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Our Online Business Has A Website…What Now?

You put a lot of thought and planning into your website, from the graphic design elements to the eCommerce order management system you use, but now that you’ve built it, you may find that they’re not coming.

The website is just the first step to your online brand campaign — so you can’t rest just yet, your journey has barely begun. There are lots of ways to get your name in front of the customers you’re looking for, here are a few ideas:

Understand Your Market  There’s something that your customers have in common, be that a love for cats in party hats or a deep passion for the environment. Whatever their uniting thread, it’s what drives them to seek out and find the type of solution that you offer. Be sure you understand their needs, who they are and how to share the news that you’re saving the planet by cutting back on paper invoices or releasing a new line of cat-themed birthday cards.

Engage Customers with Content. Content is king on the Internet – it brings people to your website through search engines or social media clicks. While there’s no such thing as too much content, you have to make sure that its of a high quality. When you provide blog posts and videos that establish your authority as an expert in your field, your customers will look to you for answers again and again. Opening an online cheese shop?  Post twice weekly blogs on cheese-related themes, answer common questions and discuss cheese accessories. It will give search engines more reasons to classify your website as interesting to cheese lovers, and it will help you show your customers that you know your stuff.

Socialize with Your Audience. Customers love social media because it allows them to interact directly and in real-time with their favorite people and brands – but businesses need to tread carefully in these waters. If you intend to start a social media campaign, understand it’s all about engagement and not promotion. Find where your customers are hanging out, and then start to observe them. Understand what engages your customers, then build your community by posting and sharing engaging content (yours and others’).

eCommerce Emails. Email lists are an effective a way to notify customers of short-term promotions, new product lines and anything else you consider newsletter-worthy and interesting to your audience. Give your audience a place to opt in to your newsletter and consider an incentive (a coupon, special deal or exclusive information) to boost your opt ins. Then send out helpful information and promote your products on a regular basis. Just remember to offer value and not a sales pitch whenever possible.

Building a website is just the first step to success with your online business. The time you spent designing your site will be just a fraction of the time you’ll need to devote to promotions, but its well worth it. You may have to try a few different tactics to find the ones that work best for you — by adding content, having a social media presence and utilizing permission marketing, you’ll always have a stream of customers.

September 18, 2014
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