Branding

Brand Foundation: How to Build a Brand from Scratch in 2021

If you have made it to this far, you possibly have the idea of how commodity has been affecting your business off late. Welcome to another episode of Commodity vs Brand campaign where we explore the tactical difference between commodity and brand and how you can use branding to build your business foundation.

Are you someone trying to build your brand from scratch? Then this blog is the right place you need to be.

This blog is all you need to know about brand foundation and how you can do it to stay ahead of your competitors in the market.

Table of Contents

What is a Brand?

The term brand refers to a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular company, product or individual.There are roughly millions of e-commerce brands in the world and though we do not have any accurate data to put a pin on the debate, what we do know is the fact that close to 2 billion people are shifting to online purchase with every new year passing by. 

what is branding

So now you know you do have your chances of finding your target audience in this large pool of potential customers.

But here’s the catch, half or more than half of these ecommerce brands are just market businesses and not an actual ‘brand’.

And not many realize it in the first place unless their conversion rate takes a huge hit.

Brand is not built in 3 month. It builds over a period of time by communicating what you stand for.

What Brand Stands For?

Picture this, you listen to a song on your radio and that rings you a bell of any particular memory you are fond of.

This is exactly what a brand does, triggers you of an emotional connection every time you see, listen or get something from these brands.

Brand and branding are two entirely different concepts, while the former is the end destination, the latter is more about the journey of moulding the customer’s virtual perception of your brand, product and services.

In simpler terms, it is how you want your customers to remember you for. It’s easier said than done with millions of competitors selling almost exactly the same as yours.

I admit it, not every business can stand out like Ferrari.

But you don’t have to be the Ferrari but be a better version of your business and be the first of its kind. All you have to do is find a way to connect with your customer emotionally.

Now getting back to branding, it’s about the process of drafting strategic plans to craft a virtual representation of your brand that people should carry in their mind and heart.

Before we dig any deeper into how to get started with it, let’s take a quick trip down the important benefits of a brand.

Importance of Brand

  1. Makes you a key different player

What’s otherwise a saturated market suddenly turns out to be a potential market to sell in hot numbers if your business is turned into a brand.

Many of the top ecommerce brands today have seen a sudden spike in their revenue everytime they roll out an inspirational story/emotional related campaign.

  1. Name a price

With a brand, you can name a price for your products (although not double the market price).

Many times, you ought to charge less than what your products are worth, but once you get more clients and once your business is transformed into a brand, you can increase the price of your service/product.

  1. Take home credibility

One of the important aspects of branding is how easy it turns out to be to bask in the credibility bandwagon. This will make you the best seller in the market and also possibly the most sought after brands for what you sell.

  1. Builds your loyalty game

Brand and loyalty goes pretty well together. Brands like McDonalds and Apple have a long history of loyal customer base that never tends to go down with time.

This is largely because of the memories and moments they tend to associate with the brand.

Be it taking a bite from the Big Mac with their favourite person or the nostalgic chills hitting you when you held the first ever smartphone in your hands.

Feeling it right?

  1. Grow your family

Brand plays it really well when we talk about returning customers. And not just that with every repeated customer you also get an upperhand of receiving more referrals from them.

This is a great way to build your social network for good business growth.

What is Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning in simpler terms is about how you tactically place your brand elements while presenting yourself to the customers

Kotler defines the brand positioning as “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”

The key idea is to make your brand stand out from the competitors and how it carves a place in the mind of people.

By crafting the perfect brand positioning, you get to increase your customer base, loyalty and credibility.

So how exactly can you do the perfect brand positioning?

Here are 3 simple ways to get started with them:

       Know what your customer is looking for

       Now jot down your brand’s capabilities in meeting the customer’s needs

       Keep a close eye on how competitors position their brands

Do plenty of research and time as these are the stepping stones for a bigger picture, once you are sure of who you are and what your competitors are doing, you get to move up the ladder.

Which brings us to the brand statement.

So before you frame your brand statement, make sure it’s simple.using complicated terms might make you look really cool, but then you will probably lose the ‘connection’ game.

So here are 3 ways you can do them:

  1. Will reflect your consumers ideas
  2. Can be promised and delivered by your company (capabilities)
  3. Different from your competitors.

So the last step is perhaps the one with less research needed, implement these on your brand sites, email copies, ad copies, product page and literally everything that has your brand written on it.

Point of Difference

A Real brand stands out from the crowd when it narrows down the list of differences it sports over their competitors.

While making a buying decision, it is really important to give your customers a competitive advantage to buy from your brand.

A Strong point of difference makes your brand stronger. For example, if you are running an ecommerce clothing store, the point of difference can be framed around quicker delivery options, buy now, pay later or even try and pay later options as well.

These make you sell your products based on the values rather than price. Markets tend to differentiate between brands by introducing new features and tactics.

For example, considering the smartphone era, one brand introduced the full display feature as an industry first while this one used to be a point of difference during the initial stage, now almost all the phones rolling out from factories come with a full display.

Your customers should have a favorable perception of your business so identifying a point of difference can be vital to achieving that outcome. Some areas of difference you might consider include:

     Customer service.

     Convenience.

     Specific benefits of your product or service.

     Your business story.

     Variety.

     Price.

Point of Parity

These are the unique essentials set by the consumers while they look for a product in the market. For example the full display now becomes a point of parity since it’s a common essential and criteria a consumer looks for in a brand.

The only setback of Point of parity is they tend to change much faster with time, newer updates and consumer’s psychology

Points-of-parity (POPs) are attribute or benefit associations that are not necessarily unique to the brand but may in fact be shared with other brands.8 These types of associations come in three basic forms: category, correlational, and competitive.

Category points-of-parity are attributes or benefits that consumers view as essential to a legitimate and credible offering within a certain category, although not necessarily sufficient conditions for brand choice.

