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6 Practical Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Online Store

Your store launches only once. You want to use the launch as a chance to get as much traffic and attention as you can.

Before you become a seasoned marketer with big sales, there are a number of things that you can do to get traffic to take advantage of a grand opening.

This post is all about getting traffic to your new store by targeting influencers and getting attention. We offer actionable tactics and provide six ways you can get more traffic to your store. And at the end we share the most important things you should do as an established business to keep the momentum going.

Now let’s start getting you some traffic.

1. Send free samples to Instagram influencers

Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most effective marketing channels for ecommerce merchants. A recent study found that Instagram gives brands 25% more engagement than any other social platform and our own analysis found that it generates a higher average order value than Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

It’s also a great way to drive traffic and awareness for your store – especially if you know how to target influencers.

For the sake of example, let’s say you want to start a company selling uniforms, accessories and gear online. How do you get attention for your store and products?

Get started by looking through Instagram for the popular accounts that may consider featuring your product to their hundreds of thousands of followers.

How do you find these popular accounts?

By searching through WEBSTA, a site that catalogues the most popular Instagram hashtags and users. By typing in “hairstylist” in the search bar, you get to see both the most popular related hashtags as well as users who have “hairstylist” in their usernames or bios.

You might also check out WEBSTA Hot, which features the most popular hashtags trending now.

Another effective way to target Instagram influencers is by using the Instagram app on your phone. You can check the “popular page” which contains photos that are trending and have thousands of likes. Look for photos related to your industry and click over to the user’s profile to see if she has a large audience and a way to get in touch.

Typically if a popular account has contact information - especially an email address, it usually means they are open to product placements, partnerships and advertising opportunities.

Now when it comes to reaching out, it’s important to be strategic about this. Not every Instagram user with a lot of followers is willing to feature products from users.

What might a reach-out campaign look like? If a business address can be found on a contact page, send along a sample directly and attach a note to describe the product.

2. Reach out to bloggers and press

There are other people you can reach out to: bloggers, vloggers, and press. The size of their audience varies, but some of them have large followings, and the process of reaching out to them is quite similar to reaching out to Instagram influencers.

The best way to find bloggers is simply by looking for them on Google.

You may have to play around with your keywords to find the people who may be interested in your product. There are many people who review products on video part-time or for a living.

Another tried and true method for getting traffic is landing your business in the press. Now you might not get covered from very big newspapers and sites, but you have a better chance of getting press from local news sites and community papers. You have a good chance of being featured if you can tell a unique story, if you can talk about your product in interesting ways, and if you write a good pitch.

When reaching out to the press, a concise pitch is nearly always better than the long pitch because reporters see lots of pitches. If you’d like to get press attention, write a short and compelling email. Tell them about what makes you different, and try to pitch yourself as a local success story.

Just as it would be with an Instagram personality, getting coverage from a popular blog, from a vlogger, or from the press can drive a lot of sales to your store. Reach out to them just as you would to an Instagram personality to send them a sample and a short note.

All of these people have audiences, and getting their attention when you have just launched and are still novel may be your best shot at getting covered.

Note: You don’t have to target the biggest and most successful people. Your chances of getting featured are better for people with smaller audiences, because they’re not constantly swarmed by people who are looking for a feature.

3. Post your store to reddit

The whole internet hangs out on reddit. In addition to its main page, which aggregates the most popular content, it also has thousands of niches called subreddits.

There are a few threads that you should be paying attention to that may help your business.

First, everybody should be browsing the /r/entrepreneur subreddit. With about 79,000 subscribers, it has lots of interesting tips and discussions on starting a business. You might also be interested in the related /r/smallbusiness thread as another source of general business advice.

Make your posts very brief, displaying only the essence of what your new store is about.

Make it snappy, catchy, and not very sales-y. You should also check out the Reddiquette guide to check out whether you’re following reddit guidelines.

 

4. Get friends and family to share

Many people are sick of looking at baby photos, but you can probably get away with sharing your online store. People don’t launch businesses too frequently, and so it’ll probably be quite novel within your circle of friends to see you start your own online store.

Do you know the site Upworthy? Of course you do. Upworthy articles are in everyone’s Facebook feeds. Now did you know that its initial momentum was generated by friends and family. They set a goal of getting 1,000 Facebook fans by the end of the day of their launch date. It worked, and that’s part of what gave them the initial traction to take off.

Reach out in a targeted way to your friends and family. You’ll get away with it without risking irritation. On Facebook, talk about your store in an update.

Are there channels for talking to your extended family? Do they plan reunions on an email list? Send a note, and tell them about your new store.

Don’t focus the ask on getting them to buy your products. You should instead offer them your products for free. They are your friends and family, after all.

Instead, ask them to share the store with their networks. These are people with whom you have social equity, and you won’t ask for these kinds of favors very often. You’ll have a higher rate of success than reaching out to strangers, and if enough of them share, that may give you sufficient momentum to keep a regular stream of customers.

5. Pro-actively engage on Twitter

You don’t need to start selling products before you engage with people on Twitter. There are a lot of ways to get on peoples’ radars as a cool new store.

One tool that you can use to find relevant users is Followerwonk. Log in through Twitter, and you can search relevant keywords in bios and profiles.

Here's the central strategy: Search Twitter for for keywords related to your business and then look for chances to help people or add value in a way that lacks a sales pitch. Let people discover themselves why your tweets are valuable.

6. Write a blog post featuring people with audiences and send it to them

Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” - Dale Carnegie

Our final suggested tactic for getting traffic goes back to reaching out and connecting to people with big audiences, and bloggers in particular.

Instead of reaching out by sending a sample of your product, you might get traffic in a more roundabout way: By writing a blog post about them, and sending it to them in an email or via Twitter.

Yes, instead of waiting for them to feature you, you can feature them first.

Here at UniformMarket powered by Sellers Commerce, we provide you with tools such as B2B Program Manager and Retailer Pro, which can connect you with the products and data you need for your employees or business. Whether you are a uniform retailer or an energy company needing to fit your employees with new uniforms and gear, we have the tools and services for you.  Contact us for a demo today!

 

 

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