Online Store Advertising - How To Promote An Online Store?

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Online Store AdvertisingThe high-quality assortment at an attractive price is very often not enough to be successful in the e-commerce industry. Well-thought-out marketing communication is also necessary. Waiting and hoping that customers will find our store online is a deceptive strategy. See how to promote an online store.

Google Ads (AdWords)

Online marketing specialists agree that AdWords advertising is a quick and effective way to promote your online store in the search engine. Good visibility in search results is also good recognition on the web because almost 90% of Internet users look for information and products in this place. AdWords is an advertising system accounted for in the PPC (Pay-per-click) model, enabling the display of messages (graphic or text) in designated places (Google and Bing search engines, social networks). Advertisements are shown to users when they search for specific services or products online. Ads - sponsored links look similar to organic results (SERPs).

Thanks to the ability to precisely define the target group, as well as the ability to choose the form of settlement tailored to the desired customer action, you can reach the most valuable group of customers, the one that entrepreneurs should care about the most.

Advertising in the Google Ads system is displayed:

  • on the first page of search engine results, most often above organic (natural) results or on the side of all results.

  • on the Google Display Network, which covers over two million places on the Internet.

 

The Google Ads advertising system allows you to run various types of promotional campaigns:

  • Google search network (internet search engine).

  • Google advertising network (websites, portals, websites and blogs cooperating with Google).

  • Google Shopping (Google Shopping are product campaigns that enable the promotion of specific elements of the store's assortment in the search engine - the search results show product cards with a price, a short description and a link to the page, product cards are displayed not for phrases, but product categories).

  • Google Ads remarketing - the ability to customize messages to people who have already visited the store.

  • Google Ads campaigns on YouTube (the possibility of promotion by means of a video advertisement on the web server, which is the second most popular search engine in the world).

  • Google Ads campaigns in Gmail.

  • Facebook Ads campaigns.

 

Google Ads (AdWords) advertising is displayed for specific phrases selected by the advertiser. In the Google Ads system, companies pay for each click of an ad by a search engine user (going to our store's website).

Advantages of Google Ads (AdWords) advertising

A wide spectrum of ad targeting - advertisers in this system has the ability to precisely define target groups and places of advertising publication (they can choose not only the place but also the type of devices on which the ad is to be displayed).

Campaign duration control - advertisers can decide for themselves when a campaign should start and end. It is also possible to temporarily suspend the campaign.

A chance to reach customers abroad - the ability to precisely define the geographic and linguistic area.

Cost control - The fee system in Google Ads is very clear and transparent. The advertiser sets a maximum bid, although most often the actual fee is slightly lower. It all depends on the rates offered by rivals for the same queries. Each search is a separate auction conducted by Google to determine which ad will appear and where. Companies can adjust rates to their desired goals.

  • CPC  (rate per click). It is a strategy aimed at attracting as many users as possible to the company's website.

  • CPM  (bid for every thousand times your ad is shown). This strategy is aimed at increasing the recognition of our brand among Internet users, it is available only in campaigns targeted at the advertising network.

  • CPA  (cost of customer acquisition - conversion). It is a strategy aimed at increasing the customer's desired actions after clicking an advertisement - most often it is purchasing a specific product or filling in a contact form.

 

Effect monitoring - the company can observe user behaviour and correct actions at every stage of the campaign. Efficiency is determined by various types of indicators: CTR - click-through rate (the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions), average CPS - average cost-per-click, avg. CPM - Average cost per thousand impressions, number of conversions.

No hidden costs - clear and transparent billing system, low entry barrier in less competitive areas, with a relatively small budget you can achieve quite satisfactory sales results.

A valuable source of traffic on the website - thanks to this advertisement, you can quickly and effectively gain new customers, those who would never find their way to the store's website without this advertisement. Contrary to other methods of promotion (SEO, social media), the effect does not have to wait long, the first customers can visit our store a few minutes after initiating the campaign.

