Developing a world class product or service is just the first step in a successful business. Your ability to drum up sales is just as important. Consumers are savvier than ever and, with the internet at their fingertips, are completely spoiled for choice. The hard sell may have once been effective, but in our connected era, it just doesn’t cut it anymore. Marketing your product and increasing your sales presents a puzzle for every entrepreneur. The good news is, there’s never been more ways to make it work. Below, we’ve corralled 7 easy to implement tips for increasing sales and improve your bottom line.
Define Your Target Market
If your answer to the question “Who am I trying to sell my product to?” is “Everyone”, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. The above answer is the most common mistake new entrepreneurs make.
Successfully pitching to the right target audience allows you to efficiently market and ensure the best bang for your buck on marketing spend. Paint a picture of who your ideal customer is. You might even find it helpful to create two or three personas that represent your ideal customers and write down their possible wants, needs, personalities, and interests to help you clearly identify the type of market you are trying to reach. This exercise will allow you to really nail how you are advertising, and where to allocate your budget.
Establish Your Competitive Advantage
There are two important questions to ask yourself at this point – What do you offer customers that nobody else does? And, why should they buy from you? Really think about your product and what it does that no other product or service can do. Put this information front and centre of your marketing effort. In marketing terms, this is your product’s unique selling point, and it’s the secret sauce that will convince potential customers to buy your product.
Content Marketing for Increasing Sales
Earlier, we mentioned how the ‘hard sell’ has fallen out of favour. Content Marketing is one of the main ways it has been replaced. It involves the creation and sharing of content such as articles, blogs, videos and social media that don’t explicitly promote a brand. Instead, they organically stimulate interest by starting a conversation with potential customers. If you have an online store, consider also having a blog. Regularly updating this blog will see your website feature higher in Google search rankings.
The Power of Social Media
Content Marketing goes together with social media marketing. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram help customers discover the content you are producing. It’s important to vary your output. Encourage your customers to share photos of them using your product and re-post the images on your accounts. This user-generated content can be a powerful marketing tool and your community will appreciate the recognition and exposure.
Another way to spread your content and market your products is through email marketing. A recent survey found 63% of marketers describing email marketing as “very important” to their business. A well-structured marketing email offers higher conversion rates (when compared to other forms of marketing) and is relatively inexpensive. Don’t fall into the trap of just sending newsletters. Instead, mix things up. Newsletters are fine every month or so but should represent just one aspect of your email strategy, alongside special offers, one-off emails with a call to action, surveys and events.
Harnessing technology to increase sales is fantastic, but don’t forget the classics. Employing the human touch and following up with customers is a sure-fire way to create a positive feeling around your brand. Sure, those customers have already purchased. The power of following up is that it will encourage those same customers to recommend you to their social group. This can, in turn, feed into online discussions on Facebook groups. All it takes is one simple phone call on your behalf. It’s a cheap and powerful way to increase sales.
If you’re running an online store, you’ve probably noticed the low number of first-time visitors that convert to sales. Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that can help you reach users who visited your site but didn’t make a purchase. It serves them ads for items they’ve already viewed, can send them follow up emails that remind them of items they’ve left in their virtual shopping carts, and is demonstrably proven to increase conversion for a modest ad spend.