If you have a business and you’re not selling online right now you’re losing money. The opportunities to sell yourself and your products and services online are endless, and if you learn the basics it doesn’t have to be all that difficult either. There are a number of things you can do to market your product, drive traffic to your site and increase your sales. Once you’ve got all these people cruising to your site looking for products how do you ensure that some of them make a purchase?
1. Make things easy for your customers by focusing on one (or a few) products. The more products or services you offer, the more you’ll confuse customers and scare them away. Take one product/service and go into detail about it. A lot of text about one product is much more likely to generate income than a little text about twenty products. Just like your great aunt berthas orange lipstick, less is more!
2. Make lifelong connections with Opt-In offers! It’s an awesome way to get your customer’s email addresses so you can stay in contact with them. This is vital to longterm success. “Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Savings In Your Inbox!” is a great way to continually remind your clients why your company is awesome and why their friends should be a part of your community too. Your Opt-In offer should be easy to see, and posted to every page of your website. Experiment with different placements just in case.
3. Improve headlines. Instill urgency, answer questions, and establish yourself as a relatable company, a company run by humans just like your customers. Admit faults, be transparent, and be likable. Headlines are HUGE when it comes to increasing your conversion rate. A friend of mine that works for Upworthy, one of the most powerful information dissemination companies online, said, “I write 50 possible headlines for every article because headlines make or break whether or not something goes viral.” That’s the power of headlines.
4. Establish your credibility right away. When a potential client stumbles onto your site you only have a few seconds to hook them. Showing your credentials, a trust seal, and your customer’s testimonials on the front page shows that you’re business is legit. It should be one of the first things that people see when they arrive to your site.
5. Change your sales copy. Instead of talking about yourself all the time try using “you” language. Try stuff like, “This product or service is designed with you in mind, your life, your family, your business.” It makes a difference.
6. Ask people to take action. If you instill urgency in your content you’re more likely to inspire customers to buy something, subscribe to something, invest time in something. “If you’re not doing this you’re losing money right now,” is more likely to inspire action than, “our products are super cool and stuff.” Am I right?
7. Images go along way. Boost your page with awesome graphics, an iconic image, or infographics. People except web pages to not only be informative and user-friendly, but also easy on the eyes. The more visual things you have going on the longer people will stay on your page and the more seriously they’ll take your company.
8. Maximize for a quick glance. Most people look at your page and decide if they want something in a split second so it’s a good idea to prepare for that. Optimize your copy content to catch the eye by highlighting important parts of the text with bold letters, short standout phrases, quotes, Italics, or little colorful boxes.
Friends of mine are often surprised when I tell them they need social media for their small business, or to promote themselves as the artsy types they are. They’re surprised because the game only recently changed, and people who don’t work in online marketing, like yours truly, are often totally blind to it. Publishing houses now expect authors to promote themselves via social media and blogs, and are much more likely to take an author who already has a large Twitter following. Seriously? Yep. The last journalism job I applied for required a minimum of 2,000 Twitter followers AND high emotional intelligence which is also totally a thing now. The truth is, without social media and marketing knowledge it’s not likely that your Etsy store, eCommerce biz, or blog will get off the ground or that you’ll be able to compete effectively on the interweb of MEGA COMPETITION.
There are thousands of reasons why a shopper might look for products online. Sometimes they are looking for something specific but other times they want to compare products, search for a new company that offers something they already love, or they might want to understand a product better, etc. Understanding basic consumer search behavior can help eCommerce stores shine by improving site design, labels, or promotion decisions.
In this great article by Russell-Rose and Marki, they describe nine consumer search behaviors related to retail, and why online merchants should understand the most basic search patterns such as: “locate,” “verify,” “monitor,” “compare,” and “explore.”
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling if nobody can find it. The internet is full of competition so it’s necessary to put a good amount of your effort into driving traffic to your site. Low budget? No budget? Who cares! The beauty if the internet is that anyone who can read or watch videos can learn enough to do everything themselves. How great is that? Link building, A/B testing, or social media can all be done from the comfort of your couch. I’ve found this great list of books for you to help you along the way. You already have a successful business? Doesn’t matter. The internet changes and learning is awesome anyways. 10 Must Read Books For Online Marketers
- Authors: Turn to Kickstarter to Launch Your Book (thebookpublicist.wordpress.com)
- 5 Creative Kickstarter Projects That We Love (shutterstock.com)
- 20 of the Most Important SEO Blogs Online (business2community.com)
- Grandpa Looks at How (Not) to Market to Millennials (business2community.com)
Growth hacking is a term that refers to using analytics and stats in a creative way to grow your business quickly, efficiently, and set it up for the long haul. It’s the process used by silicon valley startups and now it’s become the marketing buzzword as Ecommerce business’ of every size are trying to learn it and put it to use. Growth hacking combines traditional marketing and analytical skills with product development skills. Take Dropbox for example: They gained more users by giving everyone an incentive to “share” Dropbox. If you share the service with a certain number of people you get free storage. How great is that? And it totally worked. The business continues to grow rapidly, steadily, and everyone wins. The best part is that this particular growth hack lets customers do the marketing for them. For more information on Growth Hacking check out this article on Shopify.
