it).
Now, let’s talk about tactics: what’s the best way to get this great business of yours “out there” in the first place? Then, how should your marketing and advertising adapt to its growing size and success?
Becoming a household name: advertising your new Shopify business
We already know that one of Shopify’s critical differentiators as a platform is its ginormous app store. Since 2009 (which is like medieval times in the app-existence world), when Shopify figured out how to integrate third-party selling tools into its platform, the store has grown to over 2,000 apps and counting.
But our Postscript experts also know that entrepreneurs are excellent at doing their due diligence—it’s your idea and your money on the line, after all. So, we’re just going to hit some high points that are universal enough to be important no matter what you’re selling, or to whom!
Social media was invented to connect people: so use it to connect them with your Shopify business!
There’s been a lot of buzz and backlash recently about social media influencers not being transparent about their affiliations with brands they’re being paid to promote. It’s a fair criticism; after all, truth-in-advertising laws exist for a reason, and the FTC has now even weighed in on the practice. In 2017, it brought its first actual case against influencers, and also sent more than 90 letters reminding influencers and marketers that in order to remain in compliance with the agency’s Endorsement Guides, they should “clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media.” And now that the FTC is beginning to actively prosecute cases where their warnings have been ignored, influencers are starting to pay attention.
Shady is shady. Unless you can keep it above board and work with influencers who won’t let you and your brand down (let alone expose you to unwanted FTC scrutiny) by properly calling out their post as a Paid Partnership, you’ll be much better off using ads to sell online the old-fashioned way:
Google and Facebook ads
The powerful analytics and deep integration that Shopify facilitates allows you to access tried and proven advertising channels with companies like Google and Facebook. You can drive virtual foot traffic to your website with Smart Shopping Campaigns (Google) and Products Carousel (Facebook). Pay per click (PPC) campaigns an old but effective as a way to initially grow your customer base, and there are apps in the Shopify app store that will guide you through setting this up.
There are so many tools out there to help you set your advertising in motion—all you need is a plan, and some great images and content to use in your ads. Big platforms like the aforementioned search engine and social media giants are a great way to reach people, get your name out there, and drive sales initially. From there you can develop more targeted strategies informed by results and data.
Advertising your Shopify Business on Instagram the right way
One of the reasons that the shady Instagram influencer practice started was because of an inherent problem with the social media platform: how to link an Instagram post back to the company selling the product. It’s what was known as the dreaded “link in bio” workaround. For years, this forced users to use a frustrating, multi-step process to even get to the Shopify business itself, let alone to the product they were interested in.
But no more! Now there is a tool on Instagram to solve this problem, and it’s well worth using. Partnering with Shopify, Instagram allows a “shop now” button to link back to a company or product on advertised posts. It’s not only for start-ups but also established brands, because Instagram user engagement outperforms that of Facebook greatly. Savvy business owners make use of this to promote their products.
From business to brand: advertising and marketing your growing and established Shopify company
You’ve delved into the app store, loaded your business with tools to rev up its online presence, and leveraged the incredible power of social media. It’s time to dial things back old-school style with a dash of new cool tools.
Campaigns—how SMS marketing made old ideas into hot new advertising tools
It’s hard to believe, but campaigns are still some of the most effective weapons in your arsenal. It’s largely due to the rise of two things: ecommerce on mobile and savvy, targeted, SMS-based marketing.
Email marketing campaigns have long been a staple of digital business, and though they can still be effective, open rates are on the decline. Enter the new method of direct messaging your customers, perhaps the most direct one yet: SMS. There are many reasons that SMS works as a marketing channel, but at its core, there is this: open rates for SMS are regularly reported to be above 90 percent. This means more eyes on your carefully crafted message.
Use SMS marketing to build campaigns that build your business
There are quite a few ways to grow a campaign. Postscript integrates into the Shopify platform powerful SMS marketing tools to help you combine the following elements to get the best return on investment.
In fact, Postscript’s tools have demonstrated an almost unbelievable success for users, who are so satisfied that Postscript now offers a guaranteed 4x ROI.
Here are just some of the tools that could help you reach your goals…no matter how lofty they might seem today:
- Customer segmentation
- Sales and promotion info
- Cart abandonment reminders with optional, personalized/customized “sweeteners” for win-backs
No matter what stage in the journey your Shopify store is at, you need to advertise it to keep it healthy and growing. Postscript can help you reach your target audience, improve engagement, personalize messaging and increase your conversions with our wide-ranging and straightforward SMS marketing platform for Shopify. Schedule a demo today, or download the app and get started.