How to Market a Product Online

Using the internet to market a product line can do wonders for businesses. Regardless of how amazing a product line is, its intended audience will never get to see it if it isn’t marketed effectively.

Updated May 1, 2020

Without the right marketing strategies in place, even the best of products lines are bound to be ignored.

That’s how crucial marketing is. Done right, it can skyrocket your online sales. Done wrong, you’ll be ignored by your customers and prospects, making it almost impossible for you to promote your products or sell online.

To succeed in marketing your product line, you need careful planning and implementation. You can’t just “wing it”. Otherwise, you will lose to competitors who perform due diligence on their e-commerce marketing campaigns.

To help you stay on top of your online marketing game, we will cover five crucial steps you can follow so you can market your product line more effectively.

5 steps to promote a new or existing product:

  • Define your target customers.
  • Study your competitors.
  • Create a compelling product story.
  • Select your marketing strategies, channels, and tools.
  • Plan and implement your marketing campaigns.

How to market your product online in 5 steps

To get meaningful results out of your marketing campaigns, follow these steps.

Step 1: Build your buyer persona

A buyer persona is a fictional and research-based profile of your ideal customers. It describes the demographics of the audience you’re targeting when you promote and sell things online.

These are some points to include in your buyer persona:

  • Fictional name
  • Job role
  • Average annual income
  • Pain points
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Device they use to go online

You can use Canva to create your buyer persona. Just pick a resume from their wide array of ready-to-use templates, and replace the placeholder text with your buyer persona’s details.

Canva’s user interface

This is Canva’s interface to edit templates.

Once you develop your buyer persona, you can position your product line and marketing materials to target and communicate with your audience.

Tips for defining your target customer

  • Be specific: Ask questions to develop your buyer persona. The more detailed your buyer persona is, the more effective it becomes.
  • Distribute your buyer persona to your team: When your team creates their marketing materials, they always need to ask the question, “Does this resonate with our buyer persona?”

If the answer is yes, they’re on the right track with the marketing materials they’re creating. If the answer is no, they should stop and rethink their strategy. Otherwise, it will just be a waste of their time.

The buyer persona is crucial and valuable and everyone in your team must have a copy.

Step 2: Study your competitors

Studying your competitors will help you get a better understanding of which marketing methods will work and which ones won’t.

For example, if you see that nine out of ten competitors use YouTube marketing and are getting great audience engagement and traffic out of it, then you can deduce there is opportunity to be had there.

You don’t always need to copy your competitors, but the more you know what’s working, the better informed decisions you will make. To know who your competitors are and how to find them, you can use a tool such as Similarweb.com.

Enter your website in Similarweb’s search box, scroll to the bottom where it says Competitors and Similar Sites, and voila, you are presented with a list of your competitors and their websites.

To show you how this works, I typed in Amazon.com as an example. Similarweb came up with these competitors.

Screenshot of Similarweb's home page

You can uncover your competitors through Similarweb.

It also shows you several crucial insights about your competitors that you can note when doing your competitor research.

For example, Similarweb can show which social media platforms are bringing the most traffic to your competitor’s website.

Competitors social media traffic on Similarweb

Similarweb can show your competitors’ social media traffic sources.

By using tools such as Similarweb, you can uncover more information about your competitors, allowing you to have a better idea of which marketing methods might work best for your products.

Tips for studying your competitors

  • Discover what their customers are saying: What do their customers love and hate about their product? Consider these when forming your product marketing strategies later. You can find details on their product reviews or their social media profiles.
  • Subscribe to their newsletters: When you join your competitors’ email lists, you will receive constant emails about what they’re offering and the information and brand positioning they’re using. These can be invaluable to assess how your marketing campaigns stack against theirs.

Step 3: Create a compelling product story.

To market your product line successfully, create a compelling and consistent product story.

Remember your story should emphasize how your customers can benefit from your products. It should answer the questions: “What’s in it for me (customer)?” or “How will it solve my problems?”

By doing so, your marketing materials become even more relatable to your audience, making it easier to convince old and new customers to buy from you. This will help increase your customer lifetime value (CLV).

Tips for creating a compelling product story

  • Answer the question, “So what?”: Doing this helps you uncover the benefits behind the features and you can connect with your customers emotionally.
  • Use power words: Power words further bolster your sales and marketing copy’s ability to influence your audience. These are words that paint a vivid mental picture, e.g., devastated, frustrating, catastrophic, stunning, amazing, etc.

