6 Ecommerce PR Strategies that Get Concrete Results in Less Time
Marketing an ecommerce solution poses unique challenges in the tech and online services field. A sophisticated, but common-sense approach, that utilizes an effective set of proven e-commerce PR marketing strategies will equip your firm to carve out a distinct market position and solidify your unique value proposition.
Join us as we explore 6 time-tested public relations strategies that will offer actionable advice to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your ecommerce marketing.
1. Identify Ideal Prospects
This is a simple, but frequently overlooked, consideration in marketing your ecommerce solution. Why not create one solution that would work for any type of business? This may seem sensible as most ecommerce solutions offer roughly similar features that could work reasonably well for any business; however, consider how diverse the potential market is, and how many services are competing in this broad space. Why would a potential client select your service over a competitor? If you compete in a generalized market, such as ‘retailers,’ how will you demonstrate (and provide) unique value to the client?
You’ll make leaps and bounds over competitors by focusing on a small sub-segment of the expansive market for e-commerce solutions.
Consider this: how could you provide unique features if you were to focus (you may already be doing this) on online retailers that sell software, to an educational market, with a specialty in providing learning aids to elementary schools?
Your solution could be tailored to the expectations and needs of school officials, teachers, and parents of children in the K-5 age range. It wouldn’t be difficult to stand-out and convert prospects by implementing a highly differentiated strategy tailored to this market.
2. Study Competitors & SWOT Analysis
What are your competitors doing? What are they doing well, and where do they need improvement? A diligent study of the competition is a crucial aspect of a SWOT analysis: an essential public relations strategy that identifies Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Evaluating the marketing and operational strategies of competitors will provide examples and benchmarks for developing your own strategy.
You can use the information to out-craft the competition by providing a unique combination of targeted features and tailored messages that will ensure the best response and adoption rates. Take this research further by evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, and any potential opportunities and threats that are present in the economic, social, and regulatory environments.
3. Build a Distinct Brand Position
With the information gathered from the process of defining a target market and studying the competition, you can decide how you want to present your e-commerce products and services to the public. Do you want to be the leader in pricing, support, or technology/functionality?
Any of these strategies can work as long as you build your marketing message around the unique value that clients will experience when they select your service. There are business consumers of every size and level of complexity, with a sufficient market segment to support your brand position. A brand position that is intentional, created using solid research and structured in a way that appeals to the tastes of a specific target market, will ensure the best results in your public relations strategy.
4. Ignore the Competition. Differentiate.
Do what other firms wont, or haven’t considered. Take risks and offer unique services (provided your market research supports the idea), and be bold in promoting the value of the benefits and using them in your marketing messages. This will strengthen your market position and establish leadership in the chosen specialty. Prospects will be drawn to your offering, and you’ll have their attention and a tremendously greater opportunity to convert them. In general, people and firms of all demographics appreciate when you cater specifically to their needs. Differentiate by offering one or more of the following benefits (not an exhaustive list):
- Lowest Prices
- Prestigious Services
- Advanced Technology
- Unique Features
- Greatest Feature Set
- Dedicated Support
5. Listen to Feedback and Participate
Communicate with your audience by participating in the community of knowledge that surrounds your industry and target market. Listen to what consumers are asking for (and complaining about) to get a better understanding of needs, and the language that your ideal prospects use to communicate. You can use this insight to craft marketing messages that reflect the psychographic and behavioral characteristics of your market. This approach, also known as thought leadership, offers an excellent medium for gathering feedback directly from prospects: data that is almost immediate and relatively free of cost. Participating in the knowledge base by answering questions and demonstrating expertise will establish the credibility of your ecommerce solution.
6. Support as a Marketing Tool (Reviews and Referrals)
Extensions of the previously mentioned thought leadership strategy are support and knowledge forums for your service. While support is typically offered as a benefit, it can be more than that: by leaving support and knowledge base forums open to the public (free of cost or subscription requirements), potential clients will be able to get an idea of what they can expect when they buy or subscribe to your ecommerce solution. Excellent customer support and service will build the loyalty of existing clients and provide an indicator to potential clients of the level of service and support you offer. This strategy will also greatly improve the likelihood of earning positive reviews on the numerous consumer review sites and result in plentiful referral business.
Is that all is takes?
An effective ecommerce marketing strategy is a fundamental tool to help your firm achieve its growth and revenue objectives. To make the most of your endeavor, partner with expert public relations marketing professionals that have insight and expertise in your unique industry. The advice provided here is a useful guide for further research and a basic outline of the steps in developing a public relations strategy that distinctively markets your e-commerce platform, and captures the interest and loyalty of your existing and prospective clients.