You’ve found a product and created your ecommerce website.
Once you’re up and running, it’s time to start driving traffic to your store and making sales. Whether you’re still trying to get your first sale, or you’ve been at a while, it’s always good to find more ways to promote your business.
If you’re looking to promote a product, read this list to find a strategy that you can use in your business. Once you do, click on the link to get step-by-step instructions on how to execute it.
1. Gift Guides
What do you do when you’re struggling to find a good gift idea? If you’re like most people, you Google “holiday gift ideas for coworkers” or “unique birthday presents”. Then you scroll through the piles of gift guides that pop up in the search results.
Why not get your own product included in these gift guides? They exist for just about every industry, type of person, and holiday you can think of. Look for the ones that rank on the first few pages in Google and reach out to see if you can be included. They could drive a lot of traffic back to your store.
2. Email Marketing
Email is the second most effective customer acquisition channel, behind organic search. And while ranking in search engines and getting organic traffic can take a while, email starts to work right away. That’s why you should be using email to promote your store.
There’s no need to spend all your time writing and sending emails. Make it easy on yourself by setting up a collection of automated email campaigns designed to help you make more sales. There are many options such as emailing new subscribers and offering them an incentive to shop, or emailing visitors who abandoned their cart and reminding them to finish their purchase.
3. Start An Affiliate Program
If you’re struggling to make sales and you don’t have the cash to hire sales or marketing help, consider adding an affiliate program to your store. You can get other people to promote your product for a commission. You’ll only have to pay them if they make a sale.
Affiliate programs typically work by creating a custom URL for each person promoting your products. They can share this link on social media, in a blog post reviewing your product, or even in a YouTube video where they’re showing it off. Through the custom links, you’ll be able to track who is driving sales for you so you can compensate them.
4. Land Your Business in the Press
Getting publicity is a great way to reach new customers and help more people discover your product. It’s also notoriously difficult to do. Mainstream journalists are inundated with press releases and pitches for stories. Improve your odds by targeting bloggers instead.
Instead of sending bloggers press releases, reach out with a personal email and ask if you can send them a sample. You can target bloggers in your industry, product-focused websites, and even social media influencers.
5. Go Live With Periscope
While Periscope is a very young social media network, it has demonstrated marketing potential. Many businesses are already promoting themselves with this live-streaming tool. Early adopters often do really well over the long-term on social media, so it’s worth it to dive in now, rather than waiting until it gets big.
There are many ways you can use Periscope to promote a product. In particular, you can use Periscope to offer a demo of your product, answer questions through a Q&A, and even take your customers behind the scenes to show them what’s special about the way you do things.
Pinterest is the place to be if you want to buy or sell products online. 93% of active pinners say they use Pinterest to plan purchases. Not surprisingly, many people use Pinterest to build wish lists. This makes it a great place to promote products—especially well-designed products that photograph well.
What’s even better is that pins tend to stick around for a long time. It’s not uncommon for pins to get viewed for months after they’re posted. Optimize your pins by posting when more people are online, using the right keywords, and using captivating images. You can even run contests to extend your reach. Make sure you enable Rich Pins to have additional product information included.
7. Pinterest Buyable Pins
If you run a Shopify store in the United States, you can take your Pinterest marketing to the next level by enabling Buyable Pins. This option makes it easier for Pinners to buy products they see on Pinterest while helping merchants sell more.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can enable Buyable Pins by adding the Pinterest Channel to your Shopify store. Once set up, all your product pins will include a buy button—no matter who pins it.
8. Facebook Custom Audiences
Billions of people are on Facebook, and as an advertising platform, it offers very targeted options for running paid ads. One is these options is Facebook Custom Audiences.
With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can advertise to your website visitors or email subscribers. These ads tend to be very effective because you know more about who you’re targeting and can tailor your ad accordingly.
9. Facebook Shop Section
You can take your Facebook marketing a step further by adding a Facebook Shop Section to your Facebook page. This option makes it easier for people who discover your products on Facebook to buy them.
If you have a Shopify store, add Facebook as a sales channel. You’ll be able to create your own Shop Section on your Facebook page where fans can learn about your products, look at pictures, and click the buy button to make a purchase.
10. Twitter Buy Button
Much like the Facebook Shop Section and Buyable Pins, the Twitter Buy Button makes it easy for Twitter users to buy products they discover on the platform. Once enabled, any product listed in your store will include a Buy Button when it’s shared on Twitter—even if it was shared in the past.
