If you’re reading this, then chances are you have a Shopify store with traffic lower than you would like. After working on your product descriptions and your website design, you still aren’t seeing the traffic you’d like for your store. The good news is you’ve come to the right place as we’re going to introduce you to the wonderful world of Marketing.
Marketing is a great way of increasing traffic to your store, not only does it create trustworthy and shareable content, it also allows you to reach new people you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to reach with just a website. In this blog, we take you through our favourite types of marketing and how they’re great for boosting traffic.
There are two different types of Marketing, Organic and Paid. We like to recommend building out your Organic Marketing first so that when you do move onto Paid, you have something you can leverage. But what’s the difference between Organic and Paid Marketing?
Organic marketing refers to the act of getting customers to come to you naturally over time rather than paying them to click on a link or visit your website. There are four forms of organic marketing we use here at Blend and recommend: Social Media, Blogs, SEO and Email Marketing. What’s great about these 4 is how well they all link together. It helps create a good, functioning marketing plan.
Paid marketing refers to the act of getting customers to come to you by paying for advertising placements. Two of the main forms of Paid Marketing we recommend are Facebook Ads and Google Ads. We like both of these methods as it allows you to reach audiences using both user and cookie tracking methods.
Now that we know what the different types of marketing are, let’s break down the different methods and go through our best practices for each.
Social Media is one of the first things your audience will see about your business. They’re going to see what kind of personality you have, what your message is and what content you want your audience to engage. Even if you don’t initially gain much from social media, you need to stick with it as it’s a great trust factor for potential customers.
Here’s what Blend’s social media looks like on Instagram.
We started our social media by brainstorming the types of posts we wanted to create. Which brings us to our first best practice. Don’t make your social media all about products. In fact, we use our Social Media to educate people with facts, tips and updates on the business.
We also knew that we wanted our posts to reflect Blend’s brand guidelines, so we keep to our monochrome and green palette. It looks clean and professional and reflects the brand our clients know.
After our social media had been running for a while, we were able to see from our analytics which days and times were best for posting. For us Sundays, Wednesday and Fridays were best. We post at 11am for Instagram, 7pm for Facebook and 12pm for Twitter. Checking your timings will ensure you reach your most engaged audience at the right time.
You may also notice that some of our posts have questions on them. Questions are a great way of getting your audience to engage as it gives them content they can respond too. Try including questions and asking for comments in your posts.
Finally, we use design and scheduling tools to help with our social media. We source all our images from free-to-use sources like unsplash or pexels. We then use Canva to filter and edit images to the correct size. We’ve recently switched to Later.com to schedule our social media as it suited our needs as a business, but you can also use other platforms like Loomly, OnlyPult, Hootsuite etc. There are loads out there! Using these free tools allows us to create content easily and without any trouble.
Blogs are a great way of creating valuable content for your audience as you can talk in-depth without bombarding social media with long text posts. They can also benefit your Shopify store by improving SEO as you’ll have more opportunity to rank for keywords.
Here’s an example of one of Blend’s blogs. Ironically it’s all about how a blog can help your Shopify store. You can read it here.
The title for this blog is “Can a blog really help my Shopify store?”. It’s a question you’re probably asking yourself right now which is why it makes such a good title. It gets the reader thinking and entices them to read further.
When you’re writing your blogs think about a style that fits with your branding. Do you want to inform people with facts and tips? Do you want to create a descriptive piece that takes the reader on a journey? Whatever style you choose is up to you, but it’s always good to keep this consistent with other content your brand has like social media.
In the example blog, you’ll also see that our introduction is quite short and it jumps into the content of the blog more or less straight away. This is because we want the reader to get into the real content as quick as possible. It could be off-putting for some if the blog looks like it’s a long read. If you’re concerned about the length of your blog use images and headings to break it up.
If you want to keep giving your reader fresh and new content to read, then give yourself a schedule. As a rule a thumb we like to write at least 1-2 new blogs a month. If you’re struggling to fit this in, why not schedule in a dedicated day for writing your blogs. For example, at Blend, we always write out Facebook Ad Updates Blog on the last Friday of the month.
Last of all, don’t forget to use other Organic Marketing methods to promote your blog. As soon as it’s live on your site, schedule in a Social Media post to promote your blog to your audience and encourage engagement.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing visibility of a web page to users of a search engine like Google. This can be done in many ways but one of the easiest places to start is by incorporating this into your blog posts.
