Whether you have created your own products or are reselling, there are some tried and true methods to help you promote them online and get those sales moving.
Let’s take a closer look at 9 of them:
1) Email Marketing
Email might seem a little dated as a marketing method, but research suggests it’s still effective. Once somebody provides you with their address, you have a direct line to promote your products. They might not purchase something today or even next week, but you never know when they’ll bite.
To be good at email marketing you have to find a balance that keeps subscribers informed but without annoying them. It provides a great opportunity to promote special offers and deals, and if you personalize emails based on certain criteria (perhaps they already showed interest in x product), your chances of making a sale will increase.
2) Affiliate Programs
If implemented correctly affiliate programs allow you to offload some of your marketing efforts on to others. The basic model requires you to partner with individuals or other companies (affiliates) who will promote your inventory. If they generate a sale, they get a cut of the profits.
Existing affiliate networks and solutions mean you don’t need to know too much about the technical aspects of how this works, but in most cases, you will need to supply some basic assets (banner ads, sales copy etc) to help your affiliates get started.
3) Social Media Marketing
If you’re not promoting your products on social media then you’re at a significant disadvantage. Everyone is on these networks, so to reach even the most niche audience, you need to be too.
Of course, if every post you make is simply encouraging people to buy something, then you’re not going to have much success. Social media is about engaging with your audience and building a presence within your industry.
This involves sharing and editorializing relevant content. Your followers will then grow to trust and appreciate your brand, with sales growth as a result.
4) eBay and Amazon
While you should always have your own website if you’re selling products online, using existing channels can also help you grow your brand. There’s no reason why you can’t list your products on eBay and Amazon, where there’s a base level of trust with consumers.
Once you’ve made some sales you can encourage those customers to engage with you through your own site and social channels.
Influencers are bloggers and social media users that are within your industry/niche or otherwise represent your target audience. The idea is to partner with them so they can endorse your products and drive sales. This might involve a traditional paid endorsement or the offering of products for free in exchange for an honest review. Think Selena Gomez drinking a coke on Instagram, but on a smaller scale.
6) Paid Ads
Although the web has opened up many creative ways (many often free) to promote your products, good old-fashioned paid advertising still has its place.
Paid ads on social media (Facebook and Twitter) are currently the most effective because they allow you to target a very specific audience and the cost is affordable.
If you don’t have an advertising budget upfront, you might consider getting a $500 loan online to get the ball rolling. The sales generated should soon cover it.
7) Blogging and Content
If you have a website to sell your products, adding a blog or a section for articles and other content is a great way to generate organic traffic from the search engines. This content should be relevant to your products and informative. Imagine what your potential customers would want to know and give it to them.
Sharing this content on social media is also a great way to drive traffic, with a percentage of it turning in to sales.
Video content is becoming more popular every year and should definitely form part of your marketing efforts. From product tutorials to traditional commercials, there are many creative ways to connect with your audience and promote your products in video form.
Advertising on a podcast that is relevant to your industry/niche is one way to reach your audience, but starting your own podcast is another. The viability of this may depend on the kind of products you’re selling, but if you think more broadly, there shouldn’t be any product that is too obscure.
For example, if your product falls within tech, a tech podcast itself could work a vehicle to promote it. Not every episode has to focus on that particular type of product.
The internet is always evolving and new methods to promote products are always emerging. But, with a little common sense and creativity, you can always stay ahead of the curve.