In an AdWords advertisement, the key is the right phrase selection. If we make a mistake in this regard, the return on investment will be meagre or even nonexistent. If, for example, we sell professional sports shoes for running, it is not worth advertising for phrases that are too general in this regard, such as "shoes" or "shoes". It will be much more effective to choose words that precisely describe our products, such as "running shoes", "sports shoes", etc. General phrases are very competitive, that is, more expensive. Auctions in the Google Ads system are carried out automatically, invisible to the user. The auction result is your ad ranking, which is where the sponsored link will appear. It may also turn out that it will be so weak that the advertisement will not appear at all - this is the case, when stores with a similar assortment outperform our offer - they will set the maximum rate at a higher level. Ad Rank is affected by:

  • bid, which is the amount that the advertiser is able to pay for each click,

  • the usefulness of the AdWords ad, Google will analyze whether your ad will be helpful for people to whom it is to be displayed.

  • the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats on ad performance.

 

The words on which the ad is to be displayed can be adapted to the individual needs of the store:

  • broad match - the ad is displayed with all words related to the sales profile.

  • phrase match - the ad is displayed on queries containing the phrase.

  • exact match - the ad is displayed only for queries containing the phrase.

 

SEO - website positioning

Good visibility of the online store in the search engine can be achieved not only with the help of AdWords advertising, but also activities in the field of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, in most cases, you will have to wait a bit longer for the effects. The time it will take to achieve high rankings in organic (natural) search results, displayed immediately below AdWords ads (if no advertiser has purchased an ad in this system for this phrase, the natural results will appear at the top) depends on competitiveness the phrase that the store wants to promote.

Positioning the online store

Positioning is a set of activities aimed at making the website of our online store regularly in TOP3 for phrases related to the assortment. SEO includes not only website code optimization, but also the creation and publication of valuable content and the acquisition of links from popular and reputable websites. However, as experts emphasize, in the case of online stores, the ultimate goal of positioning is not at the top of the ranking (it is only a means to an end), but above all, a greater number of conversions. In the e-commerce industry, activities should be focused on a specific effect in the spirit of performance marketing, so it is also worth remembering about optimizing the website in terms of usability (including maximum shortening of the transaction process). This is a more demanding endeavour than entering TOP3 only.

Positioning an online store - why is it worth it?

  • greater brand recognition,

  • increase in website traffic,

  • increase in the number of customers and sales profits,

  • convenient billing model (payment for effects),

  • the ability to adapt sales targets to your own needs and circumstances,

  • comprehensive monitoring of conducted activities (you can track the effects on an ongoing basis and possibly correct actions - e.g. change positioned phrases).


AdWords advertising and SEO are complimentary marketing tools, thanks to their simultaneous implementation in the online communication strategy, you can significantly increase the visibility of the store in the search engine. The presence of our business both in the area of ​​sponsored links and in the forefront of organic results for phrases related to the sales profile is a greater chance for an increase in conversion. In the SEO industry, there has been a discussion for years to what extent of entering the Google Ads system is conducive to high page positions in natural search results. Even if there is no relationship, it is worth using both tools and thus increases the visibility of the store in the search engine. However, one must bear in mind the advantages and disadvantages of these methods.

The company can count on the benefits of AdWords advertising (more traffic on the website) only at the time of the campaign, after its completion, the effect of customers' interest in the store automatically expires. In the case of an investment in SEO, the situation is quite different. If we reduce the intensity of publishing new content and acquiring new backlinks or even stopping it altogether, we can still count on our presence at the forefront of the ranking thanks to the momentum and the search engine's trust in the website. The sales effect thanks to SEO, depending on the competitiveness of the industry, may last much longer than in the case of AdWords advertising. Also, the number of new clients that we are able to gain through positioning is virtually unlimited.

Social Media

Currently, for a large number of people, regardless of latitude, social media is the only source of information, not only about the world but also real and virtual products and services. This is a place where many people come into contact with brands for the first time, so ignoring this channel would be a strategic mistake, even in industries seemingly unrelated to the current lifestyle.

Social media offers wide possibilities both in terms of presenting the online store's offer and attracting new customers:

  • store promotion,

  • product advertising,

  • temporary promotional and discount campaigns,

  • lifestyle promotion related to the store's assortment,

  • promotion of the content published on the website as part of content marketing,

  • direct communication with customers (e.g. Facebook Messenger),

  • pre-sale and after-sale customer service.

