Directing Online Sales And Marketing Flows

These are great tips from  Melanie Dowhaniuk

With online marketing becoming a larger part of every company’s marketing strategy, it is important that marketers and business safe_imageowners understand the marketing and sales flow of customers online.

The key to developing your strategy starts with modelling out how you will attract your target customers, drive them to your company’s website and keep them engaged in the sales process until they complete their purchase.

Build Traffic

It is integral in the first step to build up traffic. Think about how your customers might find you online.

The direct way is often through search engines, with the primary source today being Google. I use the term “Google it” on a daily basis and most of your customers will, too. There are various tactics you can employ to show up in a search on Google, including listing your business in the local business directory.

The next way to generate traffic is through paid advertisements on Google or other high traffic websites. Paid advertisements can include but aren’t limited to Google word ads or graphical banners that appear on websites in featured locations. The banners that are used to draw the visitor’s attention and entice them to click on the banner ultimately result in traffic to a specific website page. Using paid advertisements can be a costly exercise. However, if positioned on the right sites, they can drive qualified leads to your website or e-commerce site.

The last core way to find traffic sources are through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to name a few. These platforms create a social ecosystem that allows marketers and business owners to generate attention to their business pages and ultimately their products and services. There are many tactics you can use on each of these sites, from indirect to direct communications, paid advertisements and participation in discussions and themed groups.

Capture Leads

Once you have determined how you are going to source your traffic, you will need to engage those customers and start capturing the leads. Today, there are so many options to choose from, the relationship you build with a customer is imperative to your success to sell them your products or services.

In Business to Business relationships it’s important to provide content to your customers that they don’t have to pay for. This can include strategically planned blogs posted on your site or on partner sites, providing your customers with content rich emails on a regular basis, informative whitepapers that help your customers improve their day-to-day marketing efforts, or educational webinars that engage your audience to think differently. Each of these tactics can include your product or service as the underlying theme, but they also provide a basis and tools for your customers to be successful.

The important aspect of providing great content is ensuring you capture information about your leads. This can include name, email, business type, title, etc. With this data you can then learn more about who is using your content, how they found you and what content is perceived as most valuable to your target market.

Close The Sale

Now that you have established a relationship with your leads, you need to close the sale.

Depending on the product or service you are offering, you want to drive the leads back to a sales page, landing page or e-commerce site.

When developing a sales page, you need to ensure you include a clear call-to-action. This could be contact details for the lead to reach out to you directly by email or phone, or to click a button and request a quote. With a landing page, you want to ensure you have outlined a clearly defined conversion strategy. With an e-commerce site you need to make sure you visibly highlight any discounts or coupons that a potential customer may use to purchase from you.

No matter what you choose, it is important that the customer see value in what you’re providing. You don’t always have to reduce your price, but as long as the offer is clearly articulated, you will influence your leads to make their purchase.

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