Our top tips to attract more customers and increase your online sales
Getting more customers online is about more than just traffic. Determine your exact customer type then start targeting.
February 27 · 5 min read
When you’re building a new website, it’s important to enter the process with a rough idea of how you’ll gain customers. Rather than focusing on traffic alone, you need to implement tactics that convert clicks to sales. From creating a site that targets your ideal audience to competitions and giveaways, there are plenty of ways to get more customers online.
It all starts with your site
Long gone are the days when most businesses could exist without an online presence. Today, you need a website at the absolute minimum. Ideally, you’ll also have a social media presence so you can attract a loyal online customer base and encourage them to return when you offer a sale or launch new products/services.
Developing a website for your business doesn’t need to feel cumbersome. At B12, our human-assisted AI approach to website development allows you to draft a site in minutes and launch your finalized site in about one week. Each B12 website is pre-populated with industry-focused text, which you can adjust according to your unique brand.
Make sure your online presence attracts customers by using a professional domain and the right social media handles
If you want your online presence to match your offline branding, make sure you purchase a domain quickly. This is especially important if your business’ name is one that’s used by more than one company or is similar to other brand names. Create social media handles to match it and develop consistency throughout your brand. This generates a professional image that your audience will trust.
Be active on social media
Joining a social media channel is only the start when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. Whether you choose Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another platform, you need to post regularly to make an impact.
So, what can an active social media presence do for your business?
- Generate a sense of customer loyalty
- Easily advertise your sales and limited offers
- Give customers an accessible way to ask questions and seek support
Some modes of social media are more time-consuming than others. While Twitter moves fast and may justify multiple tweets a day, each tweet only requires 280 characters. Unlike Pinterest and Instagram, you won’t necessarily need to fill each tweet with pristine graphics or photos.
Facebook is potentially the least time-consuming option for your initial post, but it may call for a lot of ongoing interaction. Facebook business pages usually highlight how responsive companies are, which means you’ll need to dedicate time to responding to messages quickly if your page develops a significant following.
Instagram may not require as much audience participation, but the images you post need to be excellent quality and promote an aspirational lifestyle to prospective customers.
As for Pinterest, your pins must be share-worthy and may require creative approaches like infographics. Pinterest can result in a pin circulating for months or years to come, making it a long-lasting approach to growing your social media presence.
Of the four, both Twitter and Facebook are the simplest. Regardless of which one you choose, dedicate a few minutes each day to looking at your analytics. Analytics provides excellent insight into which approaches work, so you can then streamline your tactics for the future.
Hold sales throughout the year
One of the most effective ways to convert a visitor into a customer is to hold a sale. When your target audience wants a taste of what you’re offering, sales give them a chance to try you out on a low-risk basis. Look at how effective Black Friday and Cyber Monday are.
During your sales, focus on offering products and services that offer value to your new customers. When customers make the link between using a product or service and experiencing a new layer of enjoyment or convenience in their lives, they’re easier to convert. When choosing what to discount, identify products or services that represent your company at its best.
For example, if you’re a chiropractor looking to gain new clients, you could offer a reduced rate first-time session to those with lower back pain. When your new patient grows to appreciate the bliss that comes with long-lasting pain relief, they’re more likely to book repeat preventative sessions.
Run competitions that boost revenue
Another excellent reason to have a social media handle that represents your brand is that when you create a social media storm, prospective customers will make a positive link between your account and your business. So, how do you go about creating this social storm with minimal effort?
Everyone loves a free product and everyone loves excitement! When you hold a competition offering something for free, you bring the two together effortlessly. Once you have a small social media following, identify a product or service you’re willing to offer to one lucky person for free. Advertise it via your social accounts and let your followers know that they can win by sharing the relevant post and “liking” your page.
If you’re wondering whether holding a contest is worth the effort, consider this statistic: on average, internet-based competitions increase a business’ outreach by 34%. Around one-third of those participating will agree to receive your marketing materials if you choose to use an email signup form. In the future, that significant audience boost will eventually translate to new customers, and some could become returning customers.
Create a blog that generates leads and keeps customers
After using B12 to launch your website, you can work on gaining traffic through organic methods. One of the long-standing successful ways to do this is by blogging on a regular basis. In the process of blogging, focus on more than just making your site rank for a certain search term. With quality content, blogging can convert visitors into customers, allowing you to solve two problems at once.
While blogging, it’s important to remember that your visitors found you because they have a problem. When you understand your audience’s pain point, you can write blog posts that offer solutions and subtly promote your products or services.
Blogging is a useful sales tactic because most people don’t like to feel like they’re being given a hard sell. Additionally, major search engines such as Google don’t like content that only sells and doesn’t offer reasonable solutions. Psychologically, most people would prefer to buy from someone who appears friendly and trustworthy than someone who just wants to make money from them.
Managing a blog doesn’t need to take up too much of your time. According to marketing expert Neil Patel, blogging once per week while focusing on a high-quality article is more effective for driving traffic than posting low-quality content daily.
Use free samples to gain online customers
Unlike competitions, free samples are attainable. This means customers may be more willing to fill out a form to receive them. Samples are also perfect for turning prospects into paying customers, as they will:
- Encourage audiences that are unfamiliar with you to try and fall in love with your brand
- Broaden your customers’ knowledge about your product, which increases the likelihood of discussing them with friends
- Nudge new and existing customers toward trying a fresh product you’ve introduced to your line
- Leave people wanting more, whether they’re new to using your services or not
Now that you’re convinced that offering samples is useful, learn how to do so in a cost-effective manner.
Choose the products and services with a lot of competition
The psychology behind how and why customers make decisions is incredibly complex. However, you do need to know that at some stage they’ll weigh the costs versus the benefits of choosing you over one of your competitors. Not everyone is driven by cheap prices alone, which means you need to find a way to promote the benefits of what you offer.
Free samples allow customers to see why you’re the better choice, regardless of prices. For example, if you have a catering service, inviting those who want to use you for their next event to enjoy a sample tasting session can win them over. When they’re confident that your food tastes amazing, they’ll feel less sure of the other alternatives.
Offering free samples in a saturated area gives you a chance to convert prospective customers who are loyal to your competition. When people are loyal to one organization, the only way to break through is with a clear demonstration of your value.
Using your website and social media channels, advertise your free samples in saturated areas during busy times of the year. Using catering as an example again, you could offer free tasting sessions to those who sign up to your email newsletter in the run-up to the wedding season.
Offer samples in exchange for social media exposure
You don’t need to rely on big-name influencers to leverage social media exposure. Once you have followers online, or regular traffic to your site, offer prospective customers the chance to receive free samples in exchange for promotion on their social media. Be sure to choose people in your target demographic, as their social sharing is more likely to spread to other members of your target demographic.
Pay attention to detail with paid advertising
Even when you launch with an SEO-friendly website, you’ll probably still need to pay for advertising. Both organic search traffic and social media followers can take some time to build, which means you’ll want to pay for advertising for quicker results.
Two of the best channels to start with are Google PPC and Facebook ads. Both allow you to refine your target audience down to the smallest detail, which means you’re not throwing away money on traffic that isn’t likely to convert to customers. Facebook ads are especially effective because you can choose to target your exact customer type.
Gaining new customers online is often a trial-and-error process. Although you can research your customer profile and execute an actionable plan, it’s important to continuously monitor your analytics while you find an approach that works. When you do find that approach, remember to continue monitoring so you don’t miss any sudden changes or opportunities to improve.