10 Ecommerce Tools That Will Boost Your Sales

JAYDIP PARIKH | June 20, 2018

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No, I’m not here to give you a list of tools that you’ll skim through and forget about in the next 30 seconds. No soft peddling WordPress plugins, social media or content generator apps in the guise of influencing or assisting conversions. This post means business.

Spotlight

The Martin Group

The Martin Group is a leading integrated communications firm headquartered in downtown Buffalo with offices in Rochester and Albany, NY. The firm works with best-in-class organizations ranging from small businesses to global enterprises and has extensive experience in several categories, including sports, health care, financial services, food and beverage, and not-for-profits. In 2016, The Martin Group was named one of WNY’s Top Private Companies and the 2nd Fastest Growing Company in WNY by Buffalo Business First.

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These Are the 10 Basic Marketing Skills Everyone Needs to Master

Article | March 11, 2021

Want to brush up on your business skillset? Mastering these 10 basic marketing skills can pay off with better brand awareness and a boost in leads and sales. The 10 basic marketing skills everyone needs to master Imagine you’re on a first date. You’ve heard a lot about him from your friend who set you up. He’s sharply dressed, has a smile that could light up the night and smells good (I hug people – that’s how I know he smells good). Expectations are high for an amazing date. Fifteen minutes into the date, you are mapping out a swift exit. What happened? He won’t stop talking about himself. You are being sidelined by a monologue. Any chance for an engaging conversation has faded. You could switch the above scenario out for a business lunch meeting. Why on earth would I want to work with you if you seem to only care about yourself rather than me or my needs? (I don’t care how good you smell. Also, I’m married, so this date is pure imagination.) Marketing is like dating. The goal of your first interaction (date) is not to close a sale (get married). It’s to get to know each other. If you both like what you see/hear/learn, your relationship will progress. Creating client-centric messages Anytime you sit down to write, whether it’s a social media post or an article, make sure you are talking to your audience, not at them. Your main messaging and copy should not be about you. Don’t lead the conversation with “I am an expert at …” and “We offer …”. No one cares. It needs to be about what you can do for them. Your messages should lead with “You need …” or “You deserve …”. Once you talk to them, you can slip in, “That’s exactly what we provide!” Writing an email subject line So many people get this completely wrong. Luckily, the fix is easy. You want to write email subject lines that are interesting, creative, focused on the reader, and provide a sneak peek at what is in the email. Here at Jansen Communications, questions work really well. Please do not every use “ABC Company June Newsletter” or “What’s new at ABC Company” as your email subject line. I have no idea if the email is relevant or not, and I’m not going to bother opening it to find out. Delete. Segmenting lists Segmenting your email list allows you to send out the most relevant information to each subset of your audience. It’s totally worth doing, because when you segment your lists, you will see a significant improvement in your open and click-through rates. On average, segmenting a list results in a 14% higher open rate and a 100% higher click-through rate. You can segment your list by any number of criteria: gender, location, industry, purchase behavior, monthly spend, age, lifestyle, interests, job title, etc. Setting up an automated email campaign An automated email campaign is also known as a drip campaign. It’s simply a series of emails that start sending once they are triggered by an event, like downloading a free ebook. They are super easy to create and set up. Every email marketing platform offers this service, and they walk you through the process. Once you write the email subject lines, compelling copy and the call-to-action, watch the results. The open and click-through rates will let you know immediately if the campaign is working or not. Using hashtags Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter, Instagram or celebrity influencers. They are relevant on LinkedIn as well. In fact, LinkedIn suggests hashtags to use when you publish an article or update. Why bother adding them? Hashtags make it easy for people to find content they are interested in. Use them if you want to be more findable online. Creating custom graphics in Canva Canva is a free online graphic design tool for non-graphic designers. It’s easy to use, and it comes pre-populated with numerous templates you can quickly customize. A word of warning: it can be easy to go down a rabbit hole on Canva, so I suggest customizing (or creating from scratch) one template to use consistently. This is a time-saver AND it ensures your “look” on social media stays the same. Once you have a template, start creating bite-size content to share on social media: Quick tips Favorite quotes (your own are OK, too) Testimonials Statistics Questions (people LOVE to share) Spying on competitors Seriously – get good at spying on competitors. Don’t you want to know what they are doing – and what is working for them? This isn’t as awful as it sounds. Just look up their websites and social media feeds. Take a look at their offerings, the topics they are writing about and any trends that appear to be taking off. Better to be in the know than be left wondering. Optimizing blog posts for search Want your blog post to get found in the sea of content out there? You need to optimize your blog post so search engines can “read” and index it. That way, when someone is looking for content on that topic, you are more likely to appear in search results. I highly recommend installing Yoast for SEO on your WordPress website. You can also optimize blog posts on a DIY platform, like Squarespace or Shopify. Choose one keyword for each blog post and make sure it appears in: Your blog post title (preferably at the beginning) First paragraph of your copy A couple of more times in your post (but not too often, or you’ll get penalized!) In your meta description In the alt text of your image Using categories and tags Categories and tags organize content (blog posts) on your website. Categories are the main topics you write about; you shouldn’t have more than five for your blog. Tags allow you to get more specific about the main topic. Think of these in terms of a grocery store: categories are grocery departments: produce, dairy, meats, bakery, and so on. Tags are subcategories. In the produce department, you’ll find bananas, kumquats, Romaine lettuce and tomatoes. Understanding Google Analytics Google Analytics was created by engineers for technical people. I am neither, but I can still glean a lot of useful information from the main dashboard (home) and various reports. Let’s just stick with what you can find on the home page. You can learn a lot just by looking at: Number of users and sessions – is traffic to your website increasing or decreasing? User acquisition by source – where are website visitors coming from? Pages users visit – what are people reading/interacting with once they get on the website? If you don’t know whether or not you have Google Analytics connected to your website, ask your website developer. Did I miss anything? What basic marketing skills do you think are most important to master?

