Informing people about your business is a never-ending task. Fortunately, the right marketing efforts can increase reach and help you stand out in crowded marketing. With that in mind, we’ve put together 8 powerful marketing strategies for merchants, which you can start implementing right away.
Be active on social media
With each passing year, social media becomes increasingly important to merchants. The majority of people spend their time online browsing at least one social media network, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok or one of the many other platforms. In short, there is plenty of scope for increasing your reach.
Yet, for many businesses, social media is an outlier. You might recognise that you should actively market your company on social media, but you’re still unsure how to do it. Building a following and then actively marketing your products and services takes time, but it’s worth the effort.
Twenty-three per cent of shoppers use social media to discover new products, and you should have a presence on at least one platform. Use a combination of organic posts and paid advertising to engage with your audience, sharing content like blog posts, reports, new product details and promotions. Keep at it, and you will start to build a loyal audience.
Search engine optimisation
Successful search engine optimization, or SEO as it’s better known, will help increase awareness for your online store. You can turn solid keyword research into a series of articles, reports and other tactics to improve your ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Search engines are a primary way for consumers to find products, and you’ll want to ensure that your website features in their results. It’s also necessary to consider mobile and voice search when performing keyword research, as an increasing number of people use – or talk to – smart devices for Google searches.
Like social media, you should have an organic and paid strategy for SEO. Organic content typically comes in the form of articles, while paid search offers an opportunity to promote your brand and let customers know about the items you sell.
By the end of 2022, video is expected to account for 82% of overall internet traffic. Video is particularly effective for merchants, as it lets you market your brand in various ways, including adverts, product videos and explainer videos.
You can also use it to engage with audiences directly via a live Q&A on social media or video tutorials showcasing how your products and services work. YouTube is also the second-largest search engine in the world behind Google – upload high-quality video content on there, and your brand will become more visible.
Write blog posts
Anyone can start a blog, but it takes time to see results. Like any form of organic growth, it requires patience and intelligent keyword research. Stick with it for a year, though, and you can start to see results – as long as the articles cover suitable topics.
Write about aspects relevant to your industry and give your audience a different perspective. Doing so can enhance your brand’s reputation as a thought leader in your sector and grow readership. People will come to see you as a definitive voice on your niche, while in the background, you’re improving your SEO and attracting more people to the website.
A significant number of website visitors won’t purchase from you immediately unless they are visiting with intent. Therefore, you should try and capture their information so you can nurture them into converting leads further down the line.
One of the best ways to do this involves email marketing, which can be used to encourage subscribers to become full customers. Use emails to share blog content, tell people about promotions or alert them to new features. For example, if you start offering customers flexible finance, send an email to let them know about how they can spread the cost of purchase.
Emails can be more potent than other types of marketing because the recipient wants to hear from you – they’ve signed up for your newsletter. According to statistics from the Data & Marketing Association, via Oberlo, every 0.75p spent on emails yields a return of £31.
Podcasting is a great way to offer audiences more insight into your business in a personable manner. You can also use it to go more in-depth about subjects in your industry and invite special guests to comment and share their insights.
A podcast offers a layer of personalisation, as it gives listeners an intimate look into your company and the people behind the brand name. Start with one podcast a month and increase the amount you record as you become more comfortable and discover what makes your audience tick.
Explore co-branding opportunities
Co-branding can be a financially savvy way to get your business in front of more customers. By partnering with another company, you can collaborate and promote products and services, making it beneficial for customers to shop with both brands.
Partnering with another business can also enhance your credibility. At the same time, it offers an opportunity for long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships. You can explore many types of possibilities – including cross-promotions – while also saving on advertising costs.
Earned media and PR
Working with PR companies or tasking in-house team members with reaching out to news publications can help boost your profile. As you appear in more publications, consumers will become more familiar with your brand and see it as a trustworthy business. Consequently, they will feel more confident shopping with your store.
While it can prove tricky appearing in national publications (although it’s not impossible), you can still feature in industry-specific websites and press. Whether providing comments for a newspaper article or featuring in an editorial, focusing on PR and earned media can help elevate your business’s standing in its industry.
Summary: winning with your marketing strategy
Having a marketing strategy in place provides clarity about the actions you should take to win more customers. In today’s landscape, there are many ways to generate leads – organic or acquisition – and the suggestions on our list can help you get on the front foot with your marketing efforts and increase customer numbers that lead to more revenue for your business.