To stand out in a competitive ecommerce market, your brand has to be visible and distinct. It’s not enough to just create products: you need to build an iconic brand that your customers trust.
Insight: Ecommerce companies to concentrate on building their brands, rather than just building an advertising campaign.
Data: Consistently representing a brand regardless of platform can drive revenue up by 23%.
Key Action Point: Implement one or more of these strategies and tactics to make your brand stand out online.
Strategies to Build Your Brand Online
A brand is your culture, mission, and values. It’s the emotions and concepts that come to mind when your customers see your brand. It’s the thoughts and feelings that are anchored to your name and logo.
Building a brand online is, in many ways, more challenging than running a brick-and-mortar store. You can’t rely upon foot traffic. You need to ensure that people recognise and remember your brand — that they keep coming back to buy more.
Through social media, blogging, email, and paid advertising, you need to be able to extend your brand and ensure that it is recognisable and identifiable. You need to make multiple connections with customers within your major demographics, and you need to form lasting impressions.
Sales and promotions, while effective short term, is not enough for sustainable online brand building. Sales and discounts tend to bring in customers who are specifically shopping for sales and discounts, customers who wouldn’t otherwise make a purchase at your store.
Rather, start looking at the visibility of your brand, the loyalty of your customers, and your brand’s ultimate message. Customers today are looking for brands that they connect with: brands whose messages resonate with them.
Building a brand needs a complete strategy, consistency, and a unique brand voice. Whilst this can come naturally to some brands, it’s something that has to be developed for others. Either way, it’s critical.
The Best Tactics to Build Your Ecommerce Brand Online
There are a number of tried-and-true tactics for building your ecommerce brand, but one thing always remains true: you need to try multiple tactics to form a complete strategy. Depending on your marketing demographics, some strategies may be more effective than others.
Discounts and Promotions
Discounts and promotions need to be handled carefully. While they can generate sales, they often don’t generate repeat sales. They are ways to get them in, attract customers, and build up revenue — but it’s not a brand- building strategy.
But discounts and promotions can be used in remarketing campaigns, to bring back customers who have made purchases before and build up the customer’s relationship to the brand.
Paid advertising campaigns are an excellent way to bring in an audience, but it has to be done right. The Rule of 7 is an old marketing adage that still rings true: messages are more effective when repeated. Often, customers need to see ads multiple times before they identify and trust your brand.
Narrowing down your demographics to the people that are most likely to make a purchase from you is important.
Social media campaigns will work well alongside web search ads because they boost your account and brand visibility as well as advertising your promotions, for a lower cost per click. They play an important role in the awareness stage.
Email is still one of the best — and cheapest — channels ecommerce businesses can use. To send emails, brands need to build their database first — hence the importance of the first purchase and lead capture strategy in the ecommerce landscape.
Managing an email marketing campaign can be a challenge, without automation. Automation makes it possible to schedule out and trigger emails based on buyer behaviours. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Schedule a monthly or weekly newsletter
- Send emails to customers who have left products in their cart
- Send discounts and promotions to your most loyal customers
- Trigger email based on interaction with some pages, categories, or content on the website
- Trigger email based on previous activities such as repeat purchase or refill notifications
Provide Valuable Content for Your Buyer Personas
Various reports show that “63% of consumers say they would think more positively about a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting, or relevant.”
Buyer personas are detailed, research-backed descriptions of your ideal buyers. This allows marketers to develop effective and consistent campaigns and build a customer-centric marketing strategy.
But despite this, only 57% of B2B marketers claim to know their buyer personas well.
When creating content, target your media as though you are speaking to these personas. This is a way to personalise your content and make it feel more relevant to the consumer.
Create content for your blog and social media accounts, such as “how to” videos, explainer videos, and behind-the-scenes information. Doing this establishes your brand as knowledgeable within the industry, drawing in potential customers who are looking for brands they can trust.
Build Word-of-Mouth Loyalty
Reviews, testimonials, rating, and feedback — all these things matter to an internet audience. The modern consumer is likely to look up companies online before they make a significant purchase.
They’re extremely reliant on online reviews. If your reviews are negative, they have to be addressed — professionally, politely, and visibly. Customers understand that some reviews may be negative, but they want to see a professional response.
To do this, you need to set up the right process and tools to collect those reviews and display them on your website and social platforms.
Build Your SEO
Search engine optimisation is what controls whether your website shows up during search queries. SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative; that’s why 61% of marketers consider improving SEO as one of their top priorities.
Today, this is even more important than it used to be. Many people will do voice search queries through their phone on the fly, which means they aren’t reviewing a list of places: they’re only looking at the top few results.
Have a look at your ecommerce website. Review your SEO technical foundations, backlinking strategies, SEO content on the ecommerce pages, topical/seasonal landing pages etc.
Master Your Social Network
Social media is incredibly powerful because it gives you the ability to immediately connect to those interested in your products and services.
As you build your network of followers, you’ll be able to build your word of mouth too. Others will share your content, and you can expand your reach organically rather than having to invest a lot of money into it. To master social media, you need to provide interesting content on a regular schedule.
To build a solid marketing strategy — without spending all your time marketing — you need the right tools and the right help. Once everything falls into place, it will be much easier.
Conclusion: Your Next Step
It’s impossible to build an online business without building up your brand. But it’s difficult to do when you’re thinking about the intricacies of actually running your business. Consider working with a partner.
At Step Change, we can help you build your ecommerce brand and stand out online, merging creative and digital to win the war for attention. Are you looking to make a step change? Leave us a message, and we’ll get in touch.