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By Damien Coughlan

It’s no secret that e-commerce is growing. It’s estimated that there will be 2.14 billion global digital buyers in 2021. The global pandemic has fast-tracked a change in how we, as a society, now purchase goods and services.

Customers are becoming more tech-savvy and are now familiar with making and taking payments online. People today want speed, choice and convenience. They’re often willing to browse and shop around to find the best deals, and as a result, they may not remain brand loyal to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Instead, with the click of a mouse, shoppers can compare features, prices and shipping costs.

The following are five ways to drive traffic to your online store.

1. Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is an ad system for businesses that allows them to showcase their products and services to Facebook’s users. The platform has a number of different ad types that you can choose from. These include image ads, video ads, carousel ads, collection ads, canvas ads, lead generation ads, offer ads and event response ads.

In terms of e-commerce, I find that one of the most popular ads is the website conversion ad. This type of ad allows you to optimize your ads for people who are most likely to perform an action, like making a purchase. These ads are easy to start with on Facebook, and you can set a daily budget of just $5 to get up and running.

Facebook has various data points on its users; it knows the posts users interact with, the brands they follow and the stores that they visit. As a result, the platform is extremely clever at finding your ideal customers. Further, by installing Facebook Pixel, you can track site activity, which gives you information and data on what’s happening in your store.

When creating your ads, you can target people based on age, interest, demographic, location, occupation and even salary. For example, dog moms in California, who are 45 and older and earn over $100,000 per year.

2. Google Ads

Google Ads are similar to Facebook Ads, but the main difference is that Google Ads are intent-based. What this means is that the ads are designed to attract people who are actively searching for the products you’re selling. An example might be, “best coffee in Miami.” The power of intent-based advertising is that the shopper who’s performing the search is already committed and interested in purchasing the product or service you may be selling.

Some of the Google ad types available to you include search campaigns (text), display campaigns (images) and video campaigns. Again, you can start for as little as $5 per day.

3. Influencers

Influencer marketing has become popular over the last few years due to the explosion and growth of social media marketing. Think of an influencer as someone with a specialized skill or knowledge that has amassed a large, loyal and passionate following. Their following might be on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok.

Let’s say you sell a fitness product that helps mothers lose weight post-pregnancy. You can search for influencers within that niche who may have an audience that you can leverage. Perhaps, the influencer is someone who coaches women with weight loss but isn’t selling a physical product. The agreement is usually made between the influencer and brand based on a number of story and feed posts or based on the number of sales made through their link.

One important factor to consider when finding the right influencer is to check the level of engagement on their posts and whether the audience is a good fit for your brand. An influencer might have one million followers but the engagement rate might be low. This usually means that the influencer might have purchased those followers, or they don’t really have an engaged enough audience to make the promotion worthwhile.

It’s often best to start with a low-budget promotion and test the results.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing has been around for years and isn’t going anywhere. Email marketing allows you to essentially remarket for free to your existing subscribers.

You can create campaigns that are one-time promotions, like Valentine’s Day or Black Friday offers, or you can set up flows that are automatically sent based on a user’s profile activity. An example might be when someone subscribes to your newsletter and you send them a welcome email where you nurture them, talk about your product and brand and, at the end of the email, offer them a one-time special offer to become a customer at a discounted rate.

Building an email list is hugely powerful; in my experience, I’ve been able to reach up to $1 per subscriber in monthly revenue. You can use pop-ups and exit intents to capture emails by incentivizing visitors to subscribe to your newsletter for value or offer some type of discount coupon code.

5. Blog Posts

I highly encourage you to start creating blog posts. It does take time to create blog content and be consistent, but it’s so important to the long-term success of your business.

Ideas for blogs are endless and can be scheduled out automatically over the month. You can also invite guest bloggers to help you write if you find that your time can be more valuable elsewhere.

When I sold in the dog niche, I had a very passionate dog customer of mine who found a blog article I wrote and asked me if she could write about her life with dogs. Of course, I said yes, and to make it a win-win for everyone and to encourage her to write great articles, I offered her free dog merchandise.