Correlational points-of-parity are potentially negative associations that arise from the existence of positive associations for the brand.

 Competitive points-of-parity are associations designed to overcome perceived weaknesses of the brand in light of competitors’ points-of-difference. 

What is Brand Vision?

Brand vision refers to the set of ideas behind a brand that specifically sets a path for the business’s future growth and goals.

A brand’s vision to define its purpose to its customer and how it aims to deliver the result.

So what are the basic three components  of building a great brand vision?

  1. Brand values
  2. Brand future
  3. Brand purpose

A brand value clearly defines what your brand has compiled as a set of values. Your business should adhere to these set of values at all costs.

A brand future defines the future possibilities for your brand. This involves a detailed forecast of what the future holds for your brand and how you can architect a better outcome.

Brand’s with a refined purpose have a competitive advantage over your competitors who don’t have one. Purpose driven brands intend to serve customers with the highest quality of values.

What is Brand Promise

Brand promise is a statement formed by the business organization stating to the customers what they can expect from your brand.

Brand promises highlight the uniqueness of a business and their mission. A typical brand promise statement will deliver the message clearly to the customers.

It helps to differentiate one brand from another. A brand promise statement comprises three important elements. They are

  1. Benefits
  2. Values
  3. Experience 

What is Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy is a marketing strategy where a business ventures into a market which is less or never explored creating their own space of marketing demand. 

This is more like moving away gradually from the competitive market.

Technically this theory gives the brands a solid competitive advantage and less price pressure point. The point is simple, identify a new market segment and then launch your product to the relatively new audience to gain the initial momentum.

It’s more about creating new demand for your product and less about capturing the competitive market.

It will help in reducing the value-cost-trade-off as well as helps in creating an uncontested market place for you to explore and take the reins.

There are only two ways you can create a blue ocean strategy.

Launch New Product

The first one is obviously by launching a new product or service. One of the prime examples is Netflix where they started off the OTT trends when people were watching movies illegally from other websites.

Netflix revolutionized the entertainment market back in 2007 when they started allowing the subscribers to stream movies directly to the comfort of their homes.

 Even though there are many similar OTT platforms available, Netflix unarguably keeps the throne thanks to its legacy and competitive advantage.

Uncontested Market Place

The second option is to develop an uncontested market place where the brand explores ways to transform its business from one bubble to something else that could work for them.

Amazon is perhaps the best way to explain how this method works.

Technically Amazon was launched as a booking selling platform but over time they evolved from a mere online book selling site to a much grandeur platform where customers can shop anything they want.

You name it, Amazon has it.

The idea is to transform the business to a new genre when the existing market is taking a hit. This is more like a survival theory and the one that doesn’t comply with it will definitely see the downfall.

For example consider the blackberry, the once popular tech giant is now nowhere to be seen thanks to their lackluster way of updating to the tech savvy world.

Designing Key Brand Elements

Plenty of the branding journey is all about strategic planning and drawing board discussions but what exactly gives soul to your ideas are visual elements.

There are loads of branding elements to consider while designing your brand elements, but I got it all filtered for you with some primary elements you need to consider while designing your brand outlook.

1.Logo

Nothing ever starts good without a visual representation of your brand. To set yourself out from the competitors.This is arguably one of the most important assets in your brand.

It is a vital symbol and representation of your brand. While designing it, make sure it reflects your brand’s vision and it doesn’t resemble any other ecommerce brand.

It’s not relatively new for brands to change their logo mid way, consider Mahindra who changed their decade old logo with a new and refurbished one.

The new logo seems to have struck gold as the netizens have come out in applause for the way it looks and the logo has upped the premium factor of the brand.

Notice how a simple logo changed the game for the car giants.

 

2.Website

Okay, no denying that ad copies are important, but you design the site upfront as this turns out to be the host for all other points of communication.

Be it email copies, Google ads or Facebook ads, they all get redirected to your home site.

This is not only about branding but also how your online presence will aesthetically look like to your potential customers.

Also don’t put a block on the budget, invest a good sum and a great team to design your site as this is a long term investment and also possibly your warehouse to get more leads.

Start with a prominent header banner with a clear background image (lifestyle image suits better for clothing and home appliances) with your brand statement and call to action.

Other basic brand elements on your site include adding testimonials to increase credibility and brand loyalty, trust badges, lifestyle images, Q&A section and about us with a gripping backend story to capitalize on the emotional factor.

3.Brand Name

Your brand name should embody who you are. Interesting part is that some of the brand names eventually become the name of the products.

Consider Q-Tips, the brand is now world popular for the products they sell.

But before you get all excited, make sure the brand name is available on the domain platform. You can possibly brainstorm and test with different sets of names. 

       Types of brand

       Blue ocean strategy

       Conclusion

 4.Brand Colour

After you have narrowed down the website design, brand name and logo, move step ahead with choosing the right color theme for your brand. This theme is a reflection of what your brand stands for as each colour has a unique meaning and purpose to it.

The brand colour is what strikes the consumer’s mind upfront on hearing your name. Brand colour goes a long way in emotionally persuading the customers to buy your products as this is a part of colour psychology.

Let’s take a look at some of the popular sought after brand colour and what they stand for

Red – Excitement, attention grabbing, fresh in the market

Blue – calm tone, peace, trust

 5.Typography

Typography is basically the fonts you prefer to use for your brand. Make sure the font you chose is readable and has a strong sense of your brand’s essence to it.

A quality advice is to go for less than three fonts for your site as customers tend to associate with the brand font. More the fonts, less the engagement.

Types of Brand

Now that we have seen what a brand is and how you can turn your commodity driven one into a complete brand, you should shift your focus now to the types of branding.

