If you own an online business or just do your own freelance work there’s one thing that comes to mind: how do I find customers and clients?
You know how it goes: you have a great product or service but it never seems that people can find you. This isn’t fair!
The following are several marketing strategies you should apply to your online business to see growth and success in an online marketplace.
~ Your Website is your Base of Operations ~
Your website is the forefront between web users and your business which means it has to not only facilitate the needs of those visiting the site but also fulfill the need for information by interested parties.
Your website will host all information related to your online business, help build a brand and give location on the web to send visitors.
With your website, you should regularly provide content to drive organic traffic. Organic traffic is free; it balances the cost of paid advertising campaigns.
The more content you deliver to the web the larger your reach. As your reach continues to grow so will your brand which becomes perpetual marketing for your online business.
~ Building Your List & Email Marketing ~
There are countless strategies online businesses can implement to market their products and services but none have the power that is email marketing and building a list.
Building a list captures the information of those interested in your online business which can be used at later time to market without spending a fortune on online advertising.
As cost per acquisition continues to rise as new businesses come online every business owner should implement an opt-in list and email marketing to help promote their business.
Email marketing can be done through email clients in house or through third party sources such as Aweber or iContact.
Within a given amount of time, drip emails to those that have subscribed to your list. Provide helpful information as the majority of those emails you send out but do occasionally give a call-to-action to turn subscriber into customer.
~ Join and Influence Social Networks ~
Word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful way to drive sales to an online business. A recommendation from a friend or family member has greater value than one coming directly from the marketing department of a business.
Social networks allow users to communicate regularly on any chosen topic – many times it relates to business.
Your customers are out there on the social web talking about your business; reach out to them by joining these same platforms to join in the conversation, handle customer support, answer questions and build your brand online.
~ Research Your Competitors ~
Ethical business research details using readily accessed tools to dig into the business practices of your competitors.
Unlike bad practices often displayed in fraudulent businesses, ethical business research stays within the legal scope of gaining competitor information.
For online businesses, a simple research of their marketing effort through pay-per-click, content distribution or social media can help give you a ground idea into the mind of your competitor. Take this information you’ve gained through research to build upon these same business practices to stand out from your competitors.
In term so of the benefits toward marketing a company that is able to stand above all other competitors will be the one which creates buzz on the web. Buzz helps build a following, creates an authoritative aura for your business and builds a brand which creates long-lasting customer relationships.
~ Build Relationships, Not Customers ~
Most online businesses make the first sale and begin the process of finding new visitors to convert into customers. Unfortunately, the costs of gaining new customers continue to increase as competition becomes cut-throat online.
Instead of trying to reach such a mass market, your business should focus on the customer and their experience with your business. Make it your culture to provide the best service possible above any other competitor.
An online company that cares for its customers are a dime in a dozen. Businesses which do create a great relationship with their customers become that of legend.
Internet users will talk endlessly of an online business which does well toward them; this open conversation is free marketing which can quickly convert new leads and keep a lasting impression online.
~ Follow Your Community ~
Every day the internet is evolving; new information is added at an alarming rate, people talk endlessly about any number of topics and new businesses spring up to compete with those that are existing.
An online business must evolve with the community else they will experience a slow death. One of the easiest ways to stay ahead of the curve is to follow the community.
Following the community allows your online business to understand what current market demands are in effect, trends within the marketplace and understand the ever changing mindset of online customers.
Utilize social media, advertising platforms, online surveys, email marketing, blogs and various other forms of contact to follow the community.
An online company which is up to date with what’s happening within the marketplace will more easily carve their own niche; cementing the company within the market and improving their overall marketing message.
~ Provide Solutions, Not Just Benefits ~
Finally, online business owners must understand that people do not buy products based on solely on the benefits of using your products or services.
People inherently need a solution to their problem. Anything can be a problem from not enough time to wanting to be entertained (avoiding boredom). It’s your job as a business owner to find out what problems your customers need fulfilled and do so.
The benefits of a product or service merely satisfy the surface of the customer; solutions go deep creating a great relationship and entice customers to tell others about their experience.