Maybe you’re selling products online or through a brick-and-mortar store. Maybe you’re providing a service. You might even be targeting other businesses instead of regular consumers. But whatever your business is, being able to get new customers online is becoming a key aspect of growing your business.
If you’ve got a website and a Facebook Page, that’s a great first step. But it’s not enough just to put up a website or Facebook Page. Think of it like renting a space for your office or store. If you’re not using it, you’re not getting your money’s worth. Nobody’s going to come by and buy something if you don’t make your page work.
Here are five things you can do to attract more customers online:
#1 Make Yourself Easy to Find Using SEO
Search engine optimization can be difficult to understand, it's true. It can be challenging to see the results.
But 89% of consumers use search engines like Google not only to find what they want to buy, but to find out about the things they are planning to buy. They look at reviews, they look for other people using the product, they look for possible alternatives. Three out of four people who find store information online would likely visit that store in the few days after their search.
Good SEO drives not only online purchases, but also offline traffic. This means that it's worth your while to have an XML sitemap available, a fast-loading website, and appropriate page information (such as page descriptions and keywords).
But in addition to figuring out what your potential customers search for, it's important to understand their intent. This can also tell you what keywords to target for. "Chicken wings" as a keyword is great, but what do they want to know if they land on your page? How about "chicken wings recipe" or "chicken wings delivery"? The latter two can be different kinds of customers and businesses!
If they land on your page and you are able to show them exactly what they are looking for, you're one step closer to scoring a new customer.
#2 Add Value to the Community Through Content Marketing
Content can be tiresome to make. The constant cycle of figuring out what to publish, the actual publishing process, and maintaining your content, can be daunting. And you can’t make customers pay for it. So why would you do it for your business?
Adding valuable content has two benefits.
The first benefit is for search engines. Search engines like seeing more content, so the more you have that people click through to your site, the more “search engine cred” your business will have.
If they see that more people are going to Business A than Business B (and people will go to pages that seem to have more useful content), then the search engine will start to prioritize Business A’s website over Business B’s. More content means more people, and more credibility.
The second benefit is for your potential customers. If people who are passing by your website or Facebook Page see that you have a lot of content that is relevant to them, they will believe your business over another business that only has contact information on their website. They will have a better feel for your business, and will gravitate towards buying from yours over a competitor’s.
Remember, content marketing is not just blogs or posts. It’s also videos, guides, downloads, podcasts, and more! You can be creative with your strategy and match your content to what your audience likes consuming.
#3 Show Social Proof Through Social Media
Social proof is a powerful tool in closing a sale. Social proof are testimonials, user reviews, user comments and interactions that tell your potential customers you’re the expert in your niche. Many users use this credibility to decide whether to buy from a business or not.
While content marketing shows people you know what you’re talking about, social proof gives them the assurance that other people think the same and that your business is a safe bet. That’s why it’s important to follow through with social proof.
If you’ve got a Facebook Page, engage people through it. Start conversations, encourage your advocates through it. You can focus on celebrities and influencers for your testimonials or gather reviews through word-of-mouth and actual buyers. Which way you go depends on your target market. What’s important is keeping up an active, on-brand social media persona to encourage people to interact with your brand.
#4 Reach Out to Potential Customers through Online Advertising
This is a great time to get started in online advertising. More and more people are online everyday, and your ad in social media platforms and search engines will get the most mileage out of this time.
Internet and social media penetration. Source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-philippines
But make sure you clearly define your goals for your online ad. Are you looking for brand awareness, or actual purchases? Are you trying to gather more social proof for your brand, or to get leads? This will help you focus your marketing copy and visuals to be more effective.
Using this information across a series of ads will also help you pinpoint which ad resonates better with your market. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but beware of following marketing fads. Your ads should be in line with your brand and values, so that you attract the right kind of customers.
#5 Grow Your Network with a Partnership and Sponsorship Outreach
Sponsorships and partnerships are important pieces in any marketing strategy. In today’s digital world, that means an extension to sponsoring influencers as well as more traditional celebrities with a social media following.
But one can partner with more than just individuals with a following. Is there a reputable podcast or youtube channel in your niche? Are there businesses adjacent to your industry who may be open to a partnership for an online event, or project? Are there blogs in your market you could work with?
While you may face many rejections as you send cold emails to possible businesses and individuals for partnership, finding the right partner or sponsor can be very rewarding as it means reaching a larger number of potential customers that already have a relationship with your partner. These people will be more inclined to trust your business after being recommended by your new partner.
With a rapidly-changing digital landscape, more and more businesses are moving online to gain more customers. Many local businesses don’t have an online presence yet, or don’t fully utilize the footprint that they leave online.
Don’t be left in the past like those businesses. Take the first step and move forward. If you focus on building your online followers and market today, you’ll be better equipped to handle any change in the future.