When you decide on a topic for your blog, pick up to 3 keywords you’d like your page to rank for and try and include them in your text.
For this blog, the main keyword we want to rank for is ‘Facebook Ad Updates’. You can see that we’ve included this in our title, our headings, our text and our meta description. By putting keywords in all these important places we’re making it obvious to search engines what this blog is about.
We also always try to include the keyword in our blog headings using either H1 or H2 formats. Again this makes it obvious what the content is about to search engines as they define the content using the different sections of the blog. You should also make sure you include keywords in your image alt tags, as images also have search engine rankings.
A golden rule of all content is to make sure it’s original. If you copy content or have wording like for like from another website, search engines can detect this and may mark your web page as spam which can affect your search ranking.
If there is content you’d like to mention from another website, reword it and add a link to show where your source has come from, this is known as a backlink. If you include a backlink to another page don’t be afraid to tell them you’ve mentioned them in your blogs. Having links to good, relevant websites can improve your search engine ranking, especially if they create a backlink to your website in return.
Email Marketing is the act of sending a message, typically to a group of people using an email. Every email sent is usually sent to a potential or current customer providing news, updates and information about their purchase. It’s likely you’ll need to pay to have access to an Email Marketing platform like Klaviyo. Monthly fees are dependent on how many subscribers you have and how many emails you send, but the content you create and send is an organic way of reaching your list of subscribers.
Here’s an example of one of Blend’s emails. You may have noticed that this email has the same branding as our Social Media and that’s a great place to start. Branding that is consistent across all assets shows your subscribers who your business is.
We’re showing you this example from a mobile viewpoint to talk about our next best practice. Make sure you emails are optimised for both desktop and mobile. Just because an email looks good on desktop doesn’t mean it will on mobile. In Blend’s case, we needed to decrease the heading size for mobile otherwise it took over the whole screen. We also wanted to make sure all of our main content was on the screen for mobile users without them needing to scroll. This includes the Blend logo, a title describing what the email is about, an image to break up the content and a call to action button to convert traffic to our website.
When you first start email marketing two of the flows you should start right away are your Welcome Series and Abandon Cart Flows. Abandon Cart Flows can have 3 x greater conversion rate than other flows on average and Welcome Series Flows have one of the best Open Rates at 33.22%. Both of these flows are designed to target subscribers who meet a particular condition. By setting both of these up from the get go you’ll have something for your new and current subscribers to engage with.
These different categories of subscribers are often called Segments. Segments are a way of defining a group of subscribers to a set of conditions. A good practice is to Segment those who have engaged with you in the last 3 months. We do this by defining our segment to anyone who has opened or clicked an email in the last 90 days. By segmenting our engaged and unengaged subscribers, we can make sure we only send content to those who are likely to read it, therefore improving our open and click through rate overall.
Klaviyo also has a feature which allows you to retarget your subscribers by creating an ad on Facebook. It has an integration built in or you can create a Custom Audience by uploading a CSV list of your subscribers. This could be a good starting place if you want to bridge the gap between Organic and Paid Marketing.
Facebook Ads allow you to reach new audiences or retarget engaged audiences through Facebook. You’re charged based on the action you’d like your ads to be optimised for and on a bidding basis when others are also targeting the same audience. They use a user based tracking system which means your ads can only target users of Facebook or Instagram. If someone has visited your website but doesn’t have a Facebook account you can’t target them.
At Blend we have services for Facebook Ad Creation and Management, so we’re going to talk you through the best practices we use for our clients.
When we first look at creating Facebook Ads for a client, we think about what they’d like to achieve. In this case, we knew our client wanted a way of retargeting website visitors in the hope of increasing sales. By giving us this key information, we were able to pick an objective that was right for them. In this example, we picked the Catalogue Sales objective as it’s proven to be very successful with E-commerce brands. This objective allowed us to optimise ad delivery for activity on the website such as Purchases. So next time you want to start a campaign, take a look and read through the different objectives in Ads Manager so you can make sure you’re picking the right one for you.