These are just a few of the many ways to drive traffic to your store. Remember, not everyone who visits your store is going to buy. In fact, I’ve found average store conversion rates are usually 5% or less. Keep delivering great content and run retargeting strategies to convert your non-buyers to buyers.

Feature Image Credit: getty

By Damien Coughlan

Damien is the founder of damiencoughlan.com; he helps businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs explode their e-commerce businesses. Read Damien Coughlan’s full executive profile here.

Sourced from Forbes

By Manu Gupta

The raison d’être of a website is to draw potential customers and help generate leads. This can be achieved by an intelligent mix of strategies that include paid advertising, SEO, social media, and email marketing.

Website traffic is the lifeline of every business. More visitors to the website mean greater number of prospective customers coming across one’s products or services, which, in turn, will generate more sales. Hence, driving larger traffic to a website is really a no-brainer for businesses looking to make a name for themselves in the market.
For small- and mid-sized business owners, a website is an essential extension of their business itself, and for some, such as the online stores, it is the actual business. After achieving a pixel-perfect website, it’s important for businesses to divert their attention to drive substantial traffic to it.
Here are the five most effective ways of bringing traffic to one’s website:

1. Leverage paid advertising

Most of the strategies to drive traffic are free, requiring dedicated and consistent efforts and time. Towards this end, a strategy that can be more effective, easily measurable and provide quick results comparatively will be investing in paid ads. These include pay-per-click ads, social media ads, display ads and video ads. Pay-per-click ad campaigns will allow one’s brand to be at the top of Google search results whenever a search towards that end is carried out.
Social media ads such as Facebook ads are cheaper and allow brands to set highly-specific parameters like demographics, age, behaviour, location and interests so that ads are shown to the intended audiences. Display and video ads are visual ads that can be shown on third-party websites.

2. Implement good SEO strategies

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of increasing the number of visitors to a specific website by ensuring a higher visibility for the site on the list of results given out by a search engine. Both on-page and off-page is an essential aspect of a successful website.
Backlinks, or creating links to other websites that can lead visitors to one’s website, especially are quite valuable for SEO as they represent ‘vote of confidence’ for search engine giants like Google. For SEO that drives positive results it’s important to ensure that the website and content are updated and relevant to those seeking one’s products or services. Appropriate keywords, captivating meta descriptions and valuable, catchy content are the deal-breakers in SEO. Sign up for our exclusive newsletters. Subscribe to check out our popular newsletters.

3. Be social

In the current digital era, a business can’t afford to not be on social media platforms. Globally, the usage of social media for marketing has doubled. One needs to be on social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter to reach out to their target audience.
No matter who the target audience is for a business, they are bound to be on a social network somewhere. The right way of connecting with them is through creating content specific to one’s industry or products so that it can draw followers in. Even for a niche market, one can find a following with consistency and premier quality content.
Also, using the right hashtags is equally important. People have become very selective about the content they consume and hence, they are resorting to hashtags as a way to filter and streamline the influx. Using hashtags smartly will enable businesses to target the right audience so that they are directed to their websites.

4. Invest in affiliate marketing

Affiliate programs allow brands to attract more traffic by tapping into other people’s users. Companies can publish their content on other websites and pay a commission on the sales generated. This way they can earn positive word-of-mouth for themselves. The pay-outs are made only when a genuine sale is made, which means there’s minimal risk involved. An affiliate program, once set up, can be left to go on autopilot so that one can focus on other aspects of their business. To get started, one must draw up a list of the best affiliate programs and then decide which can be appropriate for the purpose.

5. Use email marketing

Email marketing continues to be an effective channel for driving traffic to a website. It’s come a long way since the times of promotional blasts that were quite pesky for many customers. However, now email marketing involves building a well-thought-out sequence of newsletters or blogposts that can lead to more sign-ups that can forge long-lasting relationships.
In fact, even the basic and most primal welcome email is much improved than the old-school transactional kind. In its simplest form, email-marketing is a great option for showing off one’s latest blog post or for informing customers about an upcoming sale.
Summing it up Just creating an attractive website and waiting for the right audience to chance upon it won’t suffice. The competition is tough. Businesses need to adopt strategies to grow traffic on their websites. It’s important to focus on one’s target audience and quality of content to drive relevant traffic and get amazing results.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

By Manu Gupta

Sourced from YOURSTORY

By Hillel Fuld

These two tricks should be part of every content marketing strategy.