This is one of the most cardinal elements in the branding journey as this allows you to form the framework over which the entire brand is built.

These branding strategies are categorised based on their purpose, meaning and the way they are done.

There are many types of branding depending upon the purpose, but let’s take a look at the top 2 types of branding most businesses resort to.

1.Personal Branding – Need Infographic

Personal branding as the name suggests is more about presenting yourself to the audience that will reflect directly on the sales of your brand. Personal branding is all about how people perceive you and one of the best ways to do this is to promote yourself on social media platforms.

Many popular celebrities are prime examples for a solid personal branding strategy like Cristiano Ronaldo, David Bechkam, Kylie Jenner and Hritik Roshan. 

Ronaldo has loads of personal brands under his belt and he is seen actively promoting them and also himself on the social media platform.

This plays a huge role psychologically as the followers are more emotionally attached to their favorite persons which will likely nudge them to buy what their stars are promoting.

David Bechkam has always been the cool lad on and off the field and it’s quite evident with the new shades line he is seen promoting it on his Instagram handle.

He has evolved with current trends and can be seen sporting trendy shades and clothing essentials from his own clothing line.

2.Product Branding – Need Infographic

Who doesn’t love Nike Jordans? Air Jordans are easily one of the table toppers for Nike ever since it was launched by the iconic basketball player Michael Jordan himself in Chicago amidst a glittery event.

Designed exclusively by Peter Moore for Jordan during his successful outings with Chicago Bulls in 1984, the shoes soon grabbed the attention for their funky choice of colors and new in town looks. 

This prompted Nike to pay tribute to the legend by launching the very own Air Jordan series. The premium brand includes a line of shoes and other basic essentials.

The ultimate goal of product branding is to make a specific product stand tall in the market and miles away from the competitors.

 The real journey of building a brand is what branding stands for. From choosing the slogan to the color pallete, place your strategy right to drive the brand from commodity drive one.

Watch this space next Friday as we bid farewell to this Commodity vs Brand with a last blog on Branding strategy.

Commodity to Brand

Commodity vs Brand: Learn How Commodity Affects Your Ecommerce Sales in 2021

Commodity vs Brand: Learn How Commodity Affects Your Ecommerce Sales in 2021

The Ecommerce market has been narrowing down their sales figures to competitive numbers and so is the market tension amidst the customers. According to 2021 stats,the average conversion rate for an Ecommerce site stands at just under 1%. 

This comes after all the months of hard work of designing your site from launching your dream products. This is really important as the global commerce sales has hit $3.46 trillion dollars worldwide. 

If you’re facing lackluster numbers, it’s high time you know what is commodity vs brand and how it has been affecting your business without giving you a hint.

What's Inside

What is commodity 


Gone are the days when marketers had to club commodities and brand into one strategic piece to drive sales. Off late, they have been drawing a solid line between the boundaries of commodity and brand. 

So what exactly are these and why do we need to understand the difference between them?

To put in simpler terms, Commodity is a product in the market which can be easily replaced by its competitors. 

The product does not have any special value to the customers and hence it sits in a same pool of similar product ranges thus increasing the chances of being unsold.

What is Brand

Brand on the other hand is creating a niche for yourself and the product in a cutthroat marketing environment. 

Surviving here is quite easy even with your tried and tested products. This is more about customer loyalty and their emotional connection with your brand.

Considering the emotional factor, according to the Renderforest, close to a staggering 65% of people form an unbreakable emotional bond with a brand. 

Some of the popular brands to have mastered the arts of branding are Nike, Apple where they have moulded their years of experience, customer relation and woven them into an emotional rapport with their extended customer family globally

Not so surprisingly Nike makes around 44k USD Millions every year, thanks to their exceptionally well crafted products that brings out the state of the art design features and well obviously their brand tactics.

Now considering the commodity bracket, there are over thousands of ecommerce businesses roughly making the same products as that of Nike (Minus the flawless design and superior premium quality) and yet find themselves with poor sales. 

And why is that?

Their failure at drafting a perfect branding strategy and their brand as a whole which failed to ignite a healthier relationship with the customers. 

Metrics That Proves How Commodity Affects Your Business

Now you know what branding is and how it helps build a business empire but got clues on when you start to focus on drifting from commodity to a brand?

Take a look at these stats and if any of these numbers ring a bell to you, then you are at the perfect phase to start initiating the big move.

Commodity to Brand
Commodity to Brand

Bounce rate more than 70%

No/Very Less Engagement on Ads

Conversation rate is less than 1%

Less Dwell Time

Difference between Brand & Commodity

As said earlier, a commodity is a mere product in the market with no specific connection with any customers. While a brand is built upon the loyalty, trust and emotional support of the loyal customer base.

It all boils down to how one perceives the product. For example take a look at the simple black t-shirt, this is a commodity now.

Commodity to Brand

30 Dollars

10 Dollars

30 Dollars 10 Dollars

This will continue to be a commodity until you slap an Adidas logo on it and now that’s part of the brand loved by millions.

Now did you actually feel what the logo does to your thought process as a customer? Now it doesn’t just take any logo to create that kind of virtual impact. 

In fact it took Adidas decades of running stories driven campaigns, stirring the emotional quotient in customers and finally carrying on the built legacy through all these years.

You need to jot down the points of differentiation from your competitors if you want to move towards making your commodity a part of your brand. 

Start by creating a brand identity first before you start advertising a conversion oriented approach for your products.

Commodity to Brand

This will further enhance the customer experience with your product and will most likely create an ally with your brand in the longer run.

1. Focus on Emotion rather than pricing

This is plain simple, all top brands focus on the connection rather than the pricing. 

You can get any other smartphone (spectacular one) for half of what you actually pay for an Apple product but yet you get to see thousands of customers flocking the doors of an Apple store during the launch of their products around the month of september.

