How to Find a Successful Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

There are many ways that you can find a successful ecommerce marketing strategy. These factors include determining what your needs are and which efforts of marketing will work right for you.

There are many different types of advertising efforts that you will see in an ecommerce marketing strategy. These include press releases, content writing, email campaigns, and even link building. It will usually depend on what your needs are before you can determine which efforts you want to add in your campaign.

The first thing you need to do is make a determination of exactly what your needs are before you make a decision on the type of ecommerce marketing strategy you want to use. You need to know exactly what you need to do to meet the goals you want to achieve. First, determine what it is that you want to do. You might be lacking traffic to your website and need to draw in more customers or you might notice that you have plenty of traffic but you notice that they continue to leave right away as soon as they get to a certain page on the site. Make a list of all of the problems or goals you want to achieve.

Once you have a list of the things that you want to achieve with your ecommerce marketing strategy then you will know exactly what it is that you need to do in order to be successful. This is because each of the different marketing techniques are designed to provide different results. For example, if you hire someone to provide content on your site then they may draw in more traffic to your site by getting you a better ranking with the search engines. If you already have a good ranking then this may not be what you need. Blogging can draw in traffic and get you a better rank as well. You might just need someone to come in and repair broken links or fix pages on your site. By looking at your needs, you will know what it is that you will need for the marketing campaign. If you hire a professional marketer then they can help you with your efforts also and they will know exactly what to do to help you meet your goals.

Some people try different things to get their ecommerce marketing strategy working the way they want it to. However, when you are clear on your needs for the business then you can be successful the first go around. It is important to remember that a marketing professional cannot make promises to you that are unrealistic. This means that if they promise you a number one rank in a search engine it may be short lived. You might actually get a top rank for a week or so but things change on the web all of the time. A more realistic promise would be that they can get you on the first or second page of a search. However, it is important to keep in mind that you need to continuously update the site to remain in the forefront.

Another factor with a successful ecommerce marketing strategy is cost. It is not successful if you are paying more money than you are gaining with the efforts. For example, if you are paying for keywords as pay per click campaigns require then you might have a ton of traffic clicking on your link but not purchasing. This can be a high cost for you without a return. The goal is to make money. Today, most of the marketing efforts in a campaign are free if you have the time to do them yourself. If you decide to hire someone then the efforts are very low cost and much less than pay per click. This is because you will pay a one time fee and not a continuous monthly payment for the keywords. You can make use of keywords without paying for them and a professional can show you how to do so.

The Cornerstones of a Successful Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

Ecommerce merchants face a ton of competition in achieving high search engine visibility for keyword phrases that prospective customers are searching for. That’s the harsh reality of getting noticed and making sales on the World Wide Web. The good news is that with a little research, planning, and follow-though, the goal of moving ahead of the competition and generating some targeted Internet traffic becomes surprisingly attainable.

Building an ecommerce website and then getting it indexed by Google is the first hurdle in gaining visibility on the Internet and attracting a decent number of credit card wielding customers. But with thousands, if not millions of other ecommerce merchants clamoring for the attention of the same online customers, how does the little guy on the Web stand a snowball’s chance? Well, the beauty of ecommerce marketing is that there are no “little guys” — only website owners who don’t know the basics of search engine optimization, web design, and sales conversion principles.

Wait a minute! What was that last thing — sales conversion principles? Is that something I need to go back to college for? Fortunately, no advanced degrees are necessary, although continual self-education is highly recommended! The main skill you need to convert web site visitors to customers is imagination — if you could call that a “skill”. To sell stuff to people on or off the Web, you need to have the ability to see things through their eyes. Stop being an e-marketer for a few seconds, and try to imagine what a first-time visitor to your site is going to see, think, and feel. Will their first impressions be that you’re trying to sell them something? That, of course, is your intention, but keep in mind that ecommerce is a two-way street; people aren’t going to buy what you’re selling unless several conditions are met; and the art of written persuasion is definitely part of this ecommerce marketing strategy.

