While walking in a cornfield, Ray Kinsella heard a voice whispering, “If you build it, he will come.”
Full marks if you got the movie reference and to those shaking their heads in the back - we feel your pain. This phrase is anathema to digital marketers everywhere. After all, just like a physical store, traffic is the lifeblood of any ecommerce website. How will they come if they don’t know?
Marketing spend vs ad spend
So, you have an ecommerce website with no traffic. You want to know how to increase your traffic and, more importantly, conversion rate. Your first step is to think carefully about your goals and how they can best be achieved with digital marketing. Once you’ve got that figured out, you need to know how much you have to spend on your overall marketing efforts.
Marketing spend is far from being limited to ad spend on your paid channels. It includes traditional above-the-line marketing efforts, your retainers with agencies, collaborations with other brands, the costs involved with setting up activations, and the all-important discounts and offers. Somewhere in this mountain of costs, you need a digital marketing strategy that makes you money and builds your brand. That’s why it’s so crucial to have clear long term objectives and a solid roadmap in place.
Different platforms for different goals
Like tools in a chest, each advertising platform has its own strengths and these advertising platforms should be used strategically to further these long term objectives. Paid advertising is typically the first channel people think of when they hear the words “digital spend”. And it’s true that this remains a major driver within the larger scope of digital marketing.
But your marketing toolkit also consists of channels like SEO and UX – where we focus on improving your website’s organic rankings and get it conversion-friendly; email and content marketing that tells your brand story and keeps customers updated on offers and launches; and of course social media marketing channels to keep your brand in front of mind within the larger audience.
Google and Facebook, the largest digital advertising platforms in the world, hold immense value for our eCommerce clients and make up an important part of our toolkit. We also don’t forget about LinkedIn, a valuable paid acquisition tool that works well within the professional sphere.
We like to use Facebook and Instagram marketing as top of funnel brand awareness tools, driving traffic to the site and spreading the news of our clients’ offerings. Google Search and Shopping ads bring it home with conversion-focused performance.
Having this wide range of advertising platforms and mediums at our disposal makes it possible to tailor a unique line up of digital marketing channels for each of our clients, as we understand that every industry, vertical, and brand is entirely different. Having a one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing is your first step towards irrelevance, and it’s something we’re passionate about fighting.
The importance of accurate tracking
While this may seem trivial, we cannot stress it enough. Accurate data leads to accurate decision making. It is important to start tracking as soon as possible after going live with your digital marketing efforts.
While tracking may not yield appreciable insights right away, it will become important when increasing lookback periods to 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. This will allow you to track the profitability of your campaigns, ad groups and keywords. Ultimately, you will only be able to spot new trends if you have adequate tracking.
If there’s one bit of crucial advice we have, it’s to set up your tracking correctly from the beginning - it will save you much heartache later.
Limitations of a small budget
While digital marketing and especially paid digital marketing may seem like a cure-all to your problems, in reality it is not an overnight solution. Like all things, Google and Facebook’s AI need time to learn and optimise for your ecommerce goals. The learning period, as it’s come to be known, encompasses the period where Google takes the variables set out in the campaign and optimises specifically for that objective.
This requires data and all campaigns go through a learning phase where their results are suboptimal whilst campaigns are reaching their peak potential. This is where setting realistic goals and a realistic budget plays an important role. It is a fine balance.
On the one hand you want the advertising platform to learn for as little outlay as possible but allocating too little budget will keep you in learning for longer. Beware of this and counter by budgeting appropriately.
The advantages of hiring experts that understand the full scope
To quote Tony Robbins, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want.”
At eComplete, we’re dedicated to helping ecommerce businesses thrive. We’ve been there, gotten our hands dirty and we’ve taken our knocks. We have the expertise and ecommerce experience to take your business to the heights it deserves.
Contact us now for a free consultation.
Written by Ryan Benting, Paid Media Specialist