With the holidays behind us, we’re all hoping for a successful year in ecommerce—and the best way to do that is to start the new year with a strong marketing strategy. Whether it’s long and complex or short and simple, a well-executed marketing strategy can help you plan ahead, analyze results, and make adjustments as needed.
As you’re developing your new ecommerce marketing strategy, pay extra attention to the following elements to ensure that your planning results in success:
The first step is considering how far in advance you want to plan out your marketing. Does it make sense for your business to tackle the strategy quarter by quarter, or do you want to develop a game plan for the entire year?
If you aren’t sure, you can always develop a less-detailed plan for the entire year, then take a more granular look at the details as you approach each quarter. Regardless, you may want to leave room to make adjustments as needed. Unpredictable factors come up every year, so allow for some flexibility.
Next, consider your budget. Are you okay spending $5K, $10K, or $100K in advertising dollars each month, or do you want to save cash and opt for more organic channels like SEO and social media instead?
If you are allocating an advertising budget for the year, pay attention to when you may want to invest more in advertising based on events, holidays, and the seasonality of your products. For example, if you sell swimming pool accessories, you’ll want to increase ad spend as the summer approaches. If you tend to run sales around holidays, you’ll need to keep an eye on increasing budgets around Memorial Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, etc.
As you work out your budget, consider which channels you want to invest in and how much time you want to spend on each. Which platforms and channels are most important to your audience and best for your bottom line? What do you want to try out for the new year? Aim for a healthy mix of what has worked for you in the past and new marketing efforts you’d like to test.
Possible channels to include in your strategy include:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Google/Bing Search Ads
- Google/Bing Shopping Ads
- Remarketing Ads
- Facebook/Instagram Ads
In-House or Hired Out?
As you’re developing your strategy, think about which items you can do in-house (either by yourself or leveraging in-house employees) and which ones you should contract out.
A few factors to consider are expertise, money, and time. Which items do you or someone at your company have expertise in? What do you have time to do? What can you feasibly hire out?
Analyze Results & Adjust
Throughout the year, it’s important to constantly analyze your results and adjust as needed. If you start the year with a Google Shopping campaign and see success, you may want to invest more ad dollars there and test out other types of advertising as well. If you’re working on one strategy but not seeing results, then you may want to hire someone with more expertise to handle it or pivot to another strategy.
To analyze results, make sure you have Google Analytics with conversion tracking set up on your ecommerce store. If you’re running ad campaigns on Facebook, Google, etc., you’ll also want to have tracking set up properly for those sources so you can review performance and know how to make adjustments.
By considering these factors before the year jumps into full swing, you’ll have an easier time planning the details of each individual initiative as it arises.