If your web set has been written and optimized in a way that will bring in people that are ready to buy – or at least are predisposed to buy what you’re selling – then your only task is to convert them from a site visitor to a paying customer. Easier said than done, right? Although entire books have been written on the subject, in the interest of time, I’m going to boil it down to three C’s: “Clarity”, “Confidence”, and “Comfort”.

“Clarity” refers to the fact that you have to make it clear what you’re selling, how it will benefit your customers, and why it’s as good as – if not much better than what the competition is offering. Instilling “confidence” is your prospective customers is also crucially important – especially on the Internet – because they want to know that the transaction will be secure and that you have a customer service policy that will come into play if they have a question or problem with their purchase. The third element — “comfort” factor — is what happens when you’ve mastered the “clarity” and “confidence” portions of the equation, and have convinced the customer that they’ve made the right purchase from a trustworthy web site at the optimal time. Perception may not be everything, but it may be the single most important ingredient of a successful ecommerce marketing strategy.

eCommerce Development and Business Dynamics

The number of Internet users are burgeoning rapidly throughout the globe. While in the developed nations, it has already reach a saturation level, in growing economies like India, internet penetration is becoming stronger. Internet grew as an empowerment for common people and a massive business platform for enterprises. Among numerous trends that internet brought among people, eCommerce emerged as a massive disruption in business dynamics and in lifestyle of commoners. It brought the lavishness of shopping right at the clicks on the computer or taps on mobile devices, while, products as well as services reach the doorsteps.

eCommerce has become a proven profitable venture with considerably low investment and high profit. However, the profit part is dependent of several factors. It can become a complex business to handle, as it involves many critical operations right from accumulation of products, delivery, customer services to maintenance of technology, massive human resources, and warehouses. Only a seamless tandem in all these operations can lead to a running eCommerce business, that can bring good Return on Investment.

To venture into eCommerce, prospective business owners must first find a dependable firm to develop the central platform or the web portal. They can also hire technology experts for in-house development, but it brings along the cost of development and technology infrastructure. In the primary stages, many other operations, like collecting products from vendors and marketing are required. Hence, outsourcing the development of the platform becomes a profitable option. Businesses would only need to find a good eCommerce Development company.

Since, technology is a central aspect in eCommerce industry, adequate importance is given in web development for creating the web portal. This thrust in technology propelled a dynamic boost in IT sector. Especially, application development, web development and technologies like PHP has found their ways to massive popularity and importance in current business landscape. In fact, there is a competition among businesses to buy the best technology or to develop the best platform.

In eCommerce, the web portal, or the technology is at the center of all its operations. It is not only the interface of the business with consumers, but also the prime mechanism in which the business runs. The website serves multiple purposes all at the same time and it is that single touch point of all major interactions with consumers. Accessibility of services and abundance of features in the web portal is a secret mantra for success in eCommerce. Therefore, the imperatives of technology in this business is the central focus for enterprises and owners.

How to Use Web and Internet Video to Market and Communicate

IBM Uses “Do It Yourself” Video to Communicate and Market

“No more long, cumbersome marketing documents – no more boring presentations. Video is how companies and business should communicate,” says Mark Leaser, Worldwide Offerings Manager, IBM Software Services for Lotus. “You can do it yourself and save thousands of dollars.

IBM Software Services for Lotus is using video in a wide variety of ways – for internal education and communications as well as for external marketing and customer relations.

Internally, Mr. Leaser and his department are using video for sales training, communication where they want to propose a particular course of action, and to provide training of their technical solution architects and solution specialists. They also are doing internal case studies – talking head interviews and lots of screen capture using their own LotusLive web conference solution and mixing it with live video.

IBM is also using video externally to promote and market their assets and solutions worldwide. The video messages are designed to help customers select, purchase and use the appropriate business solutions.

To speed up the production process, and to ensure a consistent look and feel, Mr. Leaser has developed an effective standardized format to deliver these external messages. These external communication videos usually start with a short teaser – essentially a one to two minute video introduction to a business solution then followed by an action step that is designed to steer viewers to specific online IBM landing pages with much more detail.

