The goal for any e-commerce business is always the same: sell, sell, sell. Smart e-commerce companies understand, however, that it is the journey they craft for their audience that ultimately inspires them to take action. And what better way to take online customers on a journey than through the various marketing channels readily available online?
One thing to note here, however, is that online marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for an e-commerce giant like Amazon might not work for a Detroit-based online retailer. That is why it is important for those involved in developing and implementing marketing strategies for e-commerce to find the best-fit option for their own brand.
The key then is to play to your brand’s strengths.
You have a unique story to tell. You also have a unique journey that you want to take customers on. So your approach to marketing needs to align with that unique offering. If you are not sure what that approach is, give some thought as to what your company’s strengths are.
Is your CEO great on video?
Do you have an unbelievably talented design team at the ready?
Or maybe your marketing assistant does a killer job at creating hilarious and industry relevant memes.
Once you have figured out what your brand does particularly well in terms of marketing, it is time to find the right platform on which to share your voice and story. Interested to see how other online brands have carved out a distinct and powerful marketing niche for themselves? We have six inspirational examples of e-commerce brands that are killing it with their marketing efforts in 2017.
Anthropologie is a brand that’s typically well-known for their minimalist and elegant in-store styling. That is why their Pinterest profile is a glowing example of a company that has made a seamless transition between their brick-and-mortar identity and their online one. The images are representative of the brand, and the organization of their page is on par with what you would expect from the shopping experience.
Subscription box services are all the rage. They are convenient, predictable, and they are always a great value-add. BarkBox understands that their doggie delivery service is well-loved, which is why they spend most of their time on social media—especially Facebook—showing off their personality and entertaining their audience with videos and images they know they will appreciate. (Dog owners are a pretty predictable breed.)
Dollar Shave Club
Most of us discovered Dollar Shave Club the way everyone else did: with their hilarious launch video. They took a page out of Old Spice’s book, but put their video marketing into a more accessible (and probably more affordable) format online. While the first video is the one most people are familiar with, they have created an entire series of equally funny FAQ videos on YouTube.
Mint’s blog is the perfect example of a brand understanding what their audience wants. As a personal finance management app, they recognize that users do not want to be reminded to download the app constantly. They want actionable, helpful insights—and that is what their blog content is all about.
Instagram is an interesting platform for e-commerce companies as it is a fantastic way to show off high-quality, visually compelling images of your products. However, you cannot include clickable links in the descriptive text which makes delivering a call to action tough. Sephora is among retailer who are experimenting with shoppable content, posting images to their profile featuring an icon encouraging users to “Tap to view products.” From there, users can view product information and pricing and can then click through to a more detailed product page that also gives users the option to buy.
No e-commerce roundup post would be complete without mentioning Zappos’ customer service. In particular, they are killing it on Twitter. Just a quick check of their Tweets & Replies and you will see that they actively monitor social media not just to provide speedy customer service to customers, but also to engage with their audience.
There are so many different avenues you can take in digital marketing. Regardless of which path you choose, keep in mind the following goals:
- Raise brand awareness by establishing a unique and consistent identity.
- Drive customer loyalty by offering added value through your content.
- Create a multi-channel presence, so customers do not have to scour the web for you.
Each of the six e-commerce companies above demonstrates how building on your brand’s strength and finding the right tool for your audience and business model is what will ultimately lead to online marketing success. Where does your brand belong?
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