So why would customers be willing to pay a hefty sum of money for just a smartphone? Because Apple has symbolised their phones as a non- replaceable commodity in the tech market. 

Commodity to Brand

It’s the unrivalled connection you experience from the moment you see the apple logo. The way they have advertised privacy over anything and bringing a luxury quotient into their phones have all contributed to their epitome of customer loyalty.

But their competitors are so focussed on the competitive pricing that they fall miles behind running pointlessly towards building a smartphone that’s going to be easily replaced by a better one in near future.

So how exactly can you master this art just like these brands?

Focus on how you want the customers to feel

Instead of outright pushing the products to your customers, try to understand the customer’s pain points and then center your product around the customer needs and thus enrich their experience with your product.

Personalize your business

It’s about time you stop running towards achieving your month target with a sales oriented approach. 

Personalize your business outlook, ad copies to create a sense of connection, a personalized one with your customer base.

Focus on the differentiations

Give them a solid reason to choose your products over to others in the market. All the time customers are left to choose based on the pricing even which at certain points feels the same. 

Instead of pricing, sell on what your product offers, what it promises to deliver. Now you are giving a solid reason to choose your products in the ecommerce market.

2. Visible and Invisible factors

To set matters straight, brands are visible and commodities are invisible. In order to create a connection, brands need to focus on visibility, size and equity. 

The ultimate goal is to shift your focus to the long term goal rather than the short term outcome. With the size comes visibility and you can sustain this for a longer run too.

Brand equity is as important as visibility and size. This can help you license your brand name and their products. 

Commodity to Brand

Almost all top brands have built their equity by allowing others to use their product name on something that does not even resemble the parent company in any ways.

So here are some quick tips for making your brand more visible.

·         Focus on creating a referral system.

·         Build your network on social media channels

·         Create a visual identity for your brand from the logo to the site

3. Focus on building value for what you offer

Stand out from the crowd, from your niche market and definitely miles away from your competitors.

Make your customer value what you have to offer more than a similar product they can get from a competitor.

This is how successful brands hold their market. Focus on what you promise to deliver on a long term rather than investing your time on a short term goal. 

But building a brand identity takes much more than an overnight drawing broad strategy.

Commodity to Brand

Amazon has been a successful giant not just because it was just a book selling store, instead it focused on other goods and services. As a matter of what Amazon is looking to enter into more ventures as you read this.

Listed below are a few ways you can start building your brand promise.

·         Understand your target audience and their pain points

·         Start positioning your product as a solution to your customer’s problem

·         Be consistent in delivering your promises to the audience

Key Ingredients To Create Valuable Brand

The difference between a normal brand and commodity driven one is enormous. Commodity products are there in the market with very little differentiation. 

In other words they can be replaced by another product in a snap. This often leads to customers choosing the products based on the lowest pricing.

So there are 3 key ingredients to start building your brand.

·         Different- what’s the point of difference between your brand and your competition

·         Salient- How well do you know and trust the brand

·         Meaningful- How meaningful is your brand to our lives?

Being Different

Ask yourself, how different is your brand and how it is perceived by your customer? The point of difference between your brand and your competition is what sets you out from the rest. Close to 90% of the purchases are made subconsciously.

Commodity to Brand

So why exactly are we talking about the subconscious factor here? Because the point of difference will affect the behaviour pattern of a customer.

For being different in your product positioning, start with focussing on delivering what you promise to offer in the first place. 

Center it around your consumer from product pricing to the brand value positioning.

Being Salient

How well a customer knows your brand inside out and trusts it wholeheartedly is much more important than the point of difference. Apple charges a whopping amount for a new phone that’s yet to be reviewed by many.

Commodity to Brand

What Apple does here is the idea of making customer trust in your brand, products and services. Apple products are known for their exceptional features, unparalleled quality and for sure the unmatchable design language.

Being Meaningful

One of the prominent handles of the 3 key ingredients is how meaningful is your brand to the customers. 

How well does your product stand for a purpose? How does it enrich the consumers’ lives? These are the questions you need to answer yourself before you start jotting down the meaning.

Commodity to Brand

Starbucks has 32,660 stores worldwide in 2020

Starbucks has been revolutionizing the caffeine fix since decades. Perhaps you must have figured out one can’t obviously sell expensive coffees just with a logo. 

What Starbucks did here is to give a meaning to the consumers that made their product the go-to coffee in their city.

Not so surprisingly Starbucks is one of the longest and fastest growing caffeine networks in the US and around the world.

Quick Ways to Turn Commodity into Brand

You know when to start turning your commodity into a brand, but do you know how to start initiating the process?

Here’s a list of quick ways you can turn your business into a premium brand.

1.Brand communication: Radiate your brand communication throughout the site. Be it the color, main communication or what you promise to deliver, paint your site with all these essentials to make it look as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

2.Unequalled service: Provide the best superior services to your customers. This is the first step in differentiating yourself from the pool of possible competitors.

3.Brand Keyword: Identify a specific word for your brand that defines your business goal, personality, traits and way of working. Keep that word as a primary communication in all mediums.

4.Master one category: Instead of going all guns blazing, choose one specific category and specialize in growing your brand in that particular category initially.

5.Blue Ocean Strategy: You can create your brand awareness by using the popular blue ocean strategy where you can create a new market segment and demand after which you grow your business by selling specific products to the segment audience.

You can also have a quick look at the add-ons you need to consider.

1.Focus on product packaging. Your product packaging defines the outlook of your brand, it reflects how the customers perceive your brand. So make it premium with proper brand logos and theme colors.

2.Quick services are what customers look for now. No one likes to wait, be it a customer waiting for a query response from your end or waiting for a product to be delivered, make sure the customer gets it with a whisk.

