Online marketing is an essential part of getting customers in ecommerce. With an effective marketing campaign, your efforts will drive leads straight to your website, which can help to increase sales for your store.
Compared to TV advertising and other types of offsite marketing, digital marketing can be more direct and effective. As a first step in preparing your online marketing campaign, however, you need to establish a realistic budget.
Depending on your business’s unique needs, you can launch an ecommerce marketing strategy for less than $1,000 (USD). In some cases, you may be able to get started with an investment of around $100 (USD) or less, especially if you’re willing to rely on free resources to get your business online.
For instance, if you decide to focus on all of your marketing efforts on SEO and social media, you won’t have to invest any money. However, note that using these channels will take time, as you’ll need to write articles, create product pages, and develop your brand’s reputation.
When creating your marketing strategy, be sure to consider your time along with your financial resources.
Use your ecommerce goals to create your marketing budget
There isn’t a predetermined amount for how much money you should spend on ecommerce digital marketing services. Your business’s optimized allocation of funds will instead be unique to your business model and to your target audience.
You’ll ideally strike a healthy balance between cost and return. However, how you measure the return will depend on what your ecommerce goals are.
Are you trying to establish or maintain customer loyalty, or do you want to develop your brand image? Social media marketing is often used to effectively achieve these goals.
Do you want to drive leads to your website to generate immediate sales? Email marketing and pay-per-click campaigns are often focused on producing these results.
As a general rule of thumb, your marketing budget should range between 7 and 12% of your business’s revenue. Nevertheless, some ecommerce businesses spend more than 20% of their revenue on marketing.
If your business is new or is struggling to operate in the black, your marketing budget may fall below 7% of your revenue.
However, you understandably don’t want to overspend in areas that are underperforming or that aren’t actively meeting your goals. With this in mind, it’s important that you first define what your objectives are.
You’ll need to analyze the amount of money available in your operating budget before putting a specific amount toward this line item. As your marketing efforts produce results, you may have room to expand your marketing budget.
What are the costs involved with common ecommerce marketing channels?
Your allocation of marketing funds will also depend on where you can realistically and effectively reach your target audience. For example, some market segments are more likely to use Facebook, and others will use Instagram more heavily.
Analyzing what your competitors are doing can provide excellent insights as you begin developing your marketing strategy and determining the costs required for your store.
According to Smart Insights, the eMarketing Sherpa eCommerce Benchmark Study found that ecommerce businesses spend between 10 and 24% of their marketing budgets on search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns. They also spend 29 to 57% on paid search marketing and 39 to 81% on a combination of pay-per-click and SEO strategies.
Given the extreme variations in these figures, you can see that you’ll need to analyze your results to optimize your own online marketing campaigns. Here are some of the more common avenues for ecommerce marketing to help increase sales.
Google is clearly the most popular search engine, so the opportunities that it creates you to reach your target audience are profound. Your customers will often use Google to search for products like yours.
Running ads on Google can help you to get in front of those individuals when they’re actively looking for the items that you sell online. The three primary types of Google Ads are search ads, Shopping ads, and display ads.
Through SEO and other organic efforts, you could work your website up to a top spot in search engine rankings. However, until you get to that point, paid search ads may be an essential part of your digital marketing campaign.
Search ads put your website at the top of the search results so that your business is one of the first that your target audience will see. A top placement can directly lead to more clicks and more sales, so this could be a very cost-effective advertising strategy.
Google Shopping ads show a thumbnail, a short product description, the ecommerce store’s name, and a few other tidbits of information. These are placed at the top of a search results page, even above the text-only ads, but they can also be found on the Shopping tab and on Google partner sites.
For many ecommerce stores, available funds should be allocated to Google pay-per-click ads first. This would be followed by shopping ads and then display ads. However, you can analyze the results of small campaigns to determine what is the most cost-effective strategy for your business.
If your target customers use Facebook regularly, running ads on Facebook should be considered as you develop a marketing campaign and budget. Facebook offers several types of ads for you to choose from. These include dynamic product ads, remarketing ads, and others.
One of the many great things about advertising on Facebook is the ability to refine the scope of your efforts while also controlling your budget.
In fact, when you set up your ads, you can say how much money you want to spend per ad per day or for the total campaign. You also can set parameters so that your ad is only displayed for your store’s target audience.
Instagram is an image-based social media platform, so it’s well-suited for marketing your ecommerce products with high-quality photo content. If you determine that your target customers use Instagram regularly, you can use both paid ads and influencer marketing on this platform.
Paid ads are set up directly through Instagram in the same way that you would set up an ad on Facebook. In fact, because these social media platforms are affiliated, you can schedule your Instagram ad to run when you set up your Facebook ad.
Influencer marketing, on the other hand, requires you to identify key influencers that may be relevant to your brand and to discuss promotions with them. An ecommerce business will often send the influencer free promotional items as part of the arrangement.
The influencer then endorses the product, generally through a social media post or blog content. When followers see the product’s benefits touted, they may decide to rush to your website to purchase the item, leading to an increase in sales.
Costs for an email marketing campaign will vary considerably based on several factors, but you can generally expect the return on investment to be extraordinary.
This is because you can customize email marketing campaigns by segmenting your distribution list and creating tailored email content. In addition, email marketing is direct, and results can easily be monitored and measured.
Email marketing begins with the development of an opt-in campaign, such as when you collect email addresses during the checkout process or via popup ads on your website. Note that buying email addresses is associated with spam behavior and may reflect poorly on your ecommerce store.
Each campaign will need a professional email prepared. This may involve an investment in copywriting and design. Additional costs are associated with your email platform and email management apps.
Keep in mind that when you create your online store with WiziShop, you’ll enjoy access to many different tools designed to optimize your website, including Auto-Mail Booster.
This complete emailing tool makes email marketing a breeze. It lets you customize email content, send newsletters highlighting upcoming product sales, program automatic follow-up emails, and much more!
Paid marketing strategies using social media platforms, Google, and email deliver prompt results, but those results may be short-lived. This means that you must regularly pour money into these avenues to continue generating leads and enjoying their other benefits. Organic marketing is free, and it should be a part of any store’s ecommerce marketing checklist.
Organic marketing covers SEO, blog posts, free posts on your social media platforms, and other types of content that your business did not directly pay for. The cumulative effects of these various organic marketing strategies can be profound, but it will take time to see the results.
Consider, for example, that it may take many months to see movement in your website’s placement on search engine results pages through a targeted SEO campaign.
If you desire immediate results for your business, paying for advertising could seem like the best path. However, organic marketing has a synergistic effect.
More than that, results can reinforce or even surpass the results from paid marketing efforts. Because of this, paid and organic marketing both have a place in an ecommerce business’s marketing plan.
How can you integrate all of this information into the creation of your marketing budget? Above all other factors, your budget must be affordable for your business. Your allocation of resources, however, will directly impact your total return on investment.
First, determine how much you can afford to spend on marketing costs. Then, analyze your target audience to decide which social media platforms would be most effective for reaching them.
Allocate a portion of your budget for Google and email marketing, and remember to focus on organic marketing as well. Plan to analyze your return on investment for all paid marketing methods and to make adjustments as needed to progressively optimize results going forward.