As a result of Covid-19 a vast proportion of the population, businesses and your customers face uncertain financial circumstances. With this in mind, engaging with your customers needs a new approach.
According to WordStream, looking across tens of thousands of advertisers, as of 2nd of July they’ve seen conversion rates drop by an average of 21%. With this in mind, paid advertising may not be the best port of call.
If you’re selling essentials like toilet rolls, then maybe you will reap the rewards of paid advertising, but for the rest of us there are other methods that are likely more effective both now and long term.
1) Understand buyer personas
It’s absolutely critical that you understand who your customers are.
As if you can understand them, you have a better chance of being able to sell to them.
Hubspot defines a buyer persona as a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
When creating the buyer persona, you need to consider their demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations and goals.
This knowledge can be harnessed to your advantage. For example, if you discover that your ideal customer is reading Forbes every morning, then maybe it’s worth reaching out to a Forbes journalist there to write about you, or to contribute a guest post.
This puts you in front of your ideal customers in a contextual way that isn’t overly ‘salesy’. As it’s also a resource they trust, they’re more likely to trust and want to buy from you.
In a similar vein, if you find your highest spending customers are women, but they only make up 20% of your customer base or traffic. Maybe you should start to tailor your content and marketing towards that segment of the market, to increase the number of those higher spending customers.
The Pareto principle, often called the 80/20 rule states that, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. If you can hone in on the 20% through truly understanding your customer, you can get much more out of your marketing spend, and in turn generate higher sales volumes.
With evidence showing that 47% of companies that maintain and update their buyer personas on a regular basis consistently exceed their revenue goals, this is a no brainer.
2) Referral marketing
81% of consumers state that a recommendation from a friend or family member heavily influences their buying decisions.
If you don’t have a referral program in place for your online store, it’s time to get one in place.
This is a great way you can use your existing clients and potential clients to generate new leads & possibly sales.
It doesn’t need to be complicated, just a simple way for your customers to recommend your brand to others. Generally those most successful at this ensure that the referee & referer gain something; that could be discount, an extended trial, or even a free gift.
Dropbox gave their users extra space for referring a friend, this simple tactic allowed them to grow from 100,000 users to over 4 million users in only 15 months.
It takes a little work, but it can truly pay off, with evidence showing that a customer gained through a referral has a lifetime value 25% higher than other customers.
In short, referrals work – get them rolled out in your ecommerce store.
3) Write with an angle in mind
Everything you produce, should be created with your unique value proposition in mind.
With website visitors spending 15 seconds or less on a page you need to use every one of those seconds to show your customers why you’re better for them than the rest. This to a degree reverts back to your buyer persona, as if you really understand your customer this will be a whole lot easier.
Zapier do this really well, as soon as you see their page, you know exactly what they do, who they do it for and how it helps. They connect your apps and automate workflows, providing easy automation for busy people.
It’s simple and to the point. An example is shown below.
A value proposition is more than just a buzzword, it’s your unique selling point that makes your products better than the millions of others out there.
So make sure you think about it with every piece of content you create.
4) Check your shop’s speed
If your site takes longer than three seconds to load, just over half of visitors will leave it.
Moreover, a slow website can increase abandonment by 75%, and customer loyalty drops by 50% when your site is slow to load. If that wasn’t bad enough, nearly 80% of visitors who get frustrated with a site’s loading time will never visit again.
Therefore, speed counts and every additional second of loading time equals sales lost.
If you haven’t already, you should try running a speed check using something like Pingdom tools, to ensure your site is running optimally.
If it’s not optimal, fixing speed issues could be a highly effective way to increase conversions from the traffic you already have visiting your ecommerce store.
5) Strategize Blog Writing & SEO
In 2019, the Content Marketing Institute found that nearly 90% of the most successful brands stated that content marketing played a key role in increasing brand awareness over the course of 12 months.
Additionally, the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Brands and the Coronavirus outlines that ‘more than eight out of ten respondents’ want brands to provide educational content and to be a source for reliable news right now.
With that in mind, now is the time to start blog writing for your business to increase sales.
Blog Writing Services UK a leading blog writing agency state, it’s worth avoiding hard-sell tactics or vanity messages, the key focus needs to be on showcasing leadership and authority in your field, helping to build up your brand reputation longterm.
This will help ensure that when things go back to normal (or the new normal) you’ll have built some momentum built up with your blog writing & content marketing efforts.
90.63% of all pages in our index get zero traffic from Google, and 5.29% of them get ten visits per month or less according to Ahrefs. This reiterates the importance of knowing your buyer persona, as this will help you to better understand what they’re searching for.
You can then use this knowledge to gear your blog writing & SEO strategy towards answering the questions your customer has, and providing content they’re likely to look for and engage with.
Again knowing your buyer persona is really useful for this task, as you can strive to include keywords and search terms that you know they’re looking for in your content, ensuring the odds of them finding and trusting you are greater.
We know that very few searchers make it beyond page 1 of the Google search results, and with that in mind, you need to be paying attention to your SEO strategy and the product keywords you’re focussing on.
Normally taking a long term approach to your marketing is best, however, we appreciate that sometimes quick wins are needed.
These 5 methods should help you to increase your sales both now and in the future if executed well and consistently. Moreover, many of these can be done without any financial outlay, the only cost is time.