If you're running an online retail business, you'll have built level of resilience you probably didn't know possible because you'll have dealt with more changes in the last two years than some businesses do in a lifetime!
And the changes aren't set to stop anytime soon.
With the sky rocketing cost of materials, increasing energy costs, all-time high freight costs and declining reach and returns on digital marketing, the future may seem bleak, but it's possible to turn obstacles into opportunities and the way you're marketing your business plays a key part in that.
“If You Always Do What You've Always Done, You'll Always Get What You've Always Got" ~ Henry Ford, and whilst there are many factors you're not in control of forcing your hand with things you can't do, let's take a look at what you are in control of this year...
Your 2022 Social Media Marketing Plan Of Action
It's tough out there, but people still want to buy. To make sure they're buying from you [and not your competitors], focus on how you can do things differently and how you can diversify.
Differentiator: Be a brand that has a position
Research has shown that people want to buy from brands who stand for something. Who have a story to tell. And whose story aligns with theirs. The key to getting people to buy into that is to weave your brands values into your marketing and messaging, consistently and repetitively.
Be proud to talk about why you do things the way you do. Be proud to shout about what makes your products different. And be proud to share the journey that's got you to where you are today.
Those topics create emotion and making your audience feel goes a long way towards making them want to buy from you.
British brands like Mutha Hood, Scamp and Dude and Finesterre do this brilliantly.
Differentiate And Diversify: Connect, don't just collect
It's really easy to chase new followers and customers and totally neglect the ones you already have. But following on from point one, customers are more likely to buy from a brand that shares their beliefs and values. That makes retaining that custom and nurturing those people loyal to you over a lifetime really valuable.
This is where an email list becomes a powerful marketing channel alongside your social media activity. It's easier to drive repeat sales via an email list to people who've signed up with you and previously bought from you than it is to sell to a cold audience through Instagram, for example.
Make your existing customers feels special. Offer VIP previews, invite them to Instagram or Facebook lives, give exclusive first access to new product launches, or discount events. Over time, you'll build a community who are loyal to your brand, keep in touch with you in multiple places and who keep recommending you and coming back to buy from you.
Diversify: Expand your marketing mix
A lot of eCommerce brands have an huge emotional attachment to Instagram and yet organic content has been on the go-slow for a long time now. Add iOS updates and even paid advertising has a whole heap of challenges. So it's time to kick off your comfy insta-slippers and look at diversifying your visibility across other channels.
I've managed the social media accounts for a small but beautiful eCommerce kidswear brand recently. Instagram is primary, so attention if focussed there, but I also create, and schedule populate, light-touch content for other platforms, too.
For the last 3 months, the average number of views (reach) on Instagram is around 21,000. And that's running organic and paid activity. On Pinterest, the average monthly views are 24,000 with organic alone!
Think of the potential impact that kind of visibility and web click opportunity could have to your business?
To wrap up...
Change isn't easy, but it's essential if you want to future-proof your business.
Rather than see differentiating and diversifying your marketing activity as an obstacle, approach it as an opportunity geared towards growing your revenue.
Carrie Emmerson is the Founding Director at Social Media TLC - helping eCommerce brands grow their revenue and visibility. There are two ways I can help you; in partnership with you on a bespoke basis OR you can learn from me at Content Club to do-it-yourself.