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You have an idea for an online store. You have selected an e-commerce platform and entered products into the system. Everything works, only… no clients? In order to drive traffic to the e-store, you need to ensure its proper visibility. Effective advertising is the key. So where is the best place to advertise an online store? Read on!
Creating an online store is extremely hard work – even in a dropshipping model. However, despite everything, even the best designed online store will not become visible to search engines or recognizable among customers overnight. For this to happen you need advertising. There are no shortcuts here. It is worth emphasizing that the effects of e-shop promotion are best visible in the long term so it means you have to be patient. But patience pays off – especially if the campaign is conducted in a thoughtful and consistent manner.
Where Is the Best Place to Advertise an Online Store?
Are you wondering how to approach the topic of online store advertising? First of all: before you do anything, plan your steps. Especially that in the virtual world there are a lot of tools that can be used to advertise an online store. However, if you invest in advertising rashly, without first thinking it through, you may find that instead of gaining… you will only lose the funds spent on the campaign.
How to avoid it? Specify precisely the goals of the campaign before proceeding to the selection of channels, as well as the content of messages that you are going to send to the world.
What Exactly Needs to Be Specified Before Advertising?
- What is the target group?
Who is your offer aimed at? Are the recipients in a specific age range? What is their gender? Do they have any specific interests or a specific lifestyle? Or maybe you want to reach a very wide group of customers. The more precisely you define your target, the easier it will be for you to plan communication and the better you will invest your funds. For this purpose:
- create personas representing the target groups of your product – give them symbolic names and surnames, specify their approximate age, needs, interests, expectations and possible objections, and even add sample photos,
- think about how the products you want to sell could solve their everyday problems,
- consider what type of communication style will be appropriate in the ad – is it more official, neutral or maybe colloquial?
It all matters!
- Brand DNA
Do you know what and to whom you want to sell? You still need to define what image your brand will have. What connotations should the brand have? What is it associated with? With prestige? Or maybe with low prices and fast delivery? With high-quality products? Or maybe with “exotic” goods unavailable in your region? This will translate into both the manner of advertising and the selection of communication channels.
- The objectives of the advertising campaign
What will be the aim of the conducted promotional campaign? If you are just starting your business in the e-commerce industry, first of all, you need to make potential customers aware that you exist on the market. The next step is to build their trust. Only then will the campaign move towards promoting specific products and lead directly to conversion. Most often you have to go through all these stages to gradually start expanding your portfolio of customers – not those occasional, but those who are loyal – come back again and again and recommend your services to friends.
So start by identifying a key campaign premise. Once that’s done, it’s time to define your specific goals. This can be, for example, an increase in traffic on the store’s website, obtaining sales leads, or strengthening the sale of a specific product. What course of action you choose will depend on what tools and channels will be used during the campaign.
How much money can you spend on an advertising campaign? Remember: it is not worth limiting expenses for promotion, because these are… apparent savings. Why? Take a moment to think where you buy? In stores whose offers are available and visible, right? If you don’t tell the world about your store, nobody will find it.
Nevertheless, there is no such thing as an unlimited advertising budget. It is worth knowing in advance how much money can be invested in the implementation of a specific campaign.
How to Promote an Online Store?
You already know why you will advertise your e-shop, who do you want to contact and for how much. Now it’s time to choose the tools for the campaign. The decision is not easy at all, because – as we mentioned – the number of options is really big. Important tip: you don’t need to use all the available options during one campaign. Choose these that will match the assumptions of the campaign or choose those that, with a limited budget, can potentially be the most sensible.
How? For example, a large online store, which cares about huge reach, may think about advertising using ATL channels, e.g. press, radio, and even television. However, this is a solution primarily for the largest players on the e-commerce market. Those who operate on a slightly narrower scale will focus on promotion mainly on the Internet.
So where to promote? The basic rule that is always worth having at the back of your head is: be where your customers are. And where is that? Here is an overview of the tools that you should consider.
The advertising system provided by the giant from Mountain View is the absolute basis of internet advertising. Why? Simply: because we all use Google, and the platform offers extremely wide opportunities to promote. What else can we use?
- Sponsored links
Where do recipients look for the products they want to buy? They very often start hunting for them by entering a search term in the Google search engine, and then… they click on the first results. Sponsored links appear above them. The presence of your store in this section will increase the chances that your offer will be checked in the first place. Customers rarely distinguish ads from organic results, and even so, these ads are very well targeted, and advertisers want the person who clicked on them to make a purchase. If the ad is set incorrectly, it will simply burn up your budget.
