There are tons of ways to promote your business to more people, increase your sales and generate potential customers. The trick is applying these techniques to your particular industry.
Many of the tips mentioned here are geared towards generating the leads online with a small sprinkling of offline techniques, none of which involve picking up a phone – yay!
Are you ready to take your business to the next level?
There’s probably no better way to grow your customer base than by customers referring your product or service to others. You’re more likely to trust a company which is recommended by a friend when making a purchasing decision.
Would you rather purchase from a company which your friend can vouch for or from a company that you have stumbled across?
There a lots of ways you can capitalise on referrals (we’ll save that for a blog post of its own) but by making it easy for your customers to recommend you and even by providing an incentive, you should be reaping the benefits in no time.
Optimise Your Website for Sales
Most businesses these days have websites. If you haven’t, see how we can help by providing you with a custom made website of your own.
If you do have a website, there are a few things you can do to make it easier to convert your visitors into potential customers.
Provide Simple Navigation
Have you ever visited a website where the menu is all over the place and you’re not sure where to click first?
Apparently, 55% of visitors will spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website. So you better grab them fast!
It’s important to make it completely obvious where you want your visitors to click. If you want to convert your visitors into customers then the visitors need to know what you can offer them and they need to know it right now.
Avoid overly complicated and over stuffed navigation and opt for simple, clear navigation.
Add Multiple Calls To Action
A call-to-action on a website is something that urges a visitor to take action such as sign up to a newsletter, start a free trial, order a product etc.
You don’t want to stuff your site full of these as that would be spammy but including them in prominent locations may help you to generate more leads.
Some popular examples of a call-to-action are:
- Sign up form
- Button to purchase an item
- Contact form
- Sharing buttons
You can usually find these calls to action in the following locations on a website:
- Within the page/post content
- Bottom of an article
- As a pop-up
- Content upgrades
Provide multiple ways and places for your visitors to act on a call to action to maximise your chances of converting the visitor to a buyer.
One of the most important things you can do is to refine the process in which a potential customer signs up for your service or purchases a product from you.
This process should be as easy as possible while putting less work on the customer. Amazon do this brilliantly (and probably a bit too well). If you have got One-Click Purchasing set up you will know that when checking out a product on Amazon, if you click Buy Now you have literally purchased the product. No entering your payment details. No entering your address. It’s bought and done.
You may not want to go that far on your site. If you are selling physical products then minimising the required fields a customer has to fill out will help reduce possible abandoned carts. If you are selling a digital product or service then you could probably fit the sign up and payment form on one page making the process quicker and easier for your customer.
Optimise Your Website for Leads
Optimising your website for sales and for leads means 2 different things. To optimise for sales is to ensure your website does it’s best to sell a product or service. To optimise for leads is to ensure your website does it’s best to generate potential customers.
Ideally you want to be doing both at the same time however for e-commerce sites the main focus should be on sales. For services and digital products such as courses or apps, leads are just as important.
Use Content Upgrades
A content upgrade is the process of offering premium/bonus/extra content in return for something such as a social mention or email address.
An example of a content upgrade could be that you write an article on how to knit a blanket but in order for a visitor to see the video that you created, they need to sign up to your newsletter or share the article on social networks to unlock the video.
Content upgrades are a brilliant effective way of giving a little extra for something in return, a fair trade off.
Multiple Signup Boxes
As mentioned in the previous section about optimising your website for sales, you could also add multiple signup avenues to generate leads too. If you have an app or a digital service then people may not be ready to purchase straight away. In this case they may want further information.
Give them a reason to come back to you by providing that information conveniently through multiple signup boxes.
Visitors should be able to easily signup for a newsletter, trial or more information by simply providing their email address with no obligation to buy anything. This starts the ball rolling into providing the extra information this potential customer needs and up-selling your product.
Prominent Contact Information
Have you ever wanted to contact a company or person and not been able to find their contact information? This is a simple one.
Put your contact information where people will find it without having to look for it.
You should have ways to contact you in your header or navigation, sidebar, footer and contact page at the very least!
Also provide multiple ways of contacting you such as:
- Phone number
- Physical address
- Email address
- Social networks
- Contact page
- Contact form
- Live chat
If you’re really modern and hipster, maybe even WhatsApp?
Make it easy to share your content
If your content (blog posts, images, videos etc) are interesting then people will want to share them (talk about free advertising!).
For content that you want shared, you should provide simple ways of doing so. This can be as simple as adding social sharing buttons to your content. YouTube do this excellently by providing code with each video to embed it within your own site.
