No one buys from a site that they don’t know exists. If you want to make more e-commerce sales, you need to make more people aware of your store and get them to commit to that critical first site visit. Easier said than done. Getting that first site visit is getting more and more expensive, as digital advertising costs continue to rise and the increasing prevalence of ad blockers and ad blindness. In response, brands are turning to alternative channels to get their word out; chief among them, advocacy marketing. Learn the secrets to leveraging the power of advocacy marketing to drive e-commerce traffic and conversions.
What is Advocacy Marketing?
You can get the full skinny on advocacy marketing here, but as a refresher, advocacy marketing falls under the “Word-of-Mouth” marketing umbrella. In a nutshell, your brand advocates (also known as Superfans) share your branded messages (blog posts, videos, infographics) with their friends and family on their personal social news feeds on their own volition, increasing your exposure without increasing your cost-per-click media costs.
Advocacy marketing is a powerful marketing tool:
- People pay 2x more attention to recommendations from friends
- 92% of global consumers say they trust recommendations and information from family and friends above any other form of advertising.
- 67% of consumers say they are likely to purchase items that they’ve seen on their social media newsfeeds
For e-commerce brands, advocacy on social channels carries even more cred:
- Brands see a 129% higher customer conversion rate when a new site visitor comes from a social channel
- Social customers are 4x as likely to spend MORE than customers without a social interaction
- Small and medium online businesses get 60% of their sales thanks to referrals
Use Advocacy Marketing to Drive E-commerce Traffic
The core mission of advocacy marketing is to drive e-commerce traffic. Platforms like SocialToaster (*cough* shameless plug *cough*), were created to make it easy for a brand’s Superfans or employees to share their favorite brands’ content on their social networks. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Build your advocacy marketing program
Step 2: Publish an awesome piece of content to your website
Step 3: Have your advocates share this awesome content on their social networks
Step 4: New customers see your piece of content on their friend’s feed (where it carries that Word-of-Mouth mojo we discussed earlier in this post)
Step 5: New customers come to your site to check out this cool content
Step 6: You purchase a larger calculator to math-up all that sweet new profit
Get the Traffic, Get the Sale
Rarely does a customer make their first purchase on their first site visit. Seriously. Ask an e-commerce store owner or marketing manager and they’ll tell you the same. It takes multiple touch points (7 to 13+) to turn a prospect into a paying customer. Now, you can always cross your fingers and hope that the visitors come back on their own, but hoping is not an effective marketing strategy. So, what can you do?
Publish More Great Content Through Your Advocacy Marketing Campaign
First and foremost, if you want to drive e-commerce traffic that comes back again and again (aka repeat traffic), you need to give people a reason to come back to your site. Keep publishing new content to your site. Then empower your advocates to share that content through your advocacy marketing campaign. If your advocates are effective at driving that first visit, count on them to drive that second and third visit as well.
Get That Sweet Email
A flux of new site visitors represents an opportunity to grow your email marketing list. Even in the year 2017, the adage, “The money is on the list,” stands tall and true. Email marketing gives e-commerce companies a cost-effective way to communicate and dialogue with potential customers. By asking for feedback, sharing discounts, and inviting those critical return visits, your brand can capitalize on your advocacy-driven site traffic.
But first, you have to capture that email.
Install a popup or use a sidebar form so when you drive e-commerce traffic to your page, they are enticed by your content to give you their email address. A discount code or free shipping never hurt to grease the sales wheels either. Once captured, place your newly acquired addresses into a nurturing or drip campaign that pushes them towards a first sale.
Use the Power of Remarketing
Yes, it’s digital advertising, but remarketing to site visitors is one of the more cost-effective methods of online advertising. Whether you’re using Adwords, Facebook, or a programmatic DMP, remarketing to previous visitors to drive e-commerce traffic allows you to pick up your sales-driving conversation right where you left off.
Pro Tip: Create a remarketing list just for blog visitors or content viewers. Use this list to support a lead-nurturing campaign that includes sales pieces as well as promoted content that highlights your products. Warm the lead before going for the kill of the sale.
Drive Clicks That Stick
The first site visit is the most important, and typically, the most expensive for an e-commerce store. Stop wasting dollars on clicks that just bounce right off your site and drive e-commerce traffic that sticks by investing in advocacy marketing. Let SocialToaster help you turn your advocates into a sales-driving machine – send us an email, request a free demo, or give us a call at 855.62.TOAST today to get started!