The nationwide lockdown has made many businesses suffer the losses. But, did you know who emerged victorious even in this situation? E-commerce businesses! The fear of coronavirus and the strict guidelines of social distancing made the public resort to online shopping from basic groceries to expensive accessories.
As we move towards the ending months of the year, we also see a rise in festivals from Navratri to Diwali to Christmas. All these festivals are celebrated with lights, food, new clothes & gifts, along with family and friends. The lockdown may have restricted gatherings of friends & family, but not the high spirits of the festivals. Festivals call for a lot of shopping. To avoid the risk of contracting the virus, the hassle of handling masks, gloves, sanitizer & shopping bags, shopping from e-commerce websites is the best option.
If you want your e-commerce business to soar in this festive season, get ready to pull up your socks with a solid digital marketing strategy. The internet is filled with e-commerce sites. Your strategy should first aim to make your business stand out and create an image in the minds of the audience. So, whenever audiences think of shopping online, your website should be their first go-to-place.
First let’s understand Digital Marketing and its different aspects to see what suits your business.
Digital marketing uses different channels on the Internet to market your business. Depending on the audience, you can select 1-2 or all digital channels to market your business. These include:
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
Why is Digital Marketing so important to your business?
- Greater visibility
- Reaching to the target audience in less time
- Lower marketing costs
- No restrictions in conducting business operations
- No need of stepping out of the house in this pandemic
- Audiences are slowly moving towards digital platforms for their shopping needs
How Digital Marketing can now be beneficial to your e-commerce business with the upcoming festivals?
- Traffic generation to the website for shopping
- Social media optimization for lead generation (Add link to the Social media marketing in the hour of social distancing blog)[u1]
- Higher conversion rates
- Top search result with effective SEM & SEO
- Increase in Sales
Here are some helpful digital marketing tips that would help your e-commerce business match your customer’s expectations.
1) Online Marketing ideas for business
Idea – A base for any good marketing strategy is an idea. Firstly, a business idea should create value for customers. If you are selling umbrellas during Diwali, your business will be a complete failure, which takes us to our second point. Market the right business module at the right time.
Let’s imagine, you want your e-commerce website to be a success during Diwali. There are a lot of businesses competing against you. How will your business shine?
- You can create pre-buzz on social media and ask the audiences to engage in it. For that you will need an awesome winning Social media strategy.
- Engagement could be in the form of quizzes, contest, & hidden offers
- Since it’s Diwali time, we can ask audiences to make fun videos with family and celebrating despite the negativity outside
- The best stories could be reposted on social media platforms, which can give audiences some validation
- Lastly, contest winners or participants will have to go on the website, if they wish to avail the offers.
In the above strategy, the main captivating point was the pre-buzz, which can capture the audience’s attention. This kind of strategy was used by DNA papers when they were about to launch. The brand has put up hoardings across Mumbai that said DNA? This generated a curiosity in the minds of the public, and when DNA papers launched, it was a massive hit in the market. This campaign was offline in 2005, so the reach was limited. But, if the same strategy is applied with digital marketing techniques, your e-commerce business will have the highest number of searches on search engines.
The online marketing idea should be creative. The idea should create leads from social media, search results, and different digital channels that lands the audiences directly to the website.
How to come up with a brilliant online marketing idea?
- Identify the problem
- Set a goal
- Start building a strategy that has a pre-buzz stage, information stage & the execution stage
- Use more than 2 digital marketing channels for more buzz and visibility
To understand the above steps, the success story of Dallas Pet Alive will help how one should market an online business. Dallas Pet Alive, an NGO for dog adoptions noticed less footfall on the website and thus a drop in the number of adoptions. To drive traffic to the website, the NGO used trending topics like ‘Kim Kardashian’s butt’ as their keywords. Soon, there was a spike in the number of dog adoptions.
Other than this your ideas should be
- Relevant: Audiences should be able to connect with it.
- Customers oriented: It can be door-to-door services or building trust in terms of quality and payments while online shopping
- Quick Call to Action: Make your e-commerce site super user friendly. Understand the customer’s mindset and give them what they need first. Also, provide them with options related to the primary products. So, here the audiences don’t have to think much. All they need to do is click on the buy now button.
2) Digital marketing strategy for e-commerce sites
Your online marketing business idea is just the first step to put your business in the limelight. To garner more attention, the strategy should focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing.
Why is it important?
- Optimization will put your website on top results of the search engine
- Drive traffic to the eCommerce website
- Higher conversion rates
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the generation of organic traffic to a website by following a few steps. SEO can put the e-commerce website in one of the top 10 search results.
