In March, a report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and market research company IMRB International said that the number of internet users is expected to reach around, 450-465 million by June 2017. By the end of this, the number of online shoppers is expected to cross the 100 million mark, mentioned an ASSOCHAM-Resurgent India study.
The size of the online consumer market in India is huge and the untapped market online is almost three times larger than that. Now that you know the size of the etail industry it is easy to understand just how many people are willing to purchase online.
How do you reach out to customers online and more importantly, the relevant ones looking for your products?
First and foremost, you need to sell online/ have an online presence. Next you need to dabble into the concept of digital marketing, the online version of marketing.
What does digital marketing include?
Digital marketing includes promoting through channels like social media, Google search (online search engines), websites and email. Advertising through online marketplaces using their pay-per-click mechanisms and display ads to promote products are also a part of the digital marketing spectrum. We have already covered advertising through marketplaces and their effectiveness. In this post will are looking beyond advertising options available through etailers.
Choices outside of marketplaces (Channels of digital marketing)
Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
PPC ads are a popular pick. Under this form of advertising, you pay for it every time a potential customer clicks on your ad. Google Adwords is a commonly used option when it comes to PPC ads. The search engine allows you to create search ads and display ads, select the customers (based on location and keywords related to your product that they may search) and set a budget for your ad campaign.
Google offers you detailed reports on the performance of your ads. Based on this information you can adjust your running campaign and even re-create a different ad for better performance. To know how to use Google Adwords click here.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO requires the use of relevant keywords in your online content. This may be with regards to product descriptions, product titles, webpage content, highlights and so on. Using the correct keywords in your content can get your brand page, product pages or online store to the top of customer search results. However, this takes a lot of effort. You require a keyword and internal link strategy, social media presence, fresh and relevant content, customer reviews and back links. For more on how to boost sales through SEO check out this article.
According to a report by Octane Research, marketers in the country have realized that email marketing has a potential of 53%. Through this form of marketing, you can promote your new collections available through your web store, webpage or the marketplace you are registered on. That’s not all, you can send promo codes, links to your product discounts and other offers you have lined up. Email marketing is mainly used to generate sales by taking customers to your products. It may also be used to educate shoppers about products or sales events.
Here you connect with website owners to set up ads on their web pages. In return, you need to pay them a commission based on the agreement between you and the third party (i.e. per-click, per-sale or per-lead they help you generate). Online marketplaces Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, abof and others use affiliate programs to promote their products online.
Social media marketing (SMM)
SMM is another marketing channel popular with online sellers. The Yral Social Media Report 2016 says that India has 136 million social media users. This number is expected to grow with time. Through SMM you can target a wide audience that enjoys browsing through social feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social mediums. These mediums also allow customers to share their purchases, products they like with their friends, followers, fans and those person’s social circles too.
These are ads placed in post blogs, forums and other websites of third parties that may or may not be relevant to the products being advertised. Display ads may be in the form of banners, videos, overlays and other creatives that are linked to products being promoted. The payment for these kind of ads work in the same way PPC ads do.
In this case content like blog posts, write ups, videos, graphics and similar matter with links to your products is promoted online. You can have your content pushed on relevant blog websites, e.g. product review websites or websites dealing with the kind of products you sell, like makeup blogs/Youtube channels. Persons interested in the content you promote may also be interested in the products you sell. So providing a link to your shop or listings can land you the sales or traffic you are looking for.
Online public relations (OPR)
OPR mainly involves the promotion of content (related to your products). The promotional content created is published on PR networks. Some channels may be free others charge a fee to post press releases about products.
Each of the above channels are readily available for use. But, is digital marketing worth the cost? Could it possibly provide a noticeable increase in sales?
Stay tuned to find out through the second half of this article, where we bring you insights from experienced sellers on how to obtain 20-90% sales from digital marketing. And, the opinions of an industry expert who specialises in the use of these channels.