Are you thinking about trying your hand at e-commerce?
If so, setting up a Shopify store is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make that dream a reality.
Thanks to its intuitive interface, affordability, and excellent merchant support – Shopify has become the world’s largest e-commerce platform – hosting over 4 million stores as of 2023.
Entrepreneurs flock to Shopify to launch dropshipping businesses, sell original products, and offer their services. You can also sell digital goods through the platform, such as eBooks, digital art, videos, and music.
Yet, you need to develop a Shopify marketing strategy to promote your store If you want your products to start flying off the shelves.
Otherwise, no one will know that your store exists in the first place, leaving you high and dry.
That’s why you need to improve your visibility on search engines, conduct email marketing campaigns, reach out to influencers, and run paid ads to get the word out about your new Shopify store.
The good news is that Shopify marketing strategies don’t have to be complicated or expensive to yield impressive results.
Today, we will teach you the most common and effective Shopify marketing tactics, so read on to learn how to promote your store to the right audience.
There’s no shortage of ways to market your Shopify store, including using built-in promotional tools that come with the platform.
Shopify includes the following marketing tools with most of its pricing plans:
As you can see, Shopify provides you with plenty of tools you can use to promote your store.
However, you should view these as supplementary tools to assist your marketing efforts – as you’ll only be able to run basic email campaigns with them.
While it’s definitely nice to have the ability to embed lead generation forms and chat with customers, these aren’t sufficient enough to comprise your entire marketing strategy. Instead, you’ll need to incorporate other marketing channels and strategies, so let’s take a look at the most effective.
In today’s age, SEO is essential for promoting any business, online or otherwise.
It stands for search engine optimization, which refers to tweaking your website’s content to appeal to search engine algorithms to rank higher. For instance, on a search engine like Google, users have a habit of only clicking on the first few results (as demonstrated by this graph). Therefore, SEO is all about making the necessary adjustments to rank your website in one of the top 5 spots on search engines for keywords (search terms) related to your industry.
For example, if you sell Game of Thrones-themed artisan coffee cups, you’d want your online store to rank in the top spot for the keyword ‘Game of Thrones coffee mugs.’
That way, whenever a user searches for that term on Google, your Shopify store will be one of the first results that pops up (assuming that you can outrank your competitors with a stellar SEO strategy).
While that’s SEO in a nutshell, it’s more complicated in practice.
Besides using your target keywords in your content, you also need to do things like:
There are also SEO techniques that Google and other search engines frown upon, known as ‘black-hat SEO tactics.’
Keyword stuffing (excessively using keywords, especially when they don’t make sense), buying links, article spinning (vaguely rearranging other pieces of content), and cloaking are all examples of black-hat techniques you should avoid. Should you get caught, you’ll be penalized and may see your content disappear from the search engine results entirely.
When done properly, SEO will significantly boost your online visibility, generating lots of organic traffic for your online store. If you combine SEO with other techniques like content marketing and conversion rate optimization, you can generate leads and sales consistently.
This technique goes hand-in-hand with SEO, as you’ll want your content to perform well on search engines.
What’s content marketing?
It’s creating content tailored to your target audience to bring them to your website. Content marketing is great because it works for every stage of your sales funnel.
For example, if a member of your target audience is looking for an answer to a question related to your niche, having a well-written blog post on that topic is perfect for introducing them to your brand.
These are your prospects at the top of the sales funnel, and by educating them and answering their questions – you’re positioning yourself as a thought leader in the field, which is a powerful position to hold.
For prospects further down the funnel, like those wanting to make a purchase, you can draw them in with buyer’s guides, product comparisons, and optimized product and landing pages.
Content marketing is also one of the most effective forms of inbound marketing. It involves bringing your audience to you instead of the other way around (i.e., disrupting their experience with a pop-up or video ad).
Online shoppers diligently research products before buying them online, more so than in brick-and-mortar stores. According to Google’s Customer Insights, 78% of customers spend more time researching online products than they do for retail stores.
This is why content marketing is so valuable for Shopify stores.
Since your potential customers are already searching online for how-to articles, ultimate guides, customer reviews, and product comparisons – you can intercept them by creating your own content.
