Monday, 8 October 2012

Marketing and the absolute necessity of active self-promotion

When someone sets up an online store for the very first time, they sometimes believe that all they need to do is add products to their store, have an appealing design and upload a logo and the customers will come flocking. Well, with literally millions upon millions of people running ecommerce stores worldwide, what are the chances of a customer somehow stumbling across yours? The answer is very little.

You need to think of a new ecommerce store in the same way you would if you were running a bricks and mortar store that was down a small, dark alleyway that no one ever goes down. You may have the best store in the world, but if no one knows that it's there, they aren't going to visit it.

In order to have your site achieve the levels of traffic and sales that you desire, you need to be actively promoting and marketing your store across a number of different channels. However, as I have said a number of times throughout various articles, you should first begin by entering all of the relevant meta keywords for your pages and products to help improve your search engine standing. While this does require some effort to actually input the keywords, monitor their success and alter as required each month, this is the closest form of marketing that is going to allow you to simply sit back and watch customers come to your store. However, if you are setting up a new online store, you shouldn't expect these results to be instantaneous. Once you have inserted the keywords for your pages and products, it will take a few weeks for various search engine spiders to scour the Internet and come across your pages and keywords. Once these words have been located and indexed, you will begin to see a rise in traffic levels as more and more customers come across your website through the keywords that you have entered. 

With the shear number of online stores being set up each and every day, if you don't promote your own business in order to create that initial brand awareness, you're not going to get anywhere. Although you may think asking your friends to help promote your website is like tossing a pebble in the ocean, you will be surprised how quickly it will begin to snowball and simple maths can give you an insight into this. Say you ask one of your friends to promote a link to your online store on their social media page. That one link is then seen on the newsfeeds of the 500 friends that your friend has. Of those 500 friends, three are interested in your store so much that they decide they also want to share it with their own friends. As they each have 500 friends too, it means that in the space of a few minutes, your store has been exposed to 2000 people and that was only through one of your friends generously helping give your business a hand. 

While you may have a Facebook business page or a Facebook store, you should also be actively promoting your online business on your own personal page, as I would image that at this early stage of your business, your personal account will have many more active followers than your business. What you need to understand when setting up a new business is that self promotion is everything. You may feel that your business is good enough to stand on it's own merits and that you are too proud to actively promote it yourself. If you do feel like this, for the sake of your business you need to get past this and quick. Self promotion is an absolute necessity in helping make your business a success. If you yourself, someone who is incredibly passionate about your business, refuses to actively promote your store and what you have on offer, why should other people do it? 

This means that you should be regularly placing content regarding your business on both your personal and business social media pages including the relevant link to your store numerous times to ensure that your message is able to reach as many people as possible. On top of this, you should be looking to create banners, send out emails, engage with forums and pretty much do anything else you can think of that will allow you to help get your store name out there and get as many people as possible to visit your ecommerce store. If you are struggling to think of ways to help market your business, read our post: 'Marketing tools for the big, the small and the just getting started'

If you want to make your online store a success, you need to be willing to put all the hard work and effort that success requires. If you sit back and do nothing waiting for the sales to start generating themselves, you are going to be waiting a very long time. 

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