Instagram provides an opportunity to market your online store, like other social media platforms,. But with Instagram, you know that you are using nothing but the best. And, you will achieve the most favorable results. It is very important to keep up with the latest trends. Once you lose the track, it becomes really difficult to make your mark. If you want to reach an unimaginable magnitude of audiences, be there on Instagram because that is essential for your success.
Know what is there for you:
It is extremely important to gain familiarity with Instagram before starting out with an account of your own. You must know what is there for you in the app. And, what is the best possible way it can be utilized to provide your business with the desired promotion. Remember one thing that all social media does not work in the same. The same techniques cannot be fruitful for all. It’s better to understand clearly in what way Instagram can help you out.
Let Your Images Speak for Your Store:
Instagram is all about IMAGES! Yes, there is nothing more important than it because this social media giant started off as an image sharing resource and continues to do so. The power which your images carry cannot be matched by anything else.
Share your Story, for Fun!
People like it when they are getting to know more about their favorite brand or company. Sharing some short and sweet details of your story with the followers won’t hurt, in fact, it will bring about more people who are interested in what you have to tell them about yourself. It also helps in building a certain level of trust amongst the company and the followers.
Utilize the Full Potential of Hashtags:
After images, Instagram is all about hashtags. Use the right hashtag and you are good to be a popular trend on it. You can even go about on using some of the already popular hashtags to bring your business in the limelight.
Use the Power of Experience:
Let people know what kind of feedback your store has been getting from the audience so far. One success story can give rise to many. How is your store providing people quality? How affordable are the rates? How quick and cheap is the delivery? What are your amazing policies on return and exchange? All this will help you out in building a strong rapport with your customers.
Partner Up with People:
Look up for some famous people on the Instagram because their popularity can actually help you out in being ahead of your competitors. Let them use your platform to increase their popularity and let yourself benefit from it.
Give Your Consumers’ the Purchasing Power:
There will be many people out there who would post something bought from your online store and would either use the hashtag or tag you in the post. Respond to such customers as soon as you can because they will help in planting the shopping seed in the rest of the Instagram following.
Be Communicative with the Customers:
Reply to their questions and queries because that helps in creating a great bond between the company and the customers. If they are appreciating you then thank them because once the customers start feeling valued on your account, they are not going to deviate their loyalties.
Short and catchy videos are also a fun way to attract users to the account. Videos not only convey a lot of information within a short time but also provide visual entertainment to the masses. They serve as a medium to establish the authenticity of any situation or happening.
Come up with exciting contests to grab the attention of the users. You can use quizzes like fill in the blanks or choose the right answer along with exciting giveaways to make your followers stay on your page. The gifts are the best way to make people happy and more loyal towards your store.
Stay Original, Do Not Misuse the Filters:
Though Instagram is famous for its filters it’s better not to use them too frequently because they tend to leave people with questions. When people are sure that what they are seeing is the original picture of any particular product or item, they will form more trusted opinions of the store.
Look for the Right Time and Right Day to Post an Update:
You don’t want to choose a time when people are in the office or asleep to launch anything. Or, to break a new piece of information on your Instagram account. It is better to choose those days and time when people will be most likely browsing the internet. For example, during the weekends or when people are home from their office.
Include a Link to Boost Traffic to Your Online Store:
This is one way that people will not miss coming directly to your website. It is better to incorporate the link in your bio because this will ensure maximum clicks on it. It’s the first thing that is read by your users. You don’t have to put it in your posts time after time.
You must keep in mind that that you are using one of the most powerful marketing means. That puts a set of responsibilities on the shoulders of the online store owner. Use it in the right way and make your company well known. But, one single wrong move can cost you your name and reputation. Keep the above-mentioned things in mind and you are ready to enjoy your thriving online store.
How to Use Social Media to Build Your E-Commerce Website
By Nicholas Hurd
Social media will help you make your e-Commerce website more popular and attract more visitors to your business. Here are some tips on how to use social media to increase the visibility of your e-Commerce website.
The biggest challenge that e-Commerce website owners face is increasing traffic to their websites. There are so many e-Commerce websites, it can be a daunting task to differentiate your website from them. All of them are competing for traffic which is why whatever you do to improve your business takes an even bigger dimension.
