Getting Started - Please Advise on Branding/Prioritizing Online Marketing Channels

New Member
1 0 0

Go with easier to remember domain names.    There are major exceptions to this general rule, and selecting domain names is more challenging than  it may initially appear.

Hire a strategist first.   The strategist evaluates what are your web competitive advantages, position your offering, recommends channel, describes which activities you can do and which are better outsourced, helps develop messaging, helps develop advertising campaign messaging, educates how to evaluate results, .....      Strategist takes a big picture perspective of your startup and its marketing environment, and then recommends an entire solution.   Afterwards, the workmanship can  be do-it yourself or outsource.

Obviously, my firm, specializes in strategy, and we have detailed customers' references that show this works.

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You're smart to focus on a specific niche, it will make targeting and messaging much more effective.

It looks like you've received a mix of advice and some personal biases above.  From my experience of working on hundreds of e-commerce brands I've seen Facebook ads succeed in driving success far more often then Instagram ads.

That said, there is basically no "organic" Facebook anymore, while there still is organic Instagram.  So both of those channels should be on your radar, they should just be approached differently.

You also already got some pretty good advice on "free" channels, so I won't focus there.  My strategy would be to go down the "free" route first and see where that gets you before evaluating where and how to dip into paid.  There's a very good chance you will learn a lot about your site and audience from the free traffic that you will use to optimize your site and make future paid spend more effective.

Now - onto the recommendations. Here's a breakdown of how to look at the channels and also some actionable advice:

Remarketing - This is your most likely chance to drive profitable revenue, however you have to have site traffic to remarket to.  This is probably 3-6 months out from being a viable channel for you.  When do go down this route Facebook Product Catalog Remarketing is a no-brainer.  Google also has dynamic product remarketing, but it is more complex to setup.  Here's our guide to Facebook remarketing segmentation.

Adwords - Since your product is fairly general there is search volume out there that you can capture from day 1.  

Adwords can be very complex though and the default settings can lead to wasted spend.  Be sure to be very specific with your keyword selection - don't just run the keyword "gifts", instead run "birthday gifts for moms" or even better "best birthday gifts for moms".

Ensure that your ad copy is very specific to the search and the landing page has specific product for the search.  If you’re running keywords that are so general that you’re driving to your homepage then you’re probably doing it wrong.

If you choose to go down the Adwords route do not create an Adwords Express account.  Also be sure to read our blog post on how to not make some common mistakes there.

Facebook – Is more intuitive for a small business owner to run ads on.  Targeting capabilities are also out of control awesome.  Focus on many small budget campaigns that are microtargeted rather than 1 large campaign.  Here are 3 tips that we put together for people that are just starting out.

Outside of remarketing your best ad unit is going to be a newsfeed ad.  Think about triggers & events, be creative with your copy, and be sure to use unique imagery that will grab peoples’ attention.  If you do get comments on your ads (either positive or negative) be sure to engage with them and respond as your brand.  You get a multiplier effect when people comment on your ads which gives you free reach.

Down the line once you’re getting more site traffic Lookalike audience targeting can be very successful as well.

SEO – Comes in many flavors and there is a lot of misinformation out there.  Do NOT fall for someone that promises results, this usually comes as a result of them buying spammy links which drives a very short-term gain, then immense penalties from Google. 

I do not believe you need to pay someone for SEO early on.  You should be focusing on on-site content optimization.  The other benefit is that optimizing these elements will also help conversion rate.

The most important elements are:

  • Page Title – Make sure you don’t have duplicate titles on multiple pages. Optimize them with the most important (highest traffic) keywords closer to the front of the title.
  • H1 – Depending on the theme this is probably just going to be your product title. Worth checking though
  • Product Title – Try to keep this around 75 characters and include both your brand specific name as well as the high traffic volume keywords people will use to search it
  • Product Description – Target 200 to 400 words, tell the story, and include general keywords.  

Not a lot of people realize that Google places a high premium on page speed for SEO (due to the importance of mobile) – check it with this tool

Usually site images cause the biggest slow down.  Shrink them with this app

The next level of SEO optimization is technical SEO.  You will need to pay an expert for this, and depending on the recos it could get complex.  However, out of the box Shopify is pretty well setup from a technical perspective as long as your dev isn’t hacking together a bunch of different themes and custom features.

On-site content optimization is important to create the foundation and isn’t something you need to pay an expert for.  However, real SEO growth is going to come from legit inbound links.  This isn’t something that you can just pay for anymore.  This is going to most likely come from partnerships, cross promotions, blogger outreach, and other things that are best done by you.

New Member
2 0 0

Hi Alex,

In my opinion, if you're doing this on the side, start out doing things yourself and text the market.

Here's some points about naming your business:

  • Yes, using the word 'gift' in your business name will help your SEO. However, you don't want to be generic 'ABC Gift' because your business name will be hard to remember. Consider choosing a business name that's unique and easy to remember. You know, if your customer visits your website, leaves and tries to come back and then can only remember the word 'gift' chances are they won't be able to find you again and may go with a higher ranked competitor.
  • We chose the name Byron Bay Gifts. Byron Bay is a popular tourist destination in Australia. We notice that people type in variations of this name 'Byron Bay Hampers' & 'Gifts From Byron Bay' etc. It's our business that is most likely to show up in these searches compared to our competitors. Note it still has the word 'gifts' in the title to help towards SEO efforts.

Now regarding SEO. I would approach a local company that you can meet with. In my opinion they're more likely to be accountable for their actions. Make sure you have a secure idea in place on what keywords you want to rank. Be VERY careful with SEO companies. What may seem like a large investment to you is a small investment to them. They may do a couple of hours per month and charge $500. That's right... that's $250 per hour. No, that is not worth it. SEO companies are good for writing text on your website that is keyworded and this is a good place to get started - or just figure out your keywords and do it yourself. Remember, all images and everything you put on your website should have your keywords in it.

There's a lot to learn. Start your social media posts on your own. It's good to run tests to see what's working. Follow people that you think are doing it right. Get blog posts emailed to you from places like Shopify & Follow industry specific websites that will give you ideas.

Ultimately, social media is the cheapest place for you to start and the easiest to learn.

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Hey Alex,

I like your website from both the idea and execution. You mentioned about SEO, so I think the domain is just one of factor in 200+ factors deciding with Google page ranking. This information I got from Backlinko expert via his blog post. 

As from my personal experience it takes the time and daily content really matters. But more important is driving traffic to those new content. In that way you tell Google that the content is getting interested from people. With the way of driving the traffic it might be email blast to current customers or posting to your social channels.

Good luck to you!