marketing tips for ecommerce businesses on a budget

5 Marketing Ideas for eCommerce Businesses on a Budget

Do you own an eCommerce business? Have you been struggling to compete with the big guns due to budgetary constraints? If yes, then you have come to the right place. Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a Digital Marketing agency. My company specializes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and remarketing. Over the years I have helped quite a number of eCommerce businesses come up with creative ways of reaching out to their target audiences. I particularly like to work with those on a budget! Why? Because I believe you don't have to be big to make it out there! This article covers the following areas;

Challenges Facing eCommerce businesses

So, you have finally launched that much anticipated eCommerce business, right? But what do you do from there? One thing that you will discover is that things are not as simple as they may have appeared at the onset. For one thing, you will discover that there is stiff competition out there. Your business’ chance of success rests on your ability to outmaneuver your competitors. 

5 Marketing Ideas for eCommerce Businesses on a Budget

How do you market your business when operating on a tight budget?

Budgetary constraints are another challenge facing eCommerce businesses in today's operating environment. That’s particularly the case for new businesses. There are so many things that need to be done and so many costs that need to be borne. So, what can you do? 

Another challenge is that it takes so long for Search Engines to begin to rank your business. Results only start coming in after a long time. Sometimes you have to wait months. Sometimes it takes years for SEO to begin to bear fruits. So, you cannot rely on organic traffic to drive sales for your business. At least not initially. 

Marketing Ideas for eCommerce Businesses on a Budget

You have come here because you are operating on a tight budget. And you are wondering how to make it stretch for your eCommerce business. Perhaps you are an individual who has finally launched a business after a long struggle.

Getting launched is only a small part of the struggle. The real work begins afterwards. You need to work hard to attract the kind of clientele that's required to turn your business into a success. The following marketing ideas should be helpful to eCommerce businesses operating on a budget;

1. Start advertising your business on Facebook. It’s really cheap!

A Facebook Ad Preview

A Facebook Ad preview. You can create Facebook Ads for your eCommerce business at an affordable rate

Facebook Marketing has been growing from strength to strength over the past few years. However, most people do not seem to realize its full potential. I do Facebook Advertising on a daily basic and I can tell you that the platform is one of the best, particularly for eCommerce businesses operating on a budget.

Check out my Facebook Ads for Shopify Stores article. It provides a glimpse into how eCommerce businesses can use Facebook Ads to achieve growth.

I often get asked which one is the cheapest between Facebook Ads and Google Ads. The answer is that Facebook advertising tends to be way cheaper. In fact, you can get started from as low as $5 a day. But what are the options for eCommerce businesses when it comes to marketing on Facebook?

You need to have a Facebook Page

Facebook Pages can be created free of charge. That’s ideal for eCommerce businesses on a budget. You don’t have to pay anything to create one. And Pages are great because they can be used to keep engagement with both prospects and customers.

You can also use your Page to generate the right Custom Audience for your paid Facebook ads. Facebook Pages are also important because they allow people to ask you questions about your products and services. People can also give you useful feedback on your Facebook Page.

Do Facebook Paid Ads

Paid Facebook Ads are another option for eCommerce businesses on a budget. Most people struggle when it comes to getting set up. That’s where I come in. I have several products that can help you get there, including my Facebook Ads Setup Plan. Sign up, and I will do all the hard work on your behalf.

I will also give your 2 live ads. From there, you can take over management of your account. Or you can leave it all up to me while concentrating on other aspects of running your business. It’s all up to you. The point is, Facebook ads are not that expensive. Even eCommerce businesses on a budget can afford them.

Use Pixel to get the most out of your Facebook Ads

use pixel to reach the right audience on Facebook

Use pixel to reach the right audience on Facebook

The goal here is to lower your CPC. You can do this by boosting your CTR and your conversion rates. One way of achieving your aims is by using Facebook Pixel. Pixel is basically Facebook's version of remarketing. You install software on your site and Facebook keeps track of what people are doing there. 