Social Media Posting Tips
Post content everyday- One of the easiest and best ways to increase the size of your digital community is to post content regularly. It is a known fact that customers react to the frequency, with which you post on your social media accounts. So test for optimal posting frequency or compare your posting frequency with that of your competitors. Did you know that you can even automate the process now? There are many tools for this, like drumUp. The minimum number of times to post is once every day on Facebook and 4 times on Twitter.
Add images when you are posting on Facebook- Facebook postswith pictures generate 50 percent more response than a post without pictures. So including images in your Facebook posts can really boost your engagement. If you want to promote some content or make an announcement on Facebook, include a link under your post so that your followers can see for themselves. Adding images to basic text announcements make it compelling and can increase click-through rate significantly.
Add Social Buttons to Your Site to Increase Sharing
Use social media buttons on your website- The next time you visit a popular blog, notice the social media button embedded on the site. They are there to encourage visitors to share the content with others. It is very simple actually. The more social media impressions you collect, the more likes you get. If you want to dramatically increase your social media impressions, embed social media buttons on your website. You can embed these buttons in your newsletter, website and blog header and footer as well.
Test with micro content. People are being bombarded a barrage of posts and content on social media. People respond to this information overload by screening the content they will see. So you are dealing with people who are short on both time and patience. But, there is a way to get around this- micro content. Micro content refers to bite sized chunks of information that can be created and consumed quickly. There are a number of services that allow you to create short videos like Vine and Soundcloud. You can use them to introduce a product or even create a micro review.
Make it Easy for Your Customers
Help customers with their problems, don’t just sell. Understand the issues your customers are facing when they are buying your products online and offer solutions. This includes answering their queries, recommending products (even suggesting alternatives), making it super easy to buy from you and helping them save money. The first thing for making customers for life is to create trust.
A customer who trusts you is more likely to purchase from you. You can even ask them if they have faced any problems purchasing from you and if they have, solve them. So the moral is, don’t just try to sell. Find real solutions.
Make it Easy on Yourself
Running an e-Commerce website can be exciting, especially if you are working on the side. But the challenges also increase. Naturally, with a full time job, you won’t be able to devote your complete energy to the e-Commerce website, at least not until you begin to make profits. Engaging with followers on social media is an excellent way to improve your online presence.
Email Marketing: a Powerful Tool to Boost Your Online Store
By Nicholas Hurd
Use email marketing to increase the visitors to your online store and get more sales.
Reaching large audiences is one of the biggest goals for nearly every business. Virtual communication, email marketing being a form of it, has opened doors wide for everyone to accomplish this aim. Though eCommerce strategies change constantly, email marketing remains a preferable way of communicating information. The reason is simple: 48% of consumers prefer to communicate with brands via email.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
Set a clearly defined goal for Your Email Marketing
Before even starting to create your first email campaign, you should define the short and long term goals you want to achieve via email marketing. Rushing to send your first campaign without deep consideration can only ruin what you have planned for weeks and months. Slow down. Think and rethink what your main concerns are and what tasks you have to accomplish for your company to succeed. Before pushing the “Send” button, you should be able to clearly say whether you want to inform about a service, develop loyalty towards your company, or encourage making a purchase.
In addition, you should draw a realistic picture of how long it will take you to accomplish your goals with the newly developed strategy at hand. If your aim and the timing are vague, even a wonderfully designed email campaign can end up being a failure.
Thou Shall Not Spam!
How many emails have you marked as spam because you didn’t know why you had received them? The answer is probably – many. Take your own experience seriously: you should have a prior permission for every single email address to be added to your list. It is the number one factor to ensure readability and high open rates.
For compiling an authentic email list, create a clear subscription form, so that your visitors can easily sign up. Create pop-ups on your website, if you want to increase subscription rates. Be aware that email providers have effective mechanisms to detect spammers. And the punishment is very severe: you lose the chance to land in the inboxes of your present and future customers. Moreover, spam detecting services share information about spammers, so you should be very cautious not to be “caught” by any of them.
To avoid being added to the “black list”, many marketers prefer developing an opt-in email subscription process. The idea is to provide an opportunity for people to submit email addresses on their own and after being notified what kind of content they are going to receive.
Use Double Opt-in
The concept of double opt-in emails helps more cautious companies to take a step forward. After subscription, users need to go to their inboxes and confirm that they want to get information from a particular company. Though building a double opt-in email list takes more time, this two-step mechanism ensures that those who subscribe really want to see your emails in their inboxes. This guarantees higher open rates and ensures low figures in the bounce back and unsubscribe stats.
