Every day, there are 3.5 billion people logging onto the Internet. If you’re looking to increase sales, the Internet offers you an unlimited customer base. The opportunity to start from scratch and reach an engaged audience is exciting.
Time Magazine has an interesting calculator. The calculator estimates American consumers are spending $550,000 every minute online. Some of those sales can be yours if you can stand out and show customers why they should do business with your company.
Some companies have hurt their reputation with hype and empty promises. Here are five ways you can differentiate your company and build your audience and sales online.
1. Don’t exaggerate your accomplishments.
When you’re building, the temptation to exaggerate what you’ve accomplished can be strong. The truth always has a funny way of revealing itself. The worst thing you can do is tarnish your reputation.
Do good work for your customers and that will lead to word of mouth marketing. Create and sell products and services that deliver results. Stay away from the hype and you will build all the credentials you need. Don’t let the numbers blind you from what’s important.
2. Keep it simple and build your email list.
Your website is your home base. It’s the place you send leads, customers and potential partners to learn about your business. When it’s too confusing or not clear what you want consumers to do, you’ve lost them.
You’ve got 30 seconds to convince a new visitor to stay. Keep it simple and clean. Don’t try to wow leads with too many widgets and plug-ins. Let your content hook them. Websites like Zen Habits prove that leads are looking for content.
Make the sign up for your email list prominent. Offer a free digital download to entice and inform leads. Email is still the best way to convert leads into customers. Build a list of consumers who love what you offer. They will be your evangelists.
3. Spend more time on content.
Content is still King online. Despite the impressiveness of today’s modern websites and features, the content is what creates a buying decision. You should never “phone it in.” Your content needs to “wow” your audience and address their biggest problems.
Your content must be fresh, actionable, and created for your target audience. Use strategies to build your audience. The goal is to get leads back to your website to absorb your content.
4. Making connections versus being the expert.
Consumers are tired of “experts.” A buying decision is made when someone knows, likes, and trusts your company. That will never happen when you try to keep people at arms length because you want to be seen as an expert.
True experts don’t have to give themselves a title. People know who they are by the action they take and the results they get their customers. The reason successful companies rise to the top is because they don’t step on anyone on their way up.
5. Never get complacent with strategies.
If we’ve learned anything from the history of the SEO industry—and now social media—it’s that you can’t depend on any one strategy. Things change fast online. What worked yesterday can be ineffective tomorrow.
To build your online presence, you have to keep learning and testing. If you learn a new strategy, test it. Too many companies get their strategies by copying those at the top of their industry.
Copying will only get you so far but can never make you stand out. To convert more visitors to sales, you have to stand out and over-deliver.