How to Get More Customers Online: E-Commerce Strategies to Enhance Sales

How to Get More Customers Online: E-Commerce Strategies to Enhance Sales

Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 at 6:23 pm    

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There are 5 areas of digital marketing that our Cobalt Digital Marketing catalysts focus on in order to attract quality traffic to our clients’ e-commerce websites.

This is information you can quite literally take to the bank. Check it out.

 

1. Paid Traffic

“You’ve got to spend money in order to make money.” We’ve all heard that one before. And it’s the truth — at least as far as digital marketing is concerned — that paid traffic is one of the best ways to generate sales leads for your e-commerce business.

Before we continue, however, there’s no need to hyperventilate. Sure, we’ve all heard the horror stories of paid traffic costing way too much, and/or netting zero returns, but hear us out for a minute. It’s all about:

      • Not spending so much on a campaign all at once. Effectively budgeting can help you to accomplish your paid traffic goals while keeping expenses to a minimum.
      • You may likely strike out on a particular ad campaign, but don’t get discouraged. You can always create another one. Experiment with copy, images, and what you are offering.
      • Creating multiple ad campaigns with variations. Then, monitoring their stats and metrics to see which ones work and which ones don’t.
      • Knowing your target audience so that you can use all of the nifty advanced targeting options that certain social media platforms carry. We’re talking about creating Buyers’ Personas; creating a quick survey of the people that signed up for your email list can help you create one.

By keeping these four tips in mind, paid traffic won’t cost your business as much as you fear it would, while still netting you a solid return.

2. Blogging

We’re not talking about writing a review on your personal blog. No, business blogging has taken the digital marketing world by storm, bringing in quality traffic to e-commerce websites.

This widely successful strategy is used by digital marketing agencies the world over because, if done right, it can grab a lot of attention through proper keyword usage that matches search queries.

However, while it is true that blogging may attract traffic to your site, you can’t just rely on a single piece to sustain your business. Like your ad campaigns, you’ve got to constantly track the effectiveness of your blogs as part of your online marketing efforts. You’ve got to see what works and fix what doesn’t.

You’ve also got to focus on delivering factual and helpful information on your blogs. The last thing you would want to happen is for a customer to not complete your call-to-action or to abandon their cart after reading your blog because they didn’t receive enough valuable information about your product.

This can negatively affect your bounce rate and your average session duration, in turn, causing you to lose ranking with Google. Lose ranking with Google and your website becomes less relevant and visible, and that means less potential customers.

3. Social Media Marketing

In some instances, social media can seem like the Wild West to the inexperienced, but to an experienced digital marketing agency — like Cobalt Digital Marketing — it’s about understanding that certain rules and decorum must be adhered to at all times.

What does that mean?

      1. Politeness and manners are appreciated.
      2. Expert knowledge and charisma win over customers.
      3. Foul language turns people off to your brand.

Adhering to these easy-to-follow standards helps to establish your brand and your business as a trusted source of information with dependable products or services. Social media marketing also improves customer relations and communication, fulfilling their need to be heard should they have any feedback to give.

People that appreciate the customer service provided and trust in your company are more likely to visit your website and buy your product. At the end of the day, you just can’t run an effective digital marketing campaign without social media marketing, full stop.

4. Referrals

Developing a referral system does take some work to make it a viable source of clients. To be truly successful, your business must:

      1. Focus on making a great product or service at an affordable price.
      2. Provide legendary customer service (or at least excellent).

These two areas are what really make an impression on your customers. A happy customer is a talking customer, and word of mouth marketing is the best type of marketing there is. Why?

It can be a challenge for a company to sell a product to, what is essentially, a complete stranger. But if you’ve got a customer putting rubber to the road and telling their friends about your great, affordable product and your excellent, friendly, and informative customer service, these other potential clients will trust your customer’s judgment. This sparks interest in your brand.

Want to be even more appealing? Create a referral marketing program. If you already have a system in place — say through a referral marketing software or email list — the process can be automated and used to encourage existing customers to spread the word for a reward like a discount or free item on their next purchase. Get creative!

5. Email Marketing

Another cost-effective marketing strategy, email marketing utilizes many of the strategies listed above into a single digital marketing package.

A quick email to those in your email list can inform clients of:

      1. New products
      2. Sales or promotions
      3. Recommended products
      4. Similar product to ones purchased before
      5. Customer discounts for those that have not made any recent purchases
      6. Tips or interesting insight about the product or service they purchased

All of these show that you appreciate your customers, and returning customers are important to generating a sustainable revenue stream. An appreciated customer will also voice their satisfaction to others, read your blog, follow you on social, and open your emails—which will increase your click-through rate as a nice side bonus.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Make Your Event Bigger and Better: Promote with Cobalt Digital Marketing

Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 at 5:39 pm    

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Digital marketing has quickly become one of the most effective methods of drawing attention to your trade show, conference, or event. When done correctly, you can increase your attendance rate, expand your reach, build community, manage ticket sales, and essentially make your event bigger and better.

