Running an online business can be tricky, so you need to buckle up for the rocky road. One of the hardest parts is to stand out from the crowd of competitors that offer similar products or services. How to promote your online business?
The technological change and economic growth make people switch to online, so it’s getting more difficult than ever to attract potential customers. The good news is that well-prepared strategy will make you grow an online community and boost sales.
Keep in mind that promoting your online business is constant work, not a one-time assignment. Here are several tactics that will help you get more traffic to your site and convert visitors into customers.
1. Content marketing
I bet you’ve heard many times that better search engine rankings can generate more organic traffic which equals more customers. Creating evergreen content helps you reach potential customers and convince them to buy. It builds your position on the market and increases your visibility on the internet.
Start a blog
Having a blog on your business website gives you space to share the best tips and valuable information about your products. You can also build brand awareness this way and establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
You can promote your online store by linking directly to products or showing how the items or services you sell can change your customers’ lives. The ideas are endless and it’s up to you what kind of articles you’ll be publishing on the blog.
Wondering how to start?
Get a list of questions frequently asked by your customers and use it to create content that gives them the exact answers. Every time you create content for your blog remember that quality blog posts with industry keywords will help you grow by increasing your position in search results and rank higher than competitors.
If you’re not sure which keywords to use, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think what terms and phrases they might type into the search box. For instance, if you’re selling clothes, it could be “How to match a patterned T-shirt with a jacket”. You can then create a guide with hi-res photos and instructions and link directly to products on your website.
Also think about guest blogging as an opportunity to reach a wider audience. It usually lets you place a link to your store in your bio or add a direct link in your content. Use content marketing to show others that you’re a specialist in your industry, but don’t mistake this with being a pushy salesperson!
Work with influencers
Do research to find popular bloggers in your industry and contact ones with broad follower bases. Show your professional voice. Remember that it’s not asking an influencer for a favour. Take it as a serious business proposal. Be specific and briefly explain why your products or services could be a good fit for their followers.
What can you offer an influencer? You can ask for a review by offering free samples of your product, sponsor a giveaway, or conduct a sponsored campaign. The ideas are endless.
Leverage user generated content
I also recommend finding space for content created by your customers. It could be photos, reviews, or text messages shared by customers. You can use it on your blog or on social media to increase brand visibility, improve social proof, and create trust.
2. Social media
It’s natural for today’s customers to verify a company on social media before they buy anything from it. This is why it’s essential to build a presence on social media. The popularity of social media platforms is still on track, so it’s one of the best methods to promote your business and grow an online presence.
OK, you’ve created a Facebook or Instagram profile. But where to find followers?
Start from inviting your circle of Facebook friends to like and share your page. Then publish relevant content that encourages users to visit your site. Show your brand’s personality, engage the audience with catchy photos or short videos, tell your brand’s story, and make people find its worth by checking your business page.
You can also use YouTube or other platforms to promote your brand. No matter what platform you choose, don’t focus only on product related content. Create a relevant story that people like to share. Also be helpful and educate customers, for instance by providing video tutorials on how to use your product etc.
The number one principle is to publish regularly. It can be once a day, three times a week, etc. It mostly depends on how many followers you have and how engaged they are. If you think it requires too much time, use automation tools to plan your content and make it be published automatically.
You can also ask your followers to post their pictures with your products. It will grow your chances of reaching more audience and encourage interaction. Moreover, place social media follow buttons on your website and make it easy for customers to share your page or a certain product across social media platforms.
3. Paid promotion
Social platforms also offer the ability to use paid advertising, so you can directly reach consumers who might be interested in your products. Note that when you want to run Facebook ads, it’s better to select metrics based on website clicks or conversions to make people visit your website.
Search engines advertising, for instance through Google AdWords, is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your online business site. Use PPC (pay-per-click) ads wisely to make the website visible to your potential customers. If you don’t optimize them well, they can eat your budget in no time.
4. Email marketing
Building a mailing list is another way to grow your customer base.
Online consumers wait for sales and occasions, so use email messages to promote them through your customers. Prepare special offers and discounts for subscribers to grow your audience and convert visitors into frequent customers.
What can also help are catchy images and actionable content that encourage users to visit your site and buy your products or services. Use personalization to improve open rates.
Send regular (weekly or monthly) emails to your database. They can be messages announcing the arrival of new products or highlighting certain products. Always make sure that buttons or text messages link directly to your online store website.
5. Website optimization
Garnering traffic is important, but you also need to convince people to buy.
To make it easier for people to find your website in search engines use proper keywords in your product names and descriptions. Make keywords look natural in the copy and don’t overuse them.
The same comes with photo descriptions. Use alt tags and image titles to display product names and keywords properly in search engines.
Optimize for mobile
By optimizing e-commerce website well you can get more traffic and reduce your bounce rate.
Don’t forget about mobile users. Your website needs to work well on every device they use. Focus on providing well designed checkout — choose a payment solution that will make it smooth and easy to pay via mobile.
Try to reach customers who complained about your product to do your best to provide high-quality products and outstanding shopping experience. Maybe your customer is right! Apologize to them and propose a discount for the next purchase. Keep in mind that customers’ complaints may point to something that needs to be changed.
Positive reviews are the best advertisement for your business, so ask happy customers for testimonials. What if some customers leave bad reviews on your site? The good news is that you can turn them into an opportunity. Decide whether your action is required and react quickly to show your customers that you care.
7. A gift in the package
Adding a gift to every first purchase is a real customer magnet. It could be a little item such as a keychain, reusable shopping bag, or magnet. Don’t forget to put your store URL on the gadget. It comes with at a cost, but you’ll see benefits in the long run.
You can also add coupons to packages or send them by email from time to time to encourage people to buy from you again. It’s good to provide time sensitive coupons to add urgency and heighten the need to buy.
There you have it — selling on your website builds brand awareness and grows credibility in your customers, but also comes with challenges. Use these methods and start promoting your online business to attract new customers and make the current ones eager to buy from you again.