Have you set up an online store, but you don't know how to stand out from the competition? Do you think that with your advertising budget you will not be able to efficiently get with your offer to potential customers? There are several methods that will allow you to effectively promote on the Internet, even if you do not have funds for paid advertising. In this post you will find 7 effective and easy to implement ways to promote your online store for free.

Content marketing

According to many specialists, content marketing is the most effective way to reach the audience on the web today.Internet users are tired of advertising messages attacking from all sides. They often react with irritation. Moreover, most of them use ad-blocking programs.

Therefore, a much better strategy can be to present to your audience the content they will actually be interested in. This is the basis of content marketing. Instead of reaching the recipient with a very direct and persuasive message, it is better to offer him a real benefit in the form of information that will be useful for him.

Thanks to this approach, you will break through a barrier that most advertisers cannot overcome. You will manage to establish a bond with your client who, instead of treating you like an intruder, will treat you as someone who provides him with valuable knowledge.

This way you will build the image of a trustworthy brand. As a result, potential customers will be more interested in your offer. You will also increase their loyalty - by publishing valuable content you will make them more willing to come back to your website.

What communication channels can be used in content marketing? The most popular form is a blog. Regular publication of high-quality articles will help you gain readers. They will also be happy to share your content on social media (which we'll talk about in a moment).

In addition to blog articles, it is worth trying to create more extensive content. Tutorials, e-books, reports and case studies are very popular. In addition to building brand awareness and a positive image, you can use them to collect contact information. All you have to do is ask for an email address in return for downloading the content.

 

Email marketing

You can create a list from email addresses left by people downloading materials prepared by you. It is also worth using the emails of customers who have already used the offer of your store. On the basis of such a database, you can conduct email marketing activities.

Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of promotion on the Internet. This does not mean that it has stopped working. In 2019 alone, over 3.9 billion emails were sent, and this number is growing every year. As you can see - this form of communication is not losing, and even gaining popularity.

If you have gathered contacts to people through the distribution of marketing materials in your email database, you have a real treasure in your hand. You already know that these people were or are interested in your offer. Therefore, it will be easier for you to interest them with your message. This way you will avoid a situation in which your messages will be treated as spam

You must remember about the quality of the e-mails. As with content marketing, it's important to provide your audience with relevant information. What to write about then? Announcements of blog articles, news in the offer as well as discounts and other promotions will work well. Remember that each message you send should benefit the recipient. Otherwise, you can easily discourage him.

 

Social Media

Keeping profiles in social media gives you a chance to establish direct contact with recipients. Thanks to chat conversations, comments or likes, you will get to know your customers, their language and needs. This will allow you to improve your offer.

Advertising and paid promotion of posts are becoming more and more important in social media. But that doesn't mean you can't build good ranges organically - without spending money. As in the case of content marketing and mailings, the most important thing is to create content that will interest the audience. Interesting articles, tips, information about your industry news will be willingly commented and shared.

How to create content that engages social media users? It is not an easy task, but you can simplify it by following a few basic rules.

First of all, get to know your target audience and adapt your content and language to it. Thanks to this, you will become not so much a content provider, but a member of the community.

Second, react quickly. Respond to messages and comments without delay. It is also good to refer to current events in your posts. Real time marketing, i.e. activities focusing on current events, engages recipients. Good content of this type can quickly become viral (for more information on it, see further in the text).

Third, respond to crises. If you are faced with customer dissatisfaction, do not leave their doubts unanswered or, under any circumstances, attack them. Approach to the problem with understanding. It is worth applying the 5 step rule here:

  • apologize

  • admit you've made a mistake

  • get ready to fix the problem

  • make up for the loss

make improvements so that the error does not occur in the future

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Barter

If you have already managed to build a large customer base, you can offer other companies operating in the industry a barter exchange. It consists in the mutual publishing of content by partners. For example, if you run a fishing accessories shop, you can offer cooperation with a company that organizes fishing trips. In this case, you will publish an article with a link to your store on their website. In return, you will offer to publish the partner's material on your website.

Barter cooperation has several advantages. First, it costs you nothing. Second, the partner can offer the customer products or services that complement your offer. A person who buys fishing tackle for offshore fishing will likely be interested in what the fishing company has to offer. This way your message will become more valuable to him. In addition, you can offer discounts or promotions with barter cooperation.

As you can see, in the case of a well-structured barter, 3 sides gain. Both you and the company you work with have a chance to increase your reach. In turn, customers receive an attractive offer tailored to their needs.

 

Viral marketing

Virals are content that is so attractive to users that they gain large organic reach very quickly. This means that people who saw the content (often memes or videos) are happy to share it with their friends. Examples of viral content include a Gangnam Style song or a Gillette commercial.

Releasing a good viral is not easy. In addition, it happens that the content is controversial, as was the case with the above-mentioned spot of the shaver manufacturer. The material was accused of presenting men in a negative light. On the other hand, the brand gained publicity thanks to the controversy - the world's largest media wrote about the campaign.

There is no one way to create viral marketing. Much depends on luck. In this case, the old rule "stand out or die" applies. The content must first and foremost be original. In addition, it should relate to the world known to the target group and be understandable to them.

It is worth trying to create this type of content. The best virals are shared millions of times. They are often mentioned in the media - not only online, but also traditional. A good viral can turn out to be a golden egg-laying hen and make your store popular that would be hard to get otherwise.

 

Affiliate programs

An affiliate program is a model of cooperation between an advertiser (that is, you) and a publisher where you offer the publisher a fee for each customer who purchases from you through it (for example, using a link on the publisher's website). The customer usually also receives an additional benefit, for example in the form of a discount. An example of such a program is Recommend and earn in WebWave.

The advantage of this method of advertising is that you incur any costs after you get a customer. In most cases, this cost will be lower than the profit that you will get from acquiring a new buyer.

Have you set up an online store, but you don't know how to stand out from the competition? Do you think that with your advertising budget you will not be able to efficiently get with your offer to potential customers? There are several methods that will allow you to effectively promote on the Internet, even if you do not have funds for paid advertising.

Influencer Marketing

Anyone who is even a little bit interested in media and marketing has heard about influencers. People running popular accounts on Instagram or YouTube willingly decide to cooperate with brands, while earning huge sums. Is cooperation with influencers the domain of only the largest companies with huge advertising budgets? Of course not!

Amongst to the biggest internet stars with millions of followers, we can come across people with fewer fans. However, they are often much more involved and close to the audience. A person followed by several thousand fans can be more credible than a social media star who seems distant and unreachable.

Working with such people does not require a huge budget. If they're creators who work in your industry (and that's the best place to go), they can agree to collaborate in exchange for discounts or free products. By working with a few or a dozen people with not very large ranges, you can reach a really large group of recipients.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, online advertising does not have to be associated with high costs. Sometimes a little creativity and risk are enough to be successful.

Also, creating an online store itself does not have to be expensive. All you need to do is use WebWave - a creator in which you can build an online store website for free. Use one of the professional templates or create your own design from scratch.

 

 

Make sure to read the following articles:

Author: Jan Chmielowski

 

24 September 2020

7 ways to promote your online store for free

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