But, truth be told, it’s a little easier said than done. There’s plenty of strategizing that must take place in order to properly promote your event. Naturally, you’ll want a dedicated team of marketing professionals to handle this undertaking, especially if you don’t have the experience of doing so yourself.

That’s where the experts at Cobalt Digital Marketing come in. We’ve helped numerous companies and organizations promote and market their event to the fullest extent possible – and we can do the same for you.

In fact, we recently wrapped up one of our biggest successes; the McAllen Chamber of Commerce chose Cobalt Digital Marketing as the digital marketing agency to promote their 2018 Business Expo.

 

About the McAllen Business Expo

The McAllen Business Expo is the region’s premier business event, bringing together hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs, and thousands of attendees. The goal of the Business Expo is to provide outstanding networking opportunities, learning experiences, and professional business seminars, all while furnishing the perfect setting for the showcasing, advertising, and selling of products and services.

As the leading business expo in the Rio Grande Valley, our team at Cobalt Digital Marketing understood that the promotion for this event had to be bigger and better than any year prior – and that’s exactly what we focused on.

Using a number of initiatives including social media marketing, digital ads, video content marketing, and various other channels, we were able to:

  • Help generate nearly $1,750 in online sales!
  • Update the McAllen Chamber website to include e-commerce capability so that sponsors and exhibitors could register and pay online.
  • Obtain support from expo sponsors to create videos that promoted the event.
  • Sell out all booths 3 entire weeks before the event.
  • Bring together 152 businesses.
  • Reach more than 10,000 people through Facebook Event.
  • Increase McAllen Chamber website traffic by 40% over the same period last year.
  • Increase website traffic by 20% over the previous period (June/July).
  • Reach 100,000 people with display ads.
  • Help to draw in thousands of attendees.

Amazingly, we were able to accomplish these results within an 8-week period by successfully employing the Cobalt Formula™.

You can watch the Chamber’s wrap up video here.

 

Promoting with the Cobalt Formula™

Our objectives for the 2018 McAllen Business Expo was to obtain sponsors, increase attendance, improve event visibility, and secure exhibitors. Through a multi-faceted approach utilizing website marketing, social media marketing, digital ads, and content marketing, we were able to reach our goals.

Tactics

1. Website – As previously mentioned, we updated the Chamber’s website to include capabilities that allowed sponsors to register and pay directly online without the need to sign-up in person. Naturally, this streamlined the process for exhibitors and sponsors, allowing them to focus on their own priorities without having to take time out of their busy schedules to make a trip down to the chamber; for business owners and entrepreneurs, time is of the essence.

2. Facebook – Our social media catalysts developed a Facebook Event page to reach nearly 10,000 individuals through engaging posts, videos, and ads. Additionally, we were able to complement our own efforts by increasing traffic to the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s own Facebook page, and increased their likes by nearly 200 people. This two-front approach helped us to reach even more people than originally anticipated and gave the McAllen Chamber of Commerce a vital boost that should help them in their promotion of next year’s event.

3. Instagram – The value of social media cannot be overstated and our social media team had the creative idea to not only leverage Instagram but also develop a real-life Instagram frame with tie-in hashtags to generate interest and buzz around the event. During the period of September 6th through the 12th, we reached 858 unique accounts and an astounding 5378 impressions.

4. Display ads – We took advantage of Facebook ads to strategically target and promote to our audience. We reached over 100,000 people with an economical cost-per-click of only $0.29.

5. On-going promotion – Our entire social media team attended the event to continue engaging our audience. We went from booth to booth and attendee to attendee, capturing live video, photos, and boomerangs that have since been used to develop quality content on Instagram and Facebook even after the event ended, drawing further attention to the expo and the McAllen Chamber. We also created a number of articles to continue showcasing all the wonderful happenings of the 2018 McAllen Business Expo.

We understood that our responsibility to this project was not going to stop once the event had taken place. We were dedicated to ensuring that we saw the promotion of the event all the way through and that’s why we have continued to promote content to already begin preparing for next year’s event. A year really does fly by and we want to make sure that our reach is even bigger in 2019.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Holiday Hustle: Fantastic Tips to Start Prepping Your Digital Marketing Plan Today

Posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2018 at 2:03 pm    

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Preparation is the key to success and this rings especially true for businesses and e-commerce companies looking to make the most out of the upcoming holiday season. While consumers might not start making their purchases until late-October, it doesn’t hurt to already be on their mind with the right messaging.  

Of course, you’ll want to temper any heavy holiday messaging until the holiday season gets a closer. But if you already have your plans laid out well in advance, the transition between your non-holiday digital marketing plan to your holiday marketing plan will be seamless and your promotions will be much more effective.