Here’s where content marketing and SEO work in tandem. You’ll need to conduct some keyword research to uncover the topics that your audience searches for every day. Keywords are the search terms users enter into search engines like Google to find content online.
By researching keywords relevant to your industry/niche, you’ll understand which pieces of content you’ll need to create to satisfy their search intent.
How do you find keywords?
There are a few ways, but the easiest is to use a keyword research tool, like this free offering from The HOTH. Enter a few general keywords related to what you do, and voila, you’ll have a long list of relevant keywords.
Metrics to pay attention to include a keyword’s search volume, difficulty score, and search trend.
Ideally, your primary keywords should have a high search volume (to ensure the content you create can generate traffic), a low difficulty score (so that it’s not impossible to rank in a top spot), and an upward search trend (meaning the keyword is gaining popularity).
Let’s say that you sell gardening tools through your online Shopify store.
Accordingly, you’ll want to uncover keywords related to the gardening niche. Using the free tool we linked earlier, here’s what happens when we enter the term ‘gardening tools:’
Alt tag: A screenshot of keyword results for the term ‘gardening tools.’
These are the top 10 keywords related to gardening tools, and you could potentially target any of them for a piece of content. In particular, the keyword ‘gardening tool set’ has a high search volume (1,600) and a low difficulty score (37).
The keyword has commercial intent (represented by the tiny skyscraper logo next to the search volume), so you could create the following types of content for it:
From there, you could place links to relevant product pages at the end of each post as a call to action.
And just like that, you’ve found a way to turn a user query into a valuable piece of content that can generate revenue and leads for your storefront.
Another way to promote your online store is through targeted email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing applications make this easier, and Shopify provides you with one straight out of the box. With Shopify Email, your first 10,000 emails are completely free, and then you pay $1 per 1,000 emails, which isn’t a bad deal.
Other popular email clients include MailChimp, HubSpot, and Salesforce – just to name a few.
The great thing about email marketing is it builds a rapport between you and your customers. It also has the highest ROI among all marketing channels, with the capacity to earn $40 for every $1 spent.
How does an email marketing campaign work?
First, you’ll need to build an email list filled with potential customers, and that’s not something that will appear out of thin air.
Instead, you’ll have to spend some time building it, leveraging techniques like:
Once you have a lengthy email list, you can start developing your campaigns.
Customer segmentation pays off here, too, as it’s worth segmenting your email list into different groups. For example, you could create a segment for your most loyal customers where you offer them exclusive perks for their continued business.
Shopify email marketing is all about sending the right message at the right time, which is where automation comes in handy.
You can program your email messages to trigger after customers take specific actions, such as leaving their cart full without checking out. After a few minutes, they’ll receive an automated reminder in their inbox letting them know they forgot to complete their purchase.
Other popular email marketing campaigns include:
Your emails should also inform your audience of upcoming seasonal sales, new product launches, and other special promotions.
Influencer marketing is all the rage these days, and marketing Shopify stores is no different.
What is it, though?
Influencer marketing is where you reach out to notable ‘influencers’ in your field (prominent figures that have large, loyal followings on social media) to promote your products.
If you follow popular YouTubers online, you’re more than familiar with influencer marketing. Anytime an online personality says, “And now for a word from our sponsor,” it’s influencer marketing in action.
It’s also crucial to note that influencer marketing works best with a younger crowd, as Gen Z and Millennials pay more attention to influencers than Gen X’ers and Boomers.
Additionally, some influencers will be outside your reach (think megastars like Kylie Jenner and The Rock). Ideally, you should look for influencers with considerable followings but who aren’t impossible to get a hold of for a possible sponsorship.
You can also opt for the paid ad route to promote your new Shopify store, which certainly has advantages. Assuming you have the budget to spare for advertising, PPC ads are an excellent way to start generating traffic, leads, and sales from day one.
The #1 advantage paid ads have over SEO is the time they take to start working.
It can take months or years to gain traction on search engines through organic SEO, which is time that most new businesses don’t have. That’s why so many turn to PPC ads to fill the gap while their SEO efforts begin to gain traction.
