Let’s say you’re a newbie to the world of money online and are looking for online marketing.
Online marketing moves at the speed of sunshine. To keep up, you’d sort of a powerful foundation with the judgment to suppose critically, act severally, and be relentlessly inventive. With the fulgent wealth of data accessible for brand new business homeowners, knowing the way to pay your restricted funds will be to a small degree discouraging.
Here could be a five-step list to assist get you started and guide you toward success.
#1. Spend time getting feedback on what you’re selling before launching.
Don’t rely on affirmation from friends and family to validate that you have a unique and salable product or service. Chances are, these people are emotionally attached to you, and they’re more likely to think every idea you share is the greatest thing since Nutella. Getting feedback from people who are emotionally attached to you is a “disaster from the start,” says Adam Callinan, founder of BottleKeeper.
Get market validation from potential customers who aren’t in your social circle. Some entrepreneurs use the “will they pull out their wallet” test before investing money in a business. Callinan, who’d come up with a prototype for an individual beer bottle cooler, ran a crowdfunding campaign on Fundable to gauge pre-orders for his product. His campaign raised nearly $14,000, 280 percent of his $5,000 goal.
Besides Fundable, there are a number of crowdfunding platforms to choose from including Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Rockethub.
Other ways to get people’s feedback, says Sujan Patel, vice-president of Marketing at When I Work, is using customer insight survey tools, such as Qualaroo and Client Heartbeat. If you’re just starting out, surveys are a chance to find out what the customer is hoping the product/service will solve or do for him or her. If you’re already in business, surveys can ask how the customer found out about the product or service, whether the customer is willing to be a return customer and why.
#2. Site is a primary key.
Having a website builds your brand’s digital footprint. Keep your site simple and copy-driven with opportunities for email captures on every page. Three easy steps to having your own website to sell products without spending a lot of cash are:
- Select a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, which is popular for its user friendliness and is free.
- Register a domain name and subscribe to a hosting service, such as GoDaddy or Bluehost.
- Customize your CMS with ecommerce-enabling plugins and themes. WooCommerce offers free ecommerce themes for WordPress, such as Storefront. Also, WP eCommerce and MarketPress are additional free ecommerce plugin options.
- Or for anyone setting up an e-commerce site, both Shopify and Squarespace are easy e-commerce platforms that allow you to build an e-commerce site yourself.
3. Know your competition and customers.
Your customers, prospects, and partners are the lifeblood of of your business. You need to build your marketing strategy around them. Step 1 of marketing is understanding what your customers want, which can be challenging when you’re dealing with such a diverse audience. This chapter will walk you through (1) the process of building personal connections at scale and (2) crafting customer value propositions that funnel back to ROI for your company.
Study up on both competitor and complementary brands (i.e. if you are selling a fire alarm, then look for “house safety” websites). Widmer says your customers will be hanging out on websites for both competitor and complementary brands. He recommends using search tools such as SimilarWeb and Google’s related-search results (located at the bottom of every Google search) to see what sites your prospective customer may be visiting.
4. Create an action plan for sales and marketing.
It’s hard to believe that the Internet is now multiple decades old. Affiliate marketing has been around since the earliest days of online marketing. It’s a great solution for businesses that are risk-averse or don’t have the budget to spend on upfront marketing costs. Use affiliate marketing to build a new revenue stream for your ecommerce or B2B business.
5. Do as much yourself as you can.
The DIY mentality will usually save you money if your budget is limited. Also, it allows you to control the process and brand, explains Callinan, who built his ecommerce site from scratch by talking to others who’d already done ecommerce sites successfully. Don’t farm out jobs you can do yourself, especially in the beginning.
If you need on-demand expertise from entrepreneurs with a track record, try Clarity, says Widmer. The service allows the user to get specific, consultant-level advice for a fee.
All startups are a gamble — but as Patel advises, whose company will hit $10 million in revenue this year, “Hone in on where your strengths are and double down.”