How to Market Your Online Business for Sales

In my first blog post for Blue Chip Digital Marketing, I’ll give you some top tips on how to market your online business for sales.

Step one: Set a goal for your online business

What is your ultimate goal for your online business? Are you looking to make money from advertising or affiliate sales? Or do you just want to create a space for you to share your passion with the world? All of these questions contribute to creating a successful online business, and it’s important to set the right goals for your business.

Think about where you are now and what you need to do to get to where you want to be. If you’re looking to make money from advertising, then consider the amount of money you’re willing to spend on ads to achieve your goals. Set a budget for your ad campaign — don’t just go for the first offer you see because it sounds good — and make sure you stick to it. If you’re looking to make money from affiliate sales, then consider what products you can promote and which ones you should avoid because they’ll just waste your time.

Step two: Set a value proposition for your business

What is your value proposition? Essentially, this is your elevator pitch for your business. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes for a second. When they hear your value proposition, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Some businesses will pitch themselves as the best, but it’s important to find a way to stand out from the competition. Think about all of the businesses that you know of in your niche — whether online or offline — and try to find something that makes your offer unique. For example, if you’re an online business specializing in helping people create better email campaigns, then your value proposition may be something like: “We analyze your email marketing goals and then craft a plan to make your campaigns more effective.”

Or, if your business is a boutique agency that helps businesses come up with new ideas and concepts, your value proposition may be: “We help businesses develop new ideas and come up with innovative concepts.”

Make sure that your value proposition is easy to understand by potential customers. You’re used to pitching to potential customers, so it’s important to keep your value proposition as short and sweet as possible.

If you have a little business, then your value proposition should be even shorter. Keep it simple and to the point, and make sure that your potential customers understand what your business does and how it can help them.

Step three: Craft a marketing plan

A marketing plan is simply a document that contains all of the information you’ve gathered thus far. It should include everything from your goals to the development of your value proposition. Now is the time to consider what platforms you’ll use to spread the word about your business. Decide whether you want to focus on SEO, PPC (Pay Per Click), or organic search (when potential customers search for your services online without being directed to paid advertisements).

Consider creating a marketing plan for each of the platforms you choose — whether it’s SEO for Facebook or Instagram, or PPC for Google AdWords — and make sure that you review and adjust your plan as needed. It’s also a good idea to get an expert to review your plan for structural soundness and to make sure that each piece of information is tied to a specific goal. Reviewing your plan from the point-of-view of an expert can help you identify weak spots and strengths to make your business stand out.

Step four: Select the right platforms

Depending on how experienced you are in digital marketing and web design, you may decide to use several platforms to reach your audience. Don’t just pick the first platform that comes to mind — consider researching the top platforms in your niche and deciding which one(s) you’ll use. The right choice will be based on your target audience and the type of content you plan on creating.

There are a variety of platforms out there, but you only need to choose a few to get the most out of it. For example, if your target audience is entrepreneurs, then you may want to select a business-focused platform like LinkedIn or Facebook Business to get the most out of it. Or, if your audience is more on the female side, then you may want to consider platforms like Instagram or Pinterest to grow your business.

Deciding which platforms to use for your business can be tricky, but you can use the above guidelines to get started.