How do you develop a profitable online presence? There are lots of ways of creating a brand identity, but some of them are more suited to small businesses than others. We, for example, can afford to buy a multi-million dollar Super Bowl Ad. However, there is one secret to any successful internet business that is the same regardless of the niche: traffic and conversion. If you have these two elements, you will make money.
To get traffic, there are plenty of strategies. You can use search engine optimization. You can do email marketing. You can do pay per click or pay per impression. You can even advertise on specific websites.
If you have a small budget, you may want to start out with the free methods (search engine optimization and email marketing) and only start advertising once you are making money.
However, if your site doesn’t convert your visitors to sales, even a million visitors a day isn’t going to do you any good. How do you increase your conversions? Here are four simple strategies:
1) Avoid image advertising
Image ads are what come to mind when most people think of “online brand building.” However, this form of advertising is often not very effective.
Why? It’s because there is no call to action. In other words, there is no reason for the prospect viewing the advertisement to buy. Almost every TV commercial is an image ad.
Generally these companies are just trying to “get their name out there” and build brand awareness. If you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend without expecting any real return on investment, not to mention years to wait, this might work.
However, assuming you have a limited amount of time and money, and want instant results, you should include a call to action.
2) Tell the benefits of using your product
People aren’t interested in your business; they want to know what you can do for them. You need to have your benefits clearly outlined, preferably right at the beginning of your website or email to grab their attention. Obvious examples that help in creating a brand identity are attention-getting headlines (or subject lines in emails). But remember, you're not writing click-bait designed to get customer attention at any cost. You're using marketing tools to help share your brand's story in a way that attracts your target market.
One mistake people make in their promotions is talk focus on features. They might write about how their candles use all natural scents and waxes and burn three times longer than the competitors. But that's not what people want to know. What are the benefits of these candles? Instead, write about the advantage customers will gain from the product or service you're offering. What problem in your customer's life does your product solve?
3) Discover your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
Make sure it’s clear what you can do for your prospects that no one else can. If you are just a “me too” site, you probably aren’t going to do as well as if you have a unique approach.
For example, you might own one of a dozen lawn care companies in your local area. But if you also remove yard debris and install Christmas lights, your USP might be that you take care of your customers all year long. (Whereas, the other companies only provide their services while the grass is growing.)
But you can't just make this up out of thin air. You have to do your research. And the best place to find the information is contain in this advice: “Too often, entrepreneurs fall in love with their product or service and forget that it is the customer's needs, not their own, that they must satisfy.” Ask your customers what they love about your product or service. And if you don't have a lot of customers yet, go check out your competitors.
4) Create a strong back end
This is one of the most important elements of creating a brand identity for any successful business. You can make money on the front end, but it’s usually much easier and more profitable to keep selling to an existing customer than to generate a new one. How can you keep your existing customers returning?
Some examples include:
- Stay in touch with your customers through email to remind them that they need your product or service.
- Create a membership or subscription with an annual or monthly payment in exchange for ongoing services or access to products.
- Create higher-end, value added products or services that your customers can upgrade to.
5. Keep your messages consistent
Keeping your branding consistent is important because it builds trust with your customers. Branding consistency starts with your images, such as your logo, colors, packaging, and continues through the expectations in your products and services.
For example, if you use different logos and colors in your social media, website, and other methods of communication, your customers will be confused. Establish brand guidelines that govern which visual assets are available for use and which colors and fonts should be used.
More importantly though, your story and customer experiences should be consistently communicating your mission, values and vision in a way that attracts your target market. A company that has done this on a phenomenal level across the globe is McDonald's. Like them or not, you know exactly what to expect when you walk into a McDonald's any where in the world.
Remember, the key to making money is traffic plus conversion. You have to generate the leads and then convert them to customers. If you'd like to learn more about how to do this, join our mailing list below.
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