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Plans, Promotions and Profits

Plans, Promotions and Profits

Your eCommerce site is set up, but it is not going to do you much good if you don’t have any customers. So, in this report we’re going to focus on the next important piece of running a successful store: traffic generation.


Now, you probably have some sense of how to market your store. I mean you’ve probably read several posts or reports on the topics, watched a few videos, maybe even attended a few webinars. And in just a few minutes, we’re going to share with you some of our favorite ways to generate traffic to your store.


But hold up…


Taking the shotgun approach to traffic generation is just going to be a waste of time, money and your advertising arsenal. So, before you start driving traffic, it’s worth taking the time to create a marketing plan for your business.


Fortunately, you don’t have to pull this plan out of thin air. Instead, all you have to do is answer the following questions. In some cases, you’ll need to do a little marketing research in order to get good answers, but it’s well worth your time.


That’s because you’re going to get a better understanding of both your target market and your competitors.

Answer These Questions to Develop Your Ad Strategy:


Who is your target market?


The first thing you need to do is get a very clear understanding of who is going to buy your products. This includes understanding the basic market demographics, as that will help you determine the best way to reach them. You’ll also want to understand more about their thinking and behavior, as that will help you create ads that really resonate with them.


Here are questions you’ll want to answer about your target market:


·         How old is your target market?

·         What gender?

·         Where do they live?

·         What is their yearly income?

·         What language do they speak?

·         What is their education level?

·         What sort of jobs or careers do they have?

·         What is their marital status?

·         Do they have children?

·         How much money do they spend every year on products in your niche?

·         What are their problems?

·         What issues do they have with similar products in your niche?

·         What motivates your target market?

·         Does your market use any sort of niche-related jargon?

·         Does your market buy products like yours online?


… And anything else you can think of to help you better understand your target market.


TIP: Search Google for your audience demographics, such as “dog owner demographics.” You’ll find reputable sources, such as government sites and marketing research firms who release this data.


TIP: Spend time talking to your marketing on forums, in social media groups and via blog discussions to get a better feel for what they want. You’ll also want to survey them to learn more about their demographics and motivation.


How do you intend to reach your target market?


In order to answer this, you need to know where your target market congregates, or what sort of activities they participate in that allows you to get an ad in front of them.


Here are some possibilities:


·         Paid advertising

·         Social media

·         Search engine optimization

·         Email marketing

·         Affiliate program/JVs (joint ventures)


Those are some of the key traffic generation activities, which you’ll learn about later in the guide. Other activities include things like blogging, guest blogging, video marketing, viral marketing, contests, free publicity (press releases), offline advertising and similar.


Your job now is to look at what you know about your target market, and determine the BEST ways to reach your market. Go ahead and list as many ways as you can think of, and then rank this list in order of the most effective to least effective ways to reach your target market.


What is your advertising budget?


Naturally, this is going to have a big impact on the type of paid advertising you do. You can create a strategy to reinvest your profits, so that your paid advertising efforts grow naturally over time.


What are your target goals?


Here we’re looking at what your income, sales and traffic goals are.


In order to determine this, you may need to work backwards.


Start by determining your income goals.


Figure out how many sales on the frontend and backend you need to achieve in order to meet these income goals. (Which means you need to set a goal for number of customers, and then set a goal for repeat sales for these customers.)


Estimate your conversion rate. (Don’t overestimate – depending on the quality of your traffic and your offer, you may only convert 1% or less… at least until you polish your ads, find venues of highly targeted traffic, and engage a two-step marketing process.)


Estimate how much traffic you’ll need in order to achieve your traffic and sales goals.


Go ahead and jiggle these numbers a bit to create different scenarios. As you begin to collect actual data once traffic comes in, then you can adjust your estimates to better reflect reality.


Who are your biggest competitors?


These are the people who are selling the exact same products as you (such as other drop shippers in your niche), or those who are selling very similar products to you. You’ll want to do research to gather as much information as you can about your competitors. This includes answers to the following questions…


What makes you different and better than these competitors?

As you start advertising in your niche, your prospects are going to wonder why they should buy from you instead of your competitors. You need to develop a brand and an USP (unique selling proposition) that answers this question.


For example, ever notice that you tend to gravitate towards certain brands when you go to the grocery store, even when similar brands would work just as well (and sometimes even at a reduced cost)?


That’s the power of a good brand, which is why you’ll want to spend some time developing your own brand.


Your USP might center around factors such as:


·         Exceptional customer service.

·         Strong guarantee.

·         Good prices.

·         Bonus offers.

·         Unique products not offered anywhere else.

·         Products that are made in an unusual way.

·         Products that are “first” in some category.


In order to determine a good USP, you’ll need to do two things:


1.    Figure out what USPs your competitors are using, because of course you want to position your business in a unique way in the marketplace.


2.    Figure out what is important to your prospects. It does you no good to develop a USP (or overall brand) if your prospects and customers don’t give a flying fig about it.  Your market research will help you determine what is important to your customers.


Once you develop your USP and overall brand, then you can start incorporating it into your advertising campaigns.


What are your strengths and weaknesses?


Simply put, what weaknesses may hamper your marketing and overall business efforts? And what strengths do you possess that are a boon to growing your business?


You’ll want to spend some time thinking about this, as knowing your weaknesses in particular will be helpful, as you can make a Plan B to overcome these weaknesses.


For example, if you couldn’t write a high-converting advertisement to save your life, then Plan B would be to outsource this to a professional.


How are your competitors reaching the target market?


Simply put, study what your competitors are doing. Sign up for their mailing lists, follow them on social media, search for them online to find out how and where they’re advertising. Figure out what’s working for them, and then see if you can adapt some of these idea into your overall marketing strategy.


So, What’s the Plan, Stan?


If you’ve answered all the above questions thoughtfully and accurately (using research rather than just your gut), then you should have a pretty clear idea of who your market is and how to reach them. So now you need to create a marketing plan based on this data.


NOTE: Don’t spread yourself too thin, or you won’t get results. Rank your advertising methods in order of most effective to least effective. Then start with your most effective method, create a plan for execution, take action on that plan, and then analyze your results.  Once your first method is up and running, then start working on the next advertising method on your list.


In other words, spend a few days or weeks focusing on just one method at a time. Get that ad method up and running before adding another method into the mix. This strategy will help you get better results.

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