It wasn’t that long ago that most online businesses focused their marketing efforts on search engine optimization.  Optimize your store or website for good placement in Google search and you could get new customers coming in through Google’s front door.

But times have changed, customers have changed and your the way you market your business has to change with it.

While a well optimized store or website is certainly a must, it’s only a part of your marketing strategy.

In order to get your products and business in front of new customers, your marketing reach must extend to where your customers are.

I call this signal marketing.

Signal Marketing

If shoppers can’t find your products, they can’t buy them. But not all your buyers are  in the same place.
Some are spending time in Google searching for products.  But many shoppers are now bypassing Google completely and going directly to Amazon.  A comScore report recently revealed that Amazon now gets about three to four times the number of product-related searches that Google does.
This represents a huge number of sales that will be missed if you’re not marketing your products on Amazon.
And when your customers do go directly to Google to do a search, they may find your products in several ways:
  1. A search engine optimized site
  2. Relevant, keyword optimized content on your product pages
  3. A product review that you’ve posted on YouTube that is then displayed in Google’s search results
  4. The new Google Search Plus Your World integration with Google Search
  5. Sponsored Ads
  6. A product presence in Google Shopping or
  7. A Comparison Shopping Engine search result
  8. Or indirectly, through a blog post, a press release or article marketing.
These are all different ways to send signals to the search engines about the products you sell.

eBay and Amazon Signals

If you sell on eBay, search engine optimized titles and detailed Item Specifics send signals to eBay’s search engine.

A well written eBay Guide sends signals to Google.

On Amazon, an optimized product title and product page send signals to Amazon search.

Amazon Product Ads send signals to Amazon and then direct Amazon customers back to your website.

You can also use Signal Marketing to send traffic to your eBay or Amazon store.  Connecting with buyers in other parts of the web and sending them over to your eBay or Amazon products.

Social Commerce Signals

Many of your potential customers are spending a significant part of their time on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the hottest new social networking site of the year, Pinterest.

And while they may not be hanging out there specifically to shop, your marketing efforts need to extend to these different channels.

The natural integration of social media + ecommerce = social commerce.

And this is one of the biggest shifts and opportunities in marketing today.  Whether Pinning your product images on Pinterest, Tweeting spoecial deals on Twitter or adding a Facebook Like button to your website (allowing happy customers to send out signals for you), social commerce signals help you get found in the pockets on the web.  By going to where your customers spend their time (rather than expecting them to come and find you) you can integrate your marketing into these social satellites allowing shoppers to find your products in ways they wouldn’t have found them otherwise.

Sending Signals

These are just a few examples of Signal Marketing that we’ll be talking about during March Marketing Madness!

And while there are a myriad of ways to send signals out about your business, that doesn’t mean you have to do them all. And certainly not all at once (especially if you’re getting started).

The key is in determining which marketing strategies are best suited for your products.  And starting with those first.

What you don’t want to do is throw a bunch of marketing out there and hope something sticks.

So as we go through each of these ways to market your business, think about if/how this would apply to your business.

Does it fit the products you sell?

Where do your customers hang out on the web?

What are the signals you need to send to them?


Read All the March Marketing Madness! Posts

Day 1 It’s March Marketing Madness!
Day 2 Reaching New Customers with Signal Marketing
Day 3 Content Marketing: The Secret Sauce for Your Online Business