Now, when they visit their Facebook profiles, they are shown your ads in their feeds. These ads feature the products that they showed an interest in on your site. That way, you get a greater chance of turning mere interest into a conversions. Anyway, talk to me about Pixel if you want to lower your advertising costs.

You can boost your Facebook posts

The jury is still out when it comes to whether or not boosting a Facebook post is effective. Nevertheless, boosting posts is another marketing option for eCommerce businesses on a budget. You don’t need that much to boost a post. For amounts as small as $5, your post can reach thousands of people. That’s a good way of creating brand awareness.

2. Do content marketing

Content marketing is another good promotional idea for eCommerce businesses operating on a budget. The beauty of content marketing is that it can be done either free of charge or for very little money. But what is content marketing?

Well, the whole point of content marketing is to create useful content that you can share with people. This content can be in the form of videos, blog posts and posts on social media. Content is shared free of charge. So, how do you benefit from your creations?

content marketing for eCommerce

content marketing can be a cost-effective way of marketing eCommerce businesses

Content marketing is a good way of getting people from wherever they are to your site. If you create a funny video and if you share it on Facebook or on YouTube, chances are high that people who watch it will want to see more. So, if you can direct people to more such videos on your site, that would be great. That’s just one example.

If you write blog posts, you also get the chance to reach out to people. People will read those posts and they will share them with their peers. How content marketing benefits businesses is that it gives them the chance to make their pitch within that content. You may be talking about something else, but you also get the chance to talk about yourself in a subtle manner.

Your content must be helpful

Don’t make the mistake of making your content all about you. Truth is, you may have launched one of the best eCommerce businesses out there, but nobody really cares about you! At least not at the onset. So, don’t talk too much about yourself in your content.

An example of helpful content marketing is this very article. I am writing about 5 marketing ideas for eCommerce businesses on a budget. But you may have noticed that I am trying to advertise my Facebook Marketing products and services.

So, this article is really useful to people operating eCommerce businesses that are struggling to come up with marketing ideas. But it’s also useful to my own businesses because a few of these people may choose to engage my services.

Content can also be entertainment

Content should also be entertaining. The most shared videos out there are the ones featuring poodles performing pranks or people falling flat on their faces. Humor sells big time. It’s one way of giving your business greater visibility.

That’s a great way of reaching out to people. The marketplace is overcrowded. But you only need to create one viral piece of content to get the kind of visibility that your business craves.

Carry out Keyword Research before producing your content

Keyword research is important to the success of your content marketing strategy. The thing to note is that you should write your content with both Search Engines and your target audience in mind. I know people will say you should focus on your target audience, but Google is how you get to that target audience. So, you need to have search engines in mind.

There are many Keyword research tools out there. Find one that works best for you. Many of them are free, or free to some degree, including WordTracker. You can also use the suggestions that pop up when you start typing something into Google for keyword research. That’s one way of knowing what people are saying about your particular area.

Where can you get content?

Remember what I said about content marketing being either free or paid? So, where do you get your content?

You can produce content yourself
produce your own content

Technology has made it really easy for people to produce their own content

It can be free in that you can write articles or produce videos yourself. If you are the owner of an eCommerce business selling Sportswear, as an example, you can write an article showing people how to take care of Soccer boots. You could even turn that article into a video! Doing it yourself tends to be the best option if you are operating on a budget. It won’t cost you much.

You can hire people to write articles and produce your videos

This is another option when it comes to content production. You can hire people to write your articles. These days you can hire people from around the world for very little money. And many of them are able to produce decent work. As an example, I hire freelancers off platforms such as Upwork to do content writing for me. You can do the same for videos.

3. Go big on Social Media

Social media can be used to market eCommerce businesses at an affordable rate

Social media can be used to market eCommerce businesses at an affordable rate

This is related to the first point that we gave in this article. The difference is that we are no longer just talking about Facebook. One great marketing idea for eCommerce businesses on a budget is to go big on Social Media. There are many social networking platforms out there. Each of them has its own merits and demerits. The best known are the following;

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Which one should you go for? 

We have already talked about Facebook Marketing. That’s a must for eCommerce businesses on a budget. You can reach out to your target audience for virtually nothing on Facebook. Another good option is Instagram. The great thing about Instagram is that it’s so big on visuals. And visuals are what people are looking for these days.

