5 Ways to Use PR for Ecommerce Business

 

PR or public relations can be a powerful tool to help boost your brand and drive sales. And the best part? You don't need a big budget to make it happen. 

In this article, we’ll show you the importance of PR and how to maximize it for promoting your e-commerce business. Whether you're just getting started, or looking to ramp up your PR efforts, these tips will help you get the most out of your e-commerce PR strategy. 

Let's dive in!

What is Public Relations?

Public relations, or PR, involves building and maintaining relationships between you and your target audience. The goal of PR is to create a positive public perception of your brand, product, or service, and to enhance its reputation. This is done through a variety of tactics, including media relations, crisis management, influencer partnerships, and events.

Effective public relations aims to communicate your brand’s message and values effectively and to promote a positive image that will help you achieve your goals. As an eCommerce business owner, you can pair your marketing and advertising efforts with good PR to develop a cohesive brand strategy that resonates with your potential customers. We’ll show you how this works in the next section.

PR and eCommerce Match

PR and eCommerce are a natural match, they’ll both align to build and maintain relationships with customers and other stakeholders. Since eCommerce marketing efforts focus on attracting customers and enticing them to buy from you, it’s fair to say that PR fits well into the overall objective. 

PR is one surefire way to build a strong and trustworthy eCommerce business that stands out from the competition. It can be particularly effective in the eCommerce space as it provides a platform for you to showcase your products and values to a wider audience. For example, media coverage, influencer partnerships, and thought leadership initiatives can help your eCommerce store stay fresh in the minds of your potential customers.

Top eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay have successfully integrated strategic public relations activities into their marketing efforts. What’s to say that you can’t do the same as a growing eCommerce brand? If doing it yourself seems difficult to handle, you can work with a retail PR agency that’ll help you make the best of public relations. The bottom line is that you’re not ignoring the endless opportunities that good PR provides.

In addition, PR can help you manage your reputation and respond to any negative press or customer feedback about your brand. This is especially useful in today’s digital space where negative consumer reviews can travel rapidly through social media platforms. So, now that you understand how good PR is a great match for eCommerce companies, let’s show you how to make it work.

5 ways to Use PR for Ecommerce Business

Using PR for eCommerce business is not some random attempt to get attention. Instead, it’s a well-planned approach to fostering positive relationships and gaining the patronage of your target market—eventually producing more conversions and increasing your ROI. So, let’s explore five effective ways to win with PR.

1. Leverage influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is one foolproof way to maximize PR for eCommerce business. Partnering with popular micro-influencers in your industry can help you reach a wider audience and build credibility with potential customers. 

Influencer marketing allows you to showcase your products in a more organic and relatable way. This works because micro-influencers have an existing follower base that trusts them and wants to hear their opinions—even about eCommerce products the influencer likes. 

According to BusinessWire, 61% of shoppers say they’re more likely to trust recommendations from influencers on social media. This is a huge gap from the mere 38% that trust recommendations from brands.

A typical example of putting influencer marketing to good use is Ruggable’s Instagram content with @lindsey_isla, an influencer that blogs about fashion and interiors. 

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Ruggable gets this right by working with an influencer that’s relevant to their niche. You should do the same when leveraging influencer marketing for your eCommerce brand. You can find influencers by using industry-related hashtags on social channels. You can also use platforms like Influence.co to find influencers that align with your brand.

Before choosing an influencer, it’s advisable to look through the types of content they share. This is one way to determine if they’re a good match for your brand. You also want to ensure that their follower base includes your ideal audience as this will help you drive quality traffic to your store.

When you find the right influencer, be sure to introduce yourself to them in a warm and approachable manner. Instead of being overly pitchy with your need for collaboration, start by engaging with them and nurturing a genuine relationship. This way, you’ll be able to initiate a long-lasting partnership. 

Also, instead of randomly sending DMs requesting collaboration, take a more polite approach by asking them for their convenient mode of communication. They’ll either share a digital business card or another preferred means of getting in touch. 

Additionally, ensure that you offer something valuable in exchange for this partnership. It could be a free product, discount codes, or compensation for their time and effort. Finally, be clear about your influencer marketing goals and communicate these expectations with the influencer.

2. Create a strong social media presence

Having a strong social media presence is essential for any eCommerce business. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can help you build a relationship with your customers, showcase your products, and respond to customer inquiries and feedback. Hence, it’s quite effective to start here when you want to create positive buzz about your eCommerce store.

To create a strong social engagement for your brand, start by evaluating your target market and determining which social platforms are more suitable for connecting with them. Also, you should consistently create engaging and educational content. Your social media posts should also be entertaining, and relevant to your potential customer’s needs.