Step 4: Select your marketing strategies, channels, and tools

You can get overwhelmed with the methodologies, tools, and platforms available to use when marketing your product line. You’d be better off choosing from a select few and focus your efforts and resources on them, rather than going all over the place exerting half-baked attempts.

Whether you jump into paid or organic advertising tactics, e-commerce email marketing, or email marketing, be diligent tracking the results of your chosen marketing strategy.

Tips for selecting your marketing channels, tools, and strategies

  • Never lose sight of your buyer persona: Be where your customers are. Consider their hobbies and what makes them tick. Incorporate these into your chosen marketing strategies and channels.
  • Push for creativity: To catch your audience’s attention, you need to be creative. Unleash your creativity and create something that’s value-packed, original, and unique.

Step 5: Plan and implement your marketing campaigns.

To plan your marketing campaigns, identify your short-term and long-term strategies based on your business goals, price trends over your product life cycle, etc.

For short-term campaigns, you can stage an online event for your product launch, use paid advertising, or work with micro-influencers.

But marketing campaigns with long-term impacts such as SEO and content marketing need more consistency, prioritization, and close monitoring since they can help you succeed eventually.

Tips for planning your marketing campaigns

  • Define your goals: Make your goals realistic, timebound, measurable, and achievable by integrating e-commerce KPIs into your marketing campaigns.
  • Set your budget: A rule of thumb in budgeting marketing campaigns is allocating three to five percent of your actual or expected yearly marketing turnover. Include these points in your budget: site building and maintenance, advertising, branding design, SEO strategy, and others. As you run your marketing campaigns, be mindful of your cost per acquisition and conversion rates, among other metrics, so you can continuously adjust and optimize your strategies.

The best e-commerce software for selling online

You’ll be hard-pressed to sell and market your product online if you don’t have a robust e-commerce platform.

A reliable and feature-packed e-commerce site, will you not only facilitate your online sales effectively, but will let you receive payments, issue refunds, get feedback, and increase your conversion rates easily.

As you search for the right platform, remember most e-commerce platforms offer a free online store for you to build on. Use it to explore the platform’s features and see if it works for you. If you like the platform and it suits your business, you can subscribe for a paid account and continue using it.

Here are some of the best e-commerce platforms to advertise and market your product online:

1. Shopify

Whether you’re starting your online store or scaling it, Shopify has abundant e-commerce functionality to help you sell your product line or run an online business.

It offers mobile-responsive site design themes and layouts. This is key because mobile responsiveness is a major Google site-ranking measurement. Shopify could help ease your product management, app integrations, and tons more.

Shopify’s user-friendly interface

This is Shopify’s user-friendly interface for picking themes when building your online store.

Thousands of successful e-commerce store owners use Shopify for its reliable and useful features, making it one of the best online store builders for marketing and selling.

2. Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce is another excellent e-commerce platform because it comes with efficient solutions such as WordPress integration, multi-channel retail systems, and a lot more.

Bigcommerce helps you deliver easy and valuable shopping experiences through mobile optimization, customization options for your web design, social commerce enablers, and other features.

BigCommerce template designs

Bigcommerce delivers professional e-commerce design templates.

The platform is also useful for starting and scaling your online store and marketing campaigns. It even comes with 24/7 technical support, security, expert guides, analytics, etc.

3. Wix

Wix is another well-known e-commerce platform. It offers stunning design templates, a drag-and-drop page-building editor, easy user interface, SEO and mobile optimization capacities, media galleries, etc.

Wix also provides free hosting, an array of apps, custom domain name, analytics, contact management, built-in live chat, integration with multiple payment gateways, coupons and discounts, and much more.

Wix Coupon Builder

Wix has an easy coupon builder to use for marketing and selling products online.

Wix is more specially designed and beneficial for solopreneurs and small e-commerce businesses.

It might not be ideal for large companies because Wix isn’t designed for a high inventory turnover ratio and massive inventory storage, which can lead to backend load logs.

Ready to market your products online?

If you integrate your marketing strategies well, your product line is bound to get traction and grow. You’ll get more than decent sales figures, your marketing spend will become optimized, and you’ll be able to establish your product line as an authority in your industry.

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