Every business owner sometimes struggles with getting customers to buy, so we’re here to tell you, you’re not alone. Google AdWords is one the greatest advertising platforms in the world, harnessing the power of more than 1 billion monthly searches. You already know your customers use Google every day, so how can you leverage Google better to drive sales?
Things have changed over the past few years and if you’ve been struggling with your own online sales funnel, there is a very good reason. Your customers are changing; online buyers have evolved just as much as Google has.
Remember the good ol’ days?
It wasn’t too long ago when we used to use “persuasive online marketing” tactics. We focused only on our product and its amazing attributes, boasting about our brand and the universal reasons why all customers needed “that product” or couldn’t possibly live without “that service”.
Well guess what, those days are over. Branding your business or product isn’t enough anymore. You need to be more creative but more importantly, you need to turn your marketing tactics upside down; focus less on your ‘universally appealing product’ and more on your unique customer. Today, if you don’t build a customer persona first, and structure your branding around them, then you might as well pack it in!
Time for some Conversion Therapy
If you truly want to succeed in marketing your business online, you need to know your customer. Do you remember the days when customer service actually mattered? When shop owners would take personal service to new levels to get you to buy? There were loyalty programs, huge discounts or blow out sales and so on. Bills had to paid, so customers needed to be appreciated.
Neil Patel of QuickSprout and co-founder of CrazyEgg and Kissmetrics says,“Every marketing strategy should start with your customer base. Who are the people using your product? What do these individuals value, what do they feel, what products are they currently using, and what will it take to sign them on as paying customers? Before jumping into your online marketing strategy, have a conversation with your existing customers.”
Online, just as in life, selling starts with getting to know your individual customer, establishing trust, building a relationship and pitching an offer they personally can’t refuse. In a retail environment, you would naturally speak differently to the variety of personalities who walked through the doors of your shop; you would instinctively change your sales pitch for an older retired couple versus a young mother with a toddler; the same goes for your online approach.
How do you do this online, without shaking their hand and looking at your customer in the eye? It´s trickier, but you can still capture clues about their values and buyer behaviour by harnessing the power of data. When you gain a deeper understanding of your different customer segments or personas, you will naturally want to adjust your online marketing to influence each specific customer differently, highlighting the selling points that are important to that customer.
Whatever product or service you sell and whoever your customers are, these tips are useful in building your marketing strategy:
Branding your product and standing out in the crowd always requires creativity. Create content which captures your customer at each stage of the buying journey, whether they are:
1) Researching products to meet their need
2) Reviewing options and considering the recommendations of others
3) Searching for the right price, with the intent to buy.
At each stage, a user’s Google search will be different, and your blog, infographic, white paper, video tutorial, or customer testimonial could be just what they need to trigger a purchase.
2. Building on your current customers:
It may sound old school, but loyalty programs still work. Email marketing plays a big part in keeping your customer’s attention. When customers are engaged, you will be top of their mind - they will buy from you again and recommend you to their friends. Use your loyal customers to build your business by creating shareable social media content and incentives to spread your message.
3. Always seek improvement:
The online landscape is always changing; you need to stay abreast of the communications tools and social networks your customers are using and harness them. Every new technology introduces new opportunities to reach your customer. It’s not easy to keep up with it all, but if you put the effort in, you can ensure your competitors are always behind you.
How do you really make those ads work for you?
So, how do you use online advertising to its full potential? The answer is simple – testing. No matter how well you know your target market, you will occasionally be surprised when you evaluate your campaigns to find out what images and text are appealing to your audience. You can do this with A/B split testing. Split testing allows you to try out two different approaches with your audience to discover what works best, then build on your success. A/B split testing is the cornerstone of a good advertising campaign and is even built into the automation of some advertising platforms, like Facebook.
Once you measure, split and test, you gain an ever-richer understanding of your customers. You can then pitch again, with a clearer target, based on those results. This is where the money shot is. Once you understand what your customers really want and what motivates them to buy, you are no longer shooting in the dark; you are using your entire budget to press all the right buttons with your marketing tactics.
Online marketing or online advertising doesn’t always have to be technical or even difficult for that matter. If you want to truly succeed just step back in time. Step back to a time when the customer was the most important part of the sales funnel.