E-commerce businesses are now more prevalent than ever, thanks in large part to the exceptional ease of setting up an online store-front. Virtually anybody can use a combination of content management systems, products, images, and common sense to throw together an online store in no time at all, making it one of the most straightforward ways of providing products and services to the public.
Despite this, managing an e-commerce store isn’t easy. There are many considerations involved in pursuing this long-term project: from inventory management and product selection to marketing and visibility.
To guide entrepreneurs in the right direction, let’s examine four critical ways that e-commerce businesses can maximize their ad budgets and get the most out of their efforts.
Hire PPC Professionals
Let’s face it: not everybody knows exactly how to manage a PPC ad budget or what to do with it. While even relative marketing novices can quickly learn strategies to help improve ads, clickthrough rates and other important metrics, getting the most out of each campaign really requires a professional touch.
As such, you should always employ the best PPC agency you can afford. Contrary to popular belief, there are many successful and professional PPC ad agencies that work with businesses and brands of all sizes. For those seeking to maximize the effect of their e-commerce campaigns, choosing to enlist the services of professionals may very well be the single biggest impact in terms of improving ad budget results.
Use Social Media
E-commerce businesses must choose to promote their products in the most effective mediums for best results. In many cases, this involves a multi-channel effort: from running some ads in search engines to promoting products via social media, targeting audiences across multiple channels is a sure-fire way to reach an optimal number of consumers.
Social media is arguably the best platform through which to target consumers in the present day. Given its low cost and enormous user base (in some markets, more people use social media on a daily basis than search engines), online stores must consider leveraging these factors to their advantage.
Depending on the exact products being marketed, platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest may prove to be the single biggest sources of profit for your ad budget efforts.
Feel Free to Experiment
If you are choosing to go it alone (i.e. not hiring a PPC ad agency), then you’ll have much to learn in order to maximize your ad budget. Fortunately, the experience is nature’s best teacher: you can learn a lot simply by experimenting with various marketing strategies.
Via the use of analytics and comprehensive A/B testing, e-commerce brands can uncover various elements in ad campaigns that produce better results. Over time, combining the more superior elements into each ad campaign will dramatically increase click-through rates, reduce cost per click and generate more sales.
One of the most persuasive arguments in convincing a prospective customer to make a purchase isn’t showing them the product: it’s showing them how products can transform their lives. Given that many PPC ads provide limited space, e-commerce brands often focus on listing elements such as price and specifications alongside images.
While people obviously want to know all of this information, convincing the audience that the product will actually provide benefit is a better bet. By showing upfront what the product can do for the customer, the clicks you do generate will be more meaningful and likely to result in purchases.
Ad budgets can always be improved, but e-commerce businesses in particular need to be aware of how to leverage their budgets from the beginning. By highlighting product benefits, experimenting with different ad formats, using social media and/or hiring PPC campaign professionals, even the smallest online stores can dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their ad budgets.