As we learns in previous parts of this blog series Web-to-Print is a challenging implementation but it can be implemented seamlessly if done step by step and with proper planning and strategy. In previous parts we learnt What Web-to-Print is, What are its challanges, What preparations and plannings need to be done for implementing Web-to-Print and How to execute the integration of Web-to-Print into your print business. Now we will learn what steps need to be taken after implementing Web-to-Print software to make this project a success.
The Build Phase
‘Build’ is that phase when your web-to-print technology will become available for use by your potential customers, and when you start building your online customer base. It means they can officially and formally initiate transactions at the new storefront. However, that is not all.
This phase is extremely crucial for your online printing business as this is where you will get to see how well the technology is performing for you, and even make tweaks along the way to ensure a smooth buying experience.
There are various go-live strategies that you can deploy – depending on what is right for your business. Your web-to-print software vendor will help you select and execute the right one. Typically, you could enter the go-live phase by either:
- Launching with the necessary modules and then adding others in staged steps, or
- Starting with all modules for one or two customers first, or
- Launching the entire storefront together – although this option is not advised.
But whichever option you choose, your online printing company must undertake a few marketing activities to boost the visibility of your web-to-print storefront and to get more consumers to shop from you.
List of marketing activities to boost the visibility of your web-to-print storefront:
1. Generate Awareness through Promotions and Emailers
It is essential to have a schedule in place for any pre-launch promotional activity. While the exact timelines may differ from company to company, it is recommended to start promoting your web-to-print storefront at least a month before the launch.
Apart from emails and social media teasers, promotional activities such as early-bird discounts for pre-ordering or online giveaways are effective ways to generate a buzz about your latest offering among your potential customers.
In this context, it is also important to time the launch date carefully – scheduling it around a festive season (or any period in which consumers shop more than usual) or an event such as a trade show can generate the extra buzz.
2. Ongoing Digital Marketing
Every business, in this day and age, has to dip their toes in the digital marketing pond. And if you want to maximize the promotions of your web-to-print technology, you have to leverage digital marketing in the right way.
Here’s how you can do digital marketing for Web-to-Print store :
C. Blog posting
A. Link building
This involves linking to reliable, highly-ranked websites on your webpages and eventually getting those websites to link back to your site as well. An excellent way to build links is by referencing other websites and then guest posting for them in return for a backlink.
Moz.com describes link building as the practice of earning links to your web pages in a bid to boost your site’s authority in search engines. There are many link building techniques that you can apply for your web-to-print store:
- List your online printing business on popular business listing websites such as Google My Business, Yelp, Foursquare, and more. You can even check out local directories such as Yellowpages and Europages. See below:
- You can write guest posts for high-authority websites in multiple domains such as ecommerce, print, and business. Local search engines trust mentions about businesses on local blogs, and they help generate results based on their relevance.
- Search engines also crawl local business directories to get results for local business providers. Take www.ohiobiz.com/ for Ohio, USA as an example. You can find out about related sites if your business is set up in some other city or state.
- There are many governing bodies, unions, and associations for almost every industry. Get yourself listed on such sites as it helps boost credibility and exposure in front of the relevant audience.
B. Content marketing
Content marketing is a type of marketing focused on not just creating different content assets useful for the target audience but also marketing it on channels on which they are most active.
Effective content marketing is essential to ensure that your potential customers sustain their interest in the solution.
You can create infographics, E-books, whitepapers, PPTs, videos, case studies, and more that can be used as lead magnets either on your web-to-print store or submitted on high-authority syndication platforms.
For example, PPTs are generally posted on Slideshare. Videos are uploaded on YouTube. E-books can be uploaded on your website, or submitted to relevant third-party websites.
Visual content is ideal for most social media platforms and can include infographics that explain what your web-to-print technology is all about. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter groups are also excellent mediums to promote content organically.
User-generated content such as posts built around a company-specified product hashtag works well in this regard. Brainstorm a couple of ideas with your in-house team and decide a hashtag that best fits your newest launch.
To boost its visibility, conduct contests on social media and even ask all your employees to amplify the reach of the contest.
Another primary avenue to explore is influencer marketing, where online bloggers create content about the product or service and share it with their online followers. This approach might take a bit of time. Therefore, it is advisable that you partner with a marketing agency that specializes in influencer marketing, and can connect with industry influencers on your behalf.
Read Later: Deborah Corn to Printers: “eCommerce storefront is not enough, Optimizing websites and pumping some money into SEO”
C. Blog posting
Maintaining a high-quality company blog is one of the best ways to consistently create and share content that your potential customers will want to read and share.
Blog posts should talk about the company, the product, and its uses, address commonly asked questions, or share relevant insights about how businesses can benefit from web-to-print technology.
The more customer-friendly a blog post, the likelier the customer is to share it. You can even build a resource bank – launch an eBook series addressing questions and queries around printing services or the product catalog you provide.
D. Social media promotion
In this day and age, you can’t neglect social media for your business. Registering on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube enables you to take your web-to-print storefront to consumers across the globe.
This means that you can place your offers, promote new products and blog posts, share new testimonials received, and more on social media for your customers. If your marketing budget permits, you can run paid ads and reach a broader, more relevant target audience instantly.
The importance of social media can’t be stressed enough. Therefore, set up pages or accounts on every social media platform relevant to your business. Complete the profiles by submitting necessary information such as business hours, address, email address, and your web-to-print store URL.
Use a legible logo for all social media profiles, and also create a cover photo featuring your latest offer or new product range. In addition, set up Facebook Messenger on your Facebook page so that consumers can get in touch with you instantly.
Create a social media calendar so that you know what to post and when. According to a GMO article, the best time to publish on different social networking sites varies.
