Nowadays, having an online store is not a big challenge. Not so long ago, online sales were surrounded by a nimbus of programming knowledge, coarse supporting tools, and required considerable investment outlays. Today, however, basically anyone can create their online store for a few thousand dollars and reach an unlimited number of customers with their small offer. And it is only here that the real challenge, i.e. online store marketing, appears.
At Paraphrase Online, we support over 500 online stores, so it’s not the time to flirt with modesty. We just know what works in a given industry and at a given scale of activity. Google Analytics does not lie. That is why in this post we will focus on what to focus on in online store marketing.
Online store marketing – what budget?
What budget will be ideal to launch effective online store marketing? I probably won’t be surprised by giving a Solomon answer that … it depends.
We have clients who have invested several dozen or even several hundred thousand dollars in their own online stores, but have forgotten that they still need to inform customers and at the beginning they had $ 3,000 or $ 4,000 for advertising. An in-depth investment in the website itself makes sense if it takes into account, for example, the delivery of interesting content at the entrance or seo optimization. However, if the technology and graphics and programming games cost us a lot, and at the same time we have not secured funds for marketing, then we may have a problem with getting the right traffic to even the most beautiful store under the sun.
Many customers are wary of online advertising because awareness of how different advertising systems work is simply low. The most important points that reinforce the belief that this is a real investment, not just an expense, are:
– by advertising your online store, we can accurately measure the
effectiveness of each campaign or advertising channel,
– you can choose any time you want to broadcast your ads in response to market changes or specific events,
– you can flexibly manage your budget and seeing that it “works”, spend more money on advertising,
– you can and even need to test new solutions that have sales potential,
– you can easily determine how much it costs you to acquire a customer and optimize the campaign in this respect. Anyway, this is the most interesting piece of the puzzle – many entrepreneurs who apply to Paraphrase Online do not know how much they can actually spend to acquire one customer. For some products it will be hundreds of dollars, and for others it will be cents.
Considering the above, one conclusion emerges immediately. Too small a budget at the beginning will make the test less reliable and you can alienate yourself with a given advertising tool. Let’s say you have an online store with a lot of competition that spends $ 10,000 on advertising only in Google Ads. However, you have $ 500 a month for this environment. This amount will result in insufficient traffic in a given category. Because what if basically acquiring a client in this category costs e.g. $ 250? Too small a sample will make you randomly burn $ 500 at random.
In order to draw the appropriate conclusions, it is necessary to determine at the beginning – preferably in consultation with a specialist in a given field – how much it must be spent for the “trial” to give us the actual size of the potential profit.
When advertising on the internet, the matter is simple – too small a budget for a given area will be a simple waste of money that we still don’t have. Is there such a thing as too big an advertising budget? Yes! At a certain level, with a given targeting of advertisements, it may turn out that we can not spend more on advertising indefinitely because the converting traffic will remain at the current level and the expenses will increase. This will make getting customers just more expensive.
That is why it is so important to balance the investment in advertising and its supervision over the timeline.
Well, what if you have $ 3,000 for advertising, but you know that there are companies in your industry that spend $ 20,000? Then the most reasonable solution is to focus on the advertising channel that best converts for the industry. Sometimes it will be Google Ads text ads, sometimes cooperation with micro influencers or affiliation, and sometimes relying on YT advertising video views. It all depends on the store, target group and your goals as well as several other factors.
So, if you have a limited budget, my advice would be to consult the topic with a specialist or even in a public forum (e.g. groups on Facebook) and find out where to invest in the first place to obtain resources to expand advertising activities.
The more you have an advertising budget, the more holistic advertising you can take and give you the comfort of looking at your business in the long term and, for example, investing in online store positioning (if it makes sense in your industry).
Below are the basic forms of advertising for online stores that work.
Online store positioning
I start from the end. Positioning an online store will bring benefits – depending on the industry in which you operate – after a long time, and therefore many entrepreneurs do not pay attention to the first thing, because they want to quickly monetize their fresh store. Positioning, however, is worth considering because you do not want to operate on the market for 3 or 6 months, but many years. That is why it is worth knowing that positioning an online store is the cheapest method of acquiring potential customers in the long run. So if you have an extra budget for this type of investment, it’s definitely worth it.
