In today’s highly competitive world of ecommerce, it takes more than building a product, pushing it to the market, and making claims about being the best to get consumers to actually pay attention to your business and buy from you.
Whether you’re a new startup or a seasoned company, this post will walk you through how you can build a wildly successful brand strategy for your ecommerce brand in 2022.
As you plot your ecommerce brand strategy, it’ll help to take a look at some of the most important elements that need to be present for your branding to reap positive returns.
What Defines an Ecommerce Brand in 2022?
Brands are defined more by their community than by who they say they are. The everyday people who advocate for you are able to influence the purchasing decisions of their family and friends more than your advertising campaigns. 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source
A strong brand has an active community of consumers. Your customers and clients need to have a place to come together and share their experiences with your brand.
To build a loyal community that trusts and advocates for your brand, you need to understand what your target audience cares about and give them a place to share feedback. Your primary purpose — beyond generating sales — should be meeting the needs of your community.
Also, you should be invested in helping them solve their problems, giving them a sense of identity, and helping them connect with like-minded people who share their interests.
Now more than ever, customers want to know what brands stand for. There are probably a dozen other businesses that offer a similar product or service, so you need to give them a reason to choose you over the rest. 94% of users are more likely to stay loyal to a transparent and open brand.
Think about how your brand treats its customers and employees, your brand personality, and what you believe in. The promises you make to your customers and the ideas or principles you’re unwilling to compromise on. These are your values.
As long as your values are authentic, well-defined, and you strongly believe in them, it’ll be easier to win over eco-friendly consumers who appreciate those values. It’ll also help build community, foster loyalty, and increase customer retention.
How easy is it for consumers to reach and engage with your brand? Is the digital experience of your brand technologically outdated? The answers to these questions will define how people perceive your brand in 2022 and beyond.
Yes, new technology can feel intimidating, but the only way to keep your brand relevant in the eyes of your audience is to match their technological pace. For instance, customers are more likely to access the internet via their mobile phones, so if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could stand to lose them.
If you can’t do the bare minimum by providing a mobile-responsive site, how can they trust you to provide quality products or services? If your brand doesn’t invest in emerging technological trends to improve the experience of your customers and help them better engage with your business, you will find yourself trudging slowly behind the competition in the coming year.
Smart Ways to Improve your Brand Strategy
How do you create a killer brand strategy? Here are the main steps and tactics you’ll need to focus on:
1. Incorporate Community Through User-Generated Content (UGC)
You can’t have a successful business without human connections. Create an avenue for your customers to feel heard and seen by your business by giving them avenues to share how they use your products in everyday life. UGC is flexible, community-driven content that can be shared across your most impactful marketing channels (like social, emails, and on-site product pages).
Community-driven companies like watch brand Holzkern use Pixlee to automatically collect, curate, and publish customer content in Shoppable Instagram UGC galleries on-site.
When your brand strategy prioritizes community, you’re essentially inviting your target market to join in and be a part of something bigger and make an impact. Proudly showcasing UGC will make your customers feel good, push them to buy and engage with your product or use your service, and make them keep returning to experience that feeling of collective impact and community again.
2. Practice Actionable Social Listening
In the same vein as championing UGC in your marketing, it’s important to prioritize social listening, using a hashtag analytics tool like Pixlee’s to monitor what people are saying about your brand online. Not only can you use this tactic to collect UGC, but your team can also take it as an opportunity to showcase top-notch customer service and dedication to fostering community dialogue.
Find out how your brand can improve their lives and serve them better. Engage with them in a way that makes your audience feel valuable to your organization. Seek their opinions about potential products, recent campaigns, or new services through Q&As, surveys, and polls.
Revel Nail continuously shares UGC across its social profiles, and engages with fan comments and questions to foster engagement and conversation.
Let your customers contribute to building your brand strategy. This will help you nurture relationships with potential clients and your loyal customers. Also, it’ll allow you to collect vital data to build a comprehensive profile and gain a better understanding of the people you’re selling to.
3. Run Engaging Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Influencer Marketing is a great and effective way to create connections, strengthen your brand identity, and grow your community. The industry is expected to keep rising over the coming years. However, one of the common mistakes that brands make when choosing influencers is believing that just anyone would do.
Sure, the number of followers or fans the influencer can help them reach more people with your brand message, but what really matters is how well the influencer aligns with your target market. Pixlee for Creators offers brands a solution to navigate the influencer discovery process to find the perfect influencers for their needs and launch, manage, and measure campaigns in-platform.
Alo Yoga shares its influencer-led content across its marketing channels through Pixlee to reap additional ecommerce benefits from their unique content.
The audience you want to reach will be more inclined to purchase from your brand because it was recommended by someone they know, trust, admire, and respect, who clearly believes in what your product promises.
4. Share Employee-Generated Content
Build community by sharing an insider look into your company’s culture and values with content from your own employees. People trust other people over traditional branded content, so consider encouraging your team to share how your brand and products impact their own lives. You can also give your community a behind-the-scenes look into your brand’s daily operations through the lens of an employee.
Employee-generated content, like UGC, works well across your marketing platforms like website pages and social media. Ask your team to share their own unique content on their social profiles and then reuse that content to increase awareness.
Alo Yoga gives its social media manager the spotlight to share her favorite apparel sets and colors from the brand via the Alo TikTok account.
5. Build Community-Based Membership Programs
People love being acknowledged and made to feel special that’s groups exist, and the more exclusive the group is, the more people will want to belong to it and the more members will cherish being a part of it.
Establishing membership programs can help deepen your relationship with your customers and boost retention. Customers will even be motivated to invite their friends, family, and colleagues to join your membership program so they, too, can enjoy the fantastic benefits that come with it.
Launching an ambassador program is a great way to combine influencer marketing with community membership. Identify your top fans and give them a chance to become advocates for your products online. You can also use affiliate links to incentivize them to contribute to your brand sales through their own posts.
Athletic apparel brand HYLETE taps micro-influencers as a part of its ambassador marketing program to give online creators a way to share their passion for the brand’s products with their followers.
However you design a membership program, you can offer sample items, free products, special discounts, exclusive merch, tickets to company events, access to reports, ebooks, and more. The trick to building a successful membership program is making sure the perks are appealing and worth the extra effort.
Shape the way the world sees your company
A strong brand strategy will help you build positive relationships with consumers, increase awareness, boost customer loyalty, and surpass the competition. It will keep buyers satisfied and give them a reason to trust you with their business and time.
When you understand the importance of branding and how you can create a powerful brand that constantly yields positive returns for your business, you can take your company to new heights.
Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content. On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs like HubSpot, CoSchedule, Foundr, etc. Connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.