Shopify is a favorite among small business owners and entrepreneurs that want to sell online, with an 11% share of the entire ecommerce market.
Although platforms such as Shopify are making it easier and easier to launch your business online, having a successful store takes more than just creating a great looking website. You need to understand how to market your Shopify store. Many factors come into play, ranging from picking the best suppliers, to figuring out potentially complex logistics.
In this article, we’ll explore one of the most crucial elements of running a successful Shopify store – marketing.
So, if you want to increase traffic, improve brand awareness, and boost profits (who doesn’t?), then read on…
It might surprise you to discover that none of the following factors really matter:
- How fantastic your Shopify store looks
- How great your products or services are
- How affordable you are in comparison to your competitors
- How out-of-this-world your customer service is
…Well, at least none of this really matters if nobody has ever heard of you!
This might be a fairly simplistic way to look at things, but it goes a long way to show just how important good marketing is to the success of your store. It’s how you get your store noticed by those who matter most – your customers.
On a deeper level, knowing how to market your Shopify store successfully can bring all sorts of benefits to your brand. For example, effective marketing campaigns can help you build trust with your audience, generate a buzz around your products, and encourage people to make a purchase.
Ultimately, knowing how to market Shopify stores can mean the difference between a successful, profitable Shopify store, and one that is destined to fail.
Before we dive into some of the finer details of how to market Shopify stores, it’s important to point out the difference between paid and organic marketing methods.
Traditionally, these two methods of promoting a store would have unique names:
- Advertising (paid)
- Marketing (organic)
However, in more recent times, the line between the two has blurred. and they’re almost always mixed into the same marketing campaigns.
Paid marketing methods are typically those where you pay directly on a cost-per-result model. Examples of these include paid social media adverts, search engine ads, and display ads. Organic marketing methods often take more time, but with fewer additional investments beyond labor costs. Examples of these include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), organic social media, and email marketing.
Although there are benefits and negatives to each type, the most successful campaigns use a smart combination of the two to achieve maximum results.
At this point, you’re probably asking:
“That’s all great, but when are you going to tell me how to market my Shopify store?”
In this section, we’ll explore eight of the best marketing tips for your Shopify store.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the proactive approach to boosting your results on search engines such as Google – without the use of paid methods.
Although most search engines keep the exact algorithm they use to determine website rankings a closely guarded secret, there are several widely accepted methods that can help you boost your Shopify store’s rankings. These include:
- Regularly publishing content, such as a blog, that covers key topics within your industry
- Including well-researched keywords throughout your site copy
- Ensuring your website loads quickly
- Adding alt descriptions to your product images
- Making sure your website is optimized for mobile devices
- Submitting your site index to key search engines such as Google
Luckily, marketing for Shopify stores couldn’t be easier in this regard, since Shopify automate many SEO best practices on your behalf. You can also invest in external tools such as Moz to help better improve your insight and ranking.
SEO is a free marketing method that all Shopify store owners should use. However, it can take a long time for SEO to bring more traffic to your site, so patience is required.
Search Engine Ads
Just as search engines are equipped to bring new, high-value traffic to your website, investing in search engine ads can also be a great way to help increase traffic, and in turn boost profits.
Unlike SEO, which can take considerable leg work before benefits are seen, search engine ads can provide an immediate boost in results – for a price.
You’ve likely seen search engine ads when using any of the large search engines. These ads typically sit at the top of the page, before the organic search results, and are identifiable by the ‘Ad’ tag next to them.
Search engine ads are usually sold on an auction basis, so the more competitive your market/keywords, the more you’ll have to pay.
When using Google Ads for your Shopify store, it’s worth considering using specialist Shopping Ads. This can be a helpful way to show off your products, and generate relevant clicks, from within the search results.
Social Media Marketing
Getting your brand on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok is a smart (and free) way to reach new customers and engage them in a compelling way.
Great social media marketing is all about creating high-quality content that will catch the attention of your target audience. Rather than using these platforms to push out adverts, such as posts that use terms like ‘buy now’, you should use them to bring value to your audience, such as educating your customers, or entertaining them in some way.
Once you’ve captured your audience with high-value content, you can then convert that attention into sales.
Social Media Advertising
Just like building your search engine rankings, it can take a long time to build your organic audience on social media. So, you might be waiting a while to see positive results from your efforts.
Using social media ads can help you reach the right people at the right time, with just a few taps of a button.
One of the biggest benefits of using social media ads is the huge amount of data you can tap into, allowing you to target the biggest customers of your store. For example, a Shopify store that sells soccer boots could use Facebook ads to reach 18-25-year-old males who enjoy playing soccer.
Of course, this level of targeting, and the speed with which you can get results, all comes at a cost – with the average Cost Per Click (CPC) on Facebook coming in at $0.97. It’s important to consider this cost since it will eat into the profit you make from each item sold.
Influencer marketing has become an established and powerful tool for those that want to successfully market their Shopify store.
In simple terms, influencer marketing is all about getting those with large social media followings to endorse your product on their feeds. This approach allows brands to tap into the audience reach of the influencer, and their trusted community of followers, to drive profits.
However, getting the most out of influencer marketing requires brands to build genuine and trusting relationships with influencers, which can take a considerable amount of time and effort.
Email marketing is a tried and tested way to get your Shopify store in front of customers and drive results.
When brands take the time to build high-quality email lists, of current and potential customers, it offers them unrestricted access to those who are most likely to buy from their store. Unlike other marketing methods such as social media, where your access to your audience is granted by a third-party (the social media platform), email marketing gives you full ownership, and allows you to directly contact them with key marketing messages.
Although you can buy email marketing lists, it’s better to build your list from scratch. Use your own resources, such as your website, to ensure its quality. After all, a list of 500,000 emails may sound impressive, but if none of the readers have any need for what you’re selling, it’s effectively useless.
Tools such as Mailchimp can help you seamlessly manage your contact lists, and create highly engaging emails, for your Shopify store.
You may have heard marketers say ‘content is king’, which just goes to show how important marketing is in helping you drive relevant customers to your store.
Although great content feeds in to various other aspects of marketing, such as SEO and social media, it’s also a powerful tool of its own. Your content becomes the voice of your business online. So, if you consistently put out high-quality content, it can help you position yourself as a brand with authority.
Using content marketing to market your store can take considerable time and effort, but freelancers, such as those found on UpWork and PeoplePerHour, can help you consistently publish high-quality content on your site.
Affiliate marketing is similar to influencer marketing in many ways. However, there are some key differences, such as the fact that affiliates are more likely to be other businesses or media platforms. You’re also more likely to pay affiliates based on results, rather than a flat fee.
Working with affiliates can be a great way to consistently bring in new customers to your store. Additionally, paying based on results can help limit wasted costs, although it’s also important to remember that this approach will eat into your profits.
Now you know how to market Shopify stores! But, there’s one more thing. Although ‘great customer experience’ isn’t typically seen as marketing, it can be a powerful tool to ensure continued business growth through the referral of new and current customers.
Great experiences can also compel customers to help with other marketing efforts. For example, it can help you generate User Generated Content (UGC), which can then be used throughout campaigns once you have the creator’s permission.
It’s clear that marketing your Shopify store is crucial for ongoing success. In this article, we’ve shown you how to promote Shopify stores effectively, and by using the methods we’ve outlined in this guide, you’ll position your store to ensure your brand is reaching the right people, at the right time, and with the right messages.
So, what are you waiting for? Why not start trying out these methods in your own store today?