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5 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Article | March 11, 2021

There is no digital marketing agency in Denmark that would not be including social media strategies in the internet marketing approach. Leaving this out could end up losing a huge chance of effective brand promotion. But while working on social media marketing, there are always chances of mistakes that can restrict you from getting the most of the results.

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Google URL Builder: How to Track Campaigns in Analytics

Article | March 11, 2021

You’re ready to start a marketing campaign; a newsletter, social or some paid campaign. Your main goal is to drive traffic back to your website, convert that traffic into leads, and those leads into customers. So, how do you tell which marketing campaigns were successful? Easy. Use the Google Analytics URL builder to track your campaigns.

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Advertising vs organic interaction: influencers are having to address their content

Article | March 11, 2021

For many years now, social media influencers and online content creators have been somewhat forced to disclose whether the posts they are sharing are in fact a paid-for advertorial or not. Just as we see on television and in magazines, it is clear what is an ad, and what is not – so why should things be different across social media? In today’s world, many would say that social media influencers and the content they share is much more impactful than that of more traditional forms, and so the need to honestly disclose ads becomes even more important. Which is where the Advertising Standards Authority, also known as the ASA, comes into play. The ASA is the UK’s advertising regulator, ensuring that ads across UK media stick to the rules put in place. From influencer marketing, to print and broadcast, the ASA monitor it all and everything in between. And Amelia Neate, senior manager of Midlands-based influencer marketing agency Influencer Matchmaker uncovers why the enforcement of such disclosure is now important as a new era of ‘genuinfluencer’ has arrived. With the arrival and accessibility of platforms like TikTok and the expansion of content creation from the everyday social media user, there has been a collective shift for generation Z in particular, who have become bored with the celebrity show boater and are more focused on the authenticity and human behind the screen. Cultural conversations via influencers have caused movements such a Black Lives Mater, MeToo and even more recently the #FreeBritney campaign that set out to understand and remove the conservatorship that Britney Spears was under post her mental health struggle in 2008. While other media platforms like LadBible and ArchBishopofBanterbury have prided themselves on redefining entertainment – often taking ordinary people with relatable circumstances and making them part of the conversation. Like the above outlets, while they are able to monetise with paid for advertisement ahead of videos, it is imperative that the authenticity still comes across in their storytelling and therefore content from real people, addressing real life situations is imperative to the success of the viewership. Whilst many popular influencers take pride in appropriately labelling their paid for content, the ASA recently threatened to name and shame influencers failing to stick to the guidelines. These days, the GenZ demographic are more sustainable, more ethical and more educated. They want full transparency from brands and from social media, with recent research stating that 82% of followers agreed the importance of influencers disclosing their personal use history with the product they are promoting. But with ASA guidelines being regularly updated, some influencers have struggled to keep up. And, with it not just being a paid-for advertorial or post that needs to be disclosed influencers must consider how the rules can vary dependant on a typical sponsored post vs integrated videos on YouTube, affiliate links, PR products and press discounts. Previously, when the industry was in its infancy, brands would send out products to their favourite influencers in the hopes that they would be authentically mentioned on their platforms. Whilst this is still the case, such products must be disclosed as ‘PR product’. To some, this may seem slightly overboard, however in this industry, influencers must be conscious to make their audiences aware of what might qualify as a means of payment in order for the consumer to make an educated decision about the purchase of a product based on that influencers testimonial of a brand. If this is backed by a true and genuine story that equally connects their recommendation, then it will clearly better connect with its audience. For example, health and fitness influencer Carly Rowena made her mark on the industry because of her love for fitness and nutrition. And, after many years of being recognised for her easy-to-follow workout videos, Instagram posts and blog posts, Carly has teamed up with Halo Fitness to create her very own range of activewear. Because of her genuine love and passion for finding the perfect workout gear for many years, it seemed a natural and obvious choice for Carly to launch such a collection. In the next year, 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget. Instagram is also extending its shopping features, testing its Shop tab, which will allow users to click and view extra product details quicker. The introduction of these features will certainly be the becoming of new sponsored ad additions for the ASA guidelines and with more consumers demanding such transparency influencers must keep ahead of the curve when it comes to genuine and purposeful content in order to reach a profit.

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Spotlight

The Martin Group

The Martin Group is a leading integrated communications firm headquartered in downtown Buffalo with offices in Rochester and Albany, NY. The firm works with best-in-class organizations ranging from small businesses to global enterprises and has extensive experience in several categories, including sports, health care, financial services, food and beverage, and not-for-profits. In 2016, The Martin Group was named one of WNY’s Top Private Companies and the 2nd Fastest Growing Company in WNY by Buffalo Business First.

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