Not only will making your content easy to share promote your brand, it’s also free advertising and endorsement which will hopefully bring in more business.
See that box above? Click it to Tweet this article… See how easy that was to share?
Be Active on Social Media
This may seem like a no-brainer but we have all been guilty of not utilising social media to its full potential.
To enable yourself to be more active it’s best to only have a couple of social networks that you participate in such as Facebook and Twitter otherwise you risk spreading yourself too thin. This way you can focus more of your efforts onto the social networks that matter.
Monitor your mentions
You can use tools such as Hootsuite essentially to listen to what people are saying about your company. With Hootsuite (and similar tools) you can set them up to listen for key words or phrases that you want to monitor.
Then when you notice that phrase has been mentioned, you can act on it by helping out a potential or current customer, providing more information or handling a complaint (hopefully you won’t have many of these).
Engage with others
Having a conversation with people is a very effective sales technique even if you’re not trying to sell anything. Confused? Let me explain…
People like people that they can relate to.
You don’t have to always be pitching your product when engaging others on social media. You could ask a simple “What are you up to this weekend?”. It may not make any sales but you could start a conversation where people will be familiar with your name. This could then lead to a referral or buying decision in the future.
Who said being nice doesn’t get you anywhere in business?
Adopt a consistent presence
This is a simple yet often overlooked tip. If a visitor comes across your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or other page then they should immediately recognise that the page belongs to your company.
This means ensuring that your short bio, header, profile pic, colours and branding are the same (or very similar) across all of your social networks.
Keep an eye on #hashtags
As well as keeping an eye on who is mentioning your company or key phrase, you can also monitor specific hashtags. If you’re in the baking business then a hashtag such as #CakePorn would be a relevant one to follow. Get on the bandwagon and start tagging your tasty treats with the same #hashtag!
Keeping up with the latest trends and hashtags will help you jump onto what is working now and what people are looking for.
Provide valuable and irresistible information
Perhaps you have heard this before but I am going to tell you again.
Content is king.
People love free stuff but they also love solutions. Can you provide valuable content for free or even for exclusive premium members that will help them solve a problem?
Perhaps you have the best and simplest recipe for chocolate chip cookies which you already share on your website but also have a video showing the step-by-step process for your elite group?
Valuable content in its most common form is likely to be blog posts and articles. But what makes content irresistible? Some examples of extra content could be:
- eBooks – More comprehensive versions of your post that people can read offline
- Blog Posts – Perhaps you have hidden some ultimate guides somewhere that only privileged members can see
- Newsletters – Regular newsletters with exclusive content and helpful examples can drive traffic back to your site
- Email Course – You can setup automated emails to send at set times (1 per day for example) that provide a written course on how to do something
- Video Course – Now we’re getting professional! A video course is killer content and most people are visual learners. There could be big money here!
There are many more but there are some examples where you can provide much more value to your audience which in turn can convert them into customers. If they’re already customers and they’ve signed up for premium content or a course then already you’re on to a winner!
Utilise Paid Advertising
Paying for advertising may sound daunting and expensive but it can actually be highly effective and cost very little. Of course you will need to manage your expectations around your budget but even small budgets can see big returns.
We all know Google. There’s a change you may even know about Google AdWords. If you don’t, Google AdWords is their platform in which they manage advertising. Here is an example of AdWords in action:
With AdWords, you’re able to custom build your advert and daily budget to suit your needs. Your advert will then be shown when relevant to a searcher so as to promote your advert where it’s likely to get a click.
AdWords can help to drive more traffic back to your site with visitors that have clicked your advert and are genuinely interested.
Bing also has an advertising program which is worth checking out.
Did you know that it’s very cost effective and easy to advertise on Facebook and Twitter? In fact you can advertise on Facebook for as little as a few pounds and see the reach on that post jump higher than usual.
Promote your company at industry events
Sometimes you may want to step away from the computer and get involved with the community one-on-one. A trade-show or industry event is perfect for this.
At these events you have an amazing opportunity to like-minded business owners and customers alike. You can build relationships, learn from industry experts and promote your business to others while seeking out other businesses which may benefit you.
As you can see there are many ways to increase your sales and generate more leads.
Which techniques you try out are completely up to you however it will be more effective to focus strongly on one or two at a time and see what works rather than trying to focus on too many at once.
Are you using any of these techniques? Do you use any other methods for obtaining customers or leads? Let us know in the comments.