For example, Casper uses its Instagram page to share interesting and relatable content like images, reels, and stories to keep their audience engaged.

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So, like Casper, try out different content formats to keep your followers engaged. Also, ensure that your profile aesthetic is pleasing to the eyes by sharing high-quality pictures and videos. Enticing visuals will beautify your page and are more likely to capture the interest of active users on social media, making your content strategy more effective.

Finally, engage with your followers by responding to their comments and reposting interesting user-generated content that they share. You can use appealing stories and highlights to create content that prospects are more likely to interact with.

3. Leverage customer reviews and testimonials

Positive customer reviews and testimonials can be powerful tools for building credibility and attracting new customers. So, get started by signing up on review platforms like Google and Trustpilot. If there are specific review sites for your industry, you want to be there. Social media platforms like Facebook also have review tabs you can maximize. Also, give customers the chance to leave reviews on your website as Bombas does below.

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Encourage customers to leave reviews by offering them incentives like discounts or special offers. Share positive reviews and testimonials on your website, in your email marketing campaigns, and on social media. Highlighting positive reviews can help build trust with potential customers and improve your brand's reputation. 

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Like Sephora, you can turn customer testimonials into a PR tool by sharing customer stories on your website and social media. This can help build a sense of community around your brand and increase brand loyalty.

With negative reviews, you can address them in a way that shows customers and other observers that you listen to them and are committed to giving them the best shopping experience.

Finally, don’t forget to include customer reviews and testimonials in your marketing materials, such as brochures and flyer templates. This can help build trust with potential customers and improve your brand's reputation.

4. Consider outside publications and media

Outside publications and media are powerful tools when it comes to PR for eCommerce business. Being featured in outside publications and media can help establish credibility for your eCommerce business. 

Not only that, it’ll do well to command the attention your eCommerce brand needs as you gain recognition. This can help position your brand as a leader in your industry and establish a strong reputation for your business. 

With outside publications and media, you also reach broad and engaged audiences uncovered by your other marketing and advertising campaigns, thereby generating more leads. You also get to share news and announcements about your eCommerce business with relevant media outlets so that your target audience and customer base can get updates. This could include new product launches, flash sales, company milestones, or partnerships.

Like Wayfair, you can use external publications to announce new and exciting deals on your eCommerce store.

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To get the best of external media and publications, you’ll need to research media outlets relevant to your eCommerce business and target audience. This could include trade publications, local newspapers, and industry websites. Make it easier by keeping a curated list of helpful publications.

Next, you can reach out to journalists and establish relationships with them. Offer them insights and information about your business, and be available for interviews or to provide quotes for articles and blog posts. 

It’s also effective to develop a press kit that includes information about your business, products, and services. This should include a company profile, press releases, product images, and any other relevant information. For instance, you can create a simple press release template that’ll help you deal with negative or false news about your brand. 

Finally, stay in touch and reach out when there’s something you want your audience to know.

5.  Invest in PR Outreach tools

Implementing PR for your eCommerce business can be a demanding activity. That’s why it’s important to invest in PR outreach tools. These tools can help you streamline your PR efforts so that you can focus on getting the best results.

With effective outreach tools, you can target the right people, increase visibility, measure the impact of your PR efforts, and enhance reputation management. These tools help you streamline and automate PR tasks as you seek to maintain a positive image for your eCommerce brand. 

Work with news monitoring and analysis tools like Google Alerts, Mention, or TalkWater that can help you track news and trends related to your e-commerce industry. This will keep you in the loop about the latest developments and opportunities for PR coverage.

Also, PR management platforms such as Grouphigh and Pitchbox can help you connect with influencers and manage your PR outreach efforts. They often include features such as media databases, press release distribution, and analysis.

Finally, don’t neglect the power of social media platforms like Twitter and Quora that’ll help you know what customers are saying about your brand.

Conclusion

PR plays a vital role in the success of your e-commerce business. In this article, we highlighted the importance of good PR, stating how it can help eCommerce business owners like you stand out and build a strong reputation for your eCommerce brand.

We also showed you five strategic ways to use PR for eCommerce business. They include leveraging influencer marketing to create a strong social media presence, maximizing customer reviews and testimonials, using outside publications and media, and investing in PR outreach tools.

By using these tips to develop an efficient PR strategy,  you can build your brand, increase visibility, and drive more sales for your e-commerce business. Good luck!

By Chris Norton, 

Founder of specialist digital PR agency Prohibition, former University lecturer, author of “Share This Too” and his social media training blog, which has been listed in the UK's top 10 PR and social media marketing blogs for more than seven years.