No matter how great your product or Shopify store, without some smart Shopify marketing strategies, customers won't automatically show up on your site ready to buy. It's common to ask yourself "How do I promote my Shopify Store?" and "How do I make my Shopify store stand out?" With a few of the brand awareness and conversions optimization strategies below, you can beat out the competition and attract customers to your online store.
Shopify marketing experts may say that you need to utilize Shopify apps, but that's really just part of it. Adding app after app can slow down your store and lead to less acquisitions than you had before. While it may seem daunting when deciding what to focus on, start with the simple list we have outlined below before you reach out to a digital marketing agency for a consultation on what you should do for your paid ads and Shopify email marketing.
Conversion Rate Optimization and Search Engine Optimization
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are two important strategies in Shopify marketing. SEO is how potential customers find you, while CRO is removing barriers to purchase.
Why is conversion rate optimization important? CRO allows you to lower your Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) because you will be getting more value from the visitors to your site that are already there. You can drive thousands of potential customers to your site, but if you cannot get a transactional relationship going then it won't do you any good. It's hard to get people talking about your product and benefit from word-of-mouth marketing if no one is buying the product in the first place.
There are many ways to improve your conversion rate - a quick Google will show you lists and lists of suggestions such as adding pop-up notifications to your site, improving your communication lines to site visitors with a better CTA, writing better descriptions of products, or even adding an Instagram feed to your home page. The truth is some of these may be great ideas for your site but every site and every audience is different so it's important to first find out why you have a low conversion rate (try customer conversations, surveys, getting feedback, using heat map technology, and usability tests) and then once you know what the problem area is, improving the buyer experiences on your site by A/B the problem areas to fix them.
Once you have your site health-related issues fixed, then you're ready to drive more traffic to your site with SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a beast with about 20 different components. Because it has been covered elsewhere on the internet, I won't get into all the tactics here. If you wish to go it yourself, Hubspot has a great blog post on SEO and SEM Rush has a very helpful library of free video courses in their Academy. There are also agencies that handle SEO work, though it's hard to evaluate who is actually worth the money and who is taking your money since SEO not only takes a long time to have impact but also does not offer any sort of direct attribution. There are hints and notions that your strategies are working but it's hard to say for sure. Baotris recently started offering SEO help to our top tier clients because it really impacts Shopify store success in a wholistic manner. At Baotris, we enjoy new collaborations with our clients that help us help them because we only win when they do.
Search Ads & PPC Management
As the world Facebook/Meta advertising was set on fire by Apple's Privacy Law and IDFA changes, Shopify marketing strategies must shift to accommodate and that means focusing your dollars in other places to drive brand awareness and conversions.
Search Ads, or Paid Search refers to any ad that you can place on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) such as Google or Bing. PPC or Pay Per Click is a model within Search Ads where you only pay for an ad when someone clicks it. With Search Ads, you're targeting an audience that is already in the market for a product similar to yours, or at least interested in a topic that is within the realm of your product. This is another reason that SEO is important. If you have done your keyword research then you have a list of keywords and phrases that you should be targeting to help you reach your competition first when they start out on their buyers journey. If your keywords are too broad, then you're targeting the wrong people meaning fewer valuable clicks and less acquisitions.
Your ads should be relevant to the searcher's intent - be sure your headline and ad copy match the keywords that you are bidding on, as well as the solution your product provides as a satisfaction to the pain point the searcher is experiencing. The optimization of this combination will likely rely on split testing a few different ads to see which works best.
Lastly, your ad should take clickers somewhere relevant. If your ad is focused on a specific product then a click should land prospective customers on the product page. If your ad is focused on a solution, then the page they land on should be able to complete the transactional relationship and offer descriptions that automatically enhance the buying journey such as testimonials or other word-of-mouth user generated content (UGC) from a source like Referralcandy. Regardless of what landing page they land on from the ad, be sure it is also optimized for conversions or you'll be leaving money on the table.
SMS & Email Marketing
Combining SMS with email marketing into one cohesive strategy can strengthen your overall outreach campaign. Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with your customers, announce new products or sales, and keep your brand top of mind. However, not everyone checks their email all the time, and some people may not even have an email address.
SMS marketing can help to fill in the gaps where email marketing may not reach everyone. SMS messages can be sent to any phone, even if the recipient doesn't have an email address. And, as we all know, people check their phones a lot more often than they check their email.
So, by using SMS and email marketing together in collaboration, you can reach more people with your message and increase your chances of getting your message seen and heard. Since both are also permission-based where customers fill out an online form to sign up, they're providing consent to communicate with them on these platforms and a great way to send personalized campaigns tailored to their wants and needs. You can gather more information about them in the consent form in order to know which campaign flow they should be in. For example, you can ask what products they are interested in and decide if they would be right to reach out when you have products in that category only, or if they indicate a wide interest, you can market your subscription box to them.
Social Media Marketing and Advertising
Social Media Marketing and Advertising is often confused with Social Commerce (selling directly on a social media platform) and Social Selling (using social media channels to identify and connect with sales prospects), but for this article, we are not focusing on those two tactics. We're talking about Social Media Marketing which is a broad term that can encompass building brand awareness, advertising, community management, social listening, customer service, and more.
