Use of Digital Marketing for Online Marketplaces

-Riya Sen

There has never been a better time for ecommerce. Given the pandemic induced global slowdown, ecommerce has offered a lifeline for both businesses and consumers across the world to continue some semblance of a normal life during the toughest lockdowns.

The fear of the virus got even the most conservative shoppers and those from tier 2 and 3 markets to seek out their needs online. And even as life is trudging back to normalcy and we all come to terms with the new way of life, the ecommerce boom does not show any signs of slowing down. There has been a measurable shift in consumer behavior, with many new first time online shoppers.

The e-commerce industry records higher gross merchandising values (GMVs) compared to pre-Covid levels if reports are to be believed, and this is certainly good news for all companies operating in this room.

Nevertheless, not everything is as rosy as it seems. Although the potential for advancement is enormous, so are the difficulties. As if innovating wasn’t difficult enough during the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenge of remaining visible, important and appealing for the discerning online shopper is also a high order. There are many businesses that sell the same goods and services online, not to mention e-commerce behemoths such as Amazon and Flipkart.

Digital Marketing offers some good answers.

As a bootstrapped startup with limited resources, you need to look for marketing your company in a way that gets you maximum reach and returns.

It is an undisputed fact that digital marketing is not only the most affordable mass medium, but it is also the one with the widest precise reach. It continues to be the best way to reach out to your most relevant target audiences, and gives you the best ROI from among almost all other marketing options available today. But digital marketing is much more than just building an online store and promoting the products through paid digital channels. And this is why it is important to have a well thought-through digital strategy before you start off, and evolve it over time based on the results it gives you.

But digital marketing is much more than just creating an online store and using paying digital platforms to sell goods. And this is why, before you start off, it is important to have a well-thought-through digital strategy and refine it over time based on the results it gives you.

Know your business

As simple as this may sound, for any organisation, this is an important first step. There is a lot more you need to know about the interactive playfield you want to be part of. It is a good idea to spend some time understanding category patterns and customer behaviour in your domain in primary and secondary study.This will reward you with some valuable insights and ideas that could help you refine your offering of goods or services, based on gaps in need, if any.

Know your competition

Being an e-commerce player makes it easy to find your rivals, and you know exactly where you can find them online. To look for your rivals and what they are doing, you could go through search engine results sites, and also study on social media. You can browse and narrow down to certain companies that are in a niche similar to you or target the same clients as you want, and benefit from their online presence.This would give you a good foundation on what works or does not work, which would help to prepare your approach as a great starting point for you.

Know the audience

The conventional segmentation of clients based on age, sex and location is only a first step. You could build rich consumer personas of your ideal customer, as the digital medium allows for very detailed targeting, so that you know exactly who you are going to speak to. This will include not only the demographic information mentioned above, but also specifics such as preferences, trends of smartphone use, income levels, behaviour of online browsing, social media sites that are popular with them, other brands they may like, the apps they’d probably be using, or anything else that might help you better understand them. This can not only help you build marketing content that resonates with them, but will also assist you to determine what strategies and online media could function best with this audience.

Have a Plan for SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a great online investment that lets you stay in the race from a long-term perspective, and helps the right people find your company. One of the keys to the success of every modern company is to adopt the right SEO strategies. If this is not done, then even learning about the life of your company will be difficult for your prospective target customers! SEO efforts, however, will take time to begin producing results, and this is why you should get started on this as quickly as possible.When you are building your website, the best time to start will be, but if that was skipped, you might do it once it is complete, too.

One thing you would want to take care of is to create optimised landing pages that include the right keywords, high quality picture and video content, and a clear call to action for each of your product listings and search queries.

Marketing for Content

Content is one of the ways you can distinguish the brand in today’s times where there is not much product or service distinction. Marketing is no longer about the goods that you sell, but, as Seth Godin famously said, the stories you share.So invest in content that not only engages and entertains; but can also connect with and offer value to your audience, and get you more leads. Moreover, well planned and regularly updated content will ensure that your brand is always top of mind. You could explore blogs, videos, podcasts, newsletters and more, in keeping with your target audience’s consumption preferences. Content Marketing could be looked at as a good way to build an engaged online audience.

Get social

A perfect way to build online buzz is to have an efficient social media presence, without always having to spend too much. Creating share-worthy content gives rise to lively discussions that make it possible to see and speak about your brand. Some rich user insights are also provided by most social media sites; allowing you to get a glimpse into the minds of the users so that you can plan your campaigns accordingly. To reach out and connect with an even broader base, you might also explore the various forms of paid promotion opportunities on social media. It often creates an opportunity to engage with and answer the questions and concerns of your audience. Be cautious to avoid any actions that could show you in a negative light, or that could stir up a conflict that can be avoided.

Although it may also take some time to create a social network, getting social media influencers to speak online about your brand is an easy way to gain exposure and popularity quickly.

Identify metrics of progress

Only if it helps shift the brand in the desired direction is any digital strategy successful. And only if you set the correct metrics to assess your progress and performance will this be calculated. This can include visits to the website, search engine rankings, time spent on particular sites, increased interaction, leads and conversion rates, growth of followers and the like.

Of course, when setting these targets, one will have to be practical; and it should be acknowledged that often digital development and progress will take time.

These are just some basics that will help provide a good base for your digital marketing activities, and I can guarantee that your e-commerce startup will only stand to benefit if done correctly. As I said earlier, there has never been a better time in the world for e-commerce, and all it takes is to play the field smartly.

This article, will look at eight ways you can audit and improve your SEO health on your e-commerce site.

In addition, it will discuss why it’s more important than ever to optimise your page speed for the algorithm update in the coming months for your ecommerce site.