With over 2.14 billion digital buyers patronizing businesses through online channels in 2021, learning how to attract online customers is a must for any business that wishes to experience improved growth.
Although advancements in technology has made it easier for businesses to use online platforms to expand their reach, gain new customers and sell their products & services, a lot of businesses are still struggling to attract online customers.
Regardless of how difficult it is for some businesses, a good number of other businesses are making very decent sales using online channels.
As an entrepreneur struggling with attracting online sales, you want to know what the other successful businesses are doing right so you can implement same in your own business.
And in the following paragraphs, I will be sharing with you the easy steps you can use to attract online customers and improve your profit, just like your competition…
Get a Professional Website
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To most entrepreneurs, owning a website might sound like a no brainer but according to a recent data, more than 35% of businesses in the US do not have a website.
Outside the US, according to a different data, as at 2018, 6 out of 10 small businesses were operating without a website.
Despite this, 79 percent of entrepreneurs believe that owning a website is the best digital strategy that’s helped their business.
In an economy where buyers are getting more reliant on the web to make purchasing decisions, operating your business without a website is a very big disservice to you.
Not only are you shutting yourself out of available opportunities online, without a website, you’re missing out on opportunities to create an impact or even make online sales.
To realistically attract customers online, regardless of whether you have a social media page or not, your first step is to get your business a website. This is where it starts.
While building the website, ensure you have all the details about your business set up on the website, including your products and services.
Make it easy for clients within your target geographic location to buy from or place orders directly on your website.
Start Blogging for Business
Blogging is the art of creating, posting and updating content on your website on a regular interval.
Your plan to attract online customers does not start and end with creating a website. After building your website, you need to create a blog and update content on your website at intervals.
Doing this attracts traffic to your website. And the more traffic your website has, the more potential clients get to see your services or products as the case maybe.
In turn, when more people get to see your products/services, you increase your chances of selling the products either immediately or overtime, after building a relationship with them.
Again, one thing you’ll need to remember is that attracting online customers has a lot to do with perception. This is another area blogging can help you, to build the right perception for your brand.
In the long run, blogging has a way of positioning you as an industry expert in your niche. Done well, this can rub off on your expertise as well as boost your brand perception.
Engage in Content Marketing & SEO
Content Marketing is a strategic approach which involves creating and distributing digital content on a particular platform, to a specific kind of audience, in order to achieve a specified outcome.
Now that your website is up, the next step you want to take to attract online customers for your business is to engage in strategic content marketing.
What this means is that you’re going to work on identifying the kind of content that matters to your target customers, based on their needs.
After that, find out the search terms they use in searching for these content and then create and share these content strategically on your blog and other platforms frequented by your target audience.
Remember before creating content you’ll have to identify your target audience, that is; the projected audience that’ll most likely become your customers.
Understand their demographics, unique needs, aspirations, challenges etc., including the key word that matters to them.
With this information above, you can now head over to create your content and share it on your blog and all other important platforms.
Beyond creating content, you have to understand the important key words and search terms that are frequently used by your target audience.
After that, optimize your blog and each content you create with these keywords. This will help in enhancing the visibility of your content on the search engine.
You can read more about SEO or search engine optimization here.
Leverage Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has helped a lot of businesses, both big and small.
While your target audience may not always come to your website as a first point of contact, chances are, they are already some where online- the social media.
So, in as much as you want to build and grow your website so they can come over there to buy from you directly, you can also head over to the social media and attract your target customers over to your website.
To do this, get over to the social media platform with the largest number of your target audience, create a social media handle for your business on the platform and begin to create content and engage your audience.
With time not only are they going to get to know your brand, they will come over to your website.
And some will patronize you, right from that your social media handle. This is exactly how a lot of small businesses started out.
You can use the social media as a tool to not only engage with your target audience but to also garner a handful of new clients.
Employ Story telling
How many people even know about what you’re doing besides your family and friends?
You see, I listen to a lot of new entrepreneurs in my Q and A sessions and one of the easiest pattern I find out during these sessions is the fact that for most small business entrepreneurs operating online, very few people get to know about their businesses apart from their family and friends.
In such a situation where people are not even aware of your line of business, how exactly are you going to make sales?
In any case, if you want to attract online customers to your business then you have to work towards getting your business known by a lot more people.
And one of the steps to go about this is to use story telling to build your brand and create the right perception in the minds of your target audience.
In your content marketing, social media marketing and other promotional posts, work on using story telling to promote your services.
Don’t just tell, show them. Give your potential customers a feel of working with you or buying your products.
Where possible, as part of your content, give them a glimpse of your production process or back-end activities.
Showcase your best testimonial when you have one. Tell the world about your exceptional customer experience.
At every possible time with your story telling, give your clients a reason to want to work with you or buy your products.
Subsidize or Give out Freebies
For starters, subsidizing your products or giving out freebies and free offers can give people a feel of working with you, attract new reviews or get you a set of past jobs for your portfolio.
Naturally, giving out freebies or hosting free events while looking for clients will look counter productive but this strategy has been a deal breaker for many businesses in their quest to attract online customers.
At some time, this strategy was my saving grace. Yes, I remember when I started out many years ago. Just like most freshers, I was a newbie fresh from the oven (if there’s anything like that).
I’d just learned my skills. And like most new freelancers then, no one was willing to take a chance on me.
After many weeks of telling people about my new skills and waiting without any tangible results, I decided to try the freebies approach.
It wasn’t an easy decision. Especially considering i needed money badly. But i took the step anyways. And ever since that time, the rest is history.
The good thing about giving out freebies, hosting free niche events or volunteering is that it’ll rub off on your brand.
The free or subsidized offers in particular will help you to build a portfolio while waiting for paid customers. It’ll also give you some free word of mouth publicity which you can benefit from.
Try Paid Advertising
Advertising and digital marketing in particular is a great way to attract online customers fast.
Unlike the organic strategies listed above, one good thing about advertising is that it delivers faster results and there are many options to choose from.
So, even if you’re on a tight budget, there’s a plan that can work for you.
Starting from social media to Google ads, sponsored ads or any other kind of ad that would work with your budget, you can key into advertising to get new customers over to your website especially when you want to get new customers fast.
This strategy can be very effective for you as a newbie starting out without a good customer base.
Combined with an affordable pricing, you can gather a decent number of clients that’ll get you started while you continue building your portfolio.
You see, with the advent of the internet, promoting your business and getting online customers has never been easier…
Using these strategies, you’re not only going to be able to attract online customers for your business, you’ll be able to build your brand and expand your business presence beyond its current reach and grow your business.
The question is, are you ready to take the steps and leapfrog your business from zero to multiple online customers? Then lets guide you further on this journey with custom strategies made just for your business. Reach out to us here.
Now, it’s your turn! What’s likely your biggest challenge when it comes to attracting customers online? Drop your comments below.