Contests are a great way to increase brand awareness, create buzz about your products and services and boost engagement and sales.
Hosting a contest is a very effective marketing strategy that has been around long before the internet. It’s been around a long time because it works. It helps bring in buyers, causes a buzz and spreads brand awareness.
It’s no different when you create an online contest. They’re a great way to engage with your audience, and add readership to your website content and people love them!
A good contest can pay off for years to come due to the publicity that occurs long after it’s over.
8 Things You Need To Know When Marketing Your Online Business
The best marketing for online business will pay for itself.
When you first start marketing your online business, you’re going to need to figure out your marketing budget. Some people who are new think they have zero budget, and while you may be able to get started with no budget other than your time, eventually you’re going to need to have a real marketing budget.
Marketing is really an investment and not just an expense. Your marketing, when planned correctly, should deliver you a return on investment that makes it worth doing. In this way, you can take your business to the next level.
If you have a product or service to sell, then it’s time to get serious about reducing buyer fear so that you can close the sale and boost your conversions. After all, closing the sale is the point because if you don’t do that, no one will experience your amazing product or service that solves their problems.
Reducing buyer fear is an important aspect of marketing online and even offline. People won’t buy if there is something that is worrying them about your product or service. People only buy from those they feel as if they know, like and trust. You included. You know you’re trustworthy so show it by proving it.
The online buying process is different to the offline buying process. As an online business owner you rarely, if at all, have any direct face-to-face contact with your customer. A prospect finds your products online and then decides whether to purchase or not.
It’s important to understand a typical buying process and sales cycle, so you can move your prospective customer from first encountering you or a particular product, all the way through to buying your product.
There are basically 5 steps to the typical online buying process.
How To Attract Local Customers To Your Online Store
Even if you have an online store, don’t underestimate the results you can get when you attract local customers to buy from you too. Since your business home is local, many people who want to shop online will shop with your store because they feel as if they’re still shopping locally with small businesses. And they are, even though they don’t have to leave their house.
Never underestimate the power of focusing your marketing locally. Your area may have 25,000 or more people who will be excited to order from you as a local business.
When it comes to running a successful online business, it’s a well known fact that you have to build an email list of prospects. These are people who have shown an interest in your business and given you permission to email them more information about your products or services.
Most people use email to some extent in the daily workings of their business or personal life. Email marketing has proven to be not only an effective, but also a cost-efficient way to keep in touch with prospects, no matter where they are living in the world.
But just having prospects on your email list isn’t enough. You need to convert prospects into customers.
An effective email marketing sales funnel can put your business on autopilot. You can consistently turn prospects into paying customers – if you structure your emails the right way. It’s called a funnel because your audience enter into it at the top when they give you their email address in exchange for your opt-in offer and then work their way deeper into it, getting more targeted offers along the way.
When crafting an email marketing sales funnel that will work well, there are four key elements to pay attention to.
Regardless of your industry, every buyer goes through a journey when making purchasing decisions. Understanding your buyer’s journey will help you know what information to give them and when.
You can think of the process of choosing what to buy as a journey. It’s the process of going from awareness to purchase. Thinking of this as a journey will help you guide your audience through the awareness or acknowledgment of a problem that they need to solve and how you are the one that can help them solve it.
You’re working hard to get people to visit your website but the key to online business success is to convert your website traffic into customers. It’s a hard fact to swallow but almost no one will buy from you on their first visit to your website.
There is where the ‘Rule of 7’ applies. In marketing circles, research states that you need to interact with someone 7 times before they purchase a product or service. This is because that person is trying to get to know you. They want to figure out if, in their minds, your products or services bring value to their life.
So once that person lands onto your website, how do you convert your website traffic into customers using the ‘Rule of 7’?
It might seem like an obvious statement but sometimes businesses forget the fact that the only way to make money is to get customers to buy. A sales funnel process is set of steps where you move a prospect through a series of communications that results in them buying from you.
But what happens after that first sale is made? Are you now finished with that customer and do move onto the next prospect?
If you’ve dipped your toe in the online business world, you’ve no doubt come across the affiliate marketing business model. This is where you sell products or services that have been created by other people and you earn a commission on everything you sell.
You may think that trying to start an affiliate program for your business, where affiliates sell your products or services for you, is perhaps a step too far. But having your own online affiliate program can help you develop an entirely new income stream.
Affiliate programs for digital products provide smart business owners with an additional stream of income for selling the same product they sell directly. The return on investment might be lower for each product now that you have to split the profits with a sales person, but the rewards can be enormous too.
Every business needs to create an effective sales funnel if they want to succeed in their marketing efforts. So many businesses don’t create a plan when it comes to marketing. Instead they do what everyone else is doing or what they feel is easiest or cheapest, without knowing whether or not it actually works.
Sales funnels help business owners know how many potential customers they have, where they come from, and how they’re going to be brought into the product cycle.