How to drive traffic with low or no advertising budget?

11 0 3

I'm basically starting out with little to no budget, just spent 50 bucks on Google Adwords with no results. My current strategies are posting as much as I could on social media and planning to upload some product videos to YouTube and participating on niche related forum and comment on blogs. I'm also posting on Facebook groups as well. Can some one give me their 2 cents on what else I could do? My plan is to start building backlinks for SEO but I'm still in process of learning.  Thank you in advance. 

Cat Gift Shop
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
656 54 120

Hello Rhonda! 

Karlie here from the Shopify Guru Team! There are a few things that can help you drive traffic and then conversion to your store! Your first step would be to improve your SEO - you can read about SEO and Shopify here

There are quite a few apps (some even free!) that you can use to help you improve your store's SEO. Check them out here!

I would recommend checking out Kit for Shopify! Kit is basically a virtual marketing assistant that can help you improve traffic to your store with Facebook and Instagram advertising. You can check out the app here!

I hope this helps, but if you have any further questions - be sure to reach out to Shopify support!

Shopify Guru

Karlie | Social Care @ Shopify 
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186 0 31

Rhonda, you already seem to be doing a lot. Social media is important! The key to succeeding on social media is picking one channel and then going all out on that channel. Right now, Instagram is that channel. It's easier to grow on and gets better engagement. On an average Instagram posts get 7.5% engagement whereas Facebook posts get around 1.6% engagement. 

To grow on Instagram, you need to focus on only two things - content and hashtags.

In content, Instagram rewards developing a a visual theme, but other than that the rule is same - not more than 20% of your posts should be promotional. Have a good mix of product and engagement posts. Here are some articles that have everything that you need to know: 

- Develop a theme

- 47 content ideas

For hashtags, use OrangeTwig's hashtag research tool. You'll get trending and related hashtags. Not just that, they'll be automatically included in your posts. 

Another thing that you should do is make your Instagram posts clickable. Here's how you can do that: Clickable Posts. 

Get started with OrangeTwig for FREE here

Can you share your website's link here? Let me have a look and share my thoughts on it here. 

- Karan 

P.S - you can also ask your questions in Seller Success Facebook Group 

Karan Jassar
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4 0 2

why are you uploading to social media and youtube? you are encouaging traffic to flow towards social media sites but not your own.

The content should start on YOUR site then posted on social media linking back to youir site.

YT videos sould be on your product pages and links to your site should be in every video desciptions. YoouTube is about subscribers - no subscibers no views

don't expect great results from either for a year or 2 perhaps more

New Member
1 0 2

Hi Rhonda.  The answer in my opinion, is likely not the answer you want to hear.  I have been running a successful online company for 11 years, and the conclusion that I have come to again and again, is that there is no silver bullet.  There's no one single channel, no single marketing tactic, and no single app that will instantly catapult you to success.  There is however, a thread that connects every successful campaign we've embarked upon:  the creation of valuable content.  Concentrate on creating content (blog articles, videos, pages, products, etc.) that your customers will find useful/valuable.  If you do this well, people will link to it, they'll bookmark it, they'll share it socially.  Basically they'll do all the things that are necessary to score well organically in the search engines.  You can entice people to do this also - by getting them on an email list, etc.  But the core of it all is simply valuable content.  If you concentrate on this and nothing else you will see uplift.  It won't be instant, but it will be real and sustainable.

Oh - and be suspicious of any advice that suggests 'this one thing' is the secret to success.  Unless that 'one thing' is somethint that is legitimately valuable to your customer (like great content), it won't work.

New Member
2 0 0

The way that I did it was to track down the top bloggers who wrote about the type of product represented in my niche. I then sent them some free stuff. They promptly wrote about it, providing me with low cost advertising. It worked and I have been successful for 5 years just based upon that first jump-start.

Shopify Partner
4 0 0

It's not going to be easy it will take time use influencer marketing is a option I would recommend.

New Member
2 0 0

Hey, Karan, I'm having the same issue  Rhonda is going through. Here my website. Thank You

9 0 10

I really couldn't disagree with mitchr more...depending on your target market, not being active on social media is a death sentence. People also use your social media presence as a quick indicator of a lot of things--it shows how active you are, it helps fortify your brand story and humanize your brand so people get what you're about (if your products aren't the cheapest on the market and you're going up against shops in a popular niche like accessories or apparel, your pitch about why people should be buying from you versus some other shop is crucial), and you can really use it as a type of social proof that helps customers trust you, just like you would use customer reviews. 

At least 90% of my traffic is driven through social media, and I don't pay to advertise most of the time (or use big influencers, though that is a next step for me) because snagging customers who are passionate about the brand and using them as your influencers (for free!) within their own social circle is what makes the biggest difference for me. This isn't really relevant to drop shippers looking to make that quick buck, but I remember reading something when I was a young artist about how in order to sustain yourself as a person making things you really need around 100 core fans who are crazy about your stuff--any time you have a promotion or relase something new, they're going to buy it. Social media is a FANTASTIC way to build that kind of following, and being friendly and unique and personable (and passionate about what you do!!!) makes people care about you as well as your products.

It'd definitely be helpful to know more about what particular business you are running, since you don't have your shop linked in your profile. Your target market, what you're selling, what makes your products special etc...all of that info would be super helpful to give more specific advice about how to advertise! I definitely agree wtih folks who are recommending influencer marketing, but I also think that that is a tactic that is stronger for some types of businesses than others, and if you don't know where to start with it then it can be daunting. As someone who also works as an influencer (and gets sent free stuff and paid by clothing companies for this sort of thing all the time!) I can also tell you not all influencers are cut from the same cloth, and there are a lot of folks out there who will scam a small business and screw you over--people who aren't promoting your products outside of just posting a shitty selfie in their bathroom wearing your tshirt but only showing the collar of it and tagging you, people who have bought their instagram followers and have like zero engagement...etc.....there's some potential pitfalls, and I want more shop owners to know what sort of things they need to be looking out for and what questions they should be asking influencers in order to be getting reliable partnerships set up. 

Also, what have your results been thus far on social media? Do you feel like it's paying off? 

People are definitely correct in that growth is slow, and organic growth from genuinely interested people is the best but also toooootally the slowest, unfortunately. 

New Member
1 0 1

 I hate to go all conspiracy theory on this one, but I have two small social media presences, Twitter and Facebook and one large social media presence, YouTube.  I always find that posts do better the when I spend.  For example, I recently posted a photo on Facebook with a link and had about 50 organic reach and about 3 engagements (clicks).  I reposted the exact same link with the photo and boosted it with $10 for Facebook and all of a sudden my organic reach went to over 200 and my clicks began to soar, this is outside of the paid results.  I have a large presence on YouTube, and I find a similar dynamic there as well, when I promote a video with paid advertising, those videos tend to do much better in the long run, long after the campaign is over.  Sorry for a cynical response, but I think there is some truth to it!