9 Basic Things You Can Do to Build a Strong Marketing Foundation

When it comes to marketing an eCommerce store, everyone asks, “What should I be doing?” Here is a quick but actionable checklist of digital marketing tactics that everyone should consider. These common strategies can lay the foundation of a solid digital marketing plan.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

1. Branded Text Ads

Branded text ads is a form of search engine advertising that targets users whose search includes your brand name. An example would be Nike paying for the keyword “Nike shoes” Why would Nike pay for that when they are already the first organic (unpaid) search result? One big reason is to encourage buyers to shop directly through the Nike website. The profit margin is higher when the sale goes through their own website, rather than through sites like Dick’s Sporting Goods or JCPenney. Additionally, the cost-per-click for your own branded terms is often extremely low. This relatively inexpensive way to take up more real estate on the search results page is basic, but it’s often overlooked.

2. Google Shopping

Shockingly, there are still merchants who are not taking advantage of Google Shopping and Google Shopping campaigns available through AdWords. The eCommerce-centric ad format appeals to users with high buying intent, so it has a higher return on ad spend (ROAS) than traditional text ads. Setting up and configuring feeds can be cumbersome, but the outcome is worth it. Go ahead, set up your Google Merchant Center account today.

3. Retargeted Banner Ads

You know those creepy ads that follow you around the internet after you’ve viewed a product? They work. Fortunately, you can make them less creepy by setting impression limits. AdRoll is a very popular platform for this ad type, but we’ve seen even higher returns when running them through Google AdWords. Retargeted banner ads through AdWords is powered by the same product feed used for Google Shopping, so you might as well take advantage of it!

4. Bing

Bing? Who uses Bing? Over 20% of the US search market. Why ignore all those potential customers? You can easily copy everything you’ve set up in Google AdWords to Bing with the click of a button. The barrier for this ad format is low, so do it.

Email Automation

Go beyond your awesome regularly scheduled company newsletter and set up some automated emails that connect with your customers at the right time throughout their customer journey.

5. Welcome Series

How are you saying hello to new subscribers of you email list? Greet your new followers, let them get to know you, set expectations, and give them an incentive to make that first or second purchase. While we’re partial to Mailchimp for email marketing, any decent email platform should have the ability to automatically send “Welcome” email(s) when a new subscriber is added to your list. If your email platform doesn’t offer that option, look for a different platform. If you already have a welcome email or email series, revisit it to make sure the design, copy, timing, and frequency is on point. Set it, but don’t forget it.

6. Abandoned Cart

You left something in your cart! Sending customers who abandon their carts a simple reminder (and possibly including an incentive to complete their purchase) is beyond basic, but not everyone is doing so. The bottom line is, it makes money. Like the Welcome email, if you already have an abandoned cart email set up, revisit the copy, design, timing, and frequency to make sure it’s optimized.


7. Like Ads

How are you growing your social media audience? Facebook Page Like ads are a relatively inexpensive way to generate new fans and followers. Growing your followers builds brand awareness and expands the reach of your posted content.

8. Boosted Posts (Sponsored)

It’s old news, but only about 16% of your Facebook fans see your posts. You can learn more about the whys here, but the more important question is, how do you reach the rest of your followers? The answer: Boosted posts. Setting aside part of your ad spend to increase your reach through sponsored posts is critical if you want to keep your brand top-of-mind and get the most out of your potential audience. Without it, the majority of your Facebook audience is untapped.

9. Content Creation

Creating valuable, naturally shareable content is key to the success of any digital strategy. It can come in many forms, like buying guides, infographics, funny images, or engaging video. This is the content your followers like, share, and consume  between purchases. Check out Realtor.com’s #homeblebrag campaign for inspiration. It supports your brand image, increases brand awareness, and earns new customers. Your social media content should fit into your overall strategy, and should help feed your SEO, Social, and Website Content strategy. This is an overlooked discipline that requires time and resources, but if executed appropriately, it’s invaluable.

With so many options for digital marketing, it can be tough to determine the wisest strategy for your eCommerce store. These are simple things you can put into place quickly. Make sure you review how your marketing tools are performing, and reevaluate your strategy in light of your own numbers. And of course, if you find yourself needing guidance or just don’t have the time in your schedule to invest, reach out to us at Gauge. We can keep your marketing optimized for your business, your consumers, and your budget.  

Like this article? Sign up to receive exclusive eCommerce news, advice, and industry content.