Marketing is a key element of an online retail. Given the fact that ecommerce is a hot field and everyone is out there to attract the same set of customers, creative marketing techniques are required. Our interview series ‘Technology Insights from Business Leader‘ earlier also focused on the question ‘What internet marketing strategies have worked for you’ and presented some insights.
Key focus areas for internet marketing are:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Content marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO strategies focus on improving the rank of the product’s page in Google (and other search engines) so that potential consumer is likely to visit our site. However, SEO is double-edged sword since it can be easily abused. This is because there are many unauthorized techniques that can be used to fool the process Google uses to rank your page, see here for things to be aware of. SEO debate is very polarized, read this one for a view on why SEO should be ditched in favor of content marketing (a topic we discuss below): The Death Of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, And Real Content.
SEO strategies should always focus on making the content more useful and accessible (keyword density in original content, frequency of posts, etc.). Best SEO strategies are very closely aligned to your content strategy.
Social Media Marketing
Social media strategies focus on creating and managing your presence on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. We discussed this in some detail in our earlier article on Social Commerce. Social media is a great way to engage and energize a community around your product, which makes your customers your PR and marketing team. However, as our article suggested, this requires more good content, a healthy and honest conversation between you and your fans and followers, and availability of tools for your fans and followers to be influencers.
Social media has the potential to diminish your marketing strategy too. Users tend to use it as a customer service tool to air their grievances and unhappiness with your product. These complaints must be managed to ensure your social media strategy is not dented. Ideally, customer support should be closely involved in your social media operations because speedy resolution of these issues is a great boost to your marketing, and slow response can kill your brand quickly.
Content marketing focuses on creating original content on your website. This could be via blogs, product descriptions and product reviews. Good content increases trust in consumers’ eyes for the site and enables great SEO strategies. Some of the best content are those that are generated by your influencial users, like product reviews, testimonials, discussions about products, etc. Diversity of media is important to have broad reach – audio, video, text, graphics, all should be used and a content should be offered in multiple formats when possible. Creating original content frequently is hard. Here is a good read on the topic: Generating Real Content.
Since other marketing strategies (SEO and Social) rely so much on a good content strategy, it is important to be very diligent about content marketing and use high-quality resources and significant percentage of your marketing budget should be allocated here. Remember that Adwords based brand awareness on Google (or other search engines) requires ongoing investment in purchasing adwords, while investment in creating quality content doesn’t require ongoing investment (Google searches favor old content). For example, a search for Good Wine Glasses shows up Jabong’s and Zansaar’s advertisements at the top, and Best Wine Glasses as #2 in search results (purely on the basis of their content).
SEO, Social Media Marketing, and Content Marketing are 3 pillars of internet marketing for online retail. Your marketing strategy needs to have the right mix of content, SEO and Social Media component. Original and frequent content generation (blogs, product descriptions, reviews, etc.) is the cornerstone of a good marketing strategy because it boosts your organic search results rank; SEO and Social Media amplify its effect and make your marketing a success.