The following post comes to us from Gemma Reeves, a seasoned writer and aspiring entrepreneur who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. Learn more about how to connect with Gemma in her author bio below.
The internet opened many ways for businesses to thrive in. There are countless channels as to how business transactions can take place, and how consumer decisions can be influenced online. However the truth is, competition is also very stiff, and we’re not talking about direct business rivals here (though that is already a given).
As there are many types of entertainment and information online, it is easy to get lost in that slush-pile. You can never expect your market to stay in one place or focus on your web page only – social media, videos, games and music are all just a click away on the internet, and this makes it harder for you as an entrepreneur to reel in more than enough customers.
But the internet is a universal tool, so there are still ways for you to attract customers for your business. What you need most is a great strategy, like the following below:
1. Offer something for FREE.
This is basically the most common bait for many businesses – be it online or offline. Essentially, this means that you’ll be giving free samples to customers so they would be more inclined to try out your product. The idea here is once they tried and liked it, they will come back to purchase more of your product.
A free sample could come in many forms online. It could be through a free trial (if you own an app or software service), a freebie after a certain amount of order, or if you think that is too much, you can always opt to give discounts or vouchers instead.
This works for target customers, but it could still work for repeat customers as well. You can take a look at Uber for example. They have this program where they give out free and discounted rides for users who successfully referred a friend to use their app. It is an incentivized plan, but the concept of giving out a free service is still used.
2. Build a network of partnerships.
Business partners can help you get some leverage when it comes to marketing and promotions. Yet you need to make sure that these companies are somewhat related to what your business stands for, but not too similar that it might result to actual market share competition.
Partnerships do not always have to be about business though. You can also seek out partnerships with bloggers and social media influencers.
For example, if you are running a pet store with pet food and pet accessory business partners, you can also partner with an animal rights blogger or pet care blogger. The bigger their audience, the more chances for your product to be exposed towards your core target market.
3. Hold a contest.
Although this would generally interest your actual customers first, there is also a huge chance for non-customers to take notice of your business for the first time. To do that however, you need an attractive prize to begin with – it could be in cash, a free trip, movie/event passes or a gift certificate. You can also throw in some of your products for good measure (and as a free sample).
Contests are also a great way to build an email list (if you are into email marketing), since an email address could be a prerequisite before any person can officially join your contest.
4. Establish yourself as an advocate.
This seems easy for businesses that sell organic and environmentally-friendly products because the obvious advocacy it could go with is conservation (or it could be healthy living if you are selling organic food). Pet store owners, like in the previous example, can also carry animal rights as their advocacy. But what if your business belongs to a difficult niche?
If you find it hard to connect your business to an advocacy, you can always partner with a charity that has an established advocacy in place. You can then donate a portion of your sales to that organization and tell customers about how they can help through their purchase.
5. Make sure you choose the right channels.
You cannot maximize your strategy if you are putting your message in the wrong places. If you are targeting general consumers, then it would make sense to make use of the usual social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
If you are targeting other business owners however, you should also expand to platforms such as LinkedIn, Google Plus, or venture out to email marketing.
Reeling in new customers always seems to be the hardest part, because it is basically the first step to building a successful business. Yet once you build a functional “wheel” to accomplish this, your system will become much more automated and effective for drawing in new and returning customers.
About the Author: Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business. Check out her company here: https://digitoolreview.com/