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Ecommerce is big business right now, and nowhere is the digital marketplace busier than Shopify, the web’s leading ecommerce selling platform. If you’re new to the Shopify game, getting started can be a bit intimidating — with so many other brands competing for consumers’ attention, trust, and dollars, how is a new brand supposed to stand out from the crowd and start building an audience? The answer: a strategic Shopify marketing plan.
Though there’s a lot to consider when designing an effective Shopify marketing strategy, getting started with Shopify itself is easy. With hundreds of plugins and add-ons at your disposal, Shopify is known for its simple setup process and overall ease of use. Those tools make it easy to build a store that reflects your brand’s identity while providing an intuitive customer experience.
The trick is getting the customers to your store in the first place. Let’s run through the basic steps for creating a solid marketing plan for your Shopify store.
For a complete checklist on making sure your Shopify store is a success:
It may seem self-evident, but every brand needs a strong identity that distinguishes it from competitors. There’s no shortage of options in the world of ecommerce, and your brand needs a clear voice and distinct messaging that reflects its values and demonstrates why it’s worthy of a customer’s trust.
First, start by describing your brand — what it does, what value it provides, and what makes it unique. For example, let’s consider a handcrafted furniture brand that’s just getting started on Shopify. We’ve already answered the first question: the company makes furniture. But that’s not enough. There are thousands of furniture builders online, from IKEA to small sellers on sites like Etsy. What is it about this brand that should make customers want to buy from it? What are the brand’s values, and why do they matter to the customer?
The answers to these questions can transform a company from “a brand that sells furniture” to “artisans who hand-build each piece of premium furniture from reclaimed materials, offering products that are beautiful, sustainable, and last a lifetime.”
Now, you’ve captured the customer’s interest.
No matter how broad your product or service’s appeal, it’s crucial to research your target consumers and understand what motivates their buying decisions. Ultimately, a marketing strategy aims to create a positive shopping experience throughout your brand’s ecosystem —every place your brand operates and connects with consumers. You can’t do that without knowing your customers.
At a minimum, you should be able to develop 2-3 personas for your ideal customers, defined by factors like:
As you begin marketing your Shopify store, you’ll create campaigns directed at each of these audience groups. The characteristics of each group should define the creative elements and strategies.
For more information on leveraging the Shopify community:
Again, this means digging deeper and being more specific than “get more sales.” At this point, you should be thinking in terms of revenue but also engagement and website behavior. Define some concrete goals in these categories to start:
Once you have a strong understanding of your brand, your customers, and your goals, you’re ready to start selecting marketing channels. Every brand tailors its spending and attention to various channels according to their product and customers’ preferred communication methods. Most ecommerce brands on Shopify use some combination of these primary channels:
For Shopify resources to help inspire your marketing strategy:
Once you’ve laid out your marketing channels, created content, and set your campaigns in motion, it’s time to start reviewing the results. Shopify’s built-in data tools will help you manage data that comes in through any third-party apps or plugins you use, which can complement what you learn through Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, or any other source. Review campaigns at every level for success. Did the ads generate clicks and engagements? What types of content performed best on each channel? Which channels performed best? From here, you can begin developing long-term metrics such as customer lifetime value (CLV), customer acquisition cost (CAC), and other figures that will help you gauge the overall effectiveness of your Shopify marketing plan.
With a good grip on your data, you can start testing new tactics for each channel to refine your campaigns. Try different combinations of headlines, copy, CTAs, imagery, and video. You can also alter your email cadence and send days and times. There are many options for Shopify marketing, and everything you learn will help improve your overall strategy down the road.
Thanks to its ease of use and robust third-party integrations, building a Shopify brand is a simple way to launch an ecommerce business. Paired with the right marketing plan, your brand should have everything it needs to thrive in a competitive arena, no matter your niche.
Last updated on August 16th, 2022.