Even in this day and age, when almost everyone’s accessible (or easily accessible) to the Internet, marketing your product or service online can seem tricky. After all, you’re not just pitching to people who know exactly what you’re talking about, but potential customers who might not be so familiar with your product or service.
The good news is that with just a few small tweaks to your approach, you can dramatically improve your odds of converting website visitors into paying customers. Let’s take a look.
Get To Know Your Target Audience
When trying to market your product or service online, the first thing you need to do is understand your target audience. After all, you can’t address potential customers and complain about your sales team if you don’t even understand who they are.
This is especially important if you’re launching a new product or service and haven’t had much (if any) success in the marketplace. If you find that your ideal customer is someone very similar to you (i.e., a “fit” with your product), then you’re in luck because you can definitely relate to them.
The problem is that if your product or service doesn’t appeal to them, you’re wasting your time and they’re likely to just leave without making a purchase. Knowing your audience is the key to developing effective marketing strategies while keeping your target audience in mind at all times.
Focus On The Right Platform
Depending on your product or service, you need to choose a platform and website that are specifically tailored to attract and retain your target audience. While many businesses choose to go completely digital with their marketing strategy and rely on websites and social media to drive sales, some others prefer to stay closer to traditional methods and utilize offline tactics such as radio ads or newspaper ads.
If your product is hardware or clothing, then you’ll want to look into small-scale producers who may be looking for a way to get their products into the hands of as many people as possible. Similarly, if your product is food or drink, then you’ll want to consider restaurants or food stores who could benefit from your product.
On the other hand, if your product is software or a service that can only be provided online, then you’ll want to look into platforms and websites designed for online marketing and sales such as Shopify, Big Commerce, and WordPress.com.
Use Digital Marketing To Build Trust
You’ll want to establish your trust with potential customers (and ultimately, convert them into paying customers) so that when they do come across your product or service in the future, they have no reason to doubt your words or claims. You can gain credibility and make an honest business case for selling your product with digital marketing tools and platforms, which allows you to target the right audience at the right time with the right message.
For example, if you’re selling hair extensions, you might want to consider running an influencer marketing campaign to gain trust and credibility with potential customers. Why? Having a reputable source (i.e., an influencer) vouch for your product can be extremely persuasive, especially when combined with the other digital marketing tools listed below.
Use SEO To Your Advantage
While we’re on the subject of gaining credibility and trust with potential customers, we should also point out that having a reputation for honesty and integrity will also make you more attractive to potential customers who might otherwise be turned off by less reputable businesses.
One way to do this is to ensure that your website or blog is correctly optimized for organic (i.e., unpaid or naturally occurring) search traffic. You can do this by focusing on optimizing your on-page SEO, as well as utilizing the services of an SEO consultant to analyze and optimize your off-page SEO. Once you have proper inbound marketing and sales strategies in place, you can look into investing in SEO.
Create Compelling Content
Speaking of investing in SEO, we should also point out that creating compelling content is one of the best ways to build credibility and attract potential customers to your product or service. Why? Content is something that people can interact with and engage with, which makes it much more personal. When personal, the emotions that the individual has towards the subject matter will determine how engaged they’ll be with the content. For example, if you’re writing about fashion, a male audience might be more inclined to be interested in your content because they have an emotional connection to fashion. They might not feel as strongly about food, for example, because they don’t see themselves as closely tied to the subject matter.
With compelling content, you can position yourself as an expert in your industry and encourage visitors to seek you out for advice or information. When they do come across your content, you can guarantee that you’ll be the first business they think of because you have the most valuable information that pertains to them. Your content doesn’t have to be overly promotional either. Simply providing useful information (e.g., how to purchase a certain product) can get you closer to a possible customer than you would be if you were only selling your product directly.
Use Social Media To Gain Followers
If you’ve been around the block a few times, you know that social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be incredibly effective at attracting potential customers and engaging them into taking an interest in your product or service. Why? It’s quite simple. People love to talk about what they love. If you can tap into this audience, you can absolutely gain credibility and make a name for yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Just remember that not everyone on social media is looking to become a customer, so make sure that you’re engaging with people who might be able to become long-term customers of yours. You can do this by establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, connecting with other influencers who might have an audience that’s interested in what you have to say, and engaging regularly with your followers.
Always Be Testing
Whether you’re new to marketing or you’ve been doing it for a while, you should always be testing and evolving your strategies to reach your target audience. Sometimes, a business will discover that the approach that they’re using isn’t effective and they’ll switch gears and try something new. You don’t want to get to that point, though, because at that point, you’ll have wasted a lot of time and effort with an approach that didn’t work. Testing and analyzing the results of your different marketing strategies (i.e., SEO, content marketing, social media) will allow you to determine which ones are working and which ones need to be changed or removed completely.
Make Sure That Your Website Is Functional
If you’re marketing your product or service online, you need to make sure that your website is functional and error-free, which means that it’s mobile-friendly and easy to use. When picking a platform for your website, ensure that it’s secure and offers the best user experience possible. You can also look into hiring a professional to help with your website design or find a freelancer to build you a custom website.
If you’re just getting started with your own website, then you might want to consider using a service like WordPress.com, which offers free hosting with your own domain name and makes it unbelievably easy to set up and look after. Even if you’ve been blogging for years and have built up a considerable audience, it might be a good idea to find a new platform and start over from scratch.
Get To Know Other Marketers
Aside from understanding your audience and creating compelling content, another important aspect of marketing is connecting with other marketers who share your passion for what you do. If you’re not already connected with other industry experts, you can start by identifying people who are actively engaged in the industry and position yourself as a go-to person for advice or information. You can do this by simply being accessible to other marketers via email or direct messaging.
Other industry experts can help you discover untapped markets, suggest ways to expand your customer base, or even provide invaluable feedback on your product and marketing plans. Having other industry experts within your network can help you discover new opportunities, give you advice, and improve your overall effectiveness as a marketer.
Make A Plan, And Then, Follow Through
It’s incredibly easy for businesses to get distracted by the day-to-day minutiae of running a business and forget to properly plan for the future. Just like when you were a kid and your parents would scold you for staying up too late, being able to sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy mental state and being able to execute your plans. For this reason, make sure that you establish a daily schedule for yourself and stick to it, no matter what.