- Use the right keywords that people will look upon search engines or words that are associated with the festival. In the case of Diwali, words like lights, gifts, crackers, etc can be used.
- Regular update of the content. As soon as the market trend changes, the website content should be updated. Content should be so relevant that your business should get backlinks in someone else’s blogs.
- Use attractive imagery that holds the attention of the website visitors
- For SEO to be effective, there should be multiple continuous searches for the website. A good user-friendly website will draw the audiences again to the website.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is done to increase the visibility of your e-commerce business in the search engine results page. It is also known as paid search marketing. SEM is important because SEO may not always help in tackling the ever increasing competition.
During Diwali, all e-commerce websites selling Diwali items have used SEM and your business hasn’t. It will be very difficult for the website to rank in the top 10 search results. Here, the opportunity lost is customers lost.
3) Different digital marketing aspects to grow your business
Content & Social Media Marketing can go hand in hand. How does it help the business?
- Creates a niche for the business in the market
- Builds brand identify i.e elements with which audiences can identify the brand like logos, colours, symbols, and the type of content
- Eg: Durex India’s Instagram page can be identified with blue feed and quirky content. Similarly, Amazon can be identified by smiley arrow logo which goes from A to Z
- Tips for successful content & social media marketing:
- In detail research of your audience’s demographics
- Which social media platform do they use the most?
- What type of content engages them?
- Can different content be used on different social media platforms?
Influencer marketing has recently started gaining popularity. These influencers are idolized by the audiences on social media. So, a small integration of your e-commerce content on an influencer’s page can increase your business’s visibility and audience. For successful influencer marketing, all you need to do is find an influencer who’s audiences are your target audience.
How can influencer marketing help the business?
- Builds trust quickly – as it is coming from an influencer who is trusted
- Widens the scope of your digital marketing strategy
- Lower marketing costs with greater reach & visibility
- Targeting the right audience
To understand the success of this marketing, Nykaa, a beauty brand was built on influencer marketing.
Sometimes, social media can restrict us from the information a business needs to provide to the audiences. Email marketing can provide detailed information about the business to the audiences. For email marketing, a database of customers is required. How to collect this information?
- Ask the website visitors to fill out a registration form.
- You can also take the database from an agency that matches your audience’s demographics.
So, in situations when a visitor looks for some product on the website, puts it in the cart, and doesn’t buy it, an emailer regarding offers & discounts can persuade him/her into buying the product. Email marketing is also very helpful when product details are very important. Like water purifiers, where each part & technology used needs to be communicated with the audience.
Note: Digital marketing will be a success when all the above aspects work together, including SEM & SEO.
4) Connect to other e-commerce sites
If you want to increase the reach of your business, connecting with different e-commerce sites despite having your website will work wonders for your business. Let’s understand with the help of an example. Amazon is a multinational company that fulfills all your shopping needs. So, if a shopping need arises one will look up on Amazon. On the other hand, Nykaa is a website for beauty products, restricted to one industry. So, if a person wants to buy multiple products, he/she will choose Amazon over Nykaa even if they want to buy beauty products. Here, Nykaa will have to face the losses. To avoid such a situation, Nykaa has collaborated with Amazon where Nykaa products will be sold on Amazon. So, it’s a win-win situation for Nykaa because it basically has 2 e-commerce sites with increased sales.
Digital marketing goal is to have a larger audience and increased sales. So, market your business on someone else’s platform to get closer to your business goals.
5) Interact with your audience
The brand-customer relationship is crucial in digital marketing. One negative feedback online can change the audience’s perception towards the brand. While planning digital marketing strategies one should have a special plan for online reputation management & link building as well.
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Here, all the doubts, queries, and feedback from the audiences should be addressed and taken into consideration. The ORM team needs to be on their toes and respond immediately. ORM can also help in tackling competition, as your audiences know where their thoughts and feedback are appreciated. This practice can lead to brand loyalty and help the business gain more audience. Sometimes, reputation can also be built through CSR campaigns. These campaigns don’t talk about your e-commerce business but talk about social issues prevailing in the society as TATA does. It quickly builds the trust of the audiences towards the brand.
- Link Building
Smaller networking sites like LinkedIn can help build a large business community, where B2B e-commerce companies can also benefit from it. These communities on social networking sites can generate leads and website traffic. Mostly, loyal customers are a part of these communities. In times of business crisis, these communities can come to the rescue.
In times like these, the footfall to e-commerce websites is already high. But proper optimization of digital marketing strategy with the above tips will guarantee you a happy festival business season and growth.