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For example, if you run an online clothing store, ideal cartel candidates might include jewelry and footwear outlets. Essentially, the stores you would partner with are similar enough to be able to cross-promote and share advice, but not similar enough to create a conflict of interest. You can opt for a completely private setup, keeping things small and tight-knit, or you can branch out and publicize your online cartel in order to attract more members to help build a supportive community of online merchants.
Take The e c ommerce Group for example. Operating via a Facebook group, they have over 2, members sharing advice, giving feedback, and providing a helping hand whenever possible. Building the right relationships, both online and offline, can act as your portal to success.
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No matter what type of product you sell or which industry you work within, there always are like-minded businesses out there, and you need to befriend them. The trick is to build relationships with others that are closely aligned to your business but not direct competitors. For example, suppliers, blogs, and websites that focus on your industry would be ideal, as they can help provide you with consumer feedback and offer promotional deals, without stepping on your digital toes.
To learn more about how to build a positive relationship with your supplier, All Business offers a great relationship building tutorial. Not only can contests and giveaways help you build valuable inbound links, they also are a great way to show potential customers that you can be trusted and that your brand means business. Tease Tea is a new online tea store running a simple contest on their Facebook page. Online services like ViralSweep and Gleam allow you to run such contests and giveaways online, helping you to keep things simple and professional without all the added work.
An excellent method for finding potential customers is to proactively search for people tweeting questions about your industry and reach out to them in a helpful way. The idea is not to pitch or even mention your products — just be helpful. All he did was offer advice; he never pitched. As a result, people would be grateful and naturally look further into who he was, and ultimately discover his business on their own.
This is just one of many Twitter strategies that can work wonders for your sales figures. If you need some real life examples of how to nail Twitter marketing, take a look at the Twitter profile of online jewelry store Lola Rose , which could teach you a thing or two. LinkedIn is the office block of the Internet. LinkedIn Groups also are a stellar way to engage with other business owners in your industry. There are vast amounts of public and private groups set up for specific niches, allowing you to post questions and converse with other members. When it comes to representing personality and creativity via social media, the three big visual platforms do it best.
Pinterest, Instagram, and most recently Vine, all allow you to take a slightly different approach to engaging with consumers. These platforms are the perfect place to present the creativity and passion that goes into your business behind the scenes. Snap pictures of your products, take videos of the manufacturing process, tell a story with images. Always aim for beauty if possible. People love beauty.
Need some visual inspiration? Melt Cosmetics is a new brand that already has over , followers on Instagram. They are doing a great job of Instagram marketing, building up a brand image and a following with their beautiful photographs. It may not be what it once was, but make no mistake, Facebook still is a social media powerhouse. Leverage your personal Facebook profile and your business page to engage with friends, family, and acquaintances and to get people talking about your products.
Get creative with status updates and interact on public groups and fan pages relevant to your niche. Much like with AdWords, you can create targeted campaigns to attract Likes, make sales, and promote your brand. A popular blow drying salon in Toronto called Drybar has an extremely engaged Facebook community of over 80, who talk all things blow drying.
Many, if not all, consumers like to shop around before making a purchase, and that includes a visit to comparison shopping engines. Popular engines include Google Shopping , Nextag , and a range of others, all with thousands of products and stores being simultaneously compared. To get noticed, you need to play by the rules of each engine, stay competitive in terms of price, and play the waiting game while you experiment to find out which engine suits you the best and gives you the best ROI. PC Pro has put together a detailed guide on how to get noticed on Google Shopping , and Shopify has a list of the 10 most popular comparison shopping engines with a brief explanation of each one.
An infographic is exactly what the name implies, a graph of information, or a visual representation of facts and statistics in a form that is easy to digest. First impressions are everything, and when it comes to selling online, first impressions rely heavily on web design. Based entirely on your website design, visitors need to be able to grasp your brand and products without too much scrolling or exploring. Furthermore, navigating through your catalog should be easy, if not enjoyable.
Additionally, making your store responsive to mobile devices is nothing short of vital. Perhaps more so than having a website built for standard PCs and Laptops. So, looking the part on all devices is an absolute must. A pop-up store could be just what you need to compliment your online presence. Unlike traditional bricks-and-mortar premises, a pop-up store is far less of a financial burden, thanks to its temporary nature. Like most kinds of physical stores, a pop-up store is all about location. You can open a pop-up store at farmers markets, art fairs, shopping malls, galleries, and any other place people gather.
A pop-up store also can act as a great offline marketing outpost. You can use your store to hand out coupons to be used via your online store, and you can collect email subscriptions and social media followers. For some ideas on how to get your pop-up store going, Business Insider has compiled no less than eighteen creative pop-up store ideas to get you thinking. Reddit is a socially powered news and entertainment website where registered users submit content.
Also, and more importantly, Reddit is a place where you can attract a large number of dedicated followers and customers. The process has to be one of give and take, though. Walk those entrepreneurial redditors through your journey, take them behind the scenes, detail your mistakes and expose some personality in order to gain not just customers, but fans, too. A brilliant example of using Reddit to promote an online store is what the guys at Beardbrand did. Note how many upvotes and comments this post received.
Reddit can be an extremely powerful tool, not only for gaining valuable educational resources to help you start your business, but also for helping you make your first sale. The 25 strategies listed above are stellar ways to kick-start sales for your online store. With the right approach, you will need only a handful of the strategies listed above to make the first of many sales. About the Author: Mark Hayes , the Head of Communications at Shopify , the author of The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping , and an expert in marketing, communications, social media, hot sauce, and pinball.
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20 free or affordable PR tools to help with your media relations | Creative Boom
As an online merchant, making your first sale is as symbolic as it is necessary. Send Free Samples to Influencers The Internet is packed with influential bloggers, journalists, entrepreneurs, and vloggers from a wide range of industries and niches. Many of them have large followings on social media and loyal audiences on their websites. Build an Email List Building up an email list for marketing purposes is absolutely essential.
60 free press release sites tested – a detailed review
Sponsor an Event In some cases, sponsoring an event can work wonders. Interview Industry Influencers Remember the importance of content marketing I mentioned earlier? Share the Load with Affiliate Marketing Trying to sell your products alone can be a difficult task, so why not share the load with others? Publish a Press Release Lots of new online stores push out press releases in order to attract media attention, but fail.
The secret to getting noticed is simple. Pay Attention to Stats Reviewing and acting upon website analytics is paramount. Run a Survey Learning about the common pain points and desires of consumers can help you make all the right moves going forward. Network on Forums Online discussion forums are great places to give out industry tips and advice, answer questions, and acquire a customer or two.
A small online cartel could be just the trick.
This contest costs no money to run and likely took only a few minutes to put together. Go Visual with Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine When it comes to representing personality and creativity via social media, the three big visual platforms do it best. Beat the Competition on Comparison Shopping Engines Many, if not all, consumers like to shop around before making a purchase, and that includes a visit to comparison shopping engines.
Tension between a president and the news media that covers him is nothing new, Mr. Downie added.
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But an organized, wide-scale political effort to intentionally humiliate journalists and others who work for media outlets is. Sulzberger said. The Times will not be intimidated or silenced. The operation is targeting the news media by using one of the most effective weapons of political combat — deep and laborious research into the public records of opponents to find contradictions, controversial opinions or toxic affiliations.
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