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Marketing Guide For Shopify

Marketing Guide For Shopify

Marketing is one of the most crucial operation for a Shopify store. There are lot’s of tactics to grow quickly and none of them not working. Well, if you looking for a way to create solid marketing plan, then this guide is for you. In this guide you’ll learn

  • Definition of Marketing
  • Market Research, Competitor Analysis and Defining Your Target Market
  • Brand Identity and How to Create Your Branding
  • Go-to-Market Strategy and Defining Your Marketing Strategy
  • Inbound and Outbound Marketing Channels
  • Marketing Plan Template
  • FAQs

Definition of Marketing

American Marketing Association defines marketing as activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. Source

What do you see here?

  1. Marketing is not about activities, it contains activities, set of institutions and process.
  2. Function of marketing is not generating sales. It’s creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that has value.
  3. In this post we’ll focus on Shopify stores marketing. However in the big picture marketing has not limited with companies. Marketing can be done within organization or society.

Let’s summarize what marketing definition for a Shopify store. Marketing will create, communicate, deliver and exchange offers that have value for customers. As you can see main subject in here is customers. Because of this, I’ll put customers as the center of this guide. Everything we’ll do has to something with them.

Market Research, Competitor Analysis and Defining Your Target Market

This is a practical guide for marketing so I want to continue with a hypothetical Shopify stores for each steps.

Let’s say we have a Shopify store that has some high-end, organic baby clothes targeting new parents.

Market Research

How can we do the market research?

Let’s say you have a new Shopify store that has less than 500 order per month. You can hire expensive agencies, expensive experts to research the market, create market reports for you, etc. Even if you do that, I highly suspicious if it helps you.

However you can talk with your new-parent friends. Ask them about how do they decide to buy baby clothes? What they are looking for before completing their purchases? Do they get any expert opinion before making buying decision? How do they search online and what they want to see? Is there any great YouTube channels about this.

Don’t have any friends? Checkout your friends not a new-parents but parents and ask similar questions to them. If you also don’t have them, try to make new born friends. I know how hard it is but let’s be honest here. If you don’t know anybody in your target audience, how do you manage to get know them? All of the successful stores I saw they have direct relationship with their target audience.

When you make your research with real people, then you can extend your project to online. Try to search as they do. What do you find? Deep in dive and take your notes.

Competitor Analysis

When you done this market research, you’ll also see there are some other brands. This is a huge subject but let’s call these brands as competitor for now.

Now it’s time to analyze them.

  1. Checkout their branding strategy.
  2. What are their value propositions?
  3. What is hot about them? Return guarantee, free shipping etc.
  4. What is not hot about them? Poor product or store design, low UX on the website, etc.
  5. What people think about them? Google reviews, Trust pilot reviews, product reviews on the store.
  6. Are there any partnership or influencer program they’re running?
  7. What is their Google/YouTube campaign strategy? Check it here.
  8. What is their Facebook/Instagram campaign strategy? Check it here.

Create a spreadsheet with all of this information. We’ll use this when working on positioning and marketing strategy.

Define Your Target Market

What do you say about our target market? Can all of new parents be our target market?

Nope, it can’t. You need to deep dive into your market and find a sub-segment, a niche that will need your products much better than anybody else and afford it easily.

This is what I called ideal customer profile (ICP). Check out what is ideal customer profile and how to create your ideal customer profile posts to learn more about the concept.

For our hypothetical store, ICP can be something like this;

Demographics

  • Age: 25-45 years old
  • Gender: Primarily women, but also some men
  • Education: College degree or higher
  • Income: $75,000+ per household
  • Location: Urban areas
  • Occupation: Professionals, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home parents

Psychographics

  • Values: Health, wellness, sustainability, social responsibility
  • Lifestyle: Active, eco-conscious, family-oriented
  • Interests: Organic food, natural products, children’s activities
  • Media consumption: Social media, parenting blogs, magazines
  • Shopping habits: Researches purchases thoroughly, values quality over price

Pain Points

  • Concerns about harmful chemicals in baby clothes
  • Difficulty finding stylish and affordable organic baby clothes
  • Wants to make sustainable choices for their children

Needs

  • High-quality, organic baby clothes that are safe and healthy for their children
  • Unique and stylish designs that make their children look and feel good
  • A brand that shares their values and commitment to sustainability

Buying Behaviors

  • Researches products online before making a purchase
  • Reads reviews and testimonials from other parents
  • Shops at specialty stores and online retailers
  • Willing to pay a premium for quality and sustainability

After creating ICP, it’s important to spend some time on empathy map. Don’t forget to check it, too.

Now we know our baby clothes Shopify store market, customer’s buying process and our ideal customer profile.

Brand Identity and How to Create Your Branding

I’ll follow the American Marketing Association (AMA) in here too.

First look at brand definition. AMA defines brand as “any distinctive feature like a name, term, design, or symbol that identifies goods or services”.

Branding is for creating and managing your brand’s identity. It involves your mission, values, culture and public image.

I’m not an expert on brand, but I know how branding can be effective for your conversions and performance. Here are some checklist for you.