Content marketing has become pretty mainstream in the toolbox of every marketer. By now, we all understand the power of good content and its strength in achieving thought leadership and authority in your space.

However, once I begin to produce that content, the obvious question arises, how do I traffic more traffic to that content. Here are two fast and easy tricks that will drive high quality traffic to your site almost instantly.

Do Interviews, Do Many Interviews

Interviews are by far the most underrated form of content. As you build out your blog, you should aim to do consistent interviews with big names in your space. How consistent? That is up to you and your resources, but if you can do them once a week, you will see results almost right away.

Here is how it all goes down. You make yourself a wish list of people you want to interview. Set your goals high. I, for example, had Wozniak, Guy Kawasaki, Alyssa Milano, Marc Andreessen, and many others on my list.

So why interviews? Well, think about it. First of all, people like to be on stage. So you reach out to a big name, ask them to do a short interview by email, you will find that nine out of ten people will agree. By offering that person a stage without selling them anything, you established the beginning of a relationship. You are now on their radar.

You send the five or ten questions by email, they send answers, and you copy, paste, then publish. What is the first thing the person you interviewed is going to do? That’s right, share it. With their extensive audience. And there you have it, instant targeted traffic.

Let’s not forget the last thing that happens when you interview legends, validation. Everyone around you sees that interview and is immediately impressed that you managed to interview that person. Your name, your company, realize it or not, is associated with that person. Win.

Lists, Like Them or Not, They Work

Now take the list concept to the next level. You know all those lists you see in your Facebook feed that make you roll your eyes? “Top 50 this” and “Top 50 that”. Well, you missed the point.

Whether you read those lists or not, that is not the point. Imagine this. You write a post on your brand new finance blog, “Top 50 smartest people in Fintech”, and for each person, you include a picture and a one liner. On top of the post, you include a collage of each of the 50 faces.

You publish that article and in 30 minutes or even if it takes you three hours to write, you just got your new blog on the radar of the top 50 most influential people in your industry. And you didn’t even have to sell anything or even worse, spam anyone.

Not only are you now on their radar, but each one of those 50 influencers, presumably each with a large following will now share that piece across their networks, because, well, you promoted them so why wouldn’t they share it?

Think about that for a second, you just got all those mega names to share your post from your blog that was just one day ago, totally anonymous.

Win again.

Interviews and lists, both easy to implement and both yield instant results while requiring minimal effort on your part.

The most important part of all of this is the reason that these two tactics work. That is, you are not focused on taking, but rather, you are giving. In this case, you are giving someone else a stage. Turns out that when you facilitate success for others, everyone wins.

By Hillel Fuld

Sourced from Inc.

By Jessica Miller

Your fancy new Facebook page is ready for the world to see. Now you want to know:

Okay, maybe your mom, Uncle Mike, and that weird kid who sat behind you in high school geometry class will oblige you, but the people you need to engage with your page aren’t the friends you already have. You need to drive new traffic to your page – the right kind of traffic that is more likely to convert to customers.

Another tempting tactic is to buy Facebook ads. With Facebook’s ad manager, using a customized audience to target your ads to could help drive the right traffic to your page, but unless you really understand the ROI of your Facebook efforts, you could be dumping a lot of money down the drain.

Before you invest any dollars, try these simple, free strategies to help you drive traffic to your page. This list of eight includes things you can do within the content of your posts to get people clicking that Like (or Follow) button. An old colleague of mine used to use this metaphor: “before you can have people over, you have to get your house in order.” In the context of driving traffic to your Facebook Page, here are eight ways you can really “spruce up the place.”

