As a digital business owner, there’s nothing better than getting your first sale from your first real customer … not someone related to you. And after all the time and effort you put into understanding and connecting with your audience, you deserve that happy dance.
But let’s take a step back and talk about the work involved in getting that first sale.
In a previous post, we talked all about how to create buyer personas that represent your ideal customer. This helps you get a deep understanding of your potential customers and gives you way more information about your audience than you ever wanted to know.
Now that you know your audience like the back of your hand, it’s time to connect with them.
From your research, you’ve discovered what websites and social media platforms your customers prefer, how they talk about your products and services, and what motivates them to buy. With that information, you have everything you need to connect your audience. And you can do that in just two steps:
1. Create targeted messaging
2. Drive targeted traffic
Yes, those are simplified steps, but that’s the gist of it. Let’s dive a little deeper with a more detailed look at your marketing process.
Create Targeted Messaging
Remember, you just segmented your audience into distinct groups of people, and you need to speak to each of those groups differently. So, before you start spending money on paid ads, you need to decide what you are going to say to each group.
For example, if your online business sells digital files of original pop-art pieces, your audience may be divided into personas like this:
Steve the pop-art collector
– Buying motivation: to increase his collection of exciting, new art
Mike the college student
– Buying motivation: to decorate his dorm/apartment with unique art that expresses his personality
Kim the interior designer
– Buying motivation: to find unique pieces to decorate her clients’ homes
With this information and your keyword research, you’re ready to write targeted paid ads, product descriptions, and blog content that appeal to each of your audiences.
Now it’s time to drive some traffic.
Drive Targeted Traffic
From your customer research, you know what websites they visit, what social media platforms they prefer, and what search terms they use to find your products. Now, you just need to get your perfectly targeted content featured on their favorite online hangouts.
And as a new online business, you’re probably looking for ways to save money. So, we’ll start with the free options.
3 Free Traffic Sources
- Organic Search: SEO strategies can be a new business’ best friend. It costs zero dollars, except for the time it takes you to create great site content. That means incorporating your keyword research into your product descriptions, home page, about page, tags, and blog content. As you create more content, your online shop is more likely to end up on page one for your desired keywords and phrases.
- Social Media: First things first: create business profiles on all social media platforms used by your audience—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Once you set those up, it’s time to start spreading the word. Many of your first followers and sales will come from personal contacts, so use your personal profiles for advertising your business and online store.
- Email: Use your personal email to reach out to friends/family/coworkers. And, of course, ask them to share your store with anyone they think would be interested in your products or services. Remember, this is the least qualified source of traffic, since your acquaintances may or may not fit into your buyer personas, so don’t feel bad if your emails don’t result in sales. Just think of it as a jumping-off point.
You also want to give your site visitors the opportunity to sign up for your mailing list. You can even offer a discount to visitors who sign up. Just remember to add all new customers to your mailing list, so you can regularly reach out to your customers and start building a community.
3 Paid Traffic Sources
- Paid search: Paid-search ads are the first results you see when searching on Google, Bing, or any other search engine. Paid search is great because it ensures your ad will be the first result seen by your audience. The only trick is bidding on the right keywords, which is why conducting keyword research is so important before you invest in online advertising.
- Facebook Advertising: If you want to get in front of a very specific type of audience, Facebook ads are a great option. It actually allows you to micro-target your exact audience. And since we’re all about getting in front of the right eyeballs, Facebook is a great place to start when you’re ready to invest in online advertising. With Facebook ads, you can target your audience based on interests, behaviors, demographics, age range, connections, locations, languages, and more.
- Instagram Advertising: With 700 million users and the highest engagement rate of any other social media platform, Instagram is another great way to spend your advertising budget. And since Instagram and Facebook are connected, you’re able to target your audience based on Facebook data, which is a huge benefit.
Building Your Audience Through Partnerships
With partnership marketing, you collaborate with another business or influencer to create a marketing strategy that benefits both of you.
When collaborating with other businesses, look for brands with complementary products to yours so you can easily bundle them. You also want to make sure your target audiences line up to ensure you’re reaching out to the right people.
Influencer marketing is considered a type of social media marketing. Here’s how it works: you find an influencer—a person with a dedicated social following who is regarded as an expert in their niche—and ask them to endorse your brand on their social profiles in the form of product mentions. You can also work with influencers to set up special discounts for their followers in an effort to boost sales.
Partnering with established businesses and influencers is a great way to get in front of your audience. Just do your research, and make sure they’re the right fit for your brand and your target audience.
There are a lot of great marketing strategies and platforms available to help you get in front of your ideal audience. But remember, none of those things will do you any good if you haven’t done your customer research and created buyer personas. That’s the foundation you need in order to get in front of the right people and start getting those awesome conversions for your business.