Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 07/20/17 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
If you’re an ecommerce business, your online presence is your bread and butter.
The methodology of using your website, blogs, free offers (like an ebook), email workflows, landing pages and social media helps drive traffic, leads and conversions.
One of the ways to you can attract brand awareness to drive traffic to your site involves social media.
Posting content is a great way to start, but how do you make your ecommerce business stand out from the crowd?
Become a social media influencer.
Easier said than done, right?
Especially if your team is small and you don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for a social media team, nor the time and money to find and pay influencers.
Here's a three-step formula to becoming an influencer and growing your ecommerce business:
Let’s break down each step and review the tools you need to master them.
There is so much information available online – and for free.
If your business isn’t creating and sharing content with your audience, you’re simply losing to other brands.
People are used to consuming a brand’s content and building trust before they make a buying decision. So if you don’t have a blog, an ebook, free webinars, or another way to get content out to your audience, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build trust – and grow your sales.
There are numerous strategies for creating content that grabs your audience's. We're going to discuss the types of material you could produce, as well as the quality and the quantity required for your ecommerce business to thrive.
The most widespread form of content is still the written form, believe it or not. Make a blog for your business if you don’t already have one, and start writing articles that speak to your audience’s problems and pain points.
You can write how-to articles, best practices, common myths, benefits of using your product or service, or anything that will be interesting for your audience. If you are new to blogging here is an excellent article about how to start your own blog.
Best practices dictate publishing content every week, with once a week being your minimum. If you want to be successful then you should publish 3-5 blog posts a week. You don’t have to do this alone. Partner up with other businesses in your industry and have them contribute at least 1-2 guest posts to your blog every week. This will not only help you create more content but also increase your traffic by those businesses sharing your blog with their audiences.
You can do the same thing with a podcast, a webinar, or an interview.
Webinars are a super powerful tool to build an audience and boost engagement. Webinars drive high-quality leads to your ecommerce business and greatly increase your sales, and it’s really easy to set one up.
For a specific article just about webinars check out this article from GetResponse.
Offering a free ebook is an effective way to share content and get email signups. You can pack three to four articles you’ve already written into an ebook and continuously update it when there is new information on the topic.
Then you can offer it on your site as part of your popup or at the end of related blog posts to offer added value to your readers.
It’s actually much easier than it sounds. You don’t need to hire a designer if you don’t want to, nor hire a tech guru to convert the ebook into the right file format. There are numerous tools out there that allow you to choose the blog posts that you want to use and automatically convert them into an ebook for you.
Social media takes a lot of time right? You’re probably wondering where you'll find the time to post so much content and where you'll get the content.
It’s super easy. There are numerous tools that can help you automate every single process involved.
Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or eClincher can help you automate the publishing of your posts. You can bulk upload a series of tweets or Facebook posts and schedule them to go out for the next 30-90 days.
Also, you can use Quuu to find the most relevant content from the top brands in your industry and share it on your social media. Here are Buffer’s top 20 tools for content curation and social media management.
Once your posting and content curation is automated you will start seeing more user engagement. People will begin sharing and commenting on your posts because of the increased frequency of your posting and the quality and relevancy of your content.
How do you find the time to respond to everyone? You guessed it, automate it!
Sound strange? How do I automate an interaction? Do I use a bot?
No, that’s not what we mean. First, create an auto-message to go out to every user that messages you on Facebook.
Then use a platform like Nimble or eClincher to be able to respond to every message on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn in one place – instead of having to log into every social media channel separately. You can even add your team members to help you manage social media engagement.
Now that we have covered engagement, how do we grow the audience?
There are a few amazing tools that can help you automatically grow your audience exponentially. You can use a tool like StatusBrew to follow and unfollow hundreds of people per day with just a few clicks. This tool allows you to find brands or influencers whose followers might be interested in you or your product and follow them, in other words, it simplifies the process of finding people with similar interests to expand your brand.
With these three steps you can grow your brand or business on social media, without having to pay for ads. To recap, here are the three steps:
If you use these simple steps and the automation tools described, you will eventually become an influencer. It might night take 6-12 months, but you will begin to see incredible results and growth in your business.
Ben Kazinik is an inbound marketer @eClincher, the world’s most powerful social media management platform. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world.