There is so much involved in online marketing, so many different methods and different priorities that it can be hard to find the ones that really work for you. Business can easily fall into the paradox of choice and be paralyzed as a result. However, there are some methods and some messages more right for you than others. How do you figure out which ways work best? You bring it back down to the one element of business that matters more than all the others: the customers. In particular, you look at their journey and you learn from it.
Love at first sight?
This is a point that will come up time and again, but the way your customer first encounters your business will greatly shape the relationship from there. For a business just setting up online, then that first encounter is likely going to be through a search engine. So, making sure your search engine optimization has your business appearing at the end of relevant searches is crucial. But there are plenty of other ways to ensure your business is getting the right attention and not just attention. In particular, you need to make sure you have the brand to go with the method. Boiling your value proposition to your customers in a way that’s both emotionally impactful and easy to understand is key.
The first impression
If you get that impact and understanding, then the interested customer is going to click to find out more. For a general site, this means that their first impression is soon going to be shaped by the quality of design and content they see. To that end, make sure your business keeps it simple. Think about what on your site is truly relevant to the customer and cut the rest. If it’s running in conjunction with online advertisements and calls-to-action, make sure you’re keeping the message relevant. Don’t have an ad on a specific product lead to your home page, where they then have to navigate to find the point they actually care about. Use landing pages to make their journey as simple as possible.
The digging under the surface
Online customers are, generally speaking, a savvy bunch. They might like everything you’re saying, but they will then go on to see what supports your offer. Your business can make use of influencers and industry partners to show a breadth of support that creates the image of validity to back up your claims. But even more assuring can be a community of past customers showing their support in the arena of social media. Perhaps most assuring of all is a slew of positive and balanced reviews and testimonials, but to get them, you have to also focus on the end of the customer journey.
The purchase itself
How do they go on from being interested to making the purchase itself? In ecommerce, there’s a whole discipline devoted to creating the least painful and most convenient shopping cart journey. But whether you’re in ecommerce or you’re just using the site to build leads, it’s about convenience first and foremost. If they’re buying online, then make sure they know every step of the way and trim away any unnecessary steps until they have the purchase complete. If you want them to call or email you, then make sure you always have your contact details nice and visible. You can even include an on-site chat widget that can help your team close a sale while they’re browsing.
The happy ever after
That on-chat client and any kind of customer support also help in nailing down the last step. Making sure you’re providing service with a smile. Don’t abandon the customer once you have their money. Follow up and make sure that they’re happy with their product. If they’re not, make sure you understand why, whether you can provide immediate assistance or take their feedback into account. Creating a pleasant experience for them won’t just help you retain them. When customers have truly good experiences with a company, they are more than glad to tell others about it. This fuels the referrals, reviews, and recommendations that build a more trustworthy brand and give you another effective means to catching new customers’ attention.
Do whatever you can to try and divine the customer’s journey. In the beginning, it might mean thought exercises from their side and a bit of research. As time goes on, your website, social media, and marketing results should give you plenty of data. See what works for them, not just for you, and work to make the two align. You’re going to be a lot more successful getting your marketing and business to shift to the customer’s presence rather than trying to drag them into yours.