Some people don’t like double opt-in because it reduces the number of opt-ins. So, they will go with single opt-in. The reality is that if someone goes through the double opt-in process they are really interested in what you have to say. That means they are much more likely to open your emails. And they are more likely to purchase whatever it you are selling.
Enable sharing and recommending
For enriching your email list with real addresses, allow people to share their positive experiences and recommend your products or services. Arm your satisfied customers with all the tools to spread the word about your brand. They should be able to talk about you on social sites and send your emails to a friend. Be ready to meet people on your website where new users can easily sign up to your email list. It is also important to make your email campaign readable and shareable on smartphones and tablets. Use responsive templates to provide effortless experience to those who view your email on their mobile devices. The more people talk about you, the higher are rates of subscription.
DEVELOPING AN EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN
After you have set clear expectations for email marketing and developed a working strategy to build authentic email lists, it’s time to create campaigns that will boost your business opportunities. A challenge is awaiting for you here: you should be able to stand out among thousands of other companies which strive to achieve people’s inboxes.
Send a welcome email
It’s always good to greet your new customers with an email before you provide regular information about your business and encourage taking an action. Welcome emails accomplish so much; they are the first impression your customers will get. Try to make their first experience of communicating with your brand memorable and enchanting.
Consider some mechanics for Your Email Marketing
Think of the subject line of your email and make it engaging. Phrases like “last chance” and “now only” will create an atmosphere of emergency and drive people to take action. Avoid ALL CAPS and extra exclamation marks (!!!) as they not only look unprofessional, but also can be the reason for being marked as a spammer. In addition, make sure you jump at your main point immediately; don’t force your customers to read long sentences and paragraphs before you bring your main message home. Keep the content simple and short. Last but not least, before pushing the “Send” button, make sure that all the provided information is precise and correct. Wrong links and typos are indicators of being careless which will affect the recipients’ perception of your brand negatively.
Define the best time to send an email
Have you ever asked your boss for something and got an immediate rejection? Did you ask for the same thing next time, when he or she is in a good mood, and enjoyed a positive answer? Obviously, timeless communication can be worse than no communication at all. People behave differently at different times. The same refers to sending emails. You can schedule your delivery for a particular day and fail altogether; or you can pick up the right moment and become a complete winner.
For example, if you are planning an email campaign for students, take into account any important events in students’ life. Are they preparing for exams? Is it a graduation day accompanied with farewell parties? Are they on holidays without any intention to check their emails? Apparently, your choice on when to contact your customers will differ if you take the answers to these questions seriously.
Choose the day or the period when your readers are most likely not only to check their emails but also spend money on what you offer. Also, think of the frequency with which you would like to contact your customers and prospects: is it more purposeful to send emails daily, weekly, or monthly? Look back to your strategic plan to make an informed decision.
Put your email addresses into different groups
Grouping or segmentation is an important tool to create targeted emails and sharpen your focus. Let’s turn to statistics: 39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates. So, analyze your business priorities and create segments according to different criteria. Divide your list by location (country, city), demographics (age, gender, language, education, income, etc.), or behavior (consider degree of loyalty, first-time clients, active/passive clients, etc.).
Wonder how you can make use of this strategy? Consider this example. If only one of your stores is offering a discount on particular products, there is no need to send emails to every person on your email list; you risk frustrating the addressees who have no opportunity to benefit from your offer. Instead, you had better create a campaign targeting people who live in that particular region. This is a great tool to afterwards personalize your emails, which implies but is not limited to addressing people by name, profession, location, etc.
Send personalized emails
“Spice” your regular communication with special campaigns throughout the year. A big or first purchase, a birthday or an anniversary are great chances to get in touch with your customers in a personalized way, especially if statistics proves the effectiveness of this method. Personalized emails improve clickability rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.
TIME TO FOLLOW-UP
Email marketing, like any other form of marketing, needs testing and deep analysis of reports to prove its overall effectiveness.
There a large number of tools to check the effectiveness of your campaign. A/B testing is one of them. It enables to create variations of one and the same email campaign by changing subject lines, templates, colors, content, addressor’s name, etc. Send these variations to separate groups and watch which variant works best. For example, you can check whether emails from a person’s name or from a company’s name work better. Also find out which subject line works most effectively: a teaser, a question or a call-to-action? Send test emails and find the top performing variation. Keep in mind that correct testing and targeting methods can increase conversion rates by 300%!