The last two months of the year are notably crucial to your business, with the National Retail Federation noting that 20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers takes place during this time frame. Within this two month period, there are a couple of specific days that you’ll want to target including:

  • November 24, Small Biz Saturday:
      • In 2016, 112 million consumers supported Small Business Saturday by shopping and dining out.
      • Total spending reached approximately $15.4 billion in 2016.
      • 72% of consumers reported they were aware of Small Business Saturday.  
  • November 26, Cyber Monday:  
    • In 2017, Cyber Monday sales reached a record $6.59 billion. (CNBC)
    • In 2017, Cyber Monday mobile sales reached $2 billion in a 24-hour period. (CNBC)
    • Cyber Monday sales increased by 16.8 percent from a year prior. (CNBC)

While these three days are definitely worth recognizing, there’s still plenty of joy (and sales) for the remaining holiday season, especially for e-commerce businesses:

  • Online shopping totaled $108.2 billion during the 2017 holiday season. (Adobe Digital Insights)
  • During the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, shoppers spent $19 billion. (Adobe Digital Insights)
  • Retailers had their best holiday season in 2017 since 2011. (EMarketer)
  • 2017 saw a 17.8% increase in retail e-commerce sales. (EMarketer)
  • E-commerce sales are expected to expand by 15.3% in 2018. (EMarketer)
  • Mobile sales will account for 52% of total sales. (PracticalEcommerce)

If you’re ready to get in on the action, your catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing have some fantastic holiday marketing strategies to keep your holiday season Grinch free.

 

See Green on Black Friday

Black Friday is a hectic day and will require everyone on your team to be on the same page to handle the high volume of customers. If you want to make the most out of the day, you should start by:

  • Organizing for any major sales and preparing your inventory to ensure that you’ll have product favorites and the staff to effectively pull off any event you might hold.
  • Build anticipation beforehand by creating a teaser campaign that includes ads geared towards special products you’re going to have on sale.
  • Make sure that your website speed is up to par. If you’re dependent on online sales, a lagging website can be disastrous for your Black Friday. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly as well.
  • An email marketing campaign is a necessity. Just make sure to target past and potential buyers.
  • Developing landing pages can complement your email marketing campaign. Keep things general enough so that a single landing page can work for the entire holiday season.
  • Regardless of the season, social media should always be in your digital marketing plan. Posts should highlight products, sales, answer questions, and provide insight into your product (lifestyle pictures always work wonders, too).
  • Include a countdown timer on your website to drive the urgency of your Black Friday sales. Even a stock count can keep customers on their toes if they know a specific product is limited.      

 

Small Business Saturday To-Dos

Small Business Saturday is the perfect tool to promote your business for the busy holiday season and into the new year. There are a number of tactics that can be used to drive sales including:

  • Remind people about Small Business Saturday through social media, email newsletters, and website banners.
  • Offer sales that run before Small Business Saturday and until after Cyber Monday to keep customers coming in after the day passes. Plus, you’ll be able to better manage your inventory and have a clearer view of what items customers want.
  • Offer a special service or product like free gift wrapping, a limited-edition product, or a special menu item that big companies can’t match.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-optimized since 64% of shoppers use mobile search on smartphones before heading to the store.
  • Post plenty of visuals on social media and don’t just tell people about sales.
  • Make sure you have enough staff on hand as this may be the first experience with your business for many new customers.
  • Millennials love local businesses, so your local business should love millennials – target them.
  • Offer a fun and joyful environment if you have a brick-and-mortar store. Free refreshments, treats, and family-friendly activities are always a good choice.

 

Make Cyber Monday Spectacular

Your digital marketing strategy should be developed early enough (think NOW) in order that the transition between these prime shopping days is as smooth and seamless as possible. You’ll definitely want to utilize some of the same strategies on all three days (i.e. plenty of heavy social media coverage on your sales and special items) but you can also enhance your marketing strategy for Cyber Monday with:

  • Cyber Monday specific promotions are a must and a great way to get consumers excited about any special items that might be on sale only on this day.
  • Contest and giveaways build excitement and have the added benefit of helping you collect data that can be used for email marketing campaigns or to tweak ad copy to better meet consumer expectations.
  • Cyber Monday is a mobile mega-day, so make sure your site is mobile optimized. In 2017, Cyber Monday saw over $2 billion in mobile shopping alone. Don’t miss this opportunity.
  • Millennials are the biggest Cyber Monday spenders and you’ll want to target this demographic group.  
  • Recommendations and reviews need to be in place. Today’s shoppers are savvy and often base their decision to make a purchase based on reviews of your company and products. Offer some benefit to clients to leave you a positive review (think discount).
  • Place a countdown on your product pages to let clients know when an offer is beginning and ending. A time-sensitive sale can encourage customers to make the purchase immediately rather than hold off.
  • Don’t be afraid to surprise customers and extend your sale. Cyber Monday is not the end of the holiday season and extending your sale can work wonders to remind clients who haven’t made their purchase to get it done.
  • Retargeting ads is one of the most effective tools that you have in your arsenal. Most website visitors will pay your site multiple visits before making a  purchase; these leads simply need to be converted and targeting ads are just the thing.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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