More than 50% of businesses don’t have a marketing strategy in place. Successful marketing requires thoughtful planning and a result-oriented strategy to stay the course.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, all great things in life take time. So, if you have recently kickstarted your online store, don’t cross to cross the $100,000 revenue mark overnight.
Think of growing your E-Commerce business as a marathon rather than a sprint. But, if you truly want to achieve the desired results, you’ll need a growth-driven marketing strategy that empowers your marketing efforts.
“Rowing harder doesn’t help if your boat
is headed in the wrong direction."
- Kenichi Ohmae
78.6% of the world population purchase at least one product online each month. Retail E-Commerce sales stood at $4.28 trillion in 2020. The digital revolution has fueled the E-Commerce industry. And in the next few years, the industry has been projected to grow exponentially.
That being said, an ever-increasing number of retailers are trying to get in the game. The competition is extremely fierce. These days, you can apply the most effective digital marketing tactics yet fail miserably.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
- Sun Tzu
Running marketing campaigns without having a clear strategy in place is like driving a car with your blindfolds on. You can always steer the wheel yet won’t know whether you are heading in the right direction.
You need to build a clear roadmap to success. Otherwise, you may find yourself directionless and without any concrete goals. Here’s a list of reasons every business out there needs a digital marketing strategy:
- Gives Direction & Goals
- Allows Businesses to Gain Insights into Their Target Market
- Helps them Understand Who Their Target Audience is
- Allows them to Track Their Success at any Given Point in Time
- Validates Which Digital Channels Give the Best Results
- Helps Audit & Plan Campaigns
- And more!
Whether you want to raise E-Commerce brand awareness or sell your products, a marketing strategy will help you get inside your target audience's minds and gain insights into the channels that deliver the best possible results.
So, if you are wondering how to build a results-driven marketing strategy for your online store, we’re here to help. This blog post lists out the steps you should follow in a sequential manner to develop an actionable marketing strategy.
Let’s dive straight into it.
How to Develop an Actionable E-Commerce Marketing Strategy?
Follow these steps to build a growth-focused digital marketing strategy for your E-Commerce business:
- Build a Marketing Plan
- Identify Your Goals & Objectives
- Create Buyer Personas
- Conduct Thorough Competitors’ Analysis
- Prepare a List of Appropriate Tools You’ll Need
- Account for Existing Resources
- Audit & Plan Campaigns
- Test Multiple Digital Channels & Hit the Execute Button
Let’s touch down on each of these steps one at a time.
Build a Marketing Plan
Wait, aren’t marketing strategy and a marketing plan the same thing? Most businesses often confuse a marketing strategy with a marketing plan. But they literally are two different things.
A marketing strategy is a business's approach to help them gain a competitive advantage and gain insights into what they want to achieve with their marketing efforts. A marketing strategy helps businesses align their marketing goals with their business goals. At the same time, a marketing plan is a roadmap to how they will conquer their goals.
In short, a marketing plan is the practical implementation of a business's marketing strategy.
So, the first step is to develop a marketing plan that:
- Lists out the most effective marketing channels
- Identifies the marketing budget
- Comprises the initiatives your organization needs to tackle
- And so much more!
Build your marketing plan parallelly with your marketing strategy. We’d advise you to download a reliable marketing plan template that’ll jump-start you in the right direction.
Identify Your Goals & Objectives
Want to hit that 300-sales mark within a month? Or drive $100,000 revenue in the next year? It doesn't matter what the marketing goal is; online store owners need to make sure that it aligns with their company goals. You may want your E-Commerce store to become a multi-million-dollar business someday. But, if you want to take your business to heights, you need to set your short and long-term goals. Otherwise, you’d be heading in the wrong direction.
Some of the benefits of goal setting include:
- Provides direction and focus
- Helps maintain motivation
- Provides a better understanding of your expectation
- Helps you set a realistic timeline to reach the heights you desire
- Smoothens the decision-making process
Your marketing goals may include:
- Generating high-quality leads
- Boosting your website traffic
- Increasing brand awareness
- Driving more traffic via paid ads
- High email CTR
- Or something else entirely!
So, whatever the goal(s) you set, establish clear objectives. This will help you build a clear plan to help you conquer your goals.
Create Buyer Personas
What if you are a New York-based online store and are running paid ads targeting the people in Switzerland? So, if you don't ship your products to Switzerland, then it's just a waste of your precious marketing dollars.
And if there’s anything that you need to keep in check, it’s your marketing budget.
The secret to successful marketing campaigns is targeting the right set of audiences. You need to reach out to the ones who are most likely to purchase from you.
Identify your target audience. And once you do, create buyer personas. A buyer persona is the description of your audience in just a single sentence.