Facebook - promotion of the online store

In terms of online store promotion, Facebook and Instagram offer the greatest opportunities. The advertising system of the website established by M. Zuckerberg enables reaching a selected group of recipients. It allows for a slightly more precise definition of the target group, even than the Google Ads system. And what is most important for entrepreneurs who start their commercial activity online without a large marketing budget, Facebook has a low entry barrier in terms of advertising. It is enough 100 - 200 PLN per month to start your adventure. Of course, with these amounts, it will be difficult to build a broad reach, but at first, it will probably be a small step towards increasing sales. Facebook also offers remarketing activities based on various collections of customers (e.g. mailing lists).

Facebook - promotion of the online store

Facebook also offers sponsored posts for online stores, thanks to which you can freely set the range for advertising messages. This is a very attractive solution because the organic reach of Facebook posts is estimated at less than 10%, which means that with a base of 1000 fans, our post will only see no more than 100 fans without additional promotion (which is still quite an optimistic assumption, as many experts indicate that this range is only a few percent).

Facebook also allows you to sell from the company profile, so customers can make purchases and payments without leaving the website. Enabling the store function is not only an opportunity to increase sales but also a convenience for customers.

Facebook in the e-commerce industry - why is it worth it?

  • a large number of users,

  • low cost of clicking an ad,

  • the ability to precisely define the target group,

  • quick and easy communication with customers,

  • attractive advertising solutions for online stores.

 

However, it must be remembered that promoting an online store on Facebook is both an opportunity and a challenge. A chance, because you can reach a valuable group of customers. A challenge, because you have to take into account the criticism in the comments, more and more boldly expressed by customers in social media.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a communication strategy that attracts new customers with valuable content. In the era of fierce competition in the e-commerce industry and the waning power of traditional advertising formats, attractive content is the only way to distinguish yourself from the competition and reach potential customers. According to a study by Smart Insights, content marketing is the most effective marketing technique in the context of acquiring new customers and generating revenue.

Valuable content is one of the top three ranking factors on Google. If our store is to be regularly present in TOP3 for phrases related not only directly to the store's assortment, but also to the lifestyle-related to the products offered, we must take care of valuable content. In practice, however, it does not look good. Most stores suffer from a deficit of content, poor descriptions, even if they do not discourage you from buying, certainly do not encourage you to buy it.

Content marketing is a strategy focused on the information needs of customers. However, if the content created and published as part of this strategy is to attract attention and arouse the interest of the audience, it must:

  • inspire to act, customers expect from brands not only information but also ideas,

  • create a purchase need (first create a problem and then suggest a way to solve it),

  • stimulate to action,

  • engage emotionally,

  • educate.

Types of valuable content in the e-commerce industry:

  • product descriptions,

  • a special tab on the store's website (e.g. practical tips),

  • blog on the store's website,

  • comments and reviews.

 

The effectiveness of content marketing depends not only on the substantive value of the content but also on the way it is presented. When choosing the format, one should take into account the nature of the information (so that it is understandable to a wide range of recipients), the current trends in this area, the specific needs of the target group, recipients' expectations and the company's technical and financial capabilities.

The most effective formats in content marketing:

  • infographics (the most legible and vivid way to present a large number of facts and figures - pages with infographics generate more traffic by 12% than others),

  • video films (currently the most sought-after content on the web, probably in the near future they will dominate the Internet - the latest trend in this area is live coverage in social media),

  • photos and photo reports (if in the past photos were only addition to texts, today it is quite the opposite)

  • podcasts (online voice broadcasts),

  • expert articles (research reports, industry analyzes, reviews, interviews with experts and people related to the industry).

Summary

Although the promotion of an online store is quite a demanding undertaking, it does not mean that, as modern youth would say, it is impossible to comprehend. In the e-commerce industry, time matters, each next day without customers will bring us closer to bankruptcy, so it is worth using all possible channels on the Internet for promotion (apart from the above-mentioned, it is also worth focusing on e-mail marketing, influencer marketing or price comparison websites). Only in this way are we able to ensure a constant flow of new customers.

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