Today, we have a question from Emma. Emma has a great website full of wonderful products. She’s not sure what should happen next so she asks:
“Should I outsource my online marketing to a marketing agency?”
She adds that she is neither “technical” nor “passionate” about marketing.
Having an ecommerce site that’s built well doesn't mean that the sales will come rolling in immediately. But going to an agency may not be the best first move. I’ve used many agencies for marketing over the years. In the past, I had some bad experiences. I also know that many brands waste lots of money agency hopping. They think their product and website are great so the problem must be the agency. That’s probably not a fair assessment. An agency can execute all the basic online marketing tactics. But it’s not going to necessarily yield results. They use comprehensive and robust software platforms to automate a lot of the online marketing tasks. There’s a lot you need to know about your numbers and brand before an agency is really going to make a difference.
The days of having a well-designed website and expecting immediate sales is over. There’s too much competition, even for the most unique services or products. And there’s a lot of noise. So you’ve got to find what makes your brand special. What makes it special is usually you.
Building your personal brand
The most powerful way you can deliver your message to the marketplace is by building your personal brand. This is how you create an audience and a following. By being an authentic person, who is knowledgeable of the product or service, your message will resonate. As people begin to trust you more and like you more, they become much likelier to buy from you.
You can help them make the most informed decision by sharing your insights and knowledge. You’re not making a hard sale. You are sharing experiences and stories. You are telling them the “why” of your brand, not just its features.
So you really have to understand your specific market and niche. Who would be interested in your products? Where are they? Then start testing. You can write web content and blogs. Develop videos of just talking about the product or demonstrating how to use it. From this content, you’ll start to find out what’s working because you are measuring your efforts. From this measurement, you’ll start to create sales funnels. These are funnels that you expect your buyer to take. You start with generating interest and capturing emails then prompt users further down the funnel until you get to the sale.
Keep testing different channels and ads, optimizing what works and cutting what doesn’t. Now you have campaigns that are producing what you hoped an agency might. But it’s then when you could actually start to use an agency. They can then take your campaigns to a larger scale while you go back to working on new ideas.
An important part of this process is to attain some marketing foundational information. You don’t have to be “passionate” about marketing. You simply need to be passionate about your brand, product or service. This foundation of learning will help you make the best decisions. It will allow you to take a concept from idea to execution. This education can be found with online courses or coaching. It’s an investment worth making in your personal brand.
You also don’t need to be “technical” to build online marketing strategies. We have sophisticated software that pretty much does all the behind the scenes stuff. You just need to have the ideas.
Thanks for the question, Emma. If you’d like to ask your own question, just hit the 'Ask Stuart' tab at the top of this site.