Social Media advertising is one area that most companies are familiar with, whether they run digital ads in-house or with an agency so we will focus on the other areas that help drive brand awareness and strengthen customer relationships.
Your social channels will automatically draw in your buyers and potential buyers so it is important to optimize them as much as possible. Using your channels to connect with your audience is important and most importantly, using the right channels for the right purposes. Creating one piece of content and sharing it across all your different channels is not only lazy but it's ineffective. Each channel is made for a specific purpose, you can read more on that in last week's Baotris blog.
Because it's a gathering place for buyers and potential buyers, it's also a great place to have a touch point for customer service (head off complaints, show how you're willing to show up for customers who have a question or issue with your product) and also ask for feedback on current and future products. By creating a private Facebook group, Discord, or other forum for customers to connect to one-another, you can also drive their stickiness factor to the brand. Experienced customers will feel apart of the brand by answering questions for newbies and newbies will feel more comfortable knowing they have a community of past purchasers to reach out to at any time. These relationships can satisfy a need to belong for both parties, increasing their opinion of the brand in general.
Just as social media is a platform for individuals to show off who they are, it is also a platform for brands to show off some personality as well. Will your posts be helpful and educational or light-hearted and entertaining? Who does your brand represent at its core? Make sure your social profile matches!
Lastly, with your social channels, you can give your customers a boost by re-sharing and reposting their user generated content that they have posted on their own channels and tagged you in. This not only strengthens your relationship with that specific customer, but tells other customers that you appreciate their UGC and encourages others to share as well.
Build Sustainable Customer Relationships
Every customer is different and has a different journey, but by categorizing them into buckets based on needs, pain points, and personas, you will be able to speak to your customers directly without having to personalize each touch point specifically for them. Most company have a few different personas of buyers. This is because your product serves different needs for different people. For instance an ebike may be a mode of transportation in a crowded city for one person and a means of exercise for the next. You cannot speak to these two groups with the same message because it would not be applicable for both, you therefore need at least two different ad campaigns, email flows, landing pages, etc to speak to these two different customers.
However, you can't speak to your customers without knowing who they are. We think it is imperatively important to do the research up front, including surveys, website heat maps, user research, market research, social listening, past purchase interviews, and usability tests (to name a few methods) in order to figure out who your personas are. From there you need to test, test, and test some more to validate these personas as ones that are applicable.
Another great way to be relationships with your customers is to be there for them at every step of the funnel. Break down what the top of the funnel looks like and what information potential customers are looking for and give it to them, them repeat with the middle and bottom of the funnel. This strategy will inform many of your other marketing initiatives such as keyword, content, web design, policies, and more. And remember, when I say be there for them, I mean past the purchase point as well. Send tracking info, once a product arrives send an email survey asking how it's working out with a reiteration of return policy and an easy way to reach customer service, provide quick and good customer service, direct them to education resources such as a blog on your site if it makes sense, send new product updates when you have new releases, invite them to join your social channels or online community, ask them to join your referral program - really the possibilities are endless so pick a few to focus on and get going.
Community Marketing: Referral Programs, Customer Loyalty, Customer Reviews, and more
A committed fan base can drive sales, repeat purchases, and word-of-mouth in a more authentic way than any paid advertising campaign ever could. This is because humans are social creatures and automatically gravitate towards being apart of a community, by facilitating buyers ability to connect to one another, you are creating loyalty for your brands.
Because you want communities to feel as organic as possible, you want to be involved but not have it come off as advertising. The most important things to do are to provide value (make the community members feel special for participating in the community whether through asking for feedback or offering specials like early access) and be responsive (whether someone posts something negative or positive, you want to show that you care about the community member's opinions).
Some of the strategic initiatives you can do to build brand awareness and drive conversions are to set up a referral program, loyalty program, and encourage customer reviews and other user-generated content.
Referral programs are where your customers are incentivized to refers members of their personal community to your product and brand. We have previous weekly blogs that cover The Benefits of a Referral Program, How to Create a Customer Referral Program, and The Best Apps for Running a Referral Program.
A loyalty program is a similar idea but instead of driving new customer acquisition with referrals, you're aiming to increase the lifetime value (LTV) of customers you already have. This can take a few forms, such as rewarding points for dollars spent on your site that can be redeemed for discounts and product in the future, offering discounts or anniversary/ birthday specials to your best customers, or even sending free product to your top buyers.
Customer reviews can be captured through a number of means such as an email flow, website pop-up, SMS reminder, or more. By collecting and using customer reviews on your site and on your social media, you are removing a trust barrier with potential customers who are not familiar with your brand or a new product by surfacing what others think about it. Many people do not consider themselves "early adopters" so by having a few hundred reviews on a product, they feel more comfortable making a purchase.
There you have it! These are six excellent Shopify marketing strategies that you can use to grow brand awareness and conversions for your ecommerce store.
All of these strategies are effective and can help you to improve your store’s visibility and reach more customers, just be sure to do the research upfront so that all your strategies have a target or goal that is data-driven rather than just picking things from a list at random. If you need help with the research, feel free to reach out to us at Baotris as this is what we help clients do, in addition to providing capital to run the research and experiments.