The number of people shopping online has increased dramatically in the past decade. In 2020 alone, online spending worldwide will reach £218 billion.
Shopping online means customers have the ability to research products and prices freely without ever leaving the safety of their homes. It also means businesses can get in front of potential customers where they are, whether that’s through content campaigns or social media marketing.
Though this convenience has many advantages, it can also be a double-edged sword. Businesses must be mindful of how they market online in order to avoid annoying or upsetting their customers.
Avoiding Offputting Content
With the explosion of online shopping comes a whole host of pitfalls that businesses must avoid. One of the biggest issues is coming across as too promotional. While it’s important to be engaging, interesting, and informative, businesses must also remember that customers are searching for products and services, not necessarily content related to their industry.
For instance, if you’re a fashion business marketing yourself on social media platforms, your customers will not be seeking out informative blogs about fashion trends; they’re likely seeking out fashion advice or seeking to research a product before purchasing it online. In this case, your content should reflect that you’re an authoritative voice in your industry and can provide guidance and direction on topics such as fashion trends, industry news, or even social media marketing.
Being too promotional, especially with overly aggressive campaigns that promise quick results, can put off potential customers who are more interested in finding what they want quickly and easily than in being pitched to constantly. Though it’s tempting to jump into marketing content that’s packed with promotions, you’ll lose potential customers if you do.
With so much competition, it’s important for businesses to find a way to stand out from the crowd. One way is through unique content. While it’s important to be authoritative and well-versed in your industry, it also helps to have something special to offer that no one else can.
If you can prove to your customers that you understand their needs and wants, and you can offer something special that they can’t get anywhere else, they’re much more likely to trust you and buy from you in the future. As an example, if you’re an interior design business but the majority of your content promotes fashion products, showing customers interiors with matching furniture can make them appreciate your business more. It can also prove to them that you understand their needs and wants.
If you can provide something unique in your industry, you’ll find a way to stand out from the crowd. If you want to be able to sell your products confidently and effectively online, finding your niche is key.
Building Strong Relationships
In the same way that you would with any other customer, you as an online marketer must create a strong relationship with your customers if you want to gain their trust and earn their business. One crucial difference, though, is that you have no face-to-face interaction with these customers so building and strengthening this relationship is much more difficult. This is why establishing and maintaining strong relationships with your customers online is such a powerful tool for marketing, especially when combined with other marketing strategies.
If you want to succeed as an online marketer, you must put in the time to learn how to connect with your customers on a personal level. You can do this by engaging with them on social media and responding to their comments and questions. You can also listen to feedback and address any issues that they may have with your product or service. This way, not only will they know that you understand what they’re looking for, but they’ll also feel that you have an interest in their opinion and want to work with them to make their dream business a reality.
Using Multiple Channels
Nowadays, consumers have grown accustomed to using multiple devices and platforms to research, purchase, and consummate their online experiences. In 2021, the Pew Research Center projected that 47% of American adults will use TikTok compared to 38% using WhatsApp and 9% using Instagram. (Statista)
Though the most popular social media platforms have concentrated mainly in people’s smartphones, businesses can and should use these channels for marketing too. (LinkedIn)
Whichever channel you decide to use, ensure that you’re always consistent in your approach. If you want to attract potential customers to your business, you must provide value and convince them that you’re the one they should trust. Consistency is extremely important when gaining the trust of your audience, so make sure that your online marketing strategy is as smooth and consistent as possible.
Consumers can become cynical and disenchanted with businesses that are too promotional or which constantly change their approach. Make sure that you provide value and prove to your audience that you have a clear plan and that you’ll always act in their best interests. If someone is searching for your products or services on social media, they’re likely to be doing so because they value your opinion and want to work with you rather than forcing a product on them to make a quick sale.
Incorporating Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If someone is searching for your products or services online, you can bet that they’ll be using search engines like Google or Bing to find what they need. To ensure that these searches lead to your website rather than a competitor’s, you must incorporate SEO methods into your strategy.
These methods include creating content that is relevant, easily discoverable, and highly ranked on the search engine results page (SERP). Depending on your niche, you could potentially create a blog or compile articles from various sources into a single document. Don’t be afraid to try new things and challenge yourself to come up with innovative ideas to increase the reach of your content. One important thing to keep in mind when trying to optimize your content for SEO is the structure and flow of your writing. Keep your paragraphs short and your sentences succinct. Also, ensure that your website is accessible to all users, including those using screen readers and other assistive technologies.
Using Analytics To Track Your Campaign’s Success
Last but not least, we have analytics. Analytics is the best tool for measuring the success of your online marketing campaign. Whether you use Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, or another service, make sure that you’re tracking the right metrics and using the right comparisons. (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
For instance, you can use Google Analytics to look at the performance of each of your blog posts, social media posts, and even your website. Do some research and decide which ones are performing the best and why. Once you know which ones are working and which ones aren’t, it’s easier to figure out what needs to be changed to continue producing high-quality content. Analytics will also help you determine the strength of your brand, whether or not your target audience trusts you, and what type of content is most effective in attracting new customers.
Being able to track the performance of your online marketing efforts is crucial to making sure that your time and money are both being used effectively. If you want to get ahead, it’s essential to track how previous campaigns have performed and figure out what made them successful in the first place.
Hopefully, this article will help you in your quest to succeed as an online marketer. Remember to stay true to your business’s values and don’t be afraid to take risks and challenge yourself to come up with new ideas. While it can be tempting to simply reproduce what you’ve always done in the past, that’s not how successful online marketers operate. Make sure that you continually improve your skills and have new strategies to offer consumers when they’re searching for your products or services online.