In order to stay relevant, online businesses must stand out from the crowd. If you don’t have the resources to hire marketing consultants and researchers, this can be a real challenge. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
1. Create a Powerful Brand
Somebody else is selling what you sell. It’s virtually impossible to stand out from the crowd based on your products and services. The key is to build a brand that differentiates you, in a positive way, from your competitors.
Your branding is impacted by everything from your choice in the logo to the content on your website to your company’s mission statement. It is essentially your company’s personality; it drives how people see your business, and the type of customers your business attracts.
Know what you want your brand to be. Then, write a branding statement and distribute it to all of your employees. All decisions should be made with that statement in mind.
2. Infuse Quality And Service in Everything You Do
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
Take a look at the customer journey. Are there things you can do at any point of contact to build in more quality or better service? For example, you could curate relevant content depending on where the customer is in the sales funnel. Even a simple giveaway to the first time customers can make them feel valued.
3. Maximize Your Social Media Efforts
Get out on social media! This is where potential customers are looking for you. 75% of customers will check out social media before they make a purchase. If you aren’t active on social media engaging with customers and posting content written by your top writers, then you lose your chance to reach them.
Worse, they may still learn about you. Unfortunately, the information is likely to come from your competitors.
4. Create Content That is Meaningful to Your Audience
Create and curate content that your audience needs. Produce product demo and videos. Go live on social media for Q&A sessions. Use professional writing services such as Smart Paper Help to ensure that the written content you share is flawless.
Here’s an additional tip. Know your audience, and write to their preferred level. Remember that the important word here is preferred. For example, just because your typical customer is college educated that doesn’t mean you should write for college level reading. For marketing purposes, the ideal reading grade level is grade 6-8.
5. Make Sure You Offer a Great Website Experience
Customers begin forming an opinion about your business the minute they land on your website if not before. Slow loading pages, confusing navigation, less than helpful chatbots can all contribute to a negative website experience.
Conduct frequent audits of your website, especially the checkout process to ensure that everything works smoothly. Don’t forget to test using varying devices and browsers. It’s important to serve up a great experience to all customers.
6. Follow up With Customers After They Make a Purchase
Check in with your customers after they make a purchase. Ask them for feedback. Thank them for making a purchase. See if they need any further information or assistance.
When you do this, find the most personal means of doing so that you can. A personal phone call is a great way to follow up with a very personal touch. A handwritten letter is valuable as well. Of course, any follow up is better than none. An email will do as well.
7. Add a Loyalty Program
If your competitors are offering loyalty programs, you’ll need to create a better one in order to improve your position. If they aren’t offering a loyalty program, you will stand out by offering one of your own.
Don’t worry. This isn’t something you need to build from the ground up. There are companies that can help you to create the ideal loyalty program for your audience, and offer the technical support that you need. Your job will be to determine what you want to accomplish, and promoting your loyalty program.
8. Consider New Products or New Product Lines
If you’ve been selling the same products all along, it may be time to add something new. You know your customer base. If they are purchasing your products, what related items might interest them? For example, if you are selling quality papers, stationery, greeting cards, and envelopes your customers may also be interested in top quality pens and pencil sets. People who are students or work in academia especially may appreciate the writing help. They may also be interested in art supplies.
9. Prove It
Make use of data as well as social proof to show your customers that your claims about your products and services are true. Here are some steps that you can take to make this happen:
- Get an influencer or expert to give an endorsement.
- Link to research papers or display graphics that back up your claims.
- Use social share buttons with counters.
- Place customer testimonials in key places on your site.
- Use trust badges from reputable sources.
It may take some research writing and effort to find sources of social proof and data, but the increase in trust will be well worth it.