Competing with other e-commerce businesses is brutal. After all, there seem to be new websites springing up every day. You grab consumer attention away from the big box stores, and you also have to compete with Amazon and other online retailers with more advertising dollars than you have. It essential that you have your digital marketing nailed down.
According to Statista, e-commerce sales will hit $6.5 trillion by 2022. The number may rise more than expected as people shop online to avoid concerns over the pandemic and shopping in public places. Focus on building your e-commerce store’s branding as we move into 2021, and you’ll be ready for the increased traffic.
There are some ways of standing out from the rest of the crowd. If you want to make a strong brand name for yourself in today’s current online retail environment, try starting with these steps.
1. Team up With Other Brands
Find like-minded companies with a big following, and see how you might work together to reach one another’s customers. Home Chef participates in this type of branding. When customers receive an order, they also get special offers about other services for wine, snacks and more. These companies, in turn, recommend Home Chef to their clients.
Vertu offers an excellent study of a company offering products in the luxury audio niche. Everything on its site is related to audio products, such as speakers and earbuds. Even the accessories tie into these items. Because the focus is luxury, it uses glossy photos like you might see in a magasine. Note the big image of the speaker at the top of the product page.
2. Personalise Orders
Use every opportunity to get the word out about your brand and what you sell. If you mail an order, use a personalised box with your company logo. Every person who handles the package will see it.
In the beginning, you may want to include a handwritten note thanking the patron for their order. The more you can make your brand name and attitude stick in the minds of those who purchase from you, the more likely they’ll remember you the next time they need what you sell.
3. Find the Right Influencers
Influencer marketing is an effective and inexpensive way to get the word out about your brand. Look for people with audiences similar to those you already market to. Don’t rule out micro-influencers with smaller followings. Even though you might reach fewer people, they are a highly targeted group interested in what you offer.
Once you find a few influencers to talk up your brand, lean on their expertise with online promotions. They’ve worked with other companies, and they know best which ads resound with their followers.
4. Tell Your Story
Don’t just limit your content to articles about the industry and news updates. Instead, spend time telling your personal journey to business success. Why did you start the brand? What are some of the successes and failures you’ve had along the way? People want to connect on an emotional level. The more they know about your company, the more likely they are to engage.
Once you’ve shared your story, you should also translate it into video form and maybe even an infographic timeline. Post the content to social media so you can reach people you otherwise might not engage with.
5. Utilise Email Promotions
One way to develop a rapport with your target audience is by sending out regular emails. Keep a direct conversation going with your contacts. There is a $44 return on investment (ROI) for every $1 spent on email promotions.
There are a couple of ways you can utilise email promotions. You can cultivate leads from your website, asking them to sign up for a free ebook or other perks in exchange for their email. You can also team up with other businesses and send out notes to one another’s mailing lists, introducing them to the other company.
Think about the topics your users are most interested in and stay on topic. If you run an HVAC company, your users likely want to know how to save money on heating and cooling costs or how to do basic maintenance on their units. They may care about sales and discounts.
6. Remember Offline Efforts
Establishing a consistent brand image requires effort online and offline. Your local community should be raving about your company and what you have to offer. Ideally, your local customers share your posts on social media and tell others about what you do and how to order from you.
You can put flyers in people’s newspaper boxes, attend local events and even go to small fairs and trade shows. Anything you can do to get your brand image out there is going to increase recognition. Start with a small inner circle and expand outward to the globe.
7. Find Your Personality
Your business is like a living, breathing entity. You need to figure out who you are and what you stand for. Find your personality as a brand and stick to the same tone throughout your interactions with customers. Some of the top companies do this quite effectively.
Taco Bell is about fast, cheap food. It targets everyone, but especially broke college students. You’ll notice a lot of its advertising focuses on late-night runs to get food. That’s because college students stay up late or are in an all-night study session and need some grub.
Whatever your mood is as a company, find your voice and define it in your style guide. Stick to that no matter where you appear, and your customers will start to see you as consistent and feel they understand you better.
Take Every Opportunity
Becoming better known as a brand requires taking every opportunity possible. If someone offers you a speaking engagement, take it. When somebody gives you a shoutout, thank them. Ask your most loyal customers to tell others about your brand, and look for the little things you can do. Everything adds up until you make an impact in your industry.
Lexie is a digital nomad and UX designer. She enjoys running with her golden doodle and creating new cookie recipes. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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