3.Provide warranty or guarantee. One aspect that many brands overlook is backing the products with warranty claims. This does not only boost your sales but also increases the product’s liability and customer’s loyalty.

4.Using customer testimonials can help define a brand in the niche market. A good word of mouth can result in enormous business growth as a business and more as a brand too. This will further fortify the trust factor for your brand.

 Conclusion

I’m as excited as you are for the commodity vs brand series where we explore the best of two worlds and possibly side towards the brand for better business growth. 

Many of the above observations are backed with solid data and experiences of helping many businesses build their own brand.

Stay tuned for more amazing contents on this commodity vs brand series as I will be rolling out new interesting follow up contents every Friday. Watch this space for more

Ecommerce Facebook Ads

How to Scale Your E-commerce Business with Facebook Ads

Growing Ecommerce is hard. But when you use a platform like Facebook with the right marketing strategies, you can grow your business without any hassle.

I have generated more than $500K in Facebook ads for eCommerce business. Based on that I am going to discover the things which I used & Which can help the eCommerce business.

  1. Framework
  2. Facebook Ads funnel
  3. Offer
  4. Communication
  5. Retargeting ads
    1. Catalog sales ad
    2. Flash sale ad
    3. Brand Awareness
  6. Customer Value Journey

Did you come here to learn Facebook ads technically?

You will not get technical stuff here. But you will be able to get the things other than Facebook ads technical stuff and which can help to grow their online store with Facebook ads..

Let’s get started!

1. Framework

When you want to use Facebook ads, you create a framework or a successful path for eCommerce ads. In this framework, you need to draw the steps that you will follow to create & manage the ads.

Here is a framework I use to run Facebook ads:

  • Do Market research & create buyer personas
  • Set specific goals like traffic, CPC, CTR, ATC, IC, Purchases, & ROAS.
  • Make a test drive to understand in real
  • Do Analysis & Make a Funnel strategy
  • Create Audience
  • Create Content & Creatives
  • Setup the Funnel ads
  • Monitor ads everyday
  • Optimize and scale the campaign

2.Facebook Ads funnel

There are many people who tried to run direct conversion ads & saying that Facebook ads are not giving ROAS.

Yeah That’s true.

When you try to create just a conversion ad for a cold audience, you will not get profit even if you get purchases.

There are different kinds of people who live in the target location. Each one may look any one of following things: 

  • Offer
  • Known Brand
  • More customers reviews
  • Influencers words/Recommendation
  • Familiarity with the new brand

If you assume yourself as a customer, which one could be the reason for making buying decisions?.

You may choose any one or two.

But I may look for other reasons to make a purchase.

In this case, how is a brand able to target both people with a single custom conversion ad?

We have to use the funnel to convert all users together. When you do this, you are able to get more customers.

More profits too!

Here is the simple funnel that use:

Top of the funnel

Top of funnel: 

Goal: Brand awareness

Ad Objective: Traffic, Video Views, View Content

Budget: 50% of ad campaign budget

Audience: Cold Audience

In this stage, we must use the content which can create an awareness about the product. Here is an example content which aims to create awareness about the product

Mid of Funnel

Mid of funnel: 

Goal: Consideration

Ad Objective: Add to cart, Initiate Checkout

Budget: 30% of ad campaign budget

Audience: Warm audience who engaged in the top funnel.

In this stage, we have to retarget the people who are already engaged at the top of the funnel. Also you have communicated about the offer & scarcity. Here is an example content which aims to get attention about the product offer.

Warm Audience FB ads

You might have listened/got the strategy before, but have not tried a proper funnel yet? 

That is one of main reasons why your ecommerce business is not profitable with social giant,

It’s not too late, Create & execute a simple funnel to see the results. 

If funnels are not generating the sales, you must check these things to find out the reasons.

Bottom of the funnel

Bottom of Funnel

Goal: conversion

Ad Objective: Purchase

Budget: 30% of ad campaign budget

Audience: Warm audience who engaged in the mid funnel.

In this stage, we have to communicate about the urgency and scarcity of the product to spike the interest in the audience which prompts them to make the order transaction possible.

Communicate about the offer and scarcity first with a proper call to action to initiate a checkout.

Here is an example:

Ad for Bottom of Funnel

3.Offers in Facebook ads

Offers are one of the best ways to increase your ecommerce sales.

Offers boosts sales. Period. In real time experience, offers tend to catch instant attention from users improving the overall click through rates. Perhaps offer induced ads can propel and boost your social media engagement as well. It is a win-win situation here with both sales as well as post engagement with your prospects.

There are different types of offers that can be communicated in facebook ads. Some of the most commonly used offers are discount codes, vouchers, year end sale, summer sale, flash sale, clearance sale etc.

Offers in Facebook Ads

4.Communication

When you want to convert more people as a customer, what you communicate is the most important factor. 

If you are not communicating the things that people are looking for as benefits from the product, you will not be able to convert them at all.

So here is a way to tell your product benefits/brand story via Ads.

  1. Analyze your product benefits & Features
  2. Analyze our competitors products/brands and list out the differences/unic things that you can communicate.
  3. Find out the problem & Benefits are commonly talking about the product on Forum, testimonials, reviews, & social media.
  4. Then connect all the gathered information to create the communication theme. Also consider whom you’re going to reach.
  5. Once the theme is ready, create multiple stages of ad contents.

Each stage of the funnel, communication must be specific. Here is an example:

TOF: Brand Awareness:

The first stage of Funnel starts with creating unique brand awareness for your brand. As this is the first time prospects get to know you, start your Facebook campaign by giving a detailed insight into your brand and product and make sure they are aware of what you are trying to sell them, basically as a product to satisfy their needs. Brand awareness typically starts with prospecting cold audiences, either by creating a new set of audience with buyer persona or creating a lookalike audience with existing users.