Combining the best practices from successful eCommerce and eTailing sites, these landing pages use even more video to further educate and market products and services. A typical video landing page will include links to additional content including additional video and product information. The landing page can also include “infomercial” type videos, as well as videos on how the products work and where to go for more info.

IBM uses video as a means of attracting interest in something that they are doing. The video segments have to be more than a commercial – they have to offer content with value, information of how their solutions will help their customers’ business, and tips for using particular solutions.

IBM Saves Money by Producing In House

Currently IBM uses outside production services as well as internal teams to create their videos. The customer case studies and/or reference videos are usually produced by an external company but increasingly, a larger percentage of the videos are being produced internally. Many of the videos are shot at tradeshows and events where IBM’s various technical and product experts are in attendance. Rather than hiring an outsider who charges $10K to $15K to produce a video, IBM found that they can do it ourselves, single camera, for a small fraction of the price, and it is just as effective. Over a year, they save hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Some case study videos are shot multi-camera but 90% of all productions are single camera. Most of the videos are captured using standard HD prosumer camcorders (recording onto 16 gigabyte SD cards) with flat lighting from a single large lightbox. For capturing audio, Mark uses professional Sony lavaliere microphones and Audio Technica shotgun microphones. Mark says, “Simple works. One of the most important technical details is to make sure we have clean audio.”

To improve the efficiency of the video editing and production process, the video is captured in a native Quicktime format and then inputted into Mac computers running Final Cut Studio. Mark has settled on h.264 and DVKitchen for compression and distribution over the company’s intranet as well as over the Internet. Mark usually compresses at the standard Apple TV settings (h.264 at 1280×720 with a 4800 kbps data rate) but DV Kitchen makes it simple to provide a variety of compression templates for various viewing and distribution options.

In many ways, their video production process is just like producing a document using Microsoft word. They use standardized formats and templates, and standardized technical specifications that allow a “producer” to easily cut and assemble a video without having to know a lot of technical details.

Once the video is done, the IBM team can share it in a variety of ways. For internal videos, they often use their own internal media servers or YouTube where the videos can be viewed using the standard YouTube video player.

However, for their external marketing videos, they were not satisfied with embedding YouTube in their public facing pages because there was too much clutter and not enough brand control. To give them more control and present a more professional look, they use outside video hosting companies and video platforms that can be customized.

Authoring video in house works for IBM because their current generation of IT decision makers understand the video language and often don’t have the patience to wade through a white paper or technical presentation. To properly reach them, information needs to be presented in a lively, colorful and high-energy mode that can only be conveyed via video.

SIDEBAR

Three reasons your business should use video to communicate

1. Use video – it works. The impact is phenomenal. Following the lead of the direct marketing industry which claims a 4x improvement in response in video versus text, Mark says that short videos with links is the most effective way for establishing powerful outward bound communications and building brand equity. Your audience expects video and you need to give it to them. An effective business presents information in a manner that is most receptive by their target audience.

2. Learn how to do it yourself. Modern video technology and solutions are easy to learn and very affordable. In many ways similar to cut and paste word processing, DIY video production has become the baseline for business communications and marketing. It is similar to the past evolution to word processing from executives relying on secretaries. The stratified and inefficient business architecture of the “Mad Men” TV show is long gone. Similarly, a new business communication paradigm is occurring now with video. Word processing is being supplanted by video. Long documents and boring powerpoint presentations are being replaced by video. Because DIY video is so efficient as a communications tool, it should be an integral part of your business.

3. Video is easier than people think. It is no longer some mystical technology. Yes, 20 years ago, video was complicated, expensive and required an advanced degree. However, with the advent of simple to use video nonlinear “cut and paste” editing programs and affordable high definition digital camcorders, high quality production is now attainable by almost anyone. You can hire someone out of high school who has all the skills. Remember – for business, simple works best. It is all about communicating ideas and information, not fancy effects or 3D explosions.