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When you plan to start a business or an online store, you need proper planning and implant marketing strategies as a profitable marketing initiative that requires careful planning. Think of marketing as an opportunity to enlighten your audience on how to achieve their goals, and improve their lives through your business. Here are 6 steps to achieving Successful Marketing.

Step 1: You Have to Spend Money to Make Money

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As people always look for a way to cut costs, though understandable as cash is the life force of all businesses. That being said, it is one thing to be frugal and manage your budget wisely, but completely another to be a cheapskate and refuse to spend money even when it makes sense. While people often think they are saving money, in actuality they are being stingy and penny-pinching, and it is hurting businesses. A key point that helps is to always know your metrics. Selling online without knowing your metrics is like driving with your eyes closed. No business can survive if you are unaware of how your business is doing and compare progress over time. As a new online store owner, there are a few numbers you should keep an eye on to grow your business such as traffic, conversion rate, average order value (AOV) and so on. “These key metrics help in understanding every step a customer takes on their way to a sale” says Shannon Gallagher, Product Manager for Merchant Analytics.

Step 2: You Must Use Conversion Tags

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It is similar to hiring private detectives to track your customers’ data. Conversion tracking is when a business monitors the actions users take. These actions can range from signing up for a newsletter, adding an item to a cart or downloading a content offer. Conversion tracking shows you what percentage of your customers that end up taking a certain action, or set of actions, on your website pages. By tracking those actions, known as conversions, you will know how effective your pages are in driving customers to your funnel. Although it might seem unprofitable measuring something as simple as click-through rates from a Google ad to a landing page in increasing sales short term, with conversion tracking, you are able to figure out where traffic is heading and where to focus on. Granted tracking conversion will not increase sales overnight, it can maneuver businesses to making smart marketing decisions. Through analyzing data, you can identify which keywords and search queries generated the conversions, which will increase sales over time.

Step 3: Know Your Audience

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Learn to identify your customers’ needs, and convince them that your store can satisfy that need better than everyone else. Your product should solve your customer’s problems. To sell your products, you need to address your target audience effectively. How consumers choose and compare products in your category, you know how to structure and prioritize content on your site. It’s about how relevant your product is. If what you are offering and how it’s presented matches their headspace, you have gained a customer. If you list your audience as “everybody” you further complicate things for your business as no customer identifies as “everybody”. To succeed, ecommerce businesses must be able to distinguish the gap in the market for a specific niche and use it as an opportunity to market your store as the pioneers in catering to these niche products or services.

Step 4: Copywriting – Split Test Angles

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By comparing several versions of your web pages, such as your homepages or landing pages, a split test helps you identify which one has a better conversion rate for your site visitors. To put it simply is the comparison of two variations of a single web page, design, ad, or any other marketing media to determine which version converts more successfully. When the split test is set in motion, your sites’ pages’ traffic is randomly spread over the different versions of your pages. Each page’s performance is tracked and then analyzed to determine the version that converted the best, with the highest relevance. It may be tedious, but the only way to truly know whether your business is performing at peak efficiency is to test constantly and with multiple iterations.

Step 5: Engaging Creatives

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Try to use engaging creatives such as images, videos, and gifs. Visual content is effective because of the way our brains work. Our brains can process visual information 60,000 times faster than it takes to decode text. It takes one-tenth of a second for our brain to process visual prompts. Leaving you with a very short window to capture their interest. Use stunning graphics to tell amazing stories. Consumers often are unaware of exactly what they want and are always looking for ideas and inspirations. A smart marketer will give them plenty of creative fuel and position themselves as a business that says, “We’re here to help!” To further engage your audience, you could always test multiple creatives. From content distribution to engaging visuals, there are many ways to change up the creative to best suit your business.

Step 6: Always. Be. Testing

Testing is an ongoing, iterative process that makes the product perform better for the users, and allows the users to receive the best experience possible with the product. According to W. Edwards Deming, “You create the system your visitor must navigate. People don’t cause defects, systems do.” Systems can be tested, measured, and optimized. You need to be mindful of the assumptions manifested when creating your site and whether it meets the needs and expectations of your audience. More notably, you must understand how to optimize your system so you can advertise your business more effectively. When saying “testing, measuring, and optimizing,” learn to compare elements on your website to observe the best variation that efficiently persuades people to take the ‘call to action’ you want them to take.

It is an ongoing process not unlike a traditional business, it has to work in the long run. Although marketing may sound pretty “huge” and overwhelming, don’t be intimidated. It is highly possible and can be done by small or big online store owners. You don’t have to be a marketing guru or an expert to succeed in marketing your business. You just have to be committed to your work and be consistent throughout. Consistent mediocre marketing with commitment is a whole lot better and produces more results than brilliant and extravagant marketing done inconsistently without commitment. “Success isn’t about greatness, It’s about consistency.”