Social Media Marketing is definitely the way of today - however don't overlook conventional "hands on" marketing avenues for your brand. (Loving the site btw)
It would pay you to develop a range of branded merchandise for your brand - that could be sold online (to demonstrate perceived value) but can also be used for giveaways at tradeshows and events etc... or to include as a GWP (Gift With Purchase) when orders get shipped. (This generates tremendous good will and word of mouth from satisfied customers.
Being in the Fitness Industry, options here are many - cost effective ideas could include drink bottles, sweat bands, gym towels, even gym bags (that can double as value add packaging for special offers).
Although we are in Australia - our website has a Health and Fitness Theme in the site search that may give you ideas. If you have a hard time finding a Promotional Products Reseller to help - reach out to the PPAI in the USA - they are the industry body.
Bets of luck with your business
We launched our site at about the same time and have only had 1 sale! While our store products and design is not 100% set yet, we are incredibly frustrated because we cannot figure out how to get people to come to the site! Nothing, nada, zip! Analytics says we have had 231 sessions since we went live, and my guess is that the majority of those are our own visits or that of bots. We have products listed on ebay, with no response. We tried a couple of test Facebook boost and ads, got some likes, but no one even visited the site or made a purchase or inquiry, so we kind of consider that a waste of time and money. And frankly, we are not big fans of Facebook as a sales or marketing tool or anything else. Too many flakes!
We have a popup to sign up for our newsletter but no one has signed up. We have a limited budget so creating Google ads would be a thought, BUT we are not able to sustain a bunch of ads if they are not going to work. We aren't inclined to throw good money after bad!
It looks like your site is built on the same template as ours, The Globetrotters Outfitter, so I don't think is the site itself (although we know we need to do some things to make it better) is a big problem.
Our question to you and to anyone else that can offer some advise, is how and where to advertise without spending a fortune on ads that offer little to no ROI? We are old school so most of what we read about may as well be in a foreign language as far as marketing goes. We can commit to a certain amount of funding for ads but when that is tapped out, we are done! The money is not unlimited and we are committed to building the business as we go and put profits back into the business as it grows, but it has to grow or we will fold up the tent and move on.
Any suggestions for waht anyone has done in the past that brought in business would be greatly appreciated!!
Getting awareness for your online business can be frustrating and confusing.
Whilst Facebook is a great way to interact with people who already know you, Instagram is a great way to attract new prospects and hopefully then clients.
I'd suggest setting up at least one Instagram page and post engaging content. (If you need help understanding how to do this, including hashtags etc... YouTube is your friend)
The market you are in is a great muse for sensation tips and hints content offering advice on how to make peoples trips run smoother. Good content for both Insta and a Blog (and it can all be free, except for man/woman hours to generate the content)
You mentioned you are old skool with your marketing approach - so I'd suggest making sure you have supply of thank you gifts for people when you interact with them. Make sure you leave something useful behind to expand your brand exposure. RFID is a big buzz word for travellers and security. There is a large range of RFID security promotional products about that are cost effective (and others at the premium end) that will assist with getting your brand out there.
Best of luck...
Thanks for the reply! When i said "old school", emphasis should be on the "old"! We do not live in "Social Media". We have retired several years ago and are looking for this venture to give some extra income for our travels.
We do not have an personal Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, etc account so we have no idea on how they work or how to use them for any purpose. We setup a Facebook business page but it has to be tied to a personal account and we really are not comfortable with our personal information accessible thru the business for various personal reasons. Privacy in our personal lives is very important.
This is a drop ship store so there is little live interaction with people, so I am not sure how to actually use your thank you gift idea.
We have a blog section on the site, towards the bottom, but do you think it should be separate from the site, like a subdomain?
I fully appreciate and understand your privacy concerns - however on Instagram (in particular) once you have an account you can setup a separate account to interact with on behalf of the business. (hence shielding your personal info).
"YouTube is your friend" meant that this is a great place to get tutorials on how to help you achieve the results you are looking for.
