Land More Sales by Marketing Smarter Online
“Work smarter, not harder” is a common mantra in small and new businesses. Now more than ever, online marketing can help you do more with less time, money and energy – you just need to know what tools to use and how to use them. Landing sales online is a four-step process: Engage, Inform, Capture and Convert.
Engage: Find the right customers by profiling your best, most profitable prospects. Who are your favorites to work with? Profile them and speak directly to their needs. This is where social media comes in – reach out to your customers where they spend their time. LinkedIn is great for B2B and corporate clients, Facebook is perfect for mass audience appeal, Twitter is best for small snippets of information to urban and mobile prospects, and Google Plus is best for techies and for boosting your search engine rankings.
Inform: This is where your website comes in. Put information on your site that tells HOW you can help your customers better and WHY they should work with you. Nobody cares if you’re #1, the best there is or how many years’ experience you have. Illustrate their pain points and their unmet needs, and show them how you can help.
Capture: Once your prospects are engaged and informed, you can capture their information. This is what changes a suspect into a prospect – someone who shows enough interest in your company that they’re willing to share their information with you. Once you’ve captured their information you can send emails, special offers, or reach out and continue to connect with your visitors until you’ve gotten to the final step:
Convert: Finally, you convert your prospect into a customer. But that’s not the end of the process – you can continue to engage and inform to get more business and referrals. Give them more options and choices and they’ll help you grow your business.
Here’s the tools you should use online:
- Your Website: It needs to be easy to update, optimized (more below), and integrate with your social media. Choose a short, easy to remember domain name, and go with a “.com” address if possible. If your preferred domain is already taken, check to see if it’s available at auction and consider bidding if it’s for sale. You can get cheap hosting on your own and suffer down-time and frustration, or hire a company like BizzyWeb to host your site for just $25 per month.
- Search Engine Optimization: Your website needs to tell search engines what you specialize in, including key search terms, if you want customers to find you. What would your customers type in the “search” box if they were trying to find you online? Make sure you include those phrases in your metadata, page content and links.
- Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest and more all relate directly to specific audiences. Remember to keep your conversations “business casual” and speak to your prospects’ needs.
- Google Places/Yelp/Yahoo Local/etc. – online directories and review sites are a great way to level the playing field with your competitors. When someone searches for what you do and they’re physically located close to you, you’ll show up higher on the list than others who aren’t nearby.
- Email marketing – It’s possible to send messages right to the inboxes of your best prospects. Trickle-campaigns can contact customers and prospects without any additional effort on their part, and you can send messages to your ideal clients with targeted lists.
- Paid advertising – Ads on Google or Facebook let you target specific customers and get your messages to them right when they’re searching for your product or service.
Follow the process to land the sale – no matter how many hits your beautiful new site gets, Facebook Likes you have, or followers you have on Twitter, it won’t help if you don’t show your customer how to buy from you or find out more. Move them to the next step by asking them to sign up for an email newsletter for special offers, tips and advice. Let them join your online club on Facebook, and be sure to reward them for doing so.
Hire a guide – finally, sometimes it seems like there are just too many choices and options, and it can be tough to figure out how to make the Web work for you. Hire a guide to set you on the right path, show you what works and fast track your success. It’s the quickest way to success.
Call to action: To learn more about how to Land More Sales and “Generate Buzz Without Getting Stung,” check out BizzyWeb’s FREE Buzz Builders webinar on Wednesdays at noon. Go to BizzyWeb.com/bb for tips on how to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and the Web to build your business.
Dave Meyer, president and owner of BizzyWeb, creates WordPress-powered, SEO-optimized websites that cross-publish to social media with a single click, saving businesses time and money. Dave frequently speaks on social media topics, and was the 2012 chair of the Gold Quill Awards program for the International Association of Business Communicators. He can be reached at (612) 424-9990 or firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/bizzyweb, or twitter.com/bizzyweb.