- Google Shopping
In recent years, Google has improved its advertising tools and today one of the most interesting propositions for e-commerce is a “carousel” of products displayed in search results – with photos and product prices. Such a mini catalog with promoted stores’ offers increases the probability that the user will click on your ad and then make a purchase!
- External advertising
Google Ads are also displayed on various external websites – in a form of a banner. This format, discredited some time ago (due to the fact that many internet users blocked banner ads) is now back in favor. For two reasons. First, more and more websites introduce technological solutions to prevent ad blocking or ask their users to display the ads (it works!). Second, remarketing ads are widely used and are much more effective. So what’s the deal here? In remarketing campaigns, the recipient of the banners sees personalized ads that show, for example, the products they have previously viewed. Such constant reminders can be very persuasive!
Google Ads tools – as long as the campaign is run by a specialist with appropriate qualifications – can bring very good short and long-term results. Although the configuration of the campaign is seemingly very simple, specialists should watch over it – they will make sure that every dollar put into the promotion brings the expected ROI. In the case of Verseo, campaign optimization is run not only by a specialist, but also by our self-learning algorithms that introduce even thousands of changes a day. This campaign optimization ensures that you invest resources in the most appropriate time and place.
Where is the best place to advertise an online store on social media?
Facebook is number one when it comes to e-commerce advertising on social media. The website founded by Mark Zuckerberg has become a source of information and entertainment, as well as inspiration. That is why it is worth being there and promoting your e-shop. How?
First, use the full potential of free solutions. So, first of all, run your e-shop fanpage. Regular, engaging posts will allow you to build a specific audience that will grow over time.
But that’s not all. On Facebook, you can use a wide range of advertising tools. You can choose from:
- promotion of posts – so that they are displayed in the news feed of people from your target group,
- classic banner advertising,
- advertising in a form of a carousel of products – redirecting to the e-store,
- video ads displayed during the presentation of film materials on the portal.
The online store will use mainly these tools. Just like Google, Facebook also allows you to set the goal of the campaign and conveniently configure other details. It’s also easy to track the results your message is getting. Constant monitoring of the results allows you to implement any corrections in the campaign or draw conclusions for the future. Depending on the industry, remarketing on Facebook can also be very effective. Therefore, it should complement the operations carried out by Google Ads at least in the basic scope.
Remember that advertising an e-shop on social media is not only Facebook. Depending on the profile of your business, you can also reach your potential customers, e.g. on Instagram (especially in lifestyle sectors), and even on LinkedIn (especially if you sell products intended for business customers). Where is the best place to advertise an online store using social media? This question can be answered by e.g. an digital marketing specialist.
Is YouTube a good promotion channel for an online store? In many cases, yes. And how to promote your store there? One of the options is to publish video ads that will be displayed during videos watched by users. However, you must remember that you need to focus on short, several-second messages – especially since users most often skip ads whenever possible.
But that’s not all. An increasingly common solution used by online stores is the so-called influencer marketing. In a nutshell, it is about starting cooperation with the creator who runs a popular YouTube channel and placing the store’s brand in his/her videos. For example, online stores with cosmetics operate in this model. Collaboration can take many forms. An influencer can:
- mention in the material about the current promotion in a given e-store,
- recommend purchases on the site,
- offer the viewers a special discount code obtained in the affiliate program,
- link to products used in the video and available on the e-shop website.
An unobtrusive campaign can result in a quick and significant increase in traffic in the e-store. However, remember that in order for such effects to last long-term, cooperation with influencers should be repeated regularly.
Another option offered by YouTube is…. running a video channel by the store itself. What can be published on the channel? In the case of an e-shop, specific industry guides will work best. Valuable films will reach a wider audience and as a result work for brand image and sales promotion.
Are the above mentioned suggestions the only channels you can use? No! There is also a whole range of inbound marketing and PR tools. One thing is certain: the campaign strategy should be developed and implemented wisely, preferably under the supervision of specialists. As a result, the campaign is run in an orderly, not chaotic manner, and above all – translates into the desired conversion.
At the very end, I will discuss the positioning of online stores. In the long term, it is usually the cheapest method of acquiring new customers. However, among all forms of advertising, it has the most “investment” nature. You will see the results of your investment in a few months. Therefore – despite the fact that most people do not create stores to run it only for a year – most of them still decide to start the positioning process after some time. However, it cannot be explicitly stated whether it is a mistake. Every investor wants to achieve returns as quickly as possible and that can be done, for example, with Google Ads. However, if at the beginning you have a slightly larger budget for advertising, then it is definitely worth conducting your marketing in two ways – think about “now” and “later”. Whether it is worth investing in positioning (taking into account your budget and needs) can be determined by a specialist – in this case, a positioner.