You want to keep your eCommerce visitors on your site, make them open 17 other product tabs, convince them to hit the buy button, wait for your newsletters, click, come back for more, and even better, come back with their friends.
We want to put that cycle into practice and show you the shortcut of how to maximize your eCommerce brand awareness.
Before we start, check out these statistics:
- 85 percent of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online.
- 81 percent of consumers trust the advice of friends and family over businesses.
These statistics strongly suggest that people tend to buy from eCommerce brands that are well known and well-reviewed. It is clear that successful eCommerce companies take advantage of their brand image to grow.
By the end of this article, you will be able to:
- Know how you can improve your brand awareness among your target customer base.
- Learn how to ask the right questions to build brand awareness
- Understand the pros and cons of different platforms where you can create your brand awareness
This article is part 1 of a 6 part series:
Other parts will be published soon. Keep an eye on the GrowForce blog.
The first step to increasing brand awareness is showing your customers that you exist. To do that, you need to make sure you know where your visitors come from.
The ultimate goal is to attract your customers to click your brand ad, banner, or campaign to get them to your eCommerce website.
Let's get started.
HOW DO CUSTOMERS GET TO KNOW YOUR BRAND?
Every business model has its own unique puzzle. Different products, audiences, markets, competitors, rules, frequencies and so on.
Here the main question is, where should you play?
We can’t offer a one size fits all solution for brand awareness but we offer something better. We’ll introduce you to every possible option and try to get you out of this stage with minimum confusion.
Our goal is to teach you to design your playbook. Here is our awareness map!
We know too many options could lead to decision paralysis. So, we prepared a list of questions for you, answering these questions will help you eliminate some of the options and leave you with the channels you need.
Where to begin?
Where is your eCommerce audience? Go on a discovery mission by following your prospective customers' journey. Are they attending events? Are there yearly conferences? Are they online or offline? Do they read about your product?
Answer these kinds of questions to get rid of some of the options on your menu.
How much money do you have?
If you’re low on budget, offline ads could be too expensive for you. You can choose social ads over offline ads. Ads for eCommerce brands can be quite affordable on social media websites. This can help your potential customers learn about the brand name of your online store.
How old is your business?
If you’re a new business and want to get your first customers asap, investing in content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) wouldn’t be the wisest choice. Why? Because SEO starts to show its influences after four months, at least. You can definitely try social media marketing at all stages.
Investing in content marketing and SEO is like planting a seed. If you make high quality brand awareness content, it will sustain longer.
Here are more analytic questions to twist the brain.
CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) Bandwidth:
- How much can you spend to acquire a customer? Need help?
- What is your Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)?
- What is your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)? Need help?
- What is your CAC/CLTV ratio?
Friction to Value:
- How complex is the product?
- How much nurturing does your customer need before seeing the value of your eCommerce brand?
Tip: Think about a timeline and the number of touchpoints. Price can also mean friction, if your product is pricey, they will need more time to decide before purchasing.
Intent VS discovery:
- Are people actively looking for this product, or is it something they don’t know about – that they find out about by chance?
For example, if it’s a new concept product, SEM (Search Engine Marketing) will be a waste of resources for you. Because nobody has the awareness of this product. Hence, your target audience won't search for this content online.
Painkiller VS vitamin:
- How big is the pain? Is there any way you can create a hook within your product to make them use it more often? Or make your target audience keep coming back for more?
What is the stage of your business?
- Startup – Scaleup – Mature/Corporate?
Tip: Start with things that don’t scale and scale up your awareness channels as you’re scaling up your business.
In the diagram above and below, you can examine which channels are the most effective over the intent, discovery and friction to value level.
Now, after answering all the questions and mapping your eCommerce brand on the infographics above, you should only have a few options left in your head to start spreading awareness of your online store.
You may end up with some of the popular channels. So to help you even further and clarify your strategy, we’ll quickly mention the pros and cons of these common sources of advertising.
Pros & Cons of the most common channels
1. Paid advertising
The most common way to acquire new customers is through online advertising. Many eCommerce brands choose to work with Facebook, Google and other social media platforms because they have the most internet traffic, detailed analytics, smart targeting A.I and budget optimization options.
- Fast growth: You can rapidly scale up your eCommerce brand by applying paid traffic with the right strategy.
- Targeting: You can create lookalike, interest, behavior, or retargeting audiences.
- Costly: CPM (cost per thousand impressions) is rising on many platforms. It can still be very profitable with the right ads and conversion rates.
- Learning curve: It’s not too hard, but you’ll need some time to figure it out by yourself. But if you find an expert, you can cross this one.
The right micro-influencers could elevate your brand awareness pretty quickly. Finding a cheap rising influencer in your niche is like finding a treasure.
- Fast spread: Their fans can become your brand fans pretty quickly.
- Targeting: Micro-influencers have a smaller but more dedicated pool of people. They could be more likely to purchase products from your brand.
- Measurement: Yes, you can track with UTM tags (special links that allow you to track performance). But, it’s not like you have control like paid platforms where you can go deep in your data.
3. Email list
The only true audience your company can control on the internet is your email list. You can send your campaigns, newsletters and nurture them whenever you want.
We think this is the most valuable asset you can have. Fifty-nine percent of companies still obtain the best ROI (return on investment) from email campaigns
- Your pool, your data: You can access it anytime, create lookalike audiences, or upload them into any new platform to leverage your raw data's power.
- Data-driven recurring revenue: You can measure the behavior of your company email list and design campaigns parallel to their buying habits.
- Lead quality: People have spare email addresses to just sign-up for free things or campaigns. This drastically reduces conversion rates.
- Delivery rates: The spam filters are complicated. You should do your groundwork or work with an email expert to not end up in spam.
4. Search Engine Optimization
If your eCommerce brand is searchable content, you could get tons of free traffic, customers and eventually money with SEO.
- Organic traffic: Once you have an SEO plan, you could bring millions of visitors to your website.
- Evergreen: If you rank on the first page of Google today, you could rank after five years with the same content (with some minor updates and changes).
- Competitive: Since it’s free, there is a lot of competition. It’s almost impossible to rank for some keywords because they’re already taken by big companies in the game for decades.
- Time: SEO is like farming. If you seed today, you’ll wait for months to harvest the first fruits.
5. Being a social brand
If you think you can create a conversation around your eCommerce brand, social media is the way to go. But remember this requires a smart strategy, creativity, a young team (or an old team that knows the dynamics really well), consistency and a bit of luck.
See how GymShark created a culture around its name:
- Organic traffic: Once you have the followers for your company, you can sit on-trend or go viral. That means infinite exposure and even the minor 1 percent conversion rate could make your brand the jungle king.
- Social proof: By default, people check social media accounts for credibility The more followers, likes and shares you have, the more credibility you have.
- Skilled team: You’ll need a team of natural-born entertainers with good writing, editing and design skills. Of course, supported by a strategy.
After all the questions, diagrams, and summarization of the most popular channels, you probably have one to five channels on your mind.
Now ask yourself, what action should your target audience take and what metric do you need to measure?
Is it clicks, impressions, shares, unique visitors?
Write it on the pirate funnel worksheet, so we can show you what to do in the next phase of the funnel: acquisition.
You can find more information about the acquisition in this article:
20+ Actionable Strategies to Increase Customer Acquisition for eCommerce Business.
In part 2 of this series, you’ll learn to
- Keep your visitors on your site,
- Make them open 17 other product tabs,