Your first steps moving from a physical business to a digital one can be overwhelming. In addition, the vast choice of marketing platforms and channels available can drive both new and seasoned business owners to despair!
Does that sound vaguely familiar?
If so, I hear you. I have been there and spent precious time trying to find out precisely what platforms I needed to support my business, and which channels to use for marketing it! Add cost-effectiveness and result based research to the equation, and there was little time left for focusing on what was important, my business.
Allow me to help you avoid such frustrations and save you your time. I will tell you how to take your business online and provide 6 tips and tools to get you there. Moreover, I will do it in a way that a non-online perceptive businessperson will understand!

1. Web design

Your website is often the first impression your new online customers will have of your business, and today's modern consumers have high expectations, so it must impress and be functional on all fronts.
In addition, if you are going to run marketing campaigns on numerous platforms, your site has to be fully optimized to deal with them; otherwise, your efforts will have been for naught!

Essential elements your website needs are:

  • Speed - It has to load in under three seconds, or customers will hit the back button.
  • Ease of navigation – If they get lost, they will leave.
  • A modern UI/UX design – It is your site's user experience and interface, and it has to be functional, clean, and versatile.
  • Info-graphic and image-heavy – Today's online customers shop by images, not words.

Do not worry if you do not understand some of what I have just said because here are the tools needed to make that website:

  • WordPress
    There are many website-building tools; however, by choosing WordPress, you can rest assured that you will get a modern platform and the customer support required for running it.

Every business needs a versatile logo for its website and its marketing platforms. It is because, in e-commerce, it is all about brand recognition. Moreover, this is where a tool that helps you generate a logo online comes into play. Not only are they aware of market trends, but they are also fast and cost-effective.

2. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Your website's success depends on traffic; this is where you need SEO (search engine optimization). If your intended audience cannot find your site, you will not get any visitors, and I am sure you know what that means.
An efficient SEO campaign will improve your rankings on Google, other search engines, and any terms related to your product and services. To make this work for you, you have to identify and incorporate the keywords most related to what you are trying to sell.

You can do this in the following ways:

  • Google Analytics
    Google provides you with information pertaining to your keywords and tracks what is working on your website.
    It's a tool that identifies keywords (and long-tailed) most suited to you. All you have to do is give them information on your product or service, and they will do the rest.

However, if the thought of devoting your time to SEO leaves you feeling a little uncomfortable, you have a third option.

  • Outsource
  • Your SEO needs to a company that will do it all for you.

3. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

If you would rather not wait for SEO to drive the traffic needed to your e-commerce business, your alternative option is PPC (Pay-Per-Click- Advertising).
It works on a bidding system where you select target keywords and compete with your competitors to place ads high in the search engine results. If someone clicks on your ad, you will pay the agreed amount and hopefully land a paying customer.
If this option appeals, then Google Ads is where to start, as it allows you to place ads in the Google search results, and this is where you need to be.

One tool that can help you is:

  • SEMrush
    It specializes in both PPC and SEO, helping you with every aspect of your campaigns and providing invaluable information on both keywords and your competitor's successful ads, in a sense, giving you inside information.

The advantage of PPC is you only pay when an interested client clicks your ad, rather than running a blanket based ad campaign. This is the real power of online advertising, and we will look at more ways of doing it next:

4. Social media marketing

Never before has it been more accessible, quicker, or cheaper to advertise directly to people proven to be interested in your product or service.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, have billions of users between them. Instagram alone has 1 billion monthly users and 117 million in the USA! Therefore, chances are, a large percentage of your audience is on social media!
But it's not only the number of users that counts; it's how you can advertise to them that make this your golden opportunity.
These platforms enable you to market to specific demographics (age, gender, location, employment, education) and their interests and behaviors, yes, your target audience!
This tool has everything you need to do it:

  • Hootsuite
    It's an all in one platform that enables you to create and schedule social media posts, run ads, measure your ROI, monitor multiple social accounts and keywords, and connect with numerous social networks.

If you are serious about taking your business online, then get serious about social media.
However, how do you know what content works?
Let us find out.

5. Content marketing

Knowing where to advertise is only one part of the online success equation, another knows what to promote, IE your content.
You cannot just post what you want to say; it does not work that way.
You have to post content (written, photos, videos, and infographics) that is informative and interesting to your target audience. When you do that, they will share and like your content throughout social media and promote your brand for you via word of mouth.

Moreover, you can find out what to post and how often to do it by using:

  • BuzzSumo
    It provides you with analytical insights into your competitors' content, what topics you should be posting, which are being liked and shared and helps you find the right influencers (popular people on social media) for promoting your business.

It is only by having inside information can you level the playing fields and compete with your market's leading brands.
And there is another powerful marketing strategy you can use to tip the field in your favor!

6. Email marketing

You are probably already aware of email marketing due to receiving them, it has been around for decades, and it is still as effective as ever.
Email enables you to connect directly to individual members of your target audience via their inbox. It is this personal touch that makes email marketing so successful, and statistics show that personalized emails increase click-through rates by 14%!
It is also one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies; on average, you can potentially receive an ROI of $44 on every dollar you spend.
Nevertheless, email marketing is a tough shell to crack; how many emails have you binned before opening?

However, a tool that can help you get to the nut:

  • Mailchimp
    I am choosing Mailchimp as they offer a free email-marketing plan, and it has one of the most straightforward interfaces on the market. Perfect for e-commerce newbies.
    It is a drag and drop email building system with auto responders, tracking for analytics, group email segmenting based on geolocation, and scheduled time zone delivery abilities.

In addition, it easily integrates with that WordPress website you are going to build!


Now you can confidently take your first steps into the digital world.
To ensure your success, implement the strategies, and use the tools; by doing so, you will find the transformation to e-commerce a pain and frustration-free process.
I wish you the best of luck.

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