Create a following

Your main aim on social media should be to create a large following. This applies whether one is talking about Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Having a huge following is a good way of keeping the costs of marketing your eCommerce business down.

The more people follow you or have liked your content, the less you will have to pay to reach out to them. It means they will be able to see everything that you produce without you having to find them using paid ads. So, your costs are kept down.

How to create a loyal following

So, how do you create that much needed loyal audience? Well, there are various things that you can do. We have already noted that you need to create viral, useful content. The more such content that you produce; the more likely it is that people will follow you. This applies be it on Twitter, on Facebook or on YouTube. Having helpful or entertaining content is the only way through which you are going to attract a following.

Another trick is to run contents and giveaways that you promote on your social media platform. Say, you are giving away 100 free downloads of your digital product to the first 100 people to like your page! You can create hype that way. Or you could give these people a discount when they buy from you. You have many options here. Of course, you could end up having to spend something to get people’s attention. However, it’s all worth it!

4. Run discounts and offers

Discounts may sound as if you are undercutting yourself at a time when you need to be tightening your budget. However, they are worthwhile in the long run. Here is the thing; you are probably going to get very few marketing opportunities out there that come absolutely free of charge. The assumption is that you have a small budget. But you do have a budget nevertheless.

Offer discounts to attract customers

Offer discounts to attract customers

The thing about discounts and promos is that they appeal to our baser instincts as human beings. We all love freebies, right? And we like having that sense of limited supply. So, if you say you have a limited number of a product, people are likely to come flocking to buy. The same applies if you say a product is available for a limited period or while stocks last. That’s one way of generating hype around your products. The following are some of the methods that you can use to get people interested in your business;

  • Offer free shipping
  • Give people discounts
  • Run promos for a limited time period
  • Give freebies to the first X number of customers to take some desired action
  • Offer product bundles

5. Create an Affiliate Marketing program

affiliate marketing can be use to effectively market eCommerce businesses

Affiliate marketing can be use to effectively market eCommerce businesses

Running an affiliate marketing program is another interesting marketing idea for eCommerce businesses on a budget. I have previously written a lot of articles on affiliate marketing. Search through this site and you will find them.

How does it work? 

So, how does affiliate marketing work from the point of view of an eCommerce business? Again, this is something that I have covered a lot on this site. All I can say here is that affiliate marketing has the following players; the brand, the affiliate and, optionally, the affiliate network. The affiliate network is optional because affiliates and brands can work directly together.

How affiliate marketing works is that the brand/merchant/vendor first comes up with a product. It then engages the services of affiliates to do marketing on its behalf. These affiliates market the brand’s products on various platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and on their blogs.

Is affiliate marketing affordable?

Remember that we are talking about marketing for eCommerce businesses on a budget. So, is affiliate marketing an inexpensive marketing option? The answer is yes! The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you only get to pay when an affiliate produces results. If the goal is to sell a product, you will only pay an affiliate when they convince someone to buy.

So, you could have thousands of people doing marketing for you on their platforms free of charge. You only pay them when they sell something on your behalf. Otherwise they will produce content for you at no cost. So, affiliate marketing is great.

If you go through this site, you will notice that I am an affiliate for various companies. However, I also run my own affiliate marketing program in house. People can sign up to sell various products, including my DIY Facebook Ads marketing course. Once they have sold something, I will pay them for the lifetime of the referral.

Conclusion

Hope this article has shown you great marketing ideas for eCommerce businesses on a budget. If you have unlimited spending power, then the issue of marketing is one on which you can afford to do a lot of experimentation. However, for most small businesses, there tend to be severe budgetary constraints.

So, you need to be creative to make it work. The solutions that I showed you in this article included using social media to create a hype around yourself and your products. You should also do content marketing. That’s the best way of getting people to your site.

If you need help in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. As noted earlier, I have worked with countless eCommerce businesses. I can give you the answers that you are looking for today! And I will do it in such a way that you won’t have to rob a bank to get going!                                                                             

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