As soon as you select the keywords you want to run paid ads for, you’ll shoot straight to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages).
The way the pricing structure works is you pay a provider like Google a small fee every time someone clicks on one of your ads. The fee is determined by the amount of competition and interest surrounding a keyword, which is known as its CPC (cost-per-click).
You should target relevant keywords to your niche, but you should also be mindful of your budget. The last thing you want is to blow tons of money on expensive clicks that don’t convert into customers.
To keep it short, your PPC ads need two main components:
Now that you’re familiar with effective Shopify marketing tactics, it’s time to learn how to create a unique strategy for your store.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all template for a marketing strategy, there are certain steps that you’ll always need to take, such as setting goals, optimizing your customer experience, and improving your conversion rates.
Here’s a breakdown of what it takes to develop a winning marketing strategy on Shopify.
Before you do anything, you should sit down and clearly define your goals for your marketing strategy.
In other words, what do you hope to achieve by promoting your online store? Are you primarily concerned with generating leads for your email list, or do you want to start landing conversions as soon as possible?
Whatever your goals are, the most important aspect is to be as specific as possible.
Here’s an example of a goal that’s too vague:
Our goal is to increase revenue and improve our visibility on search engines.
This goal is short on specifics, and it provides no deadline for accountability. As a result, a goal like this will be challenging to act upon.
Here’s a much better goal that provides more details:
Our goal is to increase our revenue generation by 30% in 12 months, in addition to improving our target keywords by 2 positions in that same timeframe.
Now, you have a timeframe to ensure accountability and specific metrics to hit, which will drive and inform the rest of your strategy.
If you haven’t already, you should develop a customer avatar for your online store.
It’s a fictional representation of your target audience – all condensed into one personnel profile.
Creating a customer avatar will help you get inside the minds of your prospects, as you’ll better understand their desires, hobbies, interests, and pain points. Whenever you create content for your blog or online store, you should write as if you’re speaking directly to your customer avatar.
To create one, you must collect as much hard data on your core audience as possible. That means flocking to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Investigate forums, social media groups, and other online hangouts to get a feel for your target demographic.
Once that’s done, fill out a complete profile for your avatar that contains the following:
Voila, you now have a fictional representative of your target audience that you can use to strengthen your advertising.
54% of customers read at least four reviews before buying a product, which is why social proof is a must for Shopify stores.
Do your best to accumulate as many positive reviews for your products and services as possible, as that’ll help convince new prospects to take the plunge and become a customer.
In addition to reviews, other forms of social proof, like case studies and testimonials, are equally as powerful.
You likely won’t have the budget to engage in every marketing channel under the sun, so you need to determine which you’ll focus on before you get started.
The marketing channels that you select should align with your marketing goals from step #1.
For instance, if you want to build a loyal brand following, you may choose to use Shopify SMS marketing – where you send promotions and notifications to followers via text messages.
Why is that?
It’s because SMS marketing has higher engagement levels than email marketing (likely due to most people not checking their email as often as their phone). SMS marketing is also excellent for establishing long-term relationships with clients.
Whatever your goals are, you should check which marketing channels align with them the most.
At this point, you should have the following in place:
Once you’re set-up, all that’s left is optimizing your conversion rates.
CRO involves identifying areas of your online store that you can improve and then using tactics like split testing to perfect them. For instance, by analyzing your metrics, you may notice that one of your pages has a high bounce rate/low dwell time.
This is a sign that the page has a poor user experience, so it’s worth investigating to see what tweaks you can make to improve it.
By incorporating all these steps, you’ll have a well-oiled marketing strategy to consistently deliver leads and sales to your front door.
That way, the world will get the chance to experience your top-tier products and services.
Do you need help developing a Shopify marketing strategy for your store? Do you lack the time to focus on marketing strategies?
If so, don’t wait to hire a Shopify expert on FreeUp to develop a winning marketing strategy for you. It’s effortless to add a job request using our platform, and you’ll get the chance to interview multiple freelancers until you find the perfect fit.
Our team is always available to answer any questions, so feel free to schedule a consultation today.
No minimums. Fast access to top US and international talent. Rated 5 stars on TrustPilot.Start Hiring