It’s one of the best times ever to be online. Everybody, everywhere is online- via their phones, laptops, internet cafes, coffee shops, malls, you name it. People in the mall are also shopping online to see if they can get a better price, or a better description and credible reviews. With payment gateways becoming safer, users shunning apprehensions and people becoming lazier, oops, busier, it’s just way easier to sell and buy stuff online. So, obviously, there are hundreds of people selling online, meaning you’ve got tough competition that’s getting tougher every day.
It’s time to ‘go to the mattresses’! It’s time to fight, be more visible, rank higher, sell more! This is SPARTA!
Okay, maybe I got a little carried away there but it’s true, it’s a tough world out there and being visible has become more important than ever.
With evolving times, traditional marketing has evolved too. A good way to say it in-short would be that marketing has gone from being about ‘what we have to offer’ to ‘how you can benefit from us’; it’s about consumer-first. The consumer should feel like he’s getting something, he should be sold without even knowing it. In order for that to happen you’ve gotta get into the customer’s shoes. You’ve gotta find out what the consumer is going through. It isn’t too hard. You’ve been on the other side, you know what it feels like, and you know what all you expect from the seller.
Once you’ve established a connection with your customers, they trust you. This trust –building is very important when it comes to sales. Studies have proven that customers tend to be loyal to the brand they trust, even if there is a cheaper alternative available in the market. So what you want to do is gain their trust.
One of the most important ways to build trust among your customers is words. Your copy is your conversation with your customers. How would you feel if you were talked to in a pushy sales-y manner? It’s true, if we talked like the way advertising does, people would slap us. So why not advertise the way we talk? Get emotional. You can check out this free headline calculator to figure where the headlines on your site are in terms of emotional value. Only changing the headlines to more emotional ones can do a so much to increase traffic on your site.
Is that it?
Mmm, not quite yet. The whole idea behind engaging the user is to sell more, rather convert more. More subscribers, more customer, more users- whatever it is that you need, the point is to get more conversions. Writing effectively will make your audience connect with you and trust you thus making them buy from you but, what’s the point of writing effectively and emotionally if it can’t be found?
Hence, as important as it is to come off as friendly and empathetic, it is also necessary to get traffic to your site. You need growth, especially in your customer base and there’s the fancy word for that:
Author Gabriel Weinberg has described in his book ‘Traction- A startup guide to getting customers’ 19 ways to traction, all of which are really effective. No matter what line of work you’re in, your company can definitely employ 3 or more of these methods to increase traction. The book is a must-read for all those looking to increase customer base, but in the meantime here’s are a few from the list of the traction methods described in the book and a brief about them:
- Going Viral
It’s obviously one of the best methods to traction. Going viral means that you will get more visibility and people know you better thus, increasing popularity. We all remember the reality sketches ad by Dove right? Well, if you don’t here it is. Or how about the ‘Whazaaaaaaaaaaaaaap’ ad by Budweiser? These ads have been around for so long but they have made a lasting impression on our minds. While dove pitched in for ‘real beauty’ emotionally, Budweiser’s “whazaaaaaaaaaap” was immensely catchy.
One thing to watch out while going viral is to go viral for the right reasons. Make sure you’re saying what you wanted to say instead of just gaining loads of bad publicity. That way, you’ll be famous but won’t get traction.
According to the Entreprenuer.com public relations is defined as, ‘Using the news or business press to carry positive stories about your company or your products; cultivating a good relationship with local press representatives’. Publicity is different from marketing. Nobody likes to blow their own horn and frankly, nobody likes those who do. Recommendation is always more effective than self-praising. Imagine what it would be like if Oprah mentioned you?! It would be like so perfect! Sales would rocket and you would be famous!! Not to mention that fact the Oprah loves you! *sigh*
*Snap* well, that would be a perfect world but reality ain’t too bad either. Aiming for blogs that get picked by the Times or other newspapers and magazines do wonders too. Once you are in the papers, you’re famous. So be sure to have a strong PR and maintain relations with authors, journalists, writers from publishing houses and eminent people in your field. Their recommendation could go a long way driving people to your site.
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
This refers basically to PPC (pay-per-click) marketing. PPC is a sure shot way of getting traction. They see your ad, click on it and it’s a done-deal! They are on your page. The trick here is to focus your PPC campaigns on words that are more specific to you. Think of long-tail keywords and bank on them. Like for example if you are a company that makes glass cutlery, you could focus on terms like ‘wine glasses’ or ‘shot glasses’ instead of just ‘glass’. This will omit unnecessary traffic to your site and u will get maximum conversions from your PPC page.
- Social and Display
Social media can play a very important role in getting you traction. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram affect our lives in ways deeper than we know. There are people of all demographics on these sites and social ads are a great way to showcase your company to a huge number of people. Also, with the trust that has been already established by these sites, it is easier to reach out to people. There is also an option of focusing on a particular demographic while posting your ad on social sites.
- Offline Ads
Offline ads refer to TV ads, billboards, radio ads etc. Imagine a big poster of your company on a bus or a huge billboard advertising you. That is bound to capture attention and make you famous. This can be made very niche by selecting the location based on the demographics of your audience. Like if you were a company selling office supplies, you could have your ad placed in a billboard near office areas. TV ads and radio ads also go a long way in creating awareness among the people. You never know when someone’s gonna look at your poster and go ‘damn! That’s what I’ve been looking for!’
- Content Marketing
Content marketing is creating content that is rich in information and value such that your user is more informed and educated without directly pitching for your products. This way, you create credibility among your readers. One important thing is that money invested in content goes a long way whereas that put in ads is gone once the user clicks on the link. Great content keeps giving you returns as people return to it over and over again over period of time. Hence write evergreen content that can never get outdated.
- Email marketing
Email marketing is a very effective way of keeping users in the loop with latest developments at your end. New offers, new insights and a lot of useful information can be sent via e-mail. However, the first step to a successful email marketing campaign is acquiring email ids. Once that is done, one can use tools like Mailchimp or Campaigner to execute. Newsletters and other updates keep your user in touch with your site and is great for retaining customers and referrals. But make sure you have something new and fresh to add every time. *wink*
- Trade shows
So many people visit trade shows. They are a great way to socialize with people from your field of work and with prospective customers who want to buy exactly what you want to sell. Participating in industry-specific tradeshows can definitely increase visibility and also help in getting a mail list for prospective customers.
- Speaking Engagements
Okay, this might be frightful for some of us, but public speaking is nothing to be afraid of. A lot of people have stage fright but with practice and determination, it can be easily overcome. Think of the business it can get you. By speaking in small conferences and events, you can slowly rise up the ladder and maybe someday give a TED talk. Now, that would be awesome right? Your company will instantly gain the attention of so many prospects and oh, did I mention you becoming famous?
There are more traction methods that are mentioned in the book that will totally blow your mind. These traction methods can be used by everyone, in all fields. If a method is not widely used by your peers, think about it harder, you may succeed in the same. Try the ‘road not taken’ and you might be surprised.
All the best!