This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo with tips for online marketing.
There’s a difference between starting an online business and marketing it. When you build a business from the bottom up, one of the main things you need to consider is how to sell the product. After all, the best-sold products aren’t necessarily the best products available. They are the best-marketed products.
Take Coca-Cola as an example. It was first marketed as a “drink of temperance,” a beverage that was marketed as medicinal. Soda pop was medicine?! If you saw Coca-Cola being marketed as a medicine to your ailments in 2020, you’d probably laugh. 125 years ago though, people ate it right up and started purchasing their coca-cola for headaches. It’s evolved over the years and continued to be one of the best selling beverages on the market.
Marketing is an art influenced by stats and science, and you need a strategy, which is discussed at length in this earlier blog. Also, you need to understand the value of shifting your marketing strategy as times change and evolve.
If you’ve been using the same marketing strategy for years or even decades, it’s time to delve into what is working and identify where you need to make changes.
Online Marketing Tips
Identify places you need to improve your marketing
First and foremost, you need stats to know where your marketing dollars pay off, and where they fall flat.
If you have a traditional website, you should be able to identify how many visitors you have on a given day, week, or month. Additionally, if your customer is redeeming coupons or vouchers, you should be tracking those in an excel spreadsheet and see how directly those coupons are working. If you’re using something like Groupon, are those customers becoming repeat customers? If not, this may not be a useful marketing tool for you.
Change it up
If you’ve been doing direct mailers for the past decade and haven’t seen any increased business, consider focusing on online options. This can vary from redoing your website entirely to implementing ads on google searches. Are you trying to monetize a lifestyle blog? See what options are available for social media marketing and advertising. Facebook and Instagram are both excellent places to look into relatively inexpensive marketing and offer straight-forward insights into how well your ad does.
If online marketing is not your forte, consider reaching out to marketing gurus that can help in various ways, from setting you up with an appropriate web design option to helping you understand how to decipher any Google Adsense analytics which can seem daunting at first glance.
Spend money to make money
You’ve heard it before: you have to spend money to make money. That’s no more true than in marketing. Ads aren’t free, but the best marketing is word-of-mouth. Consider incentivizing customers to share their experience with others by offering discounts via referral programs, or by implementing frequent-shopper rewards. The best customer is a return customer!
Finally, have patience. Marketing can be a fickle creature, but give it time to work its magic. As much as you might want it to be, a change in advertising won’t make a difference overnight. If after several months you’re not seeing any increase to your business, touch base with your marketing team to see where you can switch things up. Again, don’t be afraid to make changes to better your business.