Who can forget the days of distracting pop up banner ads and flashy logos meant to lure customers to a product or website? The banner ad has not died, but the days of attracting web users via large, obtrusive banners are gone. The internet has transformed retail from a seller’s to a buyer’s market and business owners must relinquish control of the steering wheel to consumers if they want to build a profitable eCommerce store.
With the advent of social search and social media, eCommerce marketing has taken on a completely different persona. Internet users are immune to flashy banners, large font and products staring them in the face. In fact, they are fed up with it and do not even respond anymore. Your customers do not want to be forced to buy from you.
In order to successfully advertise on the internet, you must allow your potential buyers to arrive at their own decision to buy from you.
It’s sort of like “indirect marketing” at its finest. Because internet users have become so web savvy, you must center your marketing strategies more on the “buyer” rather than just on your “products”.
How is this accomplished?
- Specific target audience – If you think that by targeting a larger number of people you are in a better place to make more money, you are sadly mistaken. If you are selling wedding jewelry, you would not market to men who are hockey players. This is a simplified example, yet many businesses in an attempt to garner more sales forget to whom they are marketing and as a result their brand message is too generic. Products don’t always sell themselves on the internet…people sell themselves on your brand and if you aren’t targeting the PEOPLE who buy your products, you will never build a profitable eCommerce business.
- Social Media – In a buyer’s market, simply advertising your products will only get you so far. If your marketing is truly centered on your customers, you will start talking back to them and relating to them on their level. By getting involved in social media, you have the chance to solve your industry’s problems and showcase your brand. The more value you provide without deliberately “forcing” your products, the more your customers will be convinced about your brand which will compel them to buy from you.
- Get Found – Spend more of your marketing resources on letting buyers find YOU. By implementing social media and content marketing (press releases, videos, articles, podcasts, etc.) strategies with the “buyer” in mind, you will do more for your business than a thousand flashy advertisements. The focus of your campaign must be to offer value and not just to sell your products.
There is always a time for selling with advertisements; however, the latest advancements online are making it harder for eCommerce business owners to rely on advertising only. As a website owner, you must “jump in the trenches” and put your brand in front of your audience in order to compete on the internet.