21 October 2013, by A. Cedilla
When you want to think about the most basic elements of a successful marketing campaign for your online business, what comes to mind? Market penetration? Ad segmentation? Profiling? Number of likes and re-tweets??
With all the marketing tools that technology affords us, sometimes it’s the simple things that get pushed off to the side. Yes, research is important, branding is vital, knowing our customers and niche is the lifeblood of a busiacness, but like thin threads running through all of them, there a couple of things that are necessary to transform visitors into customers.
First of all, prospective customers need to be assured of getting real quality, whether it’s in a product or a service. They will recognize quality when the products or service is effective in solving the problem for which they intend it to solve.
Of course, it can be quite difficult to prove that on first look, with no hands-on assurances, so what can you do to show them you’ve got the real deal and the perfect fit?
You provide proof that the products works, and the assurance that with your product, this time the customer can change his situation with your products.
Proof of effectiveness can be supplied by the following:
- Visual records, when applicable – Whether in the form of videos of the product being used in real-life situations (and not just in sanitized, just-for-TV circumstances), or before-and-after photos, the closer you get to capturing the image of getting the target market’s problem captured and resolved with your product, the more the message resounds with them that you have a product that works on their bugaboo.
- Under visual records, if you’re a solo-preneur you can also include a portfolio of your works, which can be anything from artwork to hand-crafted items to architectural structures. Etsy‘s sellers are masters at product presentation, and many of the artists at Deviantart also use it as a platform to showcase their creations and get sales or commissions (not on the sales, but “commissions” as in requested–and paid for–artwork).
- For past record with satisfied customers you can substitute real-world testimonials. For example, Tsilli Pines of NewKetubah.com has an entire wall of enthusiastic testimonials from her satisfied customers, all thanking her for the quality of her work and the excellent care she takes in delivering her hand-made and calligraphed traditional Jewish marriage contracts.
- Guarantees show the level of confidence you have in the service and-or products, and come in many flavors and combinations: time-limited (Ex. 30-day returns), replacements, replacements and damage-coverage up to a certain amount, no-questions-asked returns, full-refunds, etc.
Differentiation is the second part of the key to getting customers to commit. You can see this working in the comparisons advertisers use to make their products stand out form their competitors. What you do is to emphasize that with your product, this time will be different from all the ones previous. This time, the customer has a very real chance to make the right changes happen in their life.
When it comes to solving problems, something entrepreneurs have to keep in mind is that the people comprising their niche must have tried other products before –otherwise there wouldn’t be a market at all.
Think of yourself when it comes to providing solutions — you envisioned your product or service because you saw a need for it. You did the research and went through with your idea because you believed that there is a need for it, and that your product can fulfill that need. The customers, then, can see your product’s fit from your point of view, and your assurance encourages them to take the leap and come onto your side.
From a marketing perspective, one way to convert a visitor into a customer is to help them feel absolved of past failed attempts towards resolving their particular issue. That, and providing them an excellent solution to their problem, gives them the hope that this time around it will be different.
Your marketing should prove your products works, and provide hope that it works when other competitor’s products failed to do so. Together these two elements open the doors towards growing a loyal customer base, and establishing good relationships with them.
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