I doubt I really have to preface this article by pointing out that there is no objective ‘best strategy’. This obviously comes down to things like your market audience, your niche, what you’re selling (product or service, physical or digital) and many more considerations. That being said, there are some consistently strong approaches you can take that are worth testing out to see what works best for you. So what are they?
Social media provides a strong platform with large audiences to go out and find new customers. Facebook and Instagram are generally the first options that pop into someone's head when considering this route, and for good reasons like their huge user base and their powerful targeting options, including learning algorithms that can do a lot of the hard stuff for you. That being said, you shouldn’t neglect other options such as Tik-Tok, SnapChat,Twitter, Reddit and the possibly potentially powerful Pinterest.
Content marketing is an absolutely awesome option for shop owners, especially if you are running a niche based store. By writing blog articles that appeal to your prospective customer base, you can bring them to your site, warm them up and use tracking tags to enable retargeting capabilities utilizing social media or display marketing.
Content marketing provides you something to share and attract interest using the other strategies mentioned in this article like social media marketing or SEO. Going straight for the sale and simply flashing products in front of people who have never heard of your brand isn’t always the best way to reel them in. Attracting their interest and building authority and brand recognition with content marketing allows you to build qualified audiences and ease them down your sales funnel.
Email marketing has long been considered an immensely cost effective way of retaining a customer base or easing people into the purchasing process. Of course, you have to get them to sign up first, but once you do, you have direct access to their inbox with the knowledge that they actually want to read what you have to write. You can use this channel to promote new products, advertise special offers or keep them at a nice temperature with content marketing, all for very cheap.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more effective at getting someone to buy from you than their trusted friend recommending you. A referral is by far the most powerful marketing option you have. Providing a kick ass product with a kick ass experience is obviously the first thing you should focus on, for a myriad of reasons. That’s a given. But how can you actively encourage it? A good start is to build an official referral program where people will get a unique link they can share with their friends to encourage them to become patrons of your business. The trick is to include an incentive for both the referrer and the referred. The referred side is pretty much always the same, either a discount on a purchase or a little something extra for using the link. As for the referrer, a commission for a purchase made with their link always goes down well. If it is a subscription model you are using then maybe consider giving them a discount on the service for every successful referral they make.
Nothing beats coming up first on a search engine results page. Even just being on the front page is a winning situation. This is by far the hardest and most time consuming of the strategies mentioned in this article, but can really pay off. Optimizing your site is the first step you want to take, but after that it’s all about content marketing. This works best for people selling to a niche. If you can answer your audience's questions and address their pain points with strong content that gets you to the top of relevant searches then you can easily be discovered by your prospective audience, build authority, warm them up and maybe even get them to sign up to your email list. This also gives you the opportunity to retarget them using advertising platforms with products, services or maybe even more articles to keep bringing them back for more.
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