It's no secret that running an e-commerce website or business can be troublesome at the best of times. If your business is lacking -- whether it be in sales, website visits or conversions -- boosting your marketing activity can help to inject life back into daily operations.
Despite there being no magic wand that can implement overnight financial success, there are a few tactics that I've tried and tested with my own business. Below I'll explain five different ways that your business can boost its' marketing activity through various tactics; making your time in the office much more valuable!
1. Potential customers are all over social media; no matter what industry you operate in
The power of social media is immense -- we're all aware of that. But what many businesses tend to lack is the knowledge on how a social media strategy can connect your brand with existing and new customers.
If you're thinking that the industry that your business operates in is too "niche" for social media, you're wrong. 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites and 2.1 billion people are active on social media. There's bound to be someone online looking for your services!
Developing a social media strategy that ticks off your existing marketing objectives isn't too tricky, either. Interact with your customers and build genuine relationships as opposed to publishing harsh, sales-driven posts. Share interesting content that you think customers would like. Become a valuable account and determine authority in your niche.
2. Find appropriate software
If you want to know what your customers are looking for, you'll also have to think as if you're in their shoes. Websites like Inbound.org were designed for marketers to share their tactics and show what's worked for them, but social media can also tell your business what to be doing to attract customers.
A business that is active on Twitter can take advantage of their Analytics feature; which gives detailed insights into what your audience are connecting with. Start by creating a schedule that uses the 70/30 rule (70% of content you share non-promotional; 30% otherwise) and find out which kinds of posts are more likely to engage your audience.
There are also many marketing automation softwares that can handle all of your marketing activity. Selected software can monitor leads and track interaction through your website. This also allows you to view a detailed list of areas that you may need to work on in order to optimize your business' website.
3. Create regular content on a company blog
One of the most important things that your business will need to establish throughout its marketing strategy is trust. Without it, you'll struggle to convert leads into sales and create relationships with loyal customers. Customers should look to you as an expert in your niche, but it can be hard to gain authority - especially in a saturated market.
A proven way to demonstrate your expertise is to share your advice through a company blog. If you are creating a hub of valuable information that's beneficial to your customers, it can help to influence a potential customer, showing them you're an expert, and that you know what you're talking about.
Thinking that your business is 'too boring' or 'too corporate' for blog posts? It's not necessarily true. According to Sam Allcock, founder of Custard Online Marketing, business to business websites can still exploit the benefits of having a company blog. He says "... Whether you're selling to the end consumer or not, your product will affect some aspect of people's lives and that's what you need to exploit".
4. Lead your own events
Event marketing came about way before digital marketing and is often neglected when a strategy is put into place to reach new customers. Creating your own event gives you the chance to provide value to prospective customers, whether it be in the form of information, free samples or exclusive discounts.
Event marketing can also help your business to feel more relatable to customers. Seeing you face-to-face can help customers to store trust in you and believe that you'll provide them with a great service, rather than an anonymous person on the internet who can mask their identity behind a general company email address.
A study by the Event Marketing Institute found that after marketers had marketed their products at an event, 58% of participants bought the product afterwards. Furthermore, 86% of these consumers became regular customers. Doesn't that speak for itself?
5. Don't forget about existing customers
Let's think about the aim of your marketing plan. The chances are, it's to increase your business' exposure and reach a new pool of people that could become potential customers. Whilst this is a great idea for expanding and growing, many business owners often forget that they already have a large customer base at their fingertips.
The phrase "never forget where you came from" has real relevance here. Why plough so much money into advertising your brand and neglect your loyal, existing customers? It's easier to make a sale to an existing customer than to convince a new customer that you're worthy.
Loyal customers deserve to be rewarded. If you've used a service before and been provided with excellent customer service, you may be likely to order from them again. Whilst this already establishes some kind of relationship, nurturing contacts with your customers can help them to feel valued; increasing your chances of receiving another order over a competitor.
Using traditional email marketing tactics to target existing customers can bring many benefits to your business. Transfer some of your budget for targeting new customers into servicing the ones you've already provided a service for. From offering discounts for repeat orders to discounted prices for referrals, keeping your existing customers happy increases the chance of brand loyalty.