eCommerce Branding Strategy Guide (with Influencers & Public Relations (PR))
With the emergence of eCommerce all across the globe, companies nowadays need to work harder to build brand value and awareness, make them a touch above the competitors, and lure the right customers to buy the products and services. The internet has become a perfect competition market, with innovative methods coming into play. As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you have to develop the right kind of strategies and implement the ideas that help you to attract the right customers and lure them to buy.
Even a small research will give you immense information about how you can promote your products/services through different channels. While it may seem to be an added work for some entrepreneurs, developing the right strategy will give you the right ROI to promote your business and increase revenue. A little bit of PR can help to go a long way in this direction and add to the brand value.
Here is the step by step process to do branding for your eCommerce business with the help of influencers and public relations (PR) effectively:
1. Knowing your brand and making it different from competitors
In order to efficiently leverage the brand value and promote it, it needs to have a defined and well thought of brand objective. This will make you a bit different from your competitors. In this context, there are certain things that you need to explain:
- Who you are – the personal background and experience as a business person and how that has helped you to create your new brand in the market.
- Who is your audience – who is the target audience that you are catering to and what types of businesses they are interested in.
- What you do – what are the products/services that you wish to sell, their production/service process and how do they cater to customer needs.
- Where you came from – what challenges have you experienced in your business and how have you overcome them to progress.
- Where you’re going – what are your business goals and objectives.
- Why it matters – how do customer satisfaction matter to you and the process you take to ultimately serving customers.
- What makes your products/services different – knowing the other competitors and defining what attributes make your products/services stand out.
Try to provide information to these questions as a part of your PR (public relations) initiative and be assured that you will gain customer trust.
2. Trying to build the Outreach List
The next step is to increase awareness about the product and start building the people base that will help in reaching the target audience. Typically, there are four groups of influencers whom you may want to reach out to for your brand:
- Conventional Reporters, who are associated with newspapers and publications.
- Industry Bloggers, who work with blogs, product reviews and features.
- Social Media Influencers, who have an active presence in the social media.
- Similar Entrepreneurs, who relate to your business mission, values and product category.
Your main objective will be to gain contact with these people and prioritize them according to the importance. A great way to do it is to create a spreadsheet and write down the necessary information that will include:
- Name of influencer/ reporter
- Type of group
- Associated website/blog
- Number of followers
- Phone number and email address
- Mailing address
- Social media profiles
- Domain authority
- Priority level (high, medium, low)
- Response Likelihood
- Contact Attempts
Once you have created the structure, you can have a well-defined way to make the contacts.
3. Promote yourself as a thought leader
A good way to gain popularity as an eCommerce entrepreneur is to proactively position you as a knowledgeable and trusted resource. You can take part in conversations in your industry and product category.
Engage with people on the social media on a regular basis by using platforms like Mention and TweetDeck to find conversations that are happening in your industry. If you find an opportunity to add value to the conversation, go for it. In addition, you can participate and answer questions on HARO – HARO (Help a Reporter Out), Quora, Reddit, Facebook groups, and other forums. The main objective should be to engage in some credible, authentic and valuable conversations.
4. Try creating your pitch to reach out influencers
Now that you have had the list of followers and influencers, it’s time to build your own pitch. And the first mode of communication through which you can create that is to write an email. Try these basic tips while writing an email to the influencers of your niche industry:
- Keep your mail short and sweet so that people can read them quickly.
- Make your objectives and call-to-action particularly clear in the email.
- Ensure that the recipients understand why you’re reaching out to them.
- Add a personalized touch to the email so that it does not look like an automated mail.
- Do not include more than one reference URL in the email.
5. Try to be ahead of time
Before you decide to send the email to the reporters and influencers, it pays to have some kind of contact with them. These are few things that you can do to maintain contact.
- Research your contact, like who they are, what profession they are into and their likes and dislikes and so on.
- Try finding a scope to maintain contact with them, such as commenting on a blog post, replying to their tweets, or even engaging with them on Facebook.
- Send the email and try to bring in a personalized touch to the contact and engagement. It should look natural and not forced upon.
6. Create content to promote your brand value and share
After you have reached out to the influencers and reporters, expect them to spend time researching about you before they decide to reply. In this context, there are certain things to do to create that first impression.
- Depict your brand value in multiple ways, in the form of blog posts, visuals, articles and so on.
- The content that you post needs to be great and up-to-date, as you need to position yourself as someone who can be trusted. Create and share blog posts on topics related to the recent trend in the industry.
Try to make influencers and reporters recognize that your business is going through interesting growth and progress. Try being transparent, informative and interesting.
7. Ask the relevant questions
After you have finally made contact with the influencers or reporters, decide on asking relevant questions. The following are the ideas that you can keep in mind:
- Ask to promote an upcoming product launch
- Ask to provide product reviews
- Ask to share information in a future blog post or article
- Ask to be a part of a blog post series
- Ask for better business advice
8. Pen down the press release
Now that everything is in place, it is time to write the press release. Communication has undergone great change over the years and so your press release needs to be a blend of innovation and conventional writing. Based on the type of business you have and the brand, you need to write the PR to promote the brand value.