For many clients, what they think is their brand’s biggest problem and what the problem actually is are two completely different things.
For example, you have someone with a product that wants to replace face wipes. Immediately, they start to do several things, such as dumping money into influencers, paying for micro and macro, all with a hope to increase sales. However, they aren’t thinking about the direction of the funnel in the first place.
I like to think of a successful eCommerce strategy as a pyramid. Everything needs to be well-built from the bottom up first. The foundation is stable with a stunning website, brand, and product, then you follow with strategic email marketing, paid social, paid search, social media management...
Too many business owners focus their energy on the wrong areas, so to help you understand the eCommerce pyramid and realign your brand, let’s take a look at each phase and scale up along the way:
For me, a solid product/service clearly solves a problem that I can relate to.
If I can see that a product/service solves a pain point for me in the present, that’s what I’m happy about. Then you have to consider the functionality, UX and UI of your website. Overall, the UX should be seamless, which means…
Think of your website as a catchy song. With the right harmony and lyrics, it can easily lead a potential customer to a conversion. Here’s an example of a site that does a bad job of this...
At first glance, can you decipher this brand’s direction? Each square is misshapen, headers and section titles have no clear statement or story to communicate. Harkening back to the idea of a song, this website seems like someone starts off with a guitar then moves to the symbols and starts banging!
The bottom line is that if you can’t express things smoothly and roll through a site from one thought to the next, then the message and brand won’t translate.
In the sales game, email is what we like to call, “setting the trap.”
The idea is that once someone comes to your site voluntarily, they can’t leave without being caught in your funnel. Think about trapping mice and the email is the capture.
For example, by using an immediate subscriber pop-up as soon as someone lands, you’ve got them hooked. Now, once they’re hooked, you have to start nurturing them.
Right away, hit them with, “Here’s what’s new in our world” or “Here’s what’s new about CBD.” You have to create content that doesn’t come across as spam, which means it has to be curated and thoughtful. Become a thought-leader in your space and follow these parameters to nurture a client and provide them with value...
Content must be relevant, and once you have strong content to keep people engaged, it’s time to start hitting them with targeted emails. Of course, you have to have the right knowledge for email marketing and best practices in order to execute properly, but on a basic level, you have to…
Even with these fundamentals alone, you will set your brand up for success. But once you throw paid ads and social media into the mix, that’s when business really starts to boom.
Now that we’ve trapped the mice, we can start nurturing people to the site.
The best way to do this, with respect to the fundamentals above, is through paid media buying within two channels of traffic acquisition:
1. Paid Search
Think of this as an intentional advertisement.
Someone goes onto Google or Amazon with the intention of buying red shirts. They are specifically looking for that product, and you can use that to your advantage to direct the buyer toward a certain brand decision.
On a basic level, make sure to set aside a certain amount of money each month to set up a media buying account (like Google Adwords) and start directing intent-based customers to your products.
2. Paid Social
Think of this as Interruptive advertising.
When you’re scrolling through your feed and all of a sudden, without you thinking about it, you’re served with an ad that says “Buy a Red Shirt from Walmart.” A brand is playing on your emotions, taking into account your lifestyle habits and user activity to direct an ad toward you in hopes that you’ll convert.
The biggest social platforms to direct funds toward are Facebook & Instagram. Creating compelling ads for your products or services, as well as setting aside a monthly budget, will build brand awareness and keep users engaged throughout the buying journey.
As a result, you get more site traffic. Just keep in mind that your ads should be consistent with your branding. Strive to create the same experience, feel, and voice of your company across all channels. Plus, you can target this approach toward a product launch, a new campaign, etc.
Finally, the peak of your pyramid is your social proof or third-party affirmation.
This means social platforms, influencers; anyone that doesn’t have to care about your company that voluntarily does from an organic standpoint. The important thing to recognize here is that the audience that you’re reaching on one social platform is going to require a specific kind of stimulation, whereas the other platform needs another.
Consider the demographics on Instagram. The platform targets a younger, picture-focused audience when it comes to content. On the other hand, Facebook goes after a slightly older demographic for social networking, offering a combination of content, pictures, and memorable experiences.
Ideally, you can leverage those platforms to help promote your business by making sure you're offering different content that’s appropriate to a specific audience. On any given day, a user could check Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, so if you're posting the same content over and over again on different channels, it’s likely they've already seen it and will undoubtedly ignore it altogether.
More importantly, you’re also losing an opportunity to engage your client for a second or third time in a different way. That being said, you have to have respect for the type of platform, the type of demographic, and how to communicate with each one efficiently.
Digital marketing is a constantly changing, evolving ecosystem in which when all the buttons are pushed and levers are pulled at the right time, everything functions properly.
With that in mind, you can’t skip steps in between. With the help of Hawke Media, you’re putting yourself in the best position to succeed, which ends with your brand making money.
As a marketing professional, I want to understand your goals on an individual level. If you’re ready to build a robust eCommerce pyramid for your brand, fill out the form below to get started!
Tell us about yourself and one of our growth strategists will be intouch within one business day.
Josh Offman is a Business Development Expert at Hawke Media, specializing in eCommerce strategy.