For example, if you sell men's sports shoes in New York, then your buyer persona would be something like:
"Clark, a New York-based millennial with an active lifestyle looking forward to purchasing a pair of reliable fitness shoes at a budget-friendly price."
Now, you can paint a picture of Clark in your mind and involve him in your marketing efforts. Buyer personas usually include:
- Job Title
- And more!
Conduct Thorough Competitors’ Analysis
“No competition, no progress.”
- Bela Karolyi
These days, the competition is extremely fierce. Your competitors are already a step ahead of you. If you are a New York-based sports shoes seller, you are in direct competition with top-guns like Nike and Adidas.
But that shouldn’t stop you from achieving unimaginable heights. Conducting thorough competitors’ analysis will help you:
- Understand the latest market trends
- Fine-tune & develop your business’ Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
- Improve your products and services
- Gain insights into your customer base
- Pinpoint the strategies that worked for your competitors and the ones that didn’t
- Identify any gaps
- Discover potential threats
- Understand the state of your industry
- Determine & manage risks
- Study your market from a completely different perspective
Conducting competitors’ analysis will help you learn from your competitors. So, let’s say if you were planning to run LinkedIn ads, yet found out that LinkedIn ads didn’t work for your competitors, then that’d just save you your precious bucks.
Prepare a List of Appropriate Tools You’ll Need
You might be a great warrior. But you’ll need your tools to win the battle. Once you have successfully identified your goals, the next step is to build your marketing tech stack.
You may need marketing automation software, an email marketing tool, a social media scheduler, a communication channel, a landing page creator, CRM, and more.
So, prepare a list of all the tools you’ll need to run successful marketing campaigns.
Account for Existing Resources
Next, identify the resources you own. Prepare a list of all you have in your marketing arsenal. For example, if the monthly blog visitors stand at 100,000 people, then you definitely need to focus on your content marketing efforts. You can't afford to miss out on your blog.
Think of the assets you own and divide them into three different categories:
- Paid Media: This category includes the paid channels you'll use to attract traffic to your website. These channels include Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
- Owned Media: This includes all the channels and assets you own like your email, blog section, images, infographics, YouTube channel, and more.
- Earned Media: This includes third-party brand mentions, social media shares, tweets about your brand, photos on Instagram mentioning your company, guest posts, and more.
Divide your assets into the above-mentioned three categories. And based on that, discover how you can use them across different marketing channels to drive more traffic and generate high-quality leads.
Audit & Plan Campaigns
Now, you have set your goals and objectives and know the ones to reach out to. Also, you have prepared a list of your already-existing resources.
It’s finally time to audit and plan your campaigns. Some of the most crucial digital marketing elements include:
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Advertising
- Web Design & Development
- Paid Ad Campaigns
- Email Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Growth Marketing
- Content Marketing
So, if you don’t own a website, the first thing you need to do is get your online store up and running. Haven’t yet created your social media profiles? Build your social media marketing strategy today.
A result-oriented marketing strategy involves using these crucial digital marketing elements in a smart manner. For example, you need to focus on your content marketing efforts to drive value. But, at the same time, you should use it to boost your website’s SEO.
Test Multiple Digital Channels &
Hit the Execute Button
Don’t exclude any digital marketing channel. You may not have an idea of the channels that might work for you and the ones that might not. What if your target audience hangs out on LinkedIn, yet you choose to exclude it from your social media marketing efforts? That's not a smart move.
So, the next step is to identify the channels with great potential – the ones that deliver the highest ROI. Try as many channels as possible. This will help you understand where you should invest your money rather than second-guess it.
However, don't allocate too much of your marketing budget to a single channel. Balance it across different digital channels. Otherwise, you may end up wasting it entirely.
For example, if you are spending $10 on Facebook advertising, spend approximately the same amount on email marketing. There's no point in investing $100 on Facebook advertising if you are generating the same number of leads by investing $10 in email marketing.
Next, measure the results. This will allow you to gain insights into each campaign and channel's ROI. And based on that, you can finally run campaigns and tap into the power of channels that deliver high ROI.
Now, you can tackle such channels and strategies with a big budget.
Build Your E-Commerce
Digital Marketing Strategy Today!
In today's digital world, building a digital marketing strategy is important. And it's critical if you own an E-Commerce store. The E-Commerce space is extremely competitive. And if you want to conquer your goals, you can't afford not to have a digital marketing strategy.
So, if you are an E-Commerce store owner with the aim of leveling up your marketing efforts, yet don't know how to get started, say hello to Smilodo.
We allow our customers to tap into the tools and resources they'll ever need to start, manage, and grow their E-Commerce businesses. On top of this, our marketing department would love nothing more than to provide premier marketing services to help you scale your E-Commerce business.
So, what are you waiting for?
Tap into the unbelievable potential of Smilodo.