What does it mean to position an online store? In the simplest terms, it will make sure that the user searching for a given phrase in the search engine first hits your site. In practice, this means that you must be on the first page of search results and as high as possible. Of course, the trick is to position yourself on phrases that convert, i.e. in the case of an online store they just sell. There is a higher probability that the user who specifies his query – e.g. product – is closer to purchase than the one who enters a search query with a high degree of generality. It is also worth knowing that often attractive phrases are occupied by strong brands and competitors, which means that it is often worth considering long tail positioning, i.e. key words and phrases that are less frequently searched, but at the same time – on an appropriate scale – will bring caloric movement .
Organic results – that is, those that “naturally” shows Google in the search engine, are characterized by a high degree of credibility with potential customers. A positioned phrase will work for you in the long term, and keeping it in a given position will require care, but not as much as just “pulling” it to the first page of search results.
Google Ads for online store
Google Ads – once Google AdWords – is the Google advertising system and currently the most widely used tool for internet marketing. Many channels, many targeting options, lots of advertising formats and amazing measurability. First of all, it is on Ads that you should direct your attention if you want to start earning quickly.
You can do a lot with Google Ads, so I will discuss areas that will be particularly valuable “at the entrance” and worth exploring.
Google product ads
Online store marketing is in many cases based on Google product ads, i.e. Google Shopping. Enter any product query in Google – e.g. men’s watch – and you will receive on the top or right side photos of product data that are advertised by given online stores and matched to your query and whether you are in a given interest group.
This type of advertising is very effective for three reasons. First of all, we buy often through the eyes. Secondly, we immediately get the price of the product. Thirdly, however, such advertising – if it is well optimized – is well suited to my intentions, i.e. it responds to my needs.
It is difficult to imagine a better product presentation, already at the stage of browsing the search engine by a given user.
Google text ads usually appear above organic results. Since they do not differ from “natural” results in anything but the small inscription “advertisement”, many Google users simply treat them as the result given by the search engine. Behind the text ad – there is also an advertiser. A properly optimized advertisement will download caloric traffic to your website, which will eventually turn into real buyers. Text advertising is usually the best associated tool in the Google Ads family (previously it was even synonymous with the Google AdWords brand). There are also various other names, such as sponsored links.
You know YouTube, and this already means something, and even if you treat it purely entertaining, this platform has many more uses. Youtube is the world’s second internet search engine, which serves us not only as a music player, but also to help in many matters – from searching for recipes for cooking, and ending with reviews of cars or paints for painting. Of course, it is also a place where companies build their own content and decide to cooperate with creators. Video advertising works on many senses, but also has the chance to engage the recipient on a completely different emotional level. All this means that ads on Youtube are more and more often used by advertisers and of various scale of operation – starting from millions of budgets and ending with limited campaigns for several thousand dollars.
For reasonable money, you can build a really good reach and number of views of your videos, thus resonating in the perception of potential customers.
Remarketing is a way to reach people who have already been to your online store’s website. The system collects a list of such people, which you can later use in various ways. For example, you can reach people who have abandoned the cart with already added products or dropped off at the payment stage. Proposing a small discount or a reminder of a sad, abandoned basket can make them return to unfinished shopping. You can also apply remarketing extensively – to everyone who just visited your store and at a different time horizon. You can target remarketing banners to people who were 500 days ago, as well as to those who left it yesterday or a few minutes ago.
Remarketing is widely used not only in the Google Ads system but also in social media. In today’s world something is still chasing us and we have a lot of distractions around. We also add products or watch on smartphones, and then forget about them because just … our bus stop has fallen out and must go on. Hundreds of situations distract us from finalizing purchases. Remarketing cleverly and relatively cheaply reminds you of your store and therefore nicely supports online store marketing.
Social Media and online store marketing
Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn, Snapchat or TikTok – all social media platforms are pretty good, and sometimes even the first choice for online store marketing. Each of these portals requires a different approach. However, due to the “proximity” of potential content recipients and the possibility of interacting with them, social media is a valued marketing channel.
Facebook offers the widest group of users and also the best-designed for targeting. As an agency, we have defended ourselves for a long time against the introduction of this type of service, but ultimately customers forced us to do so. And very well. We see that the combined campaigns in the Google and Facebook environment intertwine wonderfully and we have also gained a broad picture of where and how to invest funds for given industries. For example, it may turn out that Facebook remarketing works better for a given store, and Gmail ads work well again for another one. We have on board a team of specialists who have recently been certified in the Facebook Blueprint program, which guarantees our clients top-class care.
Facebook offers various advertising goals as well as formats tailored to your specific needs. Thanks to the installation of Facebook Pixel, there is also an option to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns to the penny and to approach the marketing of the online store on Facebook flexibly in time and budget.
Consider the examples above and choose which method will be best for you.