TOF ad

MOF: Consideration

The second stage of funnel is obviously where you try to get into their options list with creating a more personalized way of approach that identifies their need from the bottom rather than a general overview. The best way to do so is communicate about the benefits of the product rather than moving towards pushing your brand to them

Take a look at this ad copy from Amoda

MOF ad

BOF: Conversion

The last stage is where the prospects either make a purchase or exit a tunnel. Go all guns blazing with this one as the final stage is ought to bring you  the necessary purchases. Give them the chance to avail the limited period offer or last few stocks .

BOF ad

The main objective here is to create a sense of urgency that prevails on the minds of prospects that urges them to make the purchase. 

Don’t forget to add videos in your social media ads because more than 54% of total social media users wish to see a video from the brands than a contemporary image or blog contents.

Keep the video short, creative and impulsive in a sense to keep them well engaged.

5.Retargeting audience

Are you getting a lot of traffic, but all the users are not making purchases?

Now, you can recover/increase your online store revenue by doing retargeting ads. Over 70% of the users are more likely to convert in retargeting ads.

They might leave with a reason, it could be anything like “need more offer” “want to do more research about the product benefits”. But you should not leave them. Retargeting is a possibility to show more details about your product or brand.

Well we obviously can’t stop them but can surely retarget them on specific grounds to get them back on our site again to turn them into customers.

Did you know?

25% of the people who like retargeting ads because ads remind them about the product.

You can use retargeting ads in 3 ways: 

1. Catalogue sales

A set of collective products they were interested in when they checked in to your site initially. This is the best ad to get more sales as you show them ads of products, they viewed the product or added to their cart.  

In fact, I have generated INR. 1 Million by spending just spending INR.40k through Facebook Dynamic ads

Here is an example

Dynamic Ads

2. Flash sales

Being into ecommerce you should probably understand how a flash sale works and its potential to the overall sales. You must regularly use flash sale ads every year, like once in 6 months at least to get your audience excited with new offers, deals and year end discounts. This will ensure you get a good number of sales as well as earn their trust and love towards the brand.

When you do a flash sale, you will convert the people who visited your online store previously, but did not make a purchase.

Flash sale ad

3. Awareness ads

The last ad type you’d ever want to choose, as this type is not sales oriented but more towards increasing your engagement. Use this ad type when you want people to be more engaged with your brand and create a good awareness about your product through awareness ads.

Awareness Ad

6.Customer Value Journey

A customer’s journey on your site is as important as getting them visit your site. You take up the driver’s seat in deciding the actions he/she is supposed to take.

If you sell only one product, you will not be able to make much profit. If you get multiple sales from the same customers, you will be able to grow 4X or more.

This is where the idea of upselling expensive or cross selling products comes into play. You lure your prospects to try your base selling product and once when they are into your site, you try to push them gently towards trying a better priced product or cross sell other products that might spike the interest of your prospects.

 Here is a customer value journey from Digital Marketer.

Customer Value Journey

You have to plan the journey before making the campaigns to get users 1 sale.

These are based on our experience of helping our clients achieve better target sales by understanding our audience better and adapting these points. If you want to taste similar success as of our clients, book a free consulting call now and get a personalized strategy report for your business absolutely FREE. Book Now

Ecommerce SEO

Ecommerce SEO: A comprehensive guide

A comprehensive guide to breakdown the basic structure of Ecommerce SEO. This ecommerce guide is all you need to learn about optimizing your site, that sheds light into everything a SEO covers from keyword research to technical SEO to link building. 

If you want to drive quality traffic to your site, you will need this guide to optimize your Ecommerce page to get the maximum benefits.

Importance of SEO

Important of seo

SEO is the way of taking your site to the masses, optimizing your page to meet the SEO standards means more organic traffic coming your way which indeed shows organic leads heading up to your site. Almost every top site that comes up at the top of a google or bing search just goes about to explain how effectively their SEO teams have been working to top the charts.

According to backlinko

Almost 37% of traffic to all ecommerce sites comes from Search engines. 

44% of consumers buy their product by starting to search on Google.

23.6% orders directly come from the organic traffic as a result of good SEO.

Why Audit is important for a website?

SEO audit

 

Running Audit regularly helps in upholding the smooth functioning of the site and also ensures there’s no threat or problem with the SEO standards of your site. This provides the key to improve and optimize the site further to meet the SEO standards. There are processes involved in site audits like

  • User engagement
  • User experience
  • Traffic
  • Functionality
  • Site health
  • Website performance

A website audit can be broken down into the following aspects:

  • Site health audit
  • Website security audit
  • Social media presence audit
  • Conversion rate optimization audit
  • Negative seo audit
  • Competitor website audit
  • Penalty and recovery audit
  • Duplicate content audit

Let quickly get to the Ecommerce SEO guide

1. Ecommerce keyword research

Once you completed the site audit, Probably you set a plan and goal for a respective niche. Once you find the niche then go for a Keyword research.

Keyword research is where everything starts with SEO optimization. It is not only the basic but also the important structure in building the SEO campaign as it intimates every other SEO related tasks that you carry out on your website.

Your keywords list has a direct influence on your technical SEO too. This is mainly because your site’s URL and architecture needs to take keywords into accounts.

So the first thing you should probably do in an SEO campaign is to find the right keywords that people search for and use only the best ones that can help you take away the ranks in a clean sweep. So how exactly do you do that?

How to find the right keywords?

First, know and decide what topic you are going to write about. Then You can find keywords by using Keyword Research Tools. 

Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest both are keyword research tools that will help you find keywords When you enter your Heading or Search Term. 

Along with finding them, you can also see their Search Volume, Search Difficulty, Competition Level, and Suggested Keywords related to your Heading.

