As you venture into an online business, you’ll need to get the word out to your current shoppers. Even if you are a community leader, expanding your customer base beyond your local community can drive your sales substantially higher.
You have two broad options to become more visible — marketing and advertising. Marketing often appeals directly to customers’ lives. You will seek to address their concerns, educate them about products, and solve problems that they face in their daily life. Advertising is an excellent way to showcase product benefits and comparisons, and other direct-to-customer benefits.
When you invest in one or both of these avenues, you can expect to see more visitors to your website and social media channels, more conversations with potential customers, and more sales as a result.
Millennials have taken over as the primary working-age group, and social media is one of the best ways to get their attention. Facebook, Instagram, and other networks offer the ability to upload pictures, videos, and text posts where you can share tips, tricks, and advice with them. Keep your posts relevant to their needs and try to tailor them to topics that they may find entertaining.
Advertising works very well to supplement your marketing efforts as well as highlight your existing reputation. A great place to start is search engines, such as Google or Bing. You can also advertise on social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
Things to highlight with advertising include:
- Product benefits or price reductions and promotions
- Excellent reviews or influential testimonials
- Events or pre-existing reputation advantages
Guerilla marketing is a way of integrating your business with your audience, educating them about a need they may not know they have, and showing them that you can solve their problem. It also tends to involve entertaining them in creative ways. Search the web for “Flash Mob” and “Sopranos Taxi Marketing” to see a couple of examples. The same theories can be recreated online.
When we are all stuck at home, we need connection now, more than ever. Look for ways that your business can help people connect from home. Whether you’re selling coffee via local delivery and offering small coffee-side chats online or you’re selling beauty supplies and offering free tutorial chats over Skype, getting involved can go a long way in these distanced times.
Google My Business provides you with visibility on the world’s largest search engine. Here, you can list a link to your website, a photo for your business, street address, contact information, and even a short description of your business. One other key benefit to listing on Google My Business is the review system, which shows how you stack up against your competition.
Learn more about setting up your Google My Business Account.
Much like Google My Business, Bing My Business offers you the chance to distribute basic information about your business on one of the world’s main search engines, so that when people search for your business, they get a bird’s eye view of what you do. They also learn how to contact you and see how others rate your business.
Learn more about setting up your Bing My Business Account.
Over 102 million people use Yelp each month — and 92% of consumers make a purchase after visiting the platform. Yelp data is integrated into search results on Apple products. As a local business, setting up a Yelp for Business profile helps potential customers find your store or restaurant — whether you’re currently selling online or in-person. Yelp also allows business owners to view and respond to customer reviews and provide updated business information such as hours, contact details, product photos.
Learn more about setting up your Yelp For Business Account.
Mailchimp is a simple yet effective email marketing platform. You can communicate with anyone who gives you permission (and their email address!) using Mailchimp. Easily create welcome emails, automate abandoned cart emails, and offer personalized product recommendations. Mailchimp campaigns can be automated, so there is minimal effort or need to remember to push campaigns. Plus, Mailchimp integrates with most popular e-commerce platforms and point of sale systems.
Learn more about setting up a Mailchimp account.