None of your marketing strategies are working.
It feels like you’re just trying random tactics and hoping something will stick. You have no idea what to do. You feel like you’re falling.
Marketing is a difficult and complex task, with many moving parts. It’s impossible to know where to start, or what to do next.
You need to take a step back and develop a real marketing strategy.
Here’re the 5 things you can execute to market your online business successfully.
1. Run monthly social media competitions to increase user-generated content
User-generated content is important because it is a form of social proof. When people see that others are using and enjoying your products, it can help to increase confidence in your brand and encourage them to make a purchase.
There are a few ways to go about this, and it really depends on what platform you’re using and what your goals are.
Examples of running a competition:
- A hashtag competition on Instagram where users post a picture of themselves using your product in a creative way, and tag it with your chosen hashtag. Then, at the end of the month, you could pick a winner who would receive a prize.
- A simple poll on your Facebook, and ask your followers to vote for their favorite product. The product with the most votes at the end of the month would be the winner.
To run the competition, you’ll need to first create a post or video explaining the details of the competition, including how to enter and what the prize is.
Tweak your contest based on your end goals:
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT
- Run a simple competition where users share a photo with a hashtag.
- The prize can be something small, like a discount code or a free product.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO INCREASE REACH AND BRAND AWARENESS
- Partner with an influencer who has a large following in your target market and co-host a contest. They can promote the competition on their channels, and you can offer a bigger prize that will appeal to their audience.
- Paid ads are always an option to promote the contest.
- Ex) If you sell gardening tools, you could team up with a plant nursery and ask people to submit photos of their gardens. The winner could receive a prize package that includes your gardening tools and a gift card to the nursery.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE
- Run a competition where users have to visit your website and sign up for your email list to enter.
- The prize can be something that will entice people to sign up, like a discount code or a free product.
The key is to make sure that the prize is something that your audience will actually want, and that it’s something that aligns with your brand.
If you’re giving away a $100 gift card, that’s great, but if you’re a gardening store, maybe consider giving away a gardening-related prize.
2. Write helpful blog articles that give advice on using your best-selling products.
Blog articles are useful because they help to establish you as an authority in your space. If you can become known for giving helpful, useful advice then people will be more likely to come to you when they need to buy products.
The articles also help to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), which can in turn help to increase the traffic to your website. If you can get people to your website then you have a chance of selling to them.
Finally, the content you write can be used as part of an email marketing campaign. If you can capture people’s email addresses then you can stay in touch with them and remind them about your products even after they have left your website.
HOW TO WRITE YOUR PRODUCT ADVICE ARTICLE
It depends on your products, but a good place to start would be to think about the most common problems that your target audience has, and then write an article that provides a solution using your products.
Take an example of a gardening store.
Do you sell gardening kits?
Write about the most common gardening mistakes that beginners make, and then show how your kits can help to avoid those mistakes.
Do you sell gardening tools?
Write about various way to use them, or the different types of gardening tasks they are best suited for.
Do you sell gardening soil?
Write about the best way to use it, or how to improve your garden’s soil quality.
Do you sell gardening seeds?
Write about the best way to start a garden from scratch, and then include a section on which seeds to buy and how to plant them.
The key is to make sure that your articles are genuinely helpful, and that you’re not just trying to sell your products. If you can provide value to your readers, they will be more likely to buy from you in the future.
3. Turn some of those articles into ebooks or downloadables that can be used to build up your email list
The process of turning an article into an ebook or downloadable is called “repurposing content.” It is a way of maximizing the value of your hard-earned content.
The thinking behind this is that you can use those articles to drive traffic to your website, and then offer something of an asset (an ebook or downloadable) in exchange for an email address.
This then allows you to build up a database of potential customers who you can market to in the future.
It’s important because it means you’re not just relying on organic traffic to your website, which can be unpredictable. With an email list, you have a group of people who have already shown an interest in what you do, and who you can contact directly.
It’s also a way to increase the lifetime value of a customer, as you can continue to sell to them (upsell, cross-sell, etc) even after they’ve made their first purchase.