- RIP: Here Lies Traditional Marketing, Here Comes Growth Hacking (business2community.com)
- A Marketing Feature from Yappn: eCommerce that speaks to everyone (business.financialpost.com)
- Ecommerce Sites Aren’t Utilizing Site Search Data Like They Should Be (webpronews.com)
Everywhere you read about the power of social media such as Facebook and Twitter when it comes to growing your business or increasing sales and traffic. However, with the way that FB and Twitter are set up only around 16% of people see your updates because they want you to buy their advertising. For increasing sales email is the way to go every time. Email marketing gives you a more one-on-on approach where you can be almost sure you’re reaching your audience. Statistically, email campaigns increase sales by a lot more than FB or Twitter campaigns. Check out this article on why Email Marketing Is The Key To Ecommerce Success
- How Customer Trust Will Increase Your Social Media Sales (But Only If You’re Patient) (business2community.com)
- 4 Ways to Use Mobile Marketing To Increase Christmas Retail Sales (business2community.com)
- Be Thankful for Email Marketing (jpwilliam.wordpress.com)
- 6 Ways Your Email Signatures Can Support Your Marketing (michaelhartzell.com)
If you’re unfamiliar with Instagram I can sum it up for you in one sentence: It’s Facebook but with pictures as the main form of sharing instead of one or two sentence updates. It’s a way to constantly update your life online with images from your Iphone or whatever device you use. You might be wondering why in the h%/& that would be even remotely useful for your business but you’d be surprised. Humans are visual creatures so sneak peaks of products or services delivered in the subtle form of a social media photo can go a lot further than expensive product placement photos. As this article on 25 Tips for Using Instagram in business says, “cuteness sales.” I think the five-billion cat pictures online supports this statement as internet fact.
- The Science of Turning Instagram Followers into Customers (business2community.com)
- Instagram’s first ad showed up today, so let’s all over-analyze it (digitaltrends.com)
- 5 Charts That Show How Mobile And Social Media Are Taking Over Commerce (businessinsider.com)
- Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups (techcrunch.com)
I’m sure you’ve all seen product recommendation engines on other websites. If you’ve ever shopped at Amazon, you’ve definitely seen the list of other books “you just might love” based on the ones you’ve looked at or purchased in the past. Yes, it’s a little creepy that internet bots know your passion for cheap romance novels but as a business owner or even a blogger this idea can help turn one sale into multiple sales. That watch you just bought? It would look amazing with this nail polish, scarf, or jacket. That book? Ten more just like it! That pan? Don’t you need a matching knife? Chances are people do want those things. I personally love suggestions when I’m shopping and I’ve spent plenty of my paycheck on “recommended” products. Your customers will appreciate the suggestions and you’ll appreciate the increase in sales. Product recommendations can easily turn one sell into two or three. For More Information Check Out: Benefits of Using Product Recommendation Engines for E-Commerce Websites
Note: For blogs, the same idea applies with your content. For every article you post, try having a few “recommended” articles on a similar subject at the bottom. Readers are clearly interested and they’ll appreciate you pointing them in the right direction.
- How to Use Cross Selling to Increase Sales (businessbee.com)
- Top Social Media Tools For Business (mattyc1blog.wordpress.com)
- 2013 E-commerce Holiday Trends (business2community.com)
- How small businesses can jump on the ecommerce train (buildmybiz.com)
Marketing and advertising has always been similar to running a race that you just can’t win. You’ll never know it all, it will never stay the same long enough for you to even get a handle on most of it. As soon as you almost catch up, it changes and you have to learn how to do it all over again. Then the internet became what it is now, a powerful marketing tool that shifts and changes at lightening speed. If you get up to use the bathroom, chances are, in that two minutes someone figured out something new that works better. Sounds difficult, right? It doesn’t have to be. If you know your demographic like you know the back of your hand it really is less of a guessing game and more of simple tweaking here and there. If you don’t know your customers well enough, you’ll always be scrambling to figure out what works, why it works, and how you can possibly implement that new thing that works as soon as possible. Plus, if you don’t know your demographic, you can’t utilize influencer marketing which is what is working magic for eCommerce sites everywhere, right, NOW. What is influencer marketing? It basically comes down to knowing your audience well enough to influence their buying habits. If you want to learn more about the importance of knowing your audience and Influencer marketing, check out this great article: Customer Decision Making Processes and Influence Marketing.
- gyroVoice: The “Ws” of Influence Marketing (forbes.com)
- Social Proof – The Art of Influence Marketing (visual.ly)
- Influencer Marketing Can Be An Easy Button (socialmediaexplorer.com)
- Breaking Down the Four Ms of Influence Marketing for Better ROI (business2community.com)