Thursday to Sunday (1 pm to 4 pm) works best for Facebook. Whereas, Twitter is widely used from Monday to Thursday (12 to 3 pm and 5 pm). And, LinkedIn users are most active on Tuesday and Thursday (5 pm to 6 pm).
Include your social media buttons in your every touchpoint with customers in a bid to increase follower count.
E. Press release and media coverage
Public relations is vital to the successful marketing of any new product or service. And if you are leveraging a technology that will make the buying experience of your potential customer base smoother, then you must spend some time on boosting your Public Relations (PR).
You can approach major press representatives for website/shopping reviews or partner with media agencies to get promotional articles placed in the top online publications such as ‘Entrepreneur Magazine’ and ‘Forbes’.
Another option is to hold a launch event where members of the press are invited, and you give an overview of your web-to-print storefront and address questions of the attendees.
F. Video promotion
Internet users enjoy watching videos everywhere. In fact, 85 percent of them in the United States have admitted to watching video content on their electronic devices. [Statista]
It is true that video content can attract and engage consumers much better than lengthy textual content – especially when it comes to explaining a new technology. Videos are also much more shareable online.
An interesting explainer video – describing your service and why it matters – can help to generate interest in your online printing company quickly.
The video you produce can be shared on networks such as YouTube or Vine, and clips from it can be used as video ads on Facebook or Instagram. In addition, you can create a vlog, showcasing the different benefits that your storefront can offer to the users.
G. PPC marketing
Running paid ads on Google and major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram helps to promote your service to a much larger audience.
When it comes to social media, it is essential to choose platforms based on where your potential customers are most likely to be active and to regularly assess the performance of each ad so that resources are not wasted.
However, Google AdWords will fetch you good results if you go by the book. Google is the world’s number one search engine. A product or service that is recommended (featured right at the top of search results) by the search engine is associated with credibility and, of course, it also garners more clicks.
Don’t forget to download our 30 Day Checklist After Adopting Web-To-Print For Your Print Business before you get started!
Setting up a campaign on Google is easy, and you will know your way around it in no time, given that Google lists down the necessary steps via a starter guide for beginners.
The success of your ads depends on how smartly you have picked the keywords relevant to your product or service. Therefore, research first. Use Google’s paid service – Keyword Planner – to look for words and phrases your target audience might use to search for products or services that are similar to what you offer.
The tool will present 20 keywords similar to your search and also share an estimated cost-per-click. Select five to eight keywords relevant to your business. The more keywords you use, the more expensive your ad will be – so you might want to refrain from getting overwhelmed by the options you have.
The best part is that you only pay every time a user clicks on your ad and lands on your website. Therefore, do proper research. Pick the most relevant keywords for your business and write strong ad copies using them. Once your ads are live, keep track of their performance daily and boost those ads that are performing well.
3. Order processing, monitoring, and analysis
Particularly in the initial days after the launch, it is critical to ensure that customer orders are processed quickly and accurately.
There should be a dedicated team to manage order fulfillment and ensure that all orders are delivered on time and that all customer queries are responded to promptly.
You should also validate if your production workflow and vendor management have been working correctly as per configuration. If not, make the right adjustments to align your application with the in-house processes.
4. Configure alerts and push notifications
Push notifications are clickable, rich content messages that deliver marketing or purchase-related alerts and help to boost sales. It is essential to craft compelling messages that will attract your potential customers to click through.
Apart from alerts about the new launch, abandoned cart notifications and flash sale alerts are among the most common messages used for push notifications. You can leverage the push technology to get back consumers on your website to complete the purchase cycle.
5. Logistic monitoring and analysis
The reasons behind a successful launch include the timely distribution of the service to all stakeholders, sophisticated technology to track order movements, and clear accountability for each step of the process.
Your supply chain team should work closely on streamlining delivery processes and simplifying tasks through the use of appropriate technology.
Each role should be clearly defined, and regular checks should be conducted on the process flow to ensure that everything is moving as expected.
To avoid any logistics-related mishaps, try to get a few customers (maybe 10 or 20) to shop on your website and place their orders. This will give you an idea about where mistakes can happen, and you can rectify them without annoying a large customer base.
6. Ask for customer feedback on order delivery
Customer feedback allows potential buyers to get an impartial account of how well the company delivers on its promises. You should make it easy for the customer to share feedback and also compensate them for the same with vouchers or discount tokens.
All feedback, positive or negative, should be replied to. There are two leading platforms where feedback can be shared.
A. Social media
Social media feedback can involve customers posting about their experience and tagging the company, or responding directly as a comment on the company’s posts. Make sure you have someone from the customer care team to address the feedback promptly.
Once the problem is resolved, make sure the customer is intimated about it on social media itself. That shows you take complaints seriously and gives your business a good image.
B. Review platforms
These are platforms explicitly dedicated to reviewing different kinds of products and services. For instance, TripAdvisor and Yelp are review platforms for restaurants and hotels. For online printing companies, there are Google Reviews.
If your customers don’t give a review on their own, reach out to them via an email or phone call – asking them to provide you with feedback on Google Reviews.
The majority of businesses are slow when it comes to taking surveys. What they don’t know is that 66 percent of consumers prefer giving feedback when you actively reach out to them. Hence, be proactive. [Forbes]
You can even create a survey on SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, and get your customers to fill them for you.
Over to you
Value addition is essential for our clients, which is why we have focused extensively on ensuring you received the maximum level of freedom possible to customize and upgrade your web-to-print storefront solution.
Adding to that thought, we would like to give you a tour of the solution and explain the exact reasons for making Design’N’Buy a part of your business growth journey. So, what do you think? Interested to know what is in the store for you? Sign up here to book a consultation.
This blog is part of a series.