HOW TO REPURPOSE BLOG ARTICLES
There are a few different ways to do this, but the basic idea is to take a blog post (or series of blog posts) and turn it into a more comprehensive guide, or to break it down into smaller, more digestible pieces.
For example, you could take a blog post about gardening tips and turn it into an ebook with additional information, graphics, and tips. Or, you could take a series of blog posts about different topics and turn them into an email course.
The key is to make sure that the repurposed content is valuable and relevant to your audience, and that it adds something new and different from the original article. Otherwise, you risk coming across as spammy or just rehashing old content.
4. Run a special offer via email
Running a special offer via email is a great way to increase sales. When done correctly, a special offer can create a sense of urgency and encourage people to buy now, rather than wait.
However, it’s important to make sure that the offer is actually special, and not just a discount that you offer all the time. Additionally, if a business offers a discount that is too high, customers may begin to expect all future purchases to be discounted, which can also erode profits.
The offer also needs to be relevant to your audience, and something that they would be interested in.
One way to achieve that is to target them to specific customer segments. For example, a business might offer a discount to first-time buyers, or to customers who spend a certain amount of money. By carefully targeting special offers, businesses can increase sales without harming their bottom line.
Finally, it’s important to track the results of your offer, so that you can see if it’s actually working, and make changes if necessary.
TYPES OF OFFER
The most common type of special offer is a discount, but businesses can also offer free shipping, buy one get one free deals, or bundles.
- A percentage discount off the purchase price
- A fixed amount discount off the purchase price
- A buy one get one free offer
- A free shipping offer
Which type of offer you choose will depend on a number of factors, including your margins, your average order value, and your goals for the campaign.
For example, if your goal is to increase sales by a certain percentage, then a percentage discount off the purchase price is likely to be more effective than a fixed amount discount. However, if your goal is to increase the average order value, then a fixed amount discount may be more effective.
It’s also worth considering running a split test to see which type of offer is more effective for your business.
5. Be consistent with your marketing efforts over a prolonged period of time.
Building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, patience, and consistency to see results.
The key is to keep at it and not give up.
There will be times when you feel like you’re not making any progress, but if you stick with it and keep working at it, eventually you will start to see results.
It’s important to be consistent because that’s how you build trust with your audience. They need to see that you’re there, that you’re active, and that you’re not going to disappear on them.
If you’re inconsistent, they’ll lose faith in you and your brand, and they’ll go somewhere else.
So, be consistent, be patient, and don’t give up. Eventually, you’ll start to see the results you’re looking for.
ADVANTAGES OF STAYING CONSISTENT IN MARKETING EFFORTS
Consistency is important for a number of reasons:
1. It allows you to build trust with your audience.
If you are constantly changing your messaging or your offer, people will quickly lose trust in you. They won’t know what to expect from you, and they won’t be sure that you are actually an expert in your field.
2. It allows you to track your progress.
If you are constantly changing your tactics, it will be very difficult to track your progress and see what is actually working and what is not.
3. It allows you to build momentum.
If you are constantly starting and stopping your marketing efforts, you will never build up enough momentum to actually make a difference. It takes time to build an audience and to get people to take notice of you, and if you are constantly starting and stopping, you will never get there.
4. It allows you to stay focused.
If you are constantly changing your tactics, you will never be able to focus on any one thing long enough to actually make it work. You will always be moving on to the next thing before you have a chance to really learn anything.
5. It allows you to become an expert
The more you know about a subject, the more you can talk about it and the more you can help others. When you are an expert in a subject, you are able to talk about it in a way that is informative, rather than just trying to sell a product. Use your expertise to help others.
Beyond the Horizon
Marketing a product is difficult. There is no one silver bullet solution, and the best approach is to try a variety of tactics to see what works best for your product and target market.
Otherwise you’re just going to be another company that no one has heard of.
Think about what makes your products special. What makes them different from all the others out there? Why should someone buy from you instead of your competitor?
Once you have a strong emotional message, your wide marketing door opens up.