Note : The Long tail keyword that consists of many related keywords clubbed together that have a better chance of converting than keywords with short phrases. 

Tools for Keyword generator

There are plenty of keyword research tools available online that can help you increase your organic traffic by a huge 62.2%

Some of the popular tools are

Google Keyword Planner Tool

It is a comprehensive tool that suggests keywords from across all the platforms.

Keyword Planner tool

 

There are various other popular tools for keywords research like

  • SEM Rush
  • Ahrefs Keywords research
  • Google keyword planner
  • Ubersuggest

You can choose any of these tools or find one that serves your needs online easily.

How to Choose Keywords

1. Volume

The  most important aspect of choosing Keywords is largely based on the search volume indeed. Find the difference between High volume and low volume for your industry and product.

Choose keyword

 

If you are a new site, find the low & medium volumes because most of the big brands are fighting for higher search volume.

Low volume is a good start for beginners.

2. Competitors

Now you need to search keywords based on the competition to know how to reach the first page in Google search.

Competitions

 

There are again multiple tools for searching keywords based on competition. One such tool is the Semrush Keyword difficulty.

This tool gives you a metric about how the competition revolves on that one keyword.

It’s simple, enter the keyword in the search box to find the keyword difficulty.

The harder it is to rank, when the difficulty percentage number piles up

3. Long Tail Keywords 

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they’re using voice search. 

Long tail keywords have low search volume and High conversion rate. Here you can see the monthly searches of long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords

2.Ecommerce Website Structure

Site structure is basically how things are architecture and placed on your site that plays a very major part in determining the SEO standards of your site.

With Ecommerce sites obviously having more pages than a normal blog site, it is often difficult for search engines to find all your pages.

There are 2 ways to optimize your Ecommerce website to meet the SEO norms.

The first point is to make it really simple and not too deep for a user or google to get confused with. 

Well-optimized site architecture

This is a simple layout structure where the link authority is placed on the Site’s category and product pages. It helps to rank your site in Google and also easy for Google to index your pages.

The second point is make sure your every page in your site is three or fewer clicks away from the home page.

3.On page SEO

With the completion of Ecommerce page architecture, it is now time to move to page optimization. For almost all the ecommerce sites, it is the category and product pages that need the optimization as these are responsible for alluring more traffic and sales.

Still wondering how? A guy searching for Levi’s denim jacket size L is much better when it comes to shopping than a guy who searches just for a denim jacket. It is why it’s very important to optimize your product page and the title first.

Meta Title optimization

The rule is simple. Add your target keyword in your title tag along with tempting words like ‘Best price, etc as this gives scope for long tail keyword searches.

Also these extra words are what people commonly use while searching for their products. Some of the most common tags and terms people use are :

  • Best
  • Review
  • Free shipping

The second method to optimize your title is to include terms like offer to double your CTR.

These magnetic terms along with target keywords are hard to resist for any potential buyers. 

Some of the most commonly used magnetic words by people are:

  • ‘Numbers’ OFF (30% OFF)
  • best price
Meta title

Meta Description Optimization

Description part of your site can be an important arena to pick up your on page SEO.

It also plays a key factor in helping you improve your site’s CTR.

The title keywords along with magnetic words that I listed above can be used for the description as well. You can add more terms as with the description tag, you get a lot of space to include more keywords and magnetic words to improve your overall CTR.

Some of the few phrases that have proven to work better are:

  • Get Free shipping on all our products today.
  • Save ‘numbers’ off on our product

There are still loads of terms you can experiment with. The idea is to include more magnetic and alluring words as much as possible.

Meta description

4.Technical SEO 

The importance of Technical SEO can’t be stressed enough as this is one of the important spaces for issues to appear as well, and even more for the ecommerce sites as they tend to have more pages under their skin. A technical SEO can often be the decider of a game between placing your page on the 1st position or on the 4th position. 

Site audits are key in identifying the issues with your ecommerce sites and running these audits regularly can ensure that your site runs really smoothly free from any issues.

There are many tools available online to run audits frequently. Some of the most commonly used tools are

  • Ahref
  • SEMrush
  • Uber suggest
Technical SEO

Site speed

A research by Radware claims that the top 500 American ecommerce sites are 16% slower. The average loading speed has increased from 7.36 seconds to 8.56 seconds. 

According to statistics, a business loses 25% of visitors if the loading speed takes over 4 seconds to load.

Site Speed

There are loads of reasons behind your ecommerce site being really slow, from setting up with a mediocre host to adding up more DNS lookups, the reasons can be many. But how do you optimize it?

There are some ways to lower your loading speed like reducing the size of your page. Other common ways to increase the site speed are:

  • Use a cache and in memory technique
  • Using content delivery network
  • Optimize the image quality
  • Compress data
  • Monitor site speed
  • Reduce round trips
  • Optimize platform configurations
  • Avoiding redirects 

Duplicate content

Duplicate content can be a nightmare, first it confuses both users and google, and secondly it takes away the SEO ranking from your hands directly. Though unintentionally floated, many of the duplicate contents can often be a part of the negligence incurred. 

Duplicate Content

There are different types of duplicate contents like URL duplicates where different URL leads to the same page. If you copy and paste from another ecommerce site, Google will tag it as a duplicate content. This is again an error that’s being overlooked. 

As an ecommerce site, you are not the only one selling a specific manufacturer’s product. So copying the manufacturer’s own description for your site might be considered a duplicate content as there are other ecommerce sites selling the same products.

To fix URL duplicates, use 301 redirects to let Google know that different links on your site are not duplicates at all. Once you are done applying a 301 redirect, the status of the page will be changed to ‘Moved permanently’.

5.Content Marketing

Without any doubt content marketing can be the first person to get the necessary sales and conversions for any given ecommerce site. But does it really help with SEO and traffic? Short answer is YES, if you do it correctly.

