Here are some answers for you that I believe will help you.
1. You should implement a long term and short term strategy right at the beginning. What I mean is that there are essential parts to your marketing like SEO and content marketing that you need to implement right in the beginning, but will take a while to filter through, but these are essential if you want to have organic traffic. That would be L-T.
The best for Short term for a newly launched site is ad's. Word of warning though. Know your customers demographics such as age, income, education etc, know your competitors demographics and then find the platform (such as social media channels) where your ideal customer is based on those researched demographics and then roll out targeted ad's for them.
2. You have to implement social media strategies right from the beginning of course, based on your demographic research.
3. Get busy Blogging - start with content marketing now.
4. Sweepstakes - start a giveaway to get traction with clients and create awareness.
5. Make sure you collect emails as these are like gold dust for future email marketing.
6. Video marketing is essential for competitive retail space and very powerful to get found on search engines like Google.
Prior to me launching my digital marketing business 5 years ago, I built an online retail business and made many expensive mistakes. And they can be costly if not implemented correctly from the beginning.
So in summary: SEO - very important, Ad's, Social Media, Sweepstakes, Blogging, Video & email marketing.
I trust this will assist you. Let me know if you wish to have a call to discuss these or have follow up questions.
I think you need to test everything and anything at this stage. You make think certain platforms work when in reality they dont and vice versa. Everything should be A/B testing at this point in the game. Let me know if you'd like to talk more.
Without knowing your definition and intent behind "marketing strategy", you've asked a loaded question... I'll take a leap and assume you're looking to get the word out about your new site. With that in mind, and also presuming you know who and where you customers are, you'll want to focus your 'free' time reaching out to bloggers and media that care about unique watches. With an effective approach to these key influencers you might earn some 'free' publicity to their followers and fans.
Also, fathers day is coming up and their are a lot of writers looking for new and 'unique' fathers day gifts.
I agree with all answers above. Kenneth Todd has a very good point about video marketing (especially if you are concerned about cost).
These are just some of the basics:
YouTube videos, as well as other videos, show up in Google’s listing. People regularly search within YouTube.
When creating a video you should consider your goal. For example is it for Relationship building? List building? Other…?
Video marketing should be based on the same keyword research as paid and organic search optimization. You might want to have a video for each keyword you want to rank. These could be a few minutes long (e.g. “how to” videos) or just 30 second introduction videos. Each video should have keyword based title and description and include a link to a specific page on your site. Videos also should be organized in Channels and playlists.
You might want to also upload your videos on other video sites (although you will need to make some changes in order to avoid duplicate content).
You are welcome to give me a call to discuss you marketing strategy in more details.
Perhaps a better question to ask might be "what is the best initial marketing strategy to use with the highest ROI?". In other words - start thinking in terms of INVESTMENTS versus COSTS.
For this you'll need to know your numbers - specifically CAC (cost of acquisition of a customer) and your profits/margins. For example in one of my businesses I can spend up to $750 to acquire a new customer and still be quite profitable (an average client is worth $5000). So, relatively speaking, the "cost" is a bit high but the ROI is excellent.
Another useful concept is to break marketing up into In-bound and Out-bound marketing. I coach my clients who are just starting to choose only ONE of each.
(Oh - and FYI - I'm not a huge advocate of being anal-retentive about metrics when you are just starting out. Of course keep an eye on your numbers - and once you have a "control" in place (something that's working i.e. giving you a positive return on your investment) THEN start A/B testing.)
For the In-bound strategy consider your market... What specifically are THEY searching for that you uniquely provide? How can you make it easy for THEM to find you? That channel would be worth investing in.
For the Out-bound strategy again consider your market... What message can you communicate and what offer can you make them to encourage them to take action and either take a next step (i.e. call you, request info, etc) or buy? And via what channel can you reach that targeted group? That channel would also be worth investing in.
Let's set up a call if you would like to know how to do this step-by-step.
In any case I wish you great success!
Before investing a single dollar in advertising - invest wisely in outstanding copywriting. Then you should test your advertising on Facebook. That's one of the simplest and most cost effective places to test how to get the best return on your marketing investment.
Then grow from there: http://tekk3.com/are-you-buying-a-marketing-machine-gun-or-a-bomb/
I would suggest Instagram for sure. There are plenty of people who are showing off their watches. Take a look at this account for example: http://instagram.com/thebillionairesclub
You'll see a lot of photos with premium watches being tagged from the original store accounts. You can leverage by sparking conversation on those pictures, follow hashtags, make one of your own.
If your product is good and you execute this well you can definitely get some momentum.
The key is to think beyond your first 100 or 1000 sales. How do you service those customers, do you get them to spread your product? What incentives do you give them?
These are few questions worth pondering on.
First step for any ecommerce business - setup google product listing ads, it will give you immediate access to at least somewhat qualified traffic
When you say "minimal cost" the alarm bells start ringing, you need to have a decent marketing budget especially at launch because its going to take some time and its going to burn some $$$ before you get the marketing right
Etsy, instagram, facebook and pinterest are all useful too as they're visual mediums but as other posters have pointed out, you need to test and see what works for you.
If you're new to this, perry marshalls 8020 marketing book is a good place to get a better understanding of online marketing
I'm following a big community of watch lovers & enthusiasts on Instagram, Tumblr & Pinterest. Google Shopping Campaigns is indeed a great way to generate traffic from bottom-of-funnel customers that know exactly what they want and they are simply shopping for the best price. If you want to raise awareness of your site by focusing on middle-of-the-funnel customers that are looking for watch retails, Google Adwords will be best but keep in mind, it will cost you money since shoppers are not sure exactly what they want.
Targeting Top-of-the-funnel customers is harder and takes longer but doesn't require much investment if you know how to create interesting content and publish it all over the internet by focusing on Social Media. Get involved in the watch community across all social platforms and raise your voice. Show them how passionate you are about your product and how knowledgeable you are about the industry. Create curiosity and they will start poking. Show your art on visual networks such as Instagram/Pinterest/Flikr/Tumblr.
Read amazing posts on http://blog.Hubpot.com about inbound marketing!
Check out what eone timepieces has done: http://eone-time.com.
Their watch has a cool hook: it's accessible for the blind because you touch it to tell time. But their model is still one you could follow -- creating a loyal community through an awesome product, content (blog, social and newsletter), Kickstarter campaign and lots of work to spread the word about their mission and product.
Full disclosure: We run their content marketing (blog, social, email and some press), but what they've accomplished is impressive enough that I'd recommend it regardless.
Simple answer if you are worried about costs you will struggle. Ecommerce is a spend money to make money industry. Meaning the more you put in the more you will get out.
My strategy for any store launch is starting with one campaign, 7 adsets at $10 a day. Each adset with 4 creatives and one interest. This means you will spend $70 per day.
Then you need to let FB ads optimize which takes 3-4 days so you need to keep the ad running until it optimizes. Dont even expect sales until it is optimized. So this means you will be spending around $280 those 4 days. If you dont get any sales then you need to test more.
Bottom line the more you test in the beginning the more you will get out. If you can afford to do 2 campaigns at 7 adsets each and $10 a day each then do it. The more interests you target the faster you will get data and find your audience.