  1. Design consistency is the key. Your visual identity should be consistent across social media, Shopify store, emails, product detail pages, etc.
  2. Copy consistency is the key. Your communication style should be consistent across social media, Shopify store, emails, product detail pages, etc.
  3. Experience consistency is the key. Let’s say your brand looks like a high-end brand and when a new visitor visit your store first they see is an annoying popup saying want to get 10% OFF. This is simply how to destroy your brand.
  4. Craft a story and stick to it. What makes you create this brand? Faces behind the brand. This is a huge leverage for creating trust and building bonds.

Go-to-Market Strategy and Defining Your Marketing Strategy

So far we identified our target market and ideal customer profile. Check out competitors and creates the branding for our store.

Now it’s time to work on go-to-market strategy and crafting our marketing strategy.

Go-to-Market Strategy

Let’s say you recently launched your Shopify store or add a new line of products.

You need a plan to introduce your store or new products to the market. This is what we called go-to-market(GTM) strategy.

Main goal of the GTM is letting people know that there is a new brand or product line. It’s similar to launch marketing. Key message here is there is a new products/brand launched and it offer the best for you. Give it a try, you’ll love it.

All of your messages and communication should be parallel to this process.

Our focus is convincing people to try our products/brand. So I always offer a special campaign just for the launch to give people to a reason to try your products/brand.

For our hypothetical Shopify store we can run a special campaign for launch like;

  • Free shipping until X date.
  • 5 different boy and girl bundle with 40% OFF to try our products.

Marketing Strategy

This is your plan of actions to sell or advertise your products. Now we can talk about selling part of the marketing.

Let’s say you have GREAT advertising creatives and a huge budget and just spending it. Don’t wait to crack the code and having lot’s of sales.

Your marketing strategy should be follow sales funnel. If you don’t have a high-converting sales funnel, you can’t expect people to buy from you. Check out How to Build High Converting Sales Funnel For Shopify post.

AIDA Sales Funnel Framework
AIDA Sales Funnel Framework

Now we can continue with our hypothetical store example. We’re selling high-end, organic baby clothes on our store. We crafted our ICP, empathy map, work on branding and created our story.

Example Marketing Strategy

First step we’ll work on attention step. Our focus is getting attention of our target market attention.

We can create a educative e-book like “7 Harmful Chemicals Commonly Used in Baby Clothes and How to Avoid Them” and run some campaigns targeted new parents on social network (Facebook, Instagram or YouTube)

This ads will land on a landing page that gives brief information about why we should pay attention to chemicals in baby clothes for our little ones and make a promise like “I spend my last 5 years about researching chemicals on baby clothes and prepare this book for you and your little one”. Also there can be a quick video about our story explaining our expertise in this field and why we’re building this brand.

We can ask for their email address to share the book with them. When they enter their email address, we’ll send them this ebook.

After first email with the ebook, we can send a few more emails with easy to digest information about chemicals.

This will create an expertise image on our target customers and start to create a bond with them. Not a bad start, right?

At the same time we can use this content on our social media, right? Quick videos, infographics and posts about the chemicals in the baby clothes.

After getting a few thousands subscribers we can organize a webinar to answer questions. This will also a great content for re-used social media content and creating trust and expert image.

Then we can share a time-limited promotion with this people for a bundle. Like we’re running a campaign and these 5 chemical free baby clothes bundles 10% discounted until next week!

We can send emails about it and use this campaign for remarketing for only people who show interest in our e-book and webinar.

This is a very brief template of marketing plan.

Now let’s take a look at more common one.

  • Post product photos on social media with lot’s of hashtags
  • Run a Meta campaign without any targeting, land people on product detail page
  • Give them WELCOME10 discount if they enter their email address
  • Send them 15 emails in the next 5 days to maximize your sales.

It’s time for you. Which one do you want to choose? All of the experts recommending this without even asking who are your customers. Can you believe it?

Don’t forget that marketing strategy is not a hope. It’s a well documented plan of actions designed for turning strangers into customers.

Inbound and Outbound Marketing Channels

Inside the marketing strategy, channels plays a vital role. There are lot’s of ways to group channels. I’ll use most basic one.

Inbound Marketing Channels: With the inbound marketing your customers will find you and start the interaction. Most common channel for inbound marketing is organic search engine optimization.

After creating high quality content, when customers search something online, they can see your articles and first interaction happens.

Outbound Marketing Channels: With the outbound marketing you reach out to customers. Facebook/Instagram/YouTube ads, influencer marketing, display ads, podcast ads can be count in this category.

As you can imagine inbound marketing channels takes lot’s of efforts and time however over the time you’ll have organic marketing channel and it brings you customer without needing any budget.

Outbound marketing channels generally works with advertisement models and you need budgets to run these channels.

Most of time I recommend to start with outbound marketing channels and then invest inbound marketing channels overtime. Don’t forget to check Mastering Paid Ads For Shopify post.

Succesful marketing plans should be supported by high converting growth and conversion plans. Don’t forget to check Growth Guide For Shopify and Conversion Optimization Guide For Shopify too.


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