Content marketing is all about understanding what your audience wants and you give them exactly what they want with a bit of keywords included in them. Go to forums, youtube comment sections where people talk about your product that you are selling.

Content Marketing

H&M runs an online magazine for blogs and fashion contents. Check out the H&M magazine to know how they keep their audience engaged regularly

Look for the style and terms how they communicate with each other about your product. Now frame a content revolving around these keywords and phrases so it connects with your target audience better more emotionally as well. 

There are lots of ecommerce marketing sites running a blog section about interesting topics related to their contents that helps them in ranking their page better and also brings more traffic to their site as well. Now that’s a win win situation for your site.

Post blogs regularly to keep the audience coming to your page, stay engaged and develop a connection with your brand.

Make sure your contents are SEO optimized as well before you go live.

6.Ecommerce Link Building

Link building is one of the hardest parts of the SEO optimization process. But it’s definitely not that hard if you know what people expect from your end. Consider you are selling a speaker or earphone, then making a short blog or video on topics like “Top 10 Songs of all time’ or something related to this will definitely help people to redirect to your landing page.

The key focus is to build more quality links as possible and increase your sites visibility as well.

link building

Now the most sought after way to link building is featuring influencers on your ecommerce sit, this works really well if you are selling shoes or clothing lines.

There is also the video marketing strategy, to build links through video marketing. You can also enable product share feature, another great way to build links. 

7. Product page optimization:

Product page optimization is the toughest part of the job as you want to write high quality content that needs to be on line with the conversion rate as well. So how exactly do you optimize it?

Description

 Longer contents are ranked better in google. Period. So ensure you write a 350 – 400 words description that includes as much as keywords possible that also makes senses at any given point. 

Product page optimization

A detailed description allows Google to understand your product better, and the better it understands the better rank your page receives. Besides an in-depth product page description allows users to get a better hold of your products. 

Images:

Keep your image optimized with the right size so that it doesn’t take forever to load. Ensure shrinking the size doesn’t deteriorate the image quality. An ecommerce site sporting real time photos, 360 degree photos and even enabling review images works wonders for the audience.

Image optimization

If it’s an ecommerce site selling apparel or clothing lines, models wearing the clothing line and writing down the physical attributes of the model like the height, shoulder’s length can revolutionize the shopping experience.

Reviews: 

close to 7 out of 10 people prefer looking at reviews before getting a product so ensure you have reviews and ratings available on your product page effectively. 

Reviews

Including keywords is not for keyword density but for Google to understand your site better. Use it 4-5 times in your description to give Google a better perspective of your product.

LSI keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are phrases or words that are a close part of your main target keyword.

For example if your product is a sweatshirt, then your LSI keywords must be something like:

  • Winter sweatshirt
  • Cotton sweatshirt
  • Full sleeve sweatshirt
  • Warm sweatshirt

These are some of the most commonly used LSI keywords for the term Sweatshirt.

There are few ways to find them, one such is obviously heading over to Amazon, then look for terms that show up many times in the same category page. And that’s your LSI words for the product.

The other way to find is to enter your keyword in Google keyword planner and then look for the suggested keywords from the list.

Short URL

It has been clearly evident that google tends to rank better with a shorter URL than a page with a longer URL.

Short URL

Look how tiring long URLs can be, the one in the above could have been more specific by getting rid of the unwanted numbers.

Since you frame an URL for an ecommerce site, your URL tends to have a longer format as you need to include categories, sub categories, products etc. But the idea is to keep it as short as possible as you don’t want to confuse Google with a longer URL.

Use a 2 word description for your category and product pages

For example

https://xyz.com/menswear

then for the final product you can use something like this

https://xyz/menswear/winterwear/levisweatshirt

See how simple that one went? Make sure you give a 1 or 2 keyword description making it easy for Google to understand so that your product can rank better.

8. Internal Linking

The idea is really simple. To link one page to another page in your very own website is a part of link building. when done properly, you can see direct changes on your site ranking.

Internal linking

 

Also the words that need to be linked between two pages must be an anchor keyword. This helps to understand the right target keyword. 

 

9. Schema Markup

Google gets rich snippets from structured markups like Schema as search results. And the ecommerce sites have the benefits of using reviews as their most powerful rich snippet.

Schema markup

Schema is code developed on your site that gives Google and other search engines a better understanding of your products. By using Schema on your ecommerce page you can get reviews for your search results.

There are third party tools to enable schema markups on your site, as manually setting schema markups can be a painful process. Tools like Google’s Structured Data Markup helper can be really handy in setting up your schema markup. 

Using google search console enables you to check if your schema markup has been set right, if it’s enabled correctly, you will start seeing ‘Rich Results’ under enhancements.

Google Search Console

 

If you have a rich snippet, you should be able to see it under the mobile usability bar.

 

10. Keep monitoring search console suggestions to optimize more.

Google search console is a free tool developed by google for ecommerce owners to see how their website actually looks. Keeping a close eye on the google search console helps you to optimize your SEO standards effectively. It helps you to monitor organic presence of your site.

Google search control lets google access your site, monitors the organic results and lets you know how well the site is performing and the issues that need to be fixed. It also helps big time when you want to remove an old content and replace it with a newer one.

All it takes is only a few minutes to set up Google search control for your site. You can enter your site URL in the search bar and hit ‘Add A Property’ and confirm it.

Search Console

Once you are done with this, verify your account and link it with google account.

Conclusion

These are the basics that you should never ever look while optimizing your site to regain better SEO standards.

As always it’s never a one day process that you can get it done within 24 hours and never look back. Be consistent and wait till you start seeing good results. Good things take time and so should you be. 

Perform on and off page SEO regularly and run frequent audits for smooth functioning of the site and also to see prominent organic results coming your way.