Too busy right now to read in-depth marketing strategies? Use these Top Tips as a 5-minute checklist to help guide your online marketing. The tips are made in collaboration with the Danish search marketing agency Obsidian Digital. If you want to know more about digital B2B marketing, check out their page here.
Use Affiliate Marketing to quickly boost online sales
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is the online marketing tool of offering a commission to another company for it to promote your products. A brand or business owner (the merchant) selects Affiliates as partners for them to promote their products, brand, deals etc. Affiliates are then paid a commission for every sale they direct to the merchant.
Why use Affiliate Marketing?
The main reasons to use Affiliate marketing are to quickly boost online sales, to generate leads and to increase the reach of your brand. It is a powerful online marketing tool because there is no upfront cost paid – costs are only incurred following a sale so it is a very direct and proportional cost/reward marketing tool.
How to start Affiliate Marketing
- Consider using a Network such as CJAffiliate to manage the process of selecting, recruiting, and rewarding Affiliates
- The increasing prevalence of ad-blocking software is changing the nature of Affiliate marketing to become more based on content than pop-up ads (see website blog Tip below)
- Manage and nurture your network of Affiliates – people buy from people, and that includes the Affiliate-Merchant relationship. Make it simple and rewarding for your Affiliates.
Use your website blog to keep your business’s online presence alive
Your website is one of your most important, if not the most important, online marketing tools. This is because you are entirely in control of this online space – how it behaves, the offers available, what is displayed when visitors land on it and the content. Website marketing is a huge area but here we will concentrate on your website’s content and blog within the context of a Traede.com merchant.
The blog section of a website for a Traede.com merchant selling clothes could include:
- Seasonal updates of ranges
- Reviews of fashion shows and clothing trends
- Product launches and reviews of the clothes you are producing and promoting
- Ongoing styling tips and hints for your fashion niche– or for using a selection of your products
A relevant and frequently updated blog will help your website in these critical areas of online marketing:
- Reaching out to customers; by promoting your blog content on your social media channels
- Encouraging interactions with your products; by guiding visitors to the parts of your website where they can learn more about your products
- Help to convert visitors to customers; by including deals and additional calls to action
- Build long-term engagement with your business and brand; by educating and entertaining your customers and site visitors
The goal is to keep your brand relevant, your content refreshed and your business front of mind with your customers.
All the above can be the hub for your online marketing effort and linked to your social media and email marketing efforts (see next Tips).
Use Social Media Marketing to give your business a voice
Social Media platforms are a brilliant resource for all sorts of businesses looking to promote themselves and their products and services online. They range from professional networks like LinkedIn, through image and video sharing networks like Instagram and YouTube, to Facebook, the world’s largest in terms of number of monthly users. Put simply – if your customers and consumers are there, you need to be too!
Social Media Marketing is therefore an integral part of an integrated online marketing strategy. Traede.com members can use social media marketing to:
- Increase trust and confidence; because customers and consumers perceive a social media platform to be an easy and approachable way to contact you
- Deliver better customer service; by providing a more direct method to deal with pre-sales enquiries and after-sales support
- Build your brand’s identity; by giving your business and brand a ‘voice’ and personality and establishing an ongoing personal connection with your customers
- Promote content; by providing links to your website and blog content
- Keep customers engaged; by providing regular and timely updates to influence purchasing decisions
Your social content can take many forms, including video, photos and written content, and be both paid for and unpaid:
- Paid for – in the form of advertisements to highly targeted individuals, businesses or groups –to give an immediate boost to your business’s visibility
- Unpaid – in the form of content ‘posts’ on your social blog – to develop long-term engagement with your customers
Use Social Media Marketing to give your business a voice and a reason for visitors to go to your website.
Remember Google offers Google Shopping as a complete platform for online sales
Your products can be shown in Google Shopping ads when users search for products in Google. To take advantage of this you’ll need a Google AdWords account and a Google Merchant Center account – and they need to be linked.
Three key steps for success with Google Shopping are:
- Creating your product feed – this means uploading your product details, images and pricing to Google Shopping
- Bidding with your AdWords account to acquire sales at an acceptable price
- Optimizing your Google Shopping strategy with promotions and additional offers
Remember that as a fully integrated shopping and search platform you can also
- Use Google Dynamic Remarketing to show adverts of your products to people who have visited your site
- Use Google Reviews to enhance your business’s reputation online
Finally, use e-mail marketing to fuel your online marketing plan
Successfully using the above tips will give your business a solid online marketing presence. This last tip will help you convert leads into sales and personalize your communications to speak directly with your customers and visitors with e-mail marketing.
When visitors or customers provide their email addresses you can use personalized emails to improve every stage of the customer journey:
- For visitors to your blog who have provided their email address; keep them updated with emails providing links to special offers, product launches and new blog posts
- For new customers; thank them and provide ‘onboarding’ emails reminding them of your product and service commitments
- For long-term customers; thank them for their loyalty with additional offers, and seek their input as advocates, perhaps recruiting them to promote or review your products and services
The key tip here is to ask for your customers’ and visitors’ email address at each opportunity – and remember to give them the opportunity to tailor the frequency (or complete opt-out) from your future emails.
Good luck with your online marketing!
When you feel you have control of your B2B online marketing, you might also want to get control of your B2B sales processes. If so, you can download our free guide on how fashion and lifestyle brands can optimize their B2B sales.