Recent research has shown us that while traditional retail has taken a steady decline, ecommerce is blooming like never before. Everyone from auto dealerships to trendy shoe manufacturers have discovered that selling online lowers your overhead, reaches their audience where they live and sells regardless of weather, location and holidays. But one thing is clear, online sites only sell when there is a clear marketing path to that site.
This might include search engine optimization, equity marketing to increase brand awareness and social media campaigns, but it must happen. Since small business and mid-sized entrepreneurs are the ones leading the pack for innovative marketing online, they are also the ones most likely to gain from solid online marketing plans. If you aren’t sure where to start for your businesses online marketing campaign, here are a few tips to get you started.
It all starts and ends with your customer, so it is important to understand what kinds of decisions brought them here in the first place. Your sales funnel leads to lead them in the right direction, and you can’t do that without understanding the journey they needed to take to get to your site initially. Research into the kind of customer you attract or want to attract is a good first step.
Simply defining who that potential customer is, how they get to the point where they need or at least want what you are selling and why they would choose you over a competitor is part of this process as well. Start with these questions to give your marketing plan a path to follow.
All too often we find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of tools that involve Google as we learn to market online. Make sure that you are using every tool being offered by the search giant to help your business become more visible online.
Google offers a wealth of great webinars on the tools they make available to websites. The services they offer to website owners and builders change frequently so it is important to stay on top of these changes. When you have begun to use the different tools, be sure to analyse how successful they are and tweak the tools according to what you discover as you move forward.
No matter what you do online, if your customer service people aren’t trained to take it from there and upsell, offer discounts or give customers an incentive to buy, you lose momentum. Make sure that everyone who picks up a phone to talk to a client is knowledgeable about every one of these aspects of customer service.
In addition, make sure that your customer service people are very knowledgeable about the products you sell, understand who your customers are and what they need and share a love of the work they do and what they have to offer.
While getting tons of great sales is what we all strive for, it should never happen at the expense of giving every customer a quality experience. In the end that experience will be what sells your product for you when they talk about your company.
These happy customers will lead you to new ones you never would have reached, all because you offer a great experience through both your website and your customer support. No matter what technology we use to sell, word of mouth continues to be one of the most successful marketing techniques any company can have.
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