A few years ago, developing an online avenue for selling products and services was an option that some businesses chose to explore, while others deemed it an unnecessary expansion. Fast forward to 2011, and the reality is completely different. Today’s savvy business owners must learn to effectively market themselves online if they want to tap a larger customer base and grow their business. Establishing a web presence is not as simple as just clicking one’s heels and expecting the products to sell themselves, however. Use the following great tips to maximize your online revenue, leading to greater profits for your company.
1. Harness the Power of the Spoken Word
Much like the more traditional sales environment in the “real” world, online retailers and businesses rely on their customers to spread the word about how great a particular product or service happens to be. Internet users are likely to share that information with online friends and acquaintances through popular social networking platforms like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Your goal is to have all of your customers itching to share their opinions in that manner.
You can easily encourage such behaviors by simplifying the process for visitors to your website. Simply embed small links and icons to share products and pages with friends through any social network. All of the popular social networking sites provide tools that make it easy to include these links in your content. In doing so, you greatly increase the likelihood of a customer choosing to share their experience with their friends, in turn leading to more customers for you. Furthermore, direct word of mouth recommendations are more valuable than all other advertising forms put together.
2. Craft Unique Articles and Text
While some online business owners ignore the need for fresh content, this tool can be one of the best ways to draw new traffic to your website. By developing informative and appropriate articles and posts to share with your customers, you will increase brand recognition and work to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Recent surveys from the Custom Content Council showed that more than 60% of consumers feel better about purchasing from a company that has taken the time to develop custom content. Include your company as one of those, and you’ll no doubt pull in additional sales.
3. Interact with Your Customers
Customer service is an essential part of developing a thriving business. Customers that feel good about conducting business with you are much more likely to continue patronizing your site, in turn leading to higher sales revenues. Whereas customer service in a traditional retailer ends when a customer walks out the door, online customer interactions should continue beyond the purchase.
Continually reaching out to your customers can be done in several different ways. Perhaps you would like to create a special “members only” section of your website? Maybe offering a newsletter that includes special discounts and sales is a good solution? It is up to you to determine what is the best way your company can stay in touch with those who have purchased products or services from you. Doing so will not only keep your brand in the customer’s mind, but it can also establish a sense of ownership, allowing your customers to feel like they are an important part of the sales experience.
Written by Frederic Latreen
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