If you’re not selling your products and services online, or haven’t yet maximized this lucrative opportunity to reach hundreds or thousands of people a day with your message, you are leaving money on the table—a lot of money!
If you're a small-business owner like us, you know customers are at the heart of our business, and how important it is to continually build our customer base. However, we can start to feel overwhelmed and stretched incredibly thin by having to do the work required of our business, service our existing customers, and find new people to sell our products and services to.
An unfortunate reality, however, is that too often we focus on the urgency of the first two and neglect the third. Creating an effective online marketing campaign can help us attract a customer base vast enough to ensure the longevity and viability of our business. Yet for some of us, this can be very difficult. But, don’t worry, we’re here to help! This post can serve as a 5-step primer to help you start thinking about and building your next campaign to reach those potential customers you would likely never meet face-to-face and satisfy the needs and interests of the ones you have.
Prospecting is Not a Dirty Word
According to Statista, the number of digital shoppers continues to rise. By 2021, over 2.14 billion people globally are expected to buy physical products, digital goods, and services online. This number is up from the 1.66 billion global digital buyers who shopped online in 2016. Purchasing goods and services this way is becoming very commonplace among people of all ages, all around the world, not only for its convenience but also for the competitive prices.
Odds are your competitors are already tapping this market. Even if we don’t think of ourselves as salespeople, the fact is—we are! If we want to sell our products and services to more people, we have to get the word out. We’ve outlined a five-step process that will help get you organized and ready to compete for market share.
1) Defining your Message
A clear, concise, and compelling reason to buy from you.
2) Building your Offer
What product or service are you promoting today?
3) Specifying the Call-to-Action
Buy Now! Learn More! Watch Here! Direct your audience to act!
4) Creating your Transaction Process
Enable your prospects to purchase while on your site.
5) Remembering to Follow-Up
A way to further deepen the relationship you’ve just developed.
Keeping Customers Happy
We also understand the importance of keeping our existing customers happy. Today’s marketplace is highly competitive. Both large and small retailers and service providers are trying to entice brick-and-mortar and online shoppers using unique, personalized customer experiences.
Retaining customers can be much easier and less expensive than acquiring new ones because chances are someone who has bought from us once will likely buy from us again as long as they are satisfied with our products and services. More than likely, they will tell others about us. Word-of-mouth advertising is incredibly effective, and something loyal, satisfied customers are happy to do.
To keep customers happy, many companies are working feverishly to enhance the online and offline shopping experience, leading to fierce competition to attract and retain customers. “From the store windows, the store touch-points, the website, social media, or a magazine, it has to be one pure customer experience, not just to gain market share but to gain mind share” states Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of retail at Apple. To this end, some sellers are going all out, adding digitally innovative features to their websites such as chat-bots, simulations, animations, along with the tried-and-true offers, free trials, and online tools to make browsing for products and information more enticing.
While you may feel you don’t need every advanced feature available on your site right now, the fact remains that as business owners, it is incumbent upon us to learn what our customers and clients expect and how to exceed their expectations. If we’re able to accomplish this, our potential and existing customers will reward us with the level of sales and loyalty that we have, to this point, only dreamed of—all without them leaving the comfort of their favorite chair.