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Time is money. This article originally published in 2013, Updated Fall 2018

And… as time goes on and the scope of the internet grows, the marketing strategy options become overwhelming. And, time-sucking. Still happening in 2018

Which ones are going to benefit your online store?

I have clients coming to me saying they want to do Twitter and Facebook and this and that. I tell them, so do I. But if your resources are limited then meeting all these opportunities will either keep you up late at night or, never become a reality.  It’s crucial that you spend your time on opportunities that are going to actually make sense and bring you my type of ROI: R.O.T. Return-on-time.

The truth.   In order for a virtual storefront to be successful, you need to send visitors to it, either by encouraging Google to deliver a good result on keywords that  relate to your store, or by physically (in a virtual way) sending a shopper to the store.

That truth is the reason why we encourage email marketing/list building, content marketing (blogging) and for traffic-driving social media. For clients with time constraints, we recommend

Content Marketing:

In 2013, You MUST create new content on your site if you want to stay in the search engine game.  Blog on topics related to your keywords, but make sure the content is valuable for your potential and current buyers.  Keep it real, keep it happening at least twice a month

You can even step up your game and throw in buying opportunities right in your blog, either by linking directly to a product in your store, or by creating a buy now opportunity right in the blog post.

In 2018, content still matters as a way to get traffic to stick at your site or come in from social. Relevant, unique engaging content will keep visitors on your site. I’m not so convinced traffic is coming in by Google Search anymore. Social is keeping people on their apps, less on google.

Email Marketing:

Still the best way to drive sales, provided you’ve captured them on a list. So make plans to capture your visitors.    Oh, and “subscribe to our newsletter” is likely not going to cut it anymore, your going to need to be create and make it really enticing for that visitor to sign up. The payoff is good for the work is good: done correctly and with value for the recipient, email marketing will give you better return on time than social media marketing.   It’s easier to get a sale when someone is already had an interest in your product.

Social Media:

Nothing will make time disappear faster than Social Media.  But it can drive traffic and sales.

We recommend you tackle Social that’s smart for your online store for their subsequent reasons.

Google + and Google + for business: Dead. In 2013 it was a rage alongside SEO. Now, it’s about to be tanked by Google themselves.

Pinterest- if it matches your target market. It’s here where you have the greatest risk of loosing track of time,  but …Pinterest IS driving traffic and Pinterest IS creating sales STILL.

We want you to pin that  great photo/image you inserted into your newly published blog post. Pin some of your products. Don’t panic if you can’t get a Pinterest business account started. Just get your stuff into Pinterest and hope for the re-pin.

Youtube: a place where searches still happen.  Building a YouTube channel for your brand is a investment in time, thought and creativity. It’s got to be good enough for people to watch, and this kind of creativity is not for everyone. But users search within the App, so it’s a place where you can be found.

Instagram. Wasn’t even on this list in 2013.  Now it’s THE #1 App. While Facebook holds on to Genx, Instagram has Millennials on. More users + a slew of new features,  Instagram can drive traffic,  through stories where you can link.  Keep a link in your bio and build your e-commerce brand here.

Facebook:  Advertising. Gotta maintain that page, but it’s targeted advertising that’s going to get you the biggest impact from this social platform. Yes, still a place to share your content, and Facebook is friendlier to links and will drive traffic easier (when I say easier, I mean it’s easier for your to put your link, or link to a product, or link to some great content). People are also searching Facebook.  It’s limitations are, of course, the alogrithm, your page’s reach and all those other things that make it easier for Facebook to make money.  It was the same in 2013, and now even more so.

Out of time for now.  If you found this article helpful now that’s it’s been updated to 2018, please give it a Pin or a Tweet below and leave us a  comment.