1. Offer exclusive deals

Verbiage such as “Follow us on Facebook for our best deals” coupled with a “Follow” button can incentivize Page visits and followers. Make sure you mention “This deal is exclusive to our Facebook followers.”

2. Run contests (especially voting contests) to drive traffic that will engage with your page

People who participate in your contest will reach out to their friends and family and ask for their votes. Contests are especially helpful when trying to get fresh eyes on your Page.

Facebook Photo Vote Contest

View this Example

3. Run a giveaway

Much like offering exclusive deals, giveaways drive traffic. The bonus of running a giveaway is you can also collect email addresses, which will help you in other aspects of your marketing efforts.

4. Make sure you’re posting often enough, and varying the types of posts

In the “good ‘ol days” Facebook would show all of your posts to all of your Fans. These days Facebook’s “algorithm” decides which posts will appear in each of your followers’ feeds. On average, as few as two percent of your followers will see the content you post. In addition to posting often, and varying the types of content you post (video, photos, stories, etc.), there are other ways you can beat the Facebook algorithm. Just remember there’s a fine line between posting often enough and too often — and most Facebook experts say posting one or two times a day is plenty.

5. Post content relevant to current events

This case study shows how a business combined the power of a giveaway with the relevancy of a 2016 election. Their marketing included “Breaking News” video clips to tell a story about the giveaway, and to parody election coverage. The giveaway collected 126k entries, so just imagine the traffic they were able to drive to their Facebook Page!

6. Engage with users

You’ll obviously need to respond to comments and messages directed at you, whether they’re questions, complaints or compliments.  The last thing you want is for people to think you’re ignoring them.

Engage with Users

View this Example

7. Offer exclusive info on your page, and always keep it updated

Perhaps your business is affected by weather. For example, a ski resort would keep their Page updated with snow conditions, traffic conditions, which parking lots still have space, and even the length of the lines at the lifts (or at the bar!). Updating your Facebook Page is a piece of cake – making constant updates to your website may not be. A word of advice: If you’re going to use Facebook to update customers about your business, just make sure you do it on a regular basis so people know where they can reliably get the information they need.

Offer exclusive info on your page, and always keep it updated

View this Example

8. Ditch the sales pitch

It’s one thing to offer deals and discounts on your Facebook Page, but it’s entirely another thing to always be selling to your fanbase. Make sure you’re offering content that isn’t screaming “BUY OUR STUFF.” Mixing in posts that are humorous and offer relevant info related to your business (for example, an exterminator might post tips to keep summertime ants at bay) will keep your content light and inviting.

These next four ideas are things you can do outside of Facebook to help drive potential new followers to your Facebook Page:

9. Promote the exclusive deals you’re offering on your Facebook Page

It’s not enough to offer exclusive deals on your Facebook Page –  you have to tell people about them. From your online store, website, blog, Instagram posts, etc., say something like, “Want to get 30% off? Go to our Facebook Page for deals like this one and tons more.”

10. Ask participants to Like your Page as a step to participating in a contest or giveaway

Although it’s against Facebook’s Page Guidelines to require participants to Like or Share your contest when entering, you can always ask them to. For example, your “Steps to Enter” could read, “1. Like this Page, 2. Fill in the Form, etc.

Giveaway Example Contest

View this Example

11. Promote the exclusive info you post on your Facebook Page

From your website, blog, or other social media sites, direct people to find the info they’re looking for on your Facebook Page. In the example I mentioned earlier, a ski resort could keep their Facebook Page updated with snow conditions, times for lift lines, etc. The ski resort could post one static message on their website saying, “For the latest snow conditions, parking, and lift line length, visit us on Facebook.”

12. Invite followers from other social media channels

If your Facebook Page is where you want to drive traffic, let followers on your other social media channels know that Facebook is where the action is.

For more Facebook Page promotion tips as well as other ways to boost your social media marketing, subscribe to our blog.

By Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller helps ShortStack customers get started, and get the most out of our platform by creating “how to” tutorials. She also recommends strategies for customer success. Read more articles by Jessica Miller.

Sourced from SHORTSTACK