Your customers are more powerful than ever before. They have the ability to find out information in seconds and they have a lot of control over their online experience. The development of the Internet has seen an influx of content creation of varying uses to consumers. The result? Consumers swimming in a sea of information overload.
However with this increase in information there has also be an increase in the number of customers actively disengaging from brands. The amount of spam, misleading content and persistent brash marketing efforts have affected customer outlook and have altered the marketing landscape. Now, businesses like yours must work even harder to create innovate ways in which to engage consumers and how to then convert this engagement into sales.
Thankfully it is not all doom and gloom and there are a number of techniques that you can employ to engage customers and turn likes to leads.
1. Build Your Brand with Story-Telling
In order to create a solid brand your business must focus all its elements, both intangible and tangible, to project an image and feeling that represents your values, aims and motivations to build consumer trust and ultimately loyalty.
It is important that you clearly define your brand personality early on, otherwise your audience will decide it for you. Once people have formed an impression of your business it is hard to change their mind so it is essential that you clearly define your brand’s essence, values and message from the off-set and repeat these often to reinforce the message with consumers.
Once you have established your brand and set your business away from competitors you can begin building relationships which will in turn leads into sales.
2. Promote Customer Testimonials and Case Studies
One of the most effective marketing techniques is word of mouth and translating this online is no different. 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision so it makes sense to gather and promote these to your audience.
Customer testimonials and case studies help to increase sales so where better to include them than on your product page? A/B studies have shown that including widgets with testimonials, reviews or case studies on an eCommerce purchase page have increased sales by nearly 40%. This simple additions help to instil trust as customers deem these kind of marketing techniques to be less sales-focused.
3. Limited Time Only Offers
If you run an eCommerce business then you should consider running limited time only offers. Studies have shown how effective these can be to sales. Consumers are more likely to act on their purchase decision if the offer is potentially going to end as they are worried they will miss out. Consumers have an underlying aversion to loss and enjoy feeling lucky, so “stumbling upon” offers and sales makes them feel special and more likely to act. To further the effect of this you can run offers for particular social media followers, to increase the feeling of exclusiveness and increase engagement on your social media channels.
4. Use Soft Conversion
Online consumers have indicated their disengagement from online marketing techniques that seem too pushy. To avoid this you should ensure your marketing efforts involve an element of soft conversion. Soft conversion relates to those who people are not yet at the buying stage of the sales funnel. They do however provide a lucrative lead which should be nurtured until they become a purchaser.
In the past year social media has seen a shift towards localisation. In order to compete well in today’s market and increase your soft conversion, you need to provide your customers personalised, real-time engagement that captivates them right when they need it. Whilst the market may be difficult, the opportunities are plentiful – and forever increasing.
Customers who require soft conversion are likely to sign up for newsletters and follow your social media channels without interaction. In order to capture these potential leads you should provide an easy sign-up for newsletters and reinforce customer service online. Once you have their e-mail address, you should automate a welcome e-mail and provide targeted, thought-through e-mail marketing content.