Reading time: 4 min
Development of e-commerce has increased market opportunities for small and medium-sized players, who, in order to break through among numerous competitors, must rely on effective advertising and marketing activities online. How to advertise on the Internet when you are just starting out? Today on our blog you will find some advice for beginners!
One of the first questions you need to answer is what budget you have for your startup. So-called "organic growth of your business" or "advertising activities for £0" are unfortunately unlikely scenarios, especially if you care about time. If you are running a small or medium-sized business and operate especially in the e-commerce market, you can adopt two strategies:
Launching a brand on the market, if you want to do it right, requires thorough preparation and a considerable amount of money. It is a process that cannot be repeated - so it is worth taking advantage of support of e.g. a professional digital agency which will help you avoid many mistakes. What channels to choose? Of course, it's worth to be guided by the knowledge of your product's target group, but keep in mind that the campaign has to be noticeable. A social media campaign, ongoing communication on social media, campaigns on Youtube or Google Ads - there are many possibilities, and they should all come together in such a way as to give your products the right buzz. The upside of "hard hitting" is that it will allow you to generate high product recognition in a short period of time, which will drive organic sales. However, you must remember that the budget for such an action is even tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The second way is to act on a smaller scale and gradually increase budgets, with the main objective of optimisation and support of sales. In this case, expenditures related to brand recognition will be minimised and the main focus in the company's advertising will be on campaigns directly bringing traffic to the shop and purchases. With proper optimisation, the goal is steady growth and increasing return on investment - often with the assumption that these are funds feeding into a gradually growing advertising budget. Undoubtedly, in a small business this strategy is much easier, although it requires considerable skill and competence.
Adopting the second strategy implies that all your actions must be as effective as possible. That is why it is worth taking advantage of the support of a professional e-commerce agency with know-how in the field of online marketing and sales optimisation solutions for online shops. If you are a small entrepreneur, you certainly get many offers to run a campaign by "a friend of a friend" or "a son of a friend of a friend"... Such actions, of course, do not have to be ineffective, but by choosing to work with an advertising agency, you will benefit from a complete service, including, for example
- Selecting the right channels for you: Facebook, Youtube, Google ad network
- Verification of the friendliness of your website and recommendation of changes to increase conversions
- High-quality campaign handling, including proper integration of channels in the purchase funnel and setting up remarketing... which will simply sell.
Very often brands approach their first marketing steps as a testing ground - this approach is correct, and how much it translates into conducting valuable A/B tests or verifying the effectiveness of individual advertising channels while controlling the quality of messages. Worse, if it hides behind chaotic and ill-considered actions, which do not serve to draw conclusions.
What is worth remembering from the very beginning? The first aspect is brand identity - including visual identification. A coherent story about your brand, supported by effective storytelling, consistency in graphic design, use of logotypes... These are the elements which have a huge impact on engaging the recipients and memorability of the brand. Another issue is the synergy of advertising channels and continuity of communication. If your marketing plan assumes that "this month I'll send something to influencers and next month I'll do a Facebook campaign", you're missing out on a huge potential for deepening your audience's knowledge and interest in your product. Also crucial at the very beginning is... setting KPIs. Why? Because defining your business goals over time will allow you to effectively evaluate your actions. Your advertising goals may include, for example, month-on-month sales growth and the maximum cost per conversion you can make to remain profitable.