Social media has changed marketing strategies for eCommerce companies over the past decade. Companies used to rely heavily on PPC, organic search, and affiliate referrals.
Facebook and other digital marketing platforms have opened new doors for e-commerce companies to reach their clients. Unfortunately, Kathi Kruse of Kruse Control Marketing points out that too many marketers are overly optimistic with their projections.
“I did a presentation recently at a car dealer conference about ways to get traffic, leads, and sales through social media. The audience was very quiet and as a speaker, you always wonder why. Could it be that I just wasn’t that engaging? Naaah…! Could it be that they were lost in thought or frustrated about how to overcome the hurdles it takes to be successful at social media marketing? Probably… Everyone is looking for that “turn key” solution and many vendors are happy to sell you theirs. The problem is that there’s no such thing as a tool-based “magic bullet.” No piece of software will get you to the promised land. Tools (technology) only support a solid system. Without a system and action plan, you’re wasting your money on tools.”
Kruse primarily works with local businesses. The reality is even harsher for local companies because they need to distinguish themselves on a larger scale.
They also make a series of mistakes. Arguably the biggest mistake marketers make is viewing social media marketing separately from SEO. Social media marketing strategies are actually most effective when used in conjunction with search engine optimization strategies.
These strategies begin with keyword research.
Why is Keyword Research Important with Social Media Marketing?
We have all heard stories like the viral marketing campaign used to promote Paranormal Activity, which helped the producers generate over $100 million in revenue with a budget of less than $15,000. Unfortunately, these stories are far from the norm.
The truth is that social media posts rarely gain traction on their own. Even if they do, they don’t always generate much revenue. They need to be optimized around the right keywords for several reasons:
- Most viewers on social media have very short attention spans. They are only passively interested, so converting them can be very difficult. Driving sales on an e-commerce site are even more difficult than a local business since you can’t build trust face to face and often have trouble convincing social media users to pull out their credit cards. They tend to convert much better when they find social media content through search engines.
- Social media traffic tends to fizzle over time. Search engines provide a more consistent flow of traffic. Optimizing your social media properties provides more consistent traffic.
- Some Web 2.0 properties provide valuable link juice to your money site. Their links are much more valuable if the site is properly optimized around relevant keywords.
Unfortunately, optimizing your second-tier web properties isn’t easy. You need to take the time to research your keywords first.
Keyword Research Tips Every Ecommerce Marketer Should Follow
Focus on “Buyer Ready” Keywords
Every user is at a different stage of the buyer process. Some are investigating whether they have a problem, others are brainstorming solutions and others are ready to buy.
Look for keywords that cater to people that are ready to make a purchase. Niche Hacks has a great list to check out. Using keyword phrases with the following terms can drastically increase conversions:
Select ones that are most appropriate for your target audience.
For example, a personal loan calculator may want to target keywords like:
- “best lending rates”
- “find a lender in Chicago”
- “cheapest lenders in Sussex”
When choosing keywords, it’s important to think about the mindset of your customer. Would a customer be ready to make a purchase if you use these words? The likelihood of a conversion often trumps the search volume the keyword receives.
Change Your Keyword Research Approach for Every Platform
You should try to optimize your social media posts for Google. Even Twitter posts can rank for certain long-tail keywords. SlideShare posts rank very well without any external links.
However, it is also important to perform keyword research for the internal search engines on each platform. The process is different, so make sure you understand it. For example, you should use the YouTube Suggest tool to find the best keywords for the YouTube search engine.
Be a Bit More Aggressive with Targeting Competitive Keywords on Google
When e-commerce brands are conducting keyword research for their own sites, they typically focus on less competitive terms. They simply can’t compete with brands like eBay on their own terms.
You shouldn’t be as skittish about doing keyword research for third-tier sites. They have higher domain authority than your eCommerce site, so you can rank better if they are well optimized.