Sorry - not knowing how your business is structured I obviously drew the wrong suggestion for the branded merchandise. The idea referred more to interacting with clients and prospects via business and social groups - trade events etc...and making sure they leave the chat with a memento of your business - a promotional product. If you produce some useful products with your brand/website on them, it results in much greater impact and reach than print advertising.
I hope that helps?
I tried using Instagram as you suggested, and while this may be difficult for someone younger than I to understand, It is to hard to figure out how to use it effectively. It is a mobile app and I don't use my phone for much more than a phone, reading my email and search the web some. I don't have pictures of our site or products on the phone, or tablet, as all of that is either on line or on the desktop and I can't even create a post from there, which is where I live. It just does not impress me as a business tool and from what I can tell the users are predominantly under 30, and that is not necessarily the market we want to reach.
Your suggestion about the thank you gifts was a good one, albeit difficult for us to implement, not impossible, but difficult. We will give that some thought. And we will look into YouTube for some ideas as well.
Thank you fro taking the time to help us. It is appreciated!
There are so many ways you can go about increasing your store traffic, but you have to ensure all the traffic you are getting is right traffic, else it would be disappointing and you won't get the desired sales. See some of the methods which I have used in my store to increase the traffic and sales. You can do it on your own or you can depend on some of the cool apps in the Shopify app store. Its really worked and I am happy to share with you.
Grow your email lists through email campaigns - Prepare an email list and start sending your campaigns, a recent email marketing survey found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $50!
SmartrMail[https://apps.shopify.com/smartrmail] is an app helps you plan and run your email marketing, this app is considered as Mailchimp alternate for Shopify store owners.
Work with influencers - This means working people who can influence your potential buyers. Research and shortlist some of the influencers related to fitness and yoga in Instagram and Facebook, approach them to market your product through their pages.
Carro: Influencer Marketing[https://apps.shopify.com/carro], this app will help you find your influencer and help you market your product seamlessly.
Blogging - Content marketing is a great way of boosting your traffic and create a credible brand authority among the topics in which your products are related. Blogging won't give you a result all of a sudden, its a slow process and it gives you a longer mileage to your brand. Create a blog, link with your store and market it wisely.
Related Blog Posts [https://apps.shopify.com/related-blog-posts] will help you market your blog content within your store.
Give away programs. - Run a contest, invite participants, announce the winner and give away a free product as the prize. It can increase your traffic by encouraging people to visit your store. you will get a mouth to mouth publicity as well. Besides, you can increase your twitter, facebook and Instagram followers and grow your email list.
Referral program - Word of mouth marketing is a great way to increase traffic to your store. If you can get people to refer their friends to your e-commerce site, you will increase your traffic. The referrer must be rewarded with some cool discounts or vouchers when the referee made their purchase through the referral link.
Referral Candy [https://apps.shopify.com/referralcandy] is such an app helps you run referral programs among your customers.
Once you achieved the desired rate of traffic in your store, you can use apps which helps to increase average order value, Conversion rates, and sales, etc. I have some good app recommendations for you, see it from below.
Sales and Discounts: These apps enable you to assign discounts on certain products and shows as flash discounts to the users during their purchase. This will intrigue them to make the purchase. "Bold Discounts"[https://apps.shopify.com/product-discount] is such an app, which help you to set discounts on products and show them as flash discounts to during product browsing, This can help you increase your sales.
Urgency & Social proof: The apps in this category help you display the product reviews on your product page. This creates trust in your products among the users and encourages them to buy it. "Urgency, Social Proof & Timers" [https://apps.shopify.com/fera] this app would be a good pick. It has 3 in 1 feature for creating urgency, Social reviews, and timers.
Upselling and Cross-selling: Apps in this category help you increase the average cart value by pushing products during the purchase. It will be showing your customers the products that perfectly complement their purchase or better product with a slightly increased price. "Upsell with AI recommendations" [https://apps.shopify.com/recommend-similar-looking-products] is such an app it works well with Home and Furniture products. This app is not only upselling products but also suggesting similar looking products as per the user's likings.
Try with these suggestions, good luck :)