Marketing Your Products Without a Budget
A guest article by Myron Goldsmith, Marketing Director at F13 Works. They work to unite leading brands with influential online stores.
One of the greatest advantages that Shopify offers store owners is that virtually anyone can begin an online store with almost no initial investment. This makes selling online very simple and affordable. However, every store owner will eventually face the dilemma of finding ways to market their product. The most common way is through paid advertising.
Facebook, Instagram, Google, and many other platforms offer their own paid advertising systems that can help store owners get their product in front of a large audience. While they are fairly easy to navigate and setup, reaching a large enough audience to bring decent traffic to your online store becomes expensive quickly. Most online store owners spend thousands of dollars in advertising to see results, but that isn’t the only option.
There are a plethora of tactics at your disposal that can help you effectively market your product for free. While they may take more time than a paid ad, the money saved and potential for gaining loyal customers makes these practices worthwhile.
Reddit is a discussion platform with millions of users who join various ‘subreddits’, or discussion groups, that are focused on different topics and subjects. These subreddits can provide an in-depth look into what your customers want from your online store and products. For example, an online store that sells computers or computer accessories would be interested in the /r/computers subreddit. Here you’ll find users discussing computer issues, preferred models, and accessories they personally use.
This would be an opportunity for an online store owner selling computers or computer related products to ingratiate themselves within the community to discover what customers are really looking for. Ask questions, provide helpful information, and gain the trust of the members of the community. Then, you can feel confident sharing a new product release within the subreddit, or even offering a special discount to members of the subreddit.
Expected to hit one-billion users by the end of 2017, Instagram is the premiere photo sharing app on the market. With so many users, it offers online store owners with a platform to share their story, their products, and their journey. Like many social media platforms, it offers its own paid advertising through Facebook, and can become very expensive, very quickly. With the right mindset and techniques, you can circumvent the paid advertisement route and gain more followers, reach, and customers organically.
Influencer marketing is a phrase many online store owners are familiar with. Instagram serves as the most effective platform for finding and connecting with influencers. Many services claim to connect you with relevant influencers for a fee, but you can find them yourself by searching within your specific niche.
Once you identify key influencers, reach out to them and offer a free sample of your product in exchange for a product review on their Instagram page. This works well to not only build a following, but can drive traffic to your online store as well. Note that influencers in the 100K+ follower range will more than likely charge for promotional posts. Stick with influencers who offer a following around 10K.
With hundreds of thousands of online stores, it can be difficult to get your brand and products in front of customers. Most of us do not have the budget for consistent paid advertising on Facebook or Google, and we certainly can’t afford a marketing agency. Hopefully these tips will help you find new, innovative ways to market your product without breaking the bank.
This works for almost any category; toys, electronics, apparel, gaming, etc. Find your niche within the Reddit community and begin to understand what they’re looking for in an online store. As mentioned earlier, this will take time. However, the end result is an opportunity to build loyal customers who become repeat buyers.