Although many of our clients already have a good amount of website traffic, we don’t know if this traffic comes from people who use Facebook. To ensure we have a good amount of website traffic that we know has been generated by Facebook users, we always created what we call an Acquisition Campaign. Our Acquisition Campaigns usually have a Brand Awareness or Traffic objective and are optimised for Landing Page Views. By running these campaigns not only are we reaching new users, we’re also ensuring we have a good quality audience for retargeting.
In September Facebook will be removing budgets from the Ad Set Level and only featuring them at the Campaign Level. Although it’s good practice to use this now, we also find this particularly helpful. With a Lifetime Budget, your money will be made to last over the duration you select. For example, if your ads end date was in 30 Days time, you wouldn’t run out of budget on day 1. This is a good way to ensure you don’t go over your allocated marketing budget. It also means that you don’t have to split your budget into daily amounts for individual ad sets which makes the creation process a lot easier.
What we also like about the Lifetime Budget is Facebook’s optimisation. When you first start a campaign, Facebook will evenly distribute your budget across all ads. But as it collects more data, it will start shifting your budget so ads that perform best will be given more budget to run. This means Facebook will automatically show you which ads are best and you can either change or stop ads that aren’t performing as well.
Audiences are also key for your Facebook Ads. We use Lookalike audiences to reach new people who could be similar to an audience we already have. For example ‘Lookalike (UK 1%) Website Visitors’ would give us an audience that is extremely similar to our actual Website Visitors. This is what makes Lookalike audiences great for Acquisition Campaigns.
But with all the different types of audiences you can have, how do you know what ads they like? We often see many of our clients only use one ad to target a whole audience, but what if there was another visual that worked better? This is why we recommend you test your ad formats, visuals and copy.
Start with a Video, Carousel and Single Image Ad to find the best performing ad format. You can then test different visuals for this format to see which one the audience likes best. For example, a good test here is a product on a white background vs a product being used or shown by a person.
Having multiple ads gives your audience more opportunity to click as it’s likely they’ll see something they want to engage with. Remember the data you see from your ads, outweighs any personal preference you or your client feels.
Google Ads also known as AdWords or Google AdWords is an advertising service for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising networks. The platform enables you to set a budget where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It uses a cookie based tracking system which means if someone has cookies enabled it can track what websites that person goes to and therefore show the ads on those websites.
Although we personally don’t currently use Google Ads for Blend, we know this is something many of you may be interested in so here are some tips you can use. All of your ads will lead to a landing page and it’s important that people who land on this page find the information relevant. For example, if you were advertising a clothing brand and a person showed interest in Female Clothing, an ad that goes to a landing page for Men’s Clothing wouldn’t be relevant and is unlikely to convert. Make sure your landing page is consistent with your content and audience.
Unless someone is already familiar with your brand, it’s unlikely they’re going to type in the exact description of one of your products. You need to ensure the keywords you select are not too exact or your products won’t be found by potential new customers. You also need to make sure there aren’t too generic otherwise it could cost you more per click due to the increased competition for the keyword. When you select your keywords it’s a tradeoff between impressions and relevancy, so pick the keyword match that best reflects your objectives.
The first month of your ads is a great time to learn first-hand what people are searching for and how this relates to your business. After 30 Days make sure you re-evaluate your keywords and change them to reflect this. If you were looking to create an ad campaign, you could start your first month by using Broad keyword matches to gain impressions and in your second month regain control by using Phrase or Exact Match words to retarget those who were engaged.
Our last tip and one that is relevant for all types of marketing is consistency. If your content has the same logos, the same colours, the same voice and the same message, your audiences will begin to recognise your business. Having consistent and relevant content will show any new or prospective audiences that your business is professional and trustworthy as all points of contact with you will have elements they’ll remember and therefore begin to trust.
Here at Blend, we provide both Facebook Ad and Email Marketing services to help you get the most out of your marketing. We also have a number of great agencies we can recommend for the other marketing methods mentioned in this blog. If you have any questions or would like any more information, you can contact us here.
We’re still continuing to see new updates to the Facebook Ads Manager interface this month, but Facebook has slowed down this month focusing more on updates to come and further streamlining their new interface. Here are the main updates we’ve seen in October.
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In this blog, our partners at SMSBump provide an insight into how SMS marketing can be used to boost sales on your Shopify store. In a recent episode of Shopify Across the Pond, founder of SMSBump, Mike Stoychev, discussed the power of SMS marketing for Shopify store owners. This blog provides a more detailed look at the points covered in the podcast episode.