Hi, I'm Samantha. I'm a small business owner and I work here at Shopify. Every business needs a marketing strategy, so where do you begin? With so many marketing strategies made accessible by technology, knowing where to start can be a real challenge. In this video I'm going to introduce you to four different marketing methods that you can test and implement in your business. First, I want you to embrace the idea of becoming a lifelong marketer. Marketing is an ongoing process and the way you market your business will constantly evolve as your business grows.
As a small business owner, you will always be a marketer within your company, even if you hire a chief marketing officer one day. It's important to embrace this mindset and commit to continuously testing new strategies of marketing your business. Now, before you start to market your business, it's important to have clarity on your ideal target customer. This is also called the buyer's persona. If you haven't created one yet, see the resources section for a download to help you with this.
Now, let's focus on different marketing methods to grow your business. Let's start with a few free marketing methods. While they'll take some time, they don't require you to spend any money. The first method is organic traffic. Organic traffic consists of visitors that found your website without any sort of paid advertisement. They found you through a search, perhaps on a search engine like Google or YouTube. Organic traffic is very valuable as the potential customer was intentionally searching to try and find a product or service like yours.
Early on, you might not see a lot of organic traffic on your store. That's okay. Every new business experiences the same thing. To make your store as visible as possible to search engines, you're going to have to do something that's called search engine optimization or SEO. These are small tweaks you can make on your website so that Google can understand your business and direct more traffic your way. One action you can take right now is to make sure all of your images on your website have alt text.
The alt text not only helps visually impaired visitors browse your site, search engines can also scan these alt texts to categorize your photos and better understand your business. Another great SEO opportunity for you is to use the search engine preview section of your pages. Pay particular attention to your product pages and your collection pages, as these are the descriptions that your customer will use to find your products.
Each product and collection gives you the opportunity to provide a more descriptive version of each page. This way, your product page is more useful to a single visitor to your store and the search engine-optimized page includes information a search engine would want to know. Organic traffic is a long-term strategy for growth. The steps we outlined here are just a starting point but SEO is a broad subject and you'll want to learn more about this as your business grows.
It takes time and willingness to learn the best practices for SEO to succeed. The second free method of marketing is social media marketing Social media marketing involves creating and sharing content on social networks to help build an engaged audience. You can benefit from being in front of potential customers where they already spend their time online. The average person in the United States spends two hours a day on social media, so there's a lot of opportunity for you to get your business in front of the right people.
So how do you get started? As a small business owner, your time is valuable and it may not be possible to focus on growing an audience on every channel at once. Based on your ideal target customer, you can narrow down your top one or two social media platforms and focus on those first. It's recommended that you claim your social media handles before you launch your store, and if your ideal handle is taken, consider adding HQ or shop into the handle with your brand name in it.
Similar to organic traffic, social media marketing is a long-term strategy for growth. If you share the right content and connect with your audience, you can make your social media marketing a central aspect of your entire business. But early on, you need to keep it focused and keep it consistent. Pick a time of the day you're going to post and engage on social media and stick to it. The third method of marketing is email marketing.
For email marketing, depending on your email service provider, you can get started for free and pay as your email list grows. Email marketing is the practice of sending marketing messages to prospective and current customers via email in order to sell, educate, or build loyalty. One of the core benefits of email marketing is that you own the relationship with your customer. You're not hoping a search engine or a social media platform shows your store to the right audience.
An email list of potential and existing customers is a valuable asset for your business in the long run, so it's important to start building it as early as possible. With your Shopify store, you can start collecting emails from the newsletter forums that are built into the store if you're using a free Shopify theme. You can also consider using a pop up to capture visitors by offering an incentive like 10 percent off your first order if you sign up for our email list. One action you can take right now is to enable the newsletter subscription form on your website.
Themes made by Shopify include the option to enable a newsletter form, while third party developed themes vary. You can also build your email list before you launch your store by creating a "Coming Soon" page or by collecting emails in person if you have a face-to-face interaction with your customer. Email marketing is a long-term strategy for growth, though there are opportunities to start making sales right away. A golden rule to remember for email marketing is that every email you send should add value for your recipient.
If they're not seeing that value, they'll unsubscribe and you'll likely lose their trust. The fourth method of marketing is paid marketing. Paid marketing is advertising you pay for. The benefits of paid marketing include connecting with your ideal customers faster, as well as the ability to create highly targeted ads. If you're looking for a quicker results and willing to invest in the marketing, this may be the right method for you to start today.
Before starting paid marketing, we encourage you to create a budget that works for your business. Paid marketing is experimental, so it's a good idea to set a low daily budget that you can commit to for a while. Five dollars a day for a month will get you the results you need to help you understand what works. With this budgeting strategy, you can launch an ad for three days, evaluate how it performed and then try a new ad for three days. You continuously experiment with slightly different ads improving images, text and audience targeting.
With just five dollars a day for a month, you'll have over 10 different variations of your ads for just 150 dollars. While the goal is to always make a sale, you might not get there right away, but don't be discouraged. Even if you don't make any sales in the first month, look at the other data like "Reach" and "Click through rate" to understand if people are seeing your ad and if they're interested enough to click it. So how do you get started?
Shopify makes it easy for you to manage your marketing activities by using the marketing section of your admin. From there, you can create marketing campaigns and track how well they perform. For example, you can easily run a Facebook ad by connecting your Shopify and Facebook accounts, making it really easy for you to get started. Paid marketing can both be short-term and the long-term strategy for increasing your sales and growing your business.
It's important to implement paid marketing after you've launched your business. Now, you know four different methods of marketing your business, with organic traffic, social media marketing, email marketing and paid marketing.