As more and more small business owners are becoming tech-savvy and using the Internet to increase their sales, online marketing is getting more competitive. Many are putting together long term online marketing plans that may be putting their success at risk. The digital landscape is evolving fast. The tools and capabilities of those tools change continually so basing your decisions on a marketing plan written a few years ago is fraught with danger. Yes, we do need plans but we need to remain flexible as small business owners so we can capitalise on new opportunities as they arise.
Make Your Website the Mothership!
Focusing on your website as the centrepiece for your online marketing is a wise move. It’s the area of the online landscape you have the greatest control of. It too should remain flexible and dynamic as it evolves to meet your ever changing business needs. Have a long term vision and keep the end in mind but be flexible in the steps it takes to get there.
If you spend too much time focussing on other online marketing strategies such as social media, you are vulnerable to the rules changing. You don’t control the way the social media platforms behave and they change the landscape all the time. Use the tools to your advantage while your strategies are working with the understanding that it might not last forever. Make hey while the sun shines.
There are a few foundational marketing principles that won’t change despite the tools and technologies always changing. Here’s a few to consider:
1. THE POWER OF SOCIAL PROOF
Backing up your offers with strong social proof is powerful. Any spruiking about your company or your products that cannot be supported by proof is unlikely to be believed. Third-party endorsements such as testimonials and recommendations are a great start. Facts and figures from your work, as well as endorsements from well-known individuals can also help. When it come from a third-party such as a social media platform that you don’t control, they are more believable. Trust is the key to marketing success online.
2. MAKE IT EASY
If you have a specific offer out there in cyberspace, make sure it links straight to a landing page in your own website when possible. This eliminates confusion and makes the decision making easy. The landing page should be easy to understand and tie in with the ad seamlessly. Make it as easy as possible for them respond. If you send people to a complicated website with too much going on, your conversion rate will suffer.
Keep your forms as simple and as easy to complete as possible. Don’t ask customers to register or to provide any personal information, not even their name an email, unless they have a compelling reason why. Web users are keen to protect their privacy so your offer must be strong. Optimise the process for speed and convenience. Eliminate any unnecessary steps in the process.
3. LOSS LEADERS
Selling low-cost items to new customers is a highly effective way to attract new customers and clients. Some are even prepared to make a lose on the first sale, just to get the customer. This is often defined as a “Loss Leader”. When you understand the lifetime value of your customer, you can make an informed decision on the likely Return on Investment. What you are prepared to sacrifice in order to grow your customer base?
The first sale is usually the hardest. Once you win a new customer they will likely purchase other, more expensive products or services. Giveaways, promotions, and discounts are also effective in drawing in many customers in a short time-frame.
This content was originally published on Omnific Design before we rebranded as Uplift 360.