Currently, the Twitter Buy Button is only available to merchants and shoppers in the United States. If you’re an eligible Shopify merchant, you can add the Twitter Channel to your store to enable the Buy Button.
Uncrate is a product curation website with a massive, loyal following. The people who frequent Uncrate don’t just like looking at cool products, they like to buy them too. Getting your product featured on Uncrate can drive significant sales and lead to other press opportunities down the road.
Getting featured on Uncrate isn’t easy. There’s no formal process, but one thing is certain: your product has to be cool to make the cut. Some companies get discovered by Uncrate, but others have had success after contacting the company to tell them about their product, or even sending them a sample.
12. Referral Marketing
Referral marketing, also known as word of mouth marketing, is one of the oldest marketing methods around. Referral marketing is all about getting other people to talk about your product in a way that will drive awareness and sales.
These days you can use the web to drive even more referral marketing. Not only does it allow you to reach more people, the web makes it easier for other people to share your content—and for you to track its impact.
13. Blogger Outreach
One of the most difficult parts of starting a new business is promoting a product when you don’t have an audience. If you don’t have your own community built up, you either have to pay to drive traffic to your website, or tap into someone else’s audience until you have your own.
Blogger outreach is a great way to build prestige around your product and get it in front of interested shoppers. Ask authoritative bloggers to feature or review your product. If they have an engaged audience that trusts their opinion, it could drive a lot of traffic and sales.
14. Reddit Ads
While most businesses don’t use Reddit ads, they can be quite effective. In fact, sometimes the least used advertising networks are the most profitable because the cost is lower, and there is more opportunity to stand out.
Try advertising on Reddit to promote your product. You can create a sponsored post in subreddits related to your business. Use it to talk about your product and offer a discount. The key is to make sure it blends in with the other posts on the subreddit.
15. Pop-Up Shop
If your business is online, you don’t have to open a retail store to get the benefits of selling in person. You can run a pop-up shop instead. Chances are there’s an unused space in your city that would love to have you come in for a week—or even just a weekend—and set up shop.
Running a pop-up shop will help you create exclusivity around some of your products, get covered in local media, take advantage of seasonal shopping, unload old inventory, and chat with your customers in person to learn more about them.
Blogging is a great way to promote your store. Done well, blogging can be an effective way to drive traffic and promote the lifestyle around your products. In fact, one study by Hubspot found that the more you blog, the more traffic your website gets.
Use your own blog to drive traffic and promote your products. When done effectively, blogging drives search engine traffic, attracts customers, and captures the attention of the media and high-profile bloggers who could write about you.
Instagram has over 400 million active users and its visual focus is perfect for promoting products. Half of those users are on Instagram every day. Any brand would do well to share their products on this network.
There are several ways to use Instagram to promote your store. You can share captivating images of your products, share a stop motion video of one of your products in action, run a contest, or reach out to influential Instagram accounts and ask them to share your product.
In 2014, YouTube became the second largest search engine, behind Google. What’s more, YouTube videos can also rank in traditional search engines like Google. This presents a huge traffic opportunity.
You don’t need to create a viral video to get results on YouTube. You can still promote your products with interesting or helpful videos. Many people may already be looking for your products or brand on YouTube. By creating a branded channel, with your own videos, you can control the narrative.
Although Vine isn’t as trendy as it used to be, it’s still a well-used platform. As of August 2015, there were over 200 million active users. This unique platform lets smartphone owners create and view six-second videos. There are still plenty of opportunities for brands to promote their products here.
One way to do this is to create your own videos showing off your product, running a contest, or otherwise engaging consumers. Another is to reach out to popular Vine users and see if they’ll promote your product.
20. Run a Contest
Contests are an easy and affordable way to get your brand in front of a lot of people. By giving away your product, you can make sure your contest gets in front of the right kind of people: potential customers.
However, many contests fail. There are a few key mistakes to avoid when running a contest to promote your business. Make sure the platform, the timing, the messaging, and the steps people have to take to enter your contest are well thought out.
Products don’t sell themselves, Fortunately, there are many ways to promote a product from your store. Find one you like from the list above and follow the link to learn how to do it!
About The Author
Casandra Campbell is an entrepreneur, craft beer nerd, and content creator at Shopify.