Your ecommerce business is up and running. You’re actively checking your traffic analytics everyday, this is so exciting! Lo and behold... there isn’t any new traffic. And you ask yourself – Where is everybody?
Don’t worry, your customers are out there. They just need a little help finding you. An ecommerce advertising campaign might be the boost that your business needs. You don’t need to pay for advertising all year long if it’s not in your budget, but it’s a good strategy to help get your new business off the ground in the beginning, or your new products out there for the world to see.
To begin, you need to establish a budget and decide how you’re going to allocate it across different platforms and campaigns. You aren’t limited to any one platform, and although cost per click, cost per acquisition, or however else you set up your campaign varies across platforms, they will never go over your set campaign budget – so go wild! Test, and retest, and retest again to see which platforms work best for you.
Cost is determined by the number of actions an ad receives in a pay-per-click campaign, and you will be bidding against other ads to show up instead of them. Well actually, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or wherever else you’re advertising will be doing the bidding for you (if you choose to not do the manual bidding yourself). All you need to do is set how much you’re willing to spend in a day and how much you’re willing to spend per action, whether it’s click, sale, impression, etc. You know your business best so I can’t tell you how much you should budget, but keep in mind what your average product costs and how much your average sale is. You don’t want to end up spending more on advertising than what you’re actually profiting from sales, so keep an eye on these numbers. Bare in mind that the average small business spends between 7%-12% of their revenue on marketing. When you set a budget, that’s not set in stone. You can adjust it to be more or less, or even if you want to pause your campaign, you can do this at any time of day.
If you choose to use more than one advertising platform, you’re probably wondering, how am I going to divvy that budget across all of my campaigns? And if you are choosing to advertise on one platform, which platform should I choose? There are a couple platforms that stand out for ecommerce advertising.
Google Ads is always the go-to. The Google search and display networks have taken over the online advertising space. To put it in perspective – Google has control of 37.1% of the online ad market share, Facebook has 20.6%, and the remaining 42.3 percent represents every other online platform. It’s safe to say just about everyone searches on Google, so utilizing Google search ads or shopping ads can increase your business’s visibility to users actively searching for the products you sell, the solutions to their questions.
Shopping ads are a no-brainer if you are using Google Ads. Catch your potential customers as they are already in the sales funnel and well on their way to making the purchase by researching their options. Shopping ads are so easy, you just need to set up a product feed that links to your store (this step is even easier with a platform like Shopify, which will create the feed for you). You won’t need to write any ad copy, Google will just showcase your product when it’s relevant to the search, or it will appear in Google Shopping if the user is searching on there.
The Facebook ad platform is stepping up their game for ecommerce advertising – this includes Instagram, too! The platform offers a dynamic ad format which allows you to repurpose the same ad for different products. All you need to do is upload your product catalog to Facebook Business Manager (similar to the product feed for Google), and set up Facebook Pixel on your website. You only have to create one ad template, and the ad will dynamically change depending on users’ past interactions with your website according to Pixel.
Facebook Pixel is a very powerful tool that you should be using, ecommerce business or not. Even if you aren’t planning on running ads anytime soon, the information you collect will help you optimize future campaigns by means of retargeting. Retargeting is a strategy that helps you target potential customers that are more likely to convert because they have interacting with your brand before, whether it be seeing your ads, visiting your website, or making a purchase in the past.
The dynamic feature allows these ads to be served to the users who are furthest down the sales funnel and who have the transactional user intent. They also cause the “wow” factor in users who are shocked to see something they had just searched for appearing on their social media.
Facebook also offers an ad template that allows you to showcase several products at once. These types of advertisements have been flooding Facebook and Instagram because it allows brands to deliver a few different messages and products in just one ad. Often times, businesses set them up so users can shop directly from the ad, cutting out all the extra steps it takes to make the purchase.
If you sell your products on Amazon, you are doing your brand a injustice by not utilizing Amazon ad tools. Amazon is currently the third largest ad network (following Google and Facebook), and the fastest growing ad network. When users are searching on Amazon, they are ready to make the purchase and they are likely shopping with intent. So if you’re selling socks, don’t get buried under all of other socks and get stuck on page 110. Investing in Amazon ads will push you to the top of relevant search results. Better yet, conversion rates reach upwards of 10%. Google Ads see conversion rates around 1-2%.
Three great and effective options for your advertising strategy – Google has the search & display networks, and with the addition of their shopping ads, your advertisements have the opportunity to appear across about 90% of the internet (because that’s how big the Google display network is) and in some of the 5.6 billion or so Google searches a day. The Facebook network spans two widely used social networking platforms, Facebook and Instagram, which receive 1 billion and 100 million daily users, respectively. Lastly, Amazon is growing as fast as you want your ecommerce business to grow, so get in that game! – Got it?
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