Keep track of records. They can tell you so much about your customers’ behavior. You will find out which links were the most popular, what is the age, location, and gender of people you have opened your email. You will get prompts to rethink some aspects of your email campaign if the open and click rates are very low. Reap the benefits of reports: find your mistakes and try not to repeat them when you send your next email campaign.
Avoid being monotonous!
It is boring to regularly receive emails which resemble in content and design. Periodically hook your readers by updated, attractive subject lines, content, and design. Consider refreshing the layout and the template from time to time.
The business world is highly competitive. In order to survive, you should be flexible. Not only to use but also to combine as many marketing strategies as possible. Email marketing, being one of them, is a powerful tool. To make most use of it, you should have a clearly defined vision, a pre-designed strategy to compile email lists, and always consider the timing. Creative design and straightforward texts will take you a step forward by keeping your audience engaged with the information you provide. Follow-up activities will make the picture of your email marketing holistic: analyze your reports and cast a reflective look on what you have done. Always be open to apply corrections and never be afraid to realize new ideas.
Ecommerce SEO Tips Make Your E-Commerce Website SEO Friendly
By Nicholas Hurd
With so many e-commerce websites doing the rounds on Internet, it can be a real challenge to ensure high visibility for your e-commerce website on a search engine. That’s why it’s imperative that you provide ecommerce SEO for your site. The situation is doubly important, if you have set up an e-commerce website without quitting your 9-5 job. But the feat is not impossible.
Search engines, like Google and Bing, are popular tools for finding goods and services online among the countless available options. So it pays to make your e-commerce website more SEO friendly. Here are some tips to help you increase the visibility of your e-commerce website.
Content and Product Page Optimization
Content has an important role in creating a more user-friendly website. Some people have gone as far as to say that SEO is all about content marketing. Ever since Google released its Panda update in 2011, Google has been gradually shifting towards high quality websites. The company has actually released a guide on how to improve the quality of a website. Some noteworthy points for SEO optimization are: Ensure that you mention product prices clearly. Make judicious use of keywords (long tail keywords are better than shorter keywords). Consider informing the customer about related products on a product page.
Choosing Domain Names
When you are selecting a domain name, don’t go for a domain name that looks like a keyword. A branded domain name is much better. There was a time when keywords in domain names used to aid search engine rankings, but not anymore. Google’s EMD update (Exact Match Domain- September 2012) has ensured that keywords in the domain name even if they match a search term, won’t compensate for poor quality content. A domain name should be such that it makes it easy for the customer to find you on the internet. Ensure your domain hosting doesn’t expire soon. With e-commerce websites, it is better to go for long term hosting.
Design Your Ecommerce SEO for Regional Appeal
Website designs and navigation play an important role in customer satisfaction. Why do you think a company may have different websites for different markets? Look at McDonald’s website for the UK market and compare it to McDonald’s website for the US market. They are very different. Basically, a website should cater to local sensibilities and culture. Note that it is easier to include these designs at the onset (when you are just designing the website) than making changes to an already existing website.
SiteMap.xml makes it easy for search engines to find your website. SiteMap.xml is a list of the pages on your website. There are actually two kinds of SiteMaps- SiteMap.xml and SiteMap.html. SiteMap.xml is used by search engines while SiteMap.html is used by visitors of your website. If you have SiteMap.xml, it becomes easy for search engines to crawl and index your website. It also helps you when you are adding new pages.
Improve Your Description Meta Tags and Heading Tags
When you perform a Google search the next time, notice the text under the search results. That is the description meta tag. E-commerce websites can use description meta tags to give valuable information. A description meta tag gives an indication of what a web page is about. Since search engines also index the description meta tag, they too become important for SEO. Heading tags are also important because they give structure to the content on a web page. It goes without saying that it is important to write creative and pleasant-to-read description meta tags and heading tags.
Optimizing Your Ecommerce SEO is Worth Your Time
You don’t need a lot of time to implement these tips, which means that they will go well with your regular 9-5 job. Note that SEO is just one thing you can do to improve the visibility of your website. Don’t forget to read up on Google’s latest algorithm changes for further optimization.