Marketing Your Store Online

[Nothing like a bout of pneumonia to knock a person on their butt!  Getting sick, being, sick, recovering from being sick,  dragging back to work after being sick and trying to catch up … it’s a full time job!  It’s been about a month and I’m only now starting to feel like myself and I’m still too tired!  I hope you all made it through the winter with much less drama than I did!  Happy spring!]

I was reading an article about how to market your online store (an Amazon store) and thought, isn’t this the same as marketing an offline store, like your favorite local shop? Or a restaurant?  The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker?  Or website?  Or a fundraiser you want everyone to know about?

I think it is!  Marketing is marketing.

OK, to be clear, marketing an Amazon store is a little different because  you’re sending customers outside your site to make a purchase on another website (Amazon). This is okay in this case because Amazon is very well trusted and makes a lot of sales.

Every other situation, we would be working to send everyone to our website.   So how do you market your Amazon store or your local store online?

Be visible on social media because that is where peeps are.   You will find where more of your peeps are as you go so that you will know where to spend your time more effectively. You don’t want to spend all day on the internet so set up a schedule so that you can maintain a presence on the different platforms.

Twitter

Follow people who you believe may want to buy your items or need them. Communicate with them by re-tweeting, sharing, and commenting on the things that they say. That way when you share an item that you want to promote, they’ll reciprocate and share it too.

It’s important to get people to follow you as well. Make your profile interesting.

Remember the number one rule of any social media posting.  The majority of your posts should NOT be sales or product posts.    They are social.  Be social.  Comment and be commented upon.  Share useful information.    Build trust.

It is that trust that will peek interest when you do post something about a product or service that you are selling.

Facebook

You have to be careful about overtly advertising on Facebook.  If you are posting items for sale in your personal page,  it is a good way to get banned.

Frankly it is easy enough to get banned from Facebook for NOT doing anything wrong because some bot somewhere has misread something so don’t take any chances.  Say what you like about Facebook policies but in the end, it is a “pay to play” operation.  We use it for free every day for our personal stuff and think we should be able to do it for business too, but FB doesn’t owe us anything.

It is an absolute goldmine of information on demographics and for reaching people far and wide and for targeting audiences and more.  So you want to make nice with Facebook and don’t jeopardize that relationship!

Potential customers expect you to be online.  They expect you be on Facebook.  And when you are not there, it leaves them a bit suspicious.  Don’t take that risk.

You can promote items that you like on Facebook and then pay to promote the post.  You can do this for $5.  It’s a good idea to try that to see if you get any response.  If not, you know you need to tweak something.   When you start getting a good response, then you can  run a paid advertisement for your items via Facebook ads.

Of course, you should always be promoting your Facebook page  for others to “like” and to sign up for your mailing list.

Instagram and Pinterest

Instagram is owned by Facebook.  Set up your Instagram account and connect it to your Facebook page.  Use pictures to tell stories about your business.   You. Your employees.  Cool stuff that your growing audience would be interested in and sometimes,  those great products you are selling.

Create boards on Pinterest about items that people within your niche might need or want. Include your item in the board so that they’ll it and want to buy it. Make sure that it links to your store or directly to the item that you’re selling in your store.

Remember though, this isn’t all about YOU!  These boards should be in the best interest of your customers and viewers.  You should be commenting on their photos and pins, liking things that interest them and not just selling.  Always remember the “social” aspect of social media!

Blogging

You know I’m a big proponent of blogs!  Yes, you should have a blog!  Every business should have a blog.

Your blog really gives you a lot of freedom that you don’t have on the other people’s sites!

Write blog posts about the items that you promote in your store. You can do comparisons to other products, your own in-depth review, and  mention the product. Then link to it so that they can buy it if they want it by reading your blog.

You can put links on social media back to these posts so that people can get the in-depth information that they are interested in.    Of course you want people to come and buy the product that you are selling but you will have better success if you keep the post honest and educational, with good information that people can use to compare and make their own decisions.

People want to buy your product because they feel like that researched it and made a good decision, not because they were “talked into it.”  You want them to feel good tomorrow morning that they bought your product and not feel buyers’ remorse.

More importantly, you want them to come back again and read other posts and yes, buy other things.   If people buy because they are memorized with your sales talk, chances are that there is a little doubt in the back of their minds.  By morning, that doubt may have grown to a huge remorse and they change their minds.  Or they buy the product and it arrives and it not what they expected or there’s a momentary blip and BAM!  They have lost all trust, will never do business with you again, will tell all their friends not to do business with you, will go online and tell all the world that you are a sham.

All because they had that little seed of doubt festering.  Without it, if the product came damaged they would just contact you and expect you to make it right.  That’s why it is so important to make sure that this online relationship, like all others, is built on trust.

YouTube

You can make videos showing what your products look like or what they do.   People love these.  Think of all the how to’s on YouTube.  Cooking, baking, building, applying make-up, playing guitar – just about anything you want to know nowadays, there’s a YouTube video out there to help you.

If you are selling products, demonstration videos really help get the word out about a product.  These can be used before buying and after buying to help get the most out of the product.

Pay Per Click

If you sell products that are higher priced, with a large profit margin, you can run pay-per-click advertisements that link directly to the product. Advertising is always a good way to get more customers for these types of products.

If you have inexpensive items, another way to use pay per click is to build up an email list and then market your products to them via the email list.

Email Marketing

No matter what, online or off, you should be building  your email list.   These would be people who have expressed interest in what you have or have purchased from you before so they would be more likely to purchase from you again.

Same as with social media marketing, you don’t want to just send folks email asking them to buy things.  Send them some useful information periodically, to remind them of you and your business.  When you do have a great product for them, they will be more likely to buy from you.  Because they trust you!

Send Post Cards

Yup.  Old fashioned snail-mail post cards still work.  Probably even better now than ever!  Why?  Because people don’t get as much mail!  They are likley to look at a postcard that come addressed to them.

So consider how you can keep a customer who has purchased from you, in their mind!

When someone buys something from you, send them a post card with a coupon for their next purchase.   I get all sorts of coupons and reminders for my birthday.  I’m sure you do too!  Problem is, too many.  Some of those folks would do better to send me something 6 months earlier!

Mini Websites

Simple websites are inexpensive and it doesn’t take a tech wiz to set them up anymore.  You can start a special website for each category of product that you sell on your Amazon store. You can fill it out with a blog, product information, links to buy the product and various images.

Plus, you can post “how to” videos and more on the website to help people interested make a good choice and buy. This works best if you’re going to keep the item stocked indefinitely or you’ve got into private label merchandise.

This would keep  your authority on that product all in one place.  If you have a site with too many products, information is diluted and people get distracted away.

So you see,  promoting your Amazon store is really no different from promoting any other product you’d sell from any other site.  These same ideas would hold true for your brick-and-mortar or your website.

If you are selling from an Amazon Store, you need to follow the ever-changing terms of service and keep up to date on them.

Other than that, the same is true for all of us:  “always be marketing” and your store will become successful!

Marketing is telling your story. What story will you tell today?

Patt

Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper – Patt loves the online world and loves to share it!

Patt is the author of:

Spot4publications

Spot4connectionsblog [focus beginners online]

Spot4Connections.com

Work At Home Product Guide 

Patt Timlin Online 

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About the Author Patt Timlin

Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper - Patt loves the online world and love to share it!

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