Running an eCommerce business comes with an array of challenges — dealing with recessions, handling order fulfillment, adopting new technologies, providing timely customer service, and managing inventory are just some of them.
To allocate more resources for tackling all of the above, eCommerce companies often outsource a key ingredient of their success — marketing. This allows them to execute cost-effective, scalable, and flexible marketing campaigns that are managed by experts.
But, outsourcing eCommerce marketing can sometimes overwhelm you since it involves communicating your needs accurately, ensuring that your partners understand your business’s value proposition, identifying the marketing activities that need to be outsourced, and monitoring the performance.
In this guide, let’s look at the marketing needs of your eCommerce business that can be outsourced and the steps you can take to outsource successfully.
Aspects of marketing that eCommerce companies should consider outsourcing
Here are five areas of marketing you can consider outsourcing.
1. Market research
Market research is the process of collecting and analyzing relevant data to understand the pain points and expectations of the target audience. It includes the following facets:
- Customer segmentation: Classifying your buyers into different cohorts based on their demographics and observing their behavior to understand their purchasing patterns.
- Competitor analysis: Who is currently catering to the needs of your audience and how? It involves understanding their value proposition and brand positioning as well.
- Product research: Evaluating the products sold on your eCommerce store on the basis of demand and customer satisfaction.
- Market trends: Monitoring the shifts in customer preferences, advancements in new technologies, and industry trends to find new growth and innovation opportunities.
Managing all the above processes in-house to gain actionable insights for your eCommerce business can be challenging for most teams. Outsourcing market research will enable you to better understand your customers’ needs and market demand.
2. SEO outsourcing for ecommerce
Search engine optimization improves the structure, content, and domain authority of your eCommerce website resulting in higher visibility on search engines. SEO includes a lot of processes, some of which are:
- Technical SEO: Ensuring that the website is technically sound and adheres to best practices, such as having a mobile-friendly design and fast load times.
- On-page optimization: Optimizing various elements of a website, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags, to make your website search engine friendly.
- Keyword research: Incorporating the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to the target audience and their search behavior into your website content.
- Link building: Acquiring high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites to signal to search engines that your eCommerce website is credible and relevant.
Doing all of the above in-house requires you to build new workflows, adopt new tools, and expand your team. On top of that, it might take months before you actually start seeing any progress.
And so, outsourcing SEO to specialized agencies makes sense.
3. Influencer-led video ads
Video content has quickly become one of the most preferred forms of content marketing across the board. Many eCommerce brands are collaborating with influencers to make the most out of it.
However, creating professional video ads with influencers can be challenging and time-consuming as it involves:
- Reaching out to the right influencers: Particularly influencers whose followers are relevant to your eCommerce brand.
- Determining the story for the video: Such as product demonstrations or “day in the life” videos for relaying the value proposition.
- Video production: Working with influencers to create high-quality and engaging video content that showcases your products in a compelling way.
- Campaign planning: Developing a comprehensive campaign plan that outlines the target audience, budget, messaging, etc., to ensure the video reaches and resonates with the intended audience.
Outsourcing this to an agency, however, will allow you to see results faster as you can leverage the existing influencer networks of the agency.
Besides, given the sizable investment an effective influencer-led video campaign needs, it is crucial to accurately track your campaign’s performance and ROI. For this, consider using a dedicated creator collaboration platform like Popular Pays. It enables eCommerce brands like Method to scale their influencer-led video marketing efforts with ease by helping them manage influencer relationships, collaborate efficiently during content creation, and monitor the ROI throughout the campaign.
4. Pay-per-click advertising for ecommerce
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way to increase the visibility of your eCommerce brand. This aspect of eCommerce marketing shows your brand’s message for specific keywords and search phrases. Setting up PPC campaigns involves:
- Keyword research: Identifying the keywords and phrases that are relevant to your target audience and their search behavior, and using them to trigger the ads.
- Ad creation and optimization: Writing compelling ad copies for multiple platforms like Google, Bing, etc., that relay your brand message and value proposition, and modifying them as needed.
- Bid management: Setting the correct bid amount for each keyword or phrase to determine the ad’s position in the search results to ensure the best possible ROI.
One of the many advantages of outsourcing PPC advertising to a specialist agency is that you can scale fast. Either way, it’s crucial to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rate and conversions to make the right decisions.
5. Affiliate outreach
Affiliate outreach involves you partnering with other websites and businesses that promote products on your eCommerce store or the store itself. Some of the processes you need to take care of while setting up an affiliate outreach program in-house are:
- Affiliate recruitment: Finding and recruiting affiliates who have a relevant audience and are aligned with your brand’s values and messaging.
- Affiliate training: Providing training and resources to affiliates, such as product descriptions and creative assets, to help them promote your eCommerce brand.
- Commission management: Monitoring and tracking affiliate sales and commissions, and processing payments to affiliates on a regular basis.
- Relationship management: Maintaining open and effective communication with affiliates and continually providing necessary updates about your brand.
Outsourcing this aspect of your eCommerce marketing will allow you to leverage the network of your agency partner and start seeing results much faster.
Now, although outsourcing your marketing requirements can be beneficial for your eCommerce business, it’s important to avoid a few common mistakes that decrease its effectiveness.
Common mistakes to avoid while outsourcing eCommerce
The mistakes below decrease your brand’s reach, attract the wrong audience, deliver a suboptimal experience to your customers, and lose you money making them crucial to avoid.
- Spending too much time managing everyone: This can easily happen when you outsource different marketing activities to different agencies. Maintaining a strict communication schedule and partnering with an all-in-one agency can help.
- Running over budget: Like all aspects of your eCommerce business, it is important to manage your marketing budget strictly. Even a simple spreadsheet with your monthly expenses and ROI will suffice.
- Insufficient quality control: They are still your marketing campaigns and you have to ensure they are progressing in the right direction, particularly in the beginning. Have a set of guidelines for approval and monitor the campaign performances explicitly during the pilot period.
Avoiding the above pitfalls associated with outsourcing your eCommerce marketing requirements will improve the efficacy of the campaigns, saving you a lot of time and money.
How to know if you’re on the right track with outsourced eCommerce marketing
It is beneficial to have certain best practices that will help you determine whether your outsourced eCommerce campaigns are performing as expected.
- Quarterly performance reviews of all service providers: As an eCommerce business owner, you need to measure the ROI of each of your marketing investments tangibly. This will help you ask the right questions such as “How far are we from seeing improvements?” and “What do we need to do differently?”
- Dynamic dashboards for real-time tracking: Thanks to APIs and integrations you can see how your campaigns are doing in real-time, even when they are outsourced. Databox allows you to create custom dashboards from over 70+ analytics tools to keep you updated about your marketing performance in real time.
- Quarterly strategy and budget reviews: You should collaborate with your agency partners while setting campaign goals and discussing execution strategy. This will keep you adequately involved and your partners on the right track.