The buying process has changed. Gone are the days of the deer-in-the-headlights prospect. In their place we have the savvy buyer – 94% of whom have done their research online, become familiar with your products or services, and now turn to you for validation.
The question is: are you ready to compete in a world in which the buying process has fundamentally transformed?
We’ve put together these seven tips that will give you a fighting chance!
1. Plan to Win
All good coaches go into a game with a strategy, and so should you. It’s crucial you begin by outlining a plan to be sure you know your goals, targets, and desired outcomes, and how to take advantage of online marketing to capitalize on new opportunities.
Planning activities should include:
- Learning What Your Prospects Want: What are their biggest challenges, and what information are they seeking online to help them address those challenges?
- Researching Your Competitors: You are competing for visibility and mindshare online. You need to know what you’re up against.
- Identifying the Right Online Tactics: There are many ways to market yourself online; the key is to concentrate your efforts on those tactics that are best suited to your target market.
- Creating an Execution Plan: Relentless execution is critical to online success. Figure out how you will make this happen before you get started.
- Developing Metrics: You must identify what you will measure and how. If not, you will be flying blind.
The more insight you have before you start executing online activities, the greater the probability of success. You won’t get results if you wing it.
2. Make Your Website a Great Sales Tool
When it comes to a website, you need to make it easy for prospects to find the information and resources they need, while also appealing to the search engines that crawl it to determine where you will show up in the search engine results.
The good news is that all parties want the same thing: a clear, streamlined structure that makes it easy to know what your site is about and what it has to offer.
3. It’s All About Content
With online marketing, content is king.
Whatever product or service you sell, you need to give potential customers enough information to make informed decisions and to compel them to take the next step – whether that’s making a purchase, booking a consultation, or whatever is appropriate for your business.
You can disseminate fresh, relevant content by:
- Creating videos and other resources about your company, new products, upcoming promotions, or how-to tips.
- Crafting case studies and press releases to highlight success stories from existing or previous customers.
- Conducting webinars to get your name out there, generate leads, and build your lists.
- Coming up with blogs that cover topics of interest to potential customers – whether they’re about industry best practices, new products you’re offering, opinions and advice, etc.
4. Make the Most of Social Media
Over a third of consumers would rather interact with brands over social media than by phone, which is why you need to be ready to connect.
The most important thing is to make sure that your social media strategy is customized to your target audience. Some platforms will be more appropriate than others. After you find out what’s best for them, get sharing – keeping in mind that you need to make sure your efforts remain consistent, helpful, and relevant.
5. Use Email to Stay Visible with Prospects
Email is a great way to keep in touch with prospects while they are making their buying decisions. It helps you boost credibility, nurtures and strengthens relationships, and keeps the line of communication open.
6. Dominate the Local Landscape
Boosting online presence can make a big difference for local businesses. More than ever, consumers are using smartphones to find out what you have to offer before they head out the door or while they’re on the road.
It’s important to make sure you:
- Feature addresses and phone numbers prominently.
- Encourage customers to post positive reviews.
- Engage with prospects through social media.
Taking actions like these will help you stand out from among the local competition.
7. Keep Up with Marketing and Technological Trends
Whether it’s the rise of mobile or the advent of new social platforms, there’s always something new in the digital realm. You need to keep on top of these trends to appeal to tech-savvy consumers and to make the most of your online marketing efforts.
Ultimately, if used effectively, these powerful online marketing tactics will help you grow your business.
Core Online Marketing is an outsourced online marketing agency with expertise in content creation, content distribution, SEO, online advertising, and much more! Contact us or sign up for our free online marketing seminar (soon to be a webinar!).
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