When you’ve created a new product or service, the last thing you want is for all of that hard work to go to waste because your marketing fizzled. Luckily, it’s been no problem lately getting people onto the best place to see what you have to offer – online. Never before has it ever been easier than now for virtual businesses to market themselves and their services online.
To find the best strategy for you depends on both your business and your customers. You need to consider what their buying habits are to create a plan of action that aligns with your brand identity. Above all, your promotional efforts must be cohesive in order to stand out in this crowded marketplace.
11 ways you can promote your product or service
1. Social Media
When it comes to online marketing, you can’t avoid social media. There are, however, various ways you can utilise social media to improve engagement and drive traffic to your website. Once you get into the routine of regularly posting high-quality media across different platforms, customers can share your content to their own profiles which expands your reach.. Your comment section can be a space for customers to ask questions and leave feedback, becoming a resource in itself.
Social media at its best is a community for your customers where you can showcase your brand personality. You can develop a direct relationship through DMs on Instagram, and connect with industry professionals to build your network on sites like LinkedIn. There are additional ways to improve your engagement, such as using custom hashtags or holding contests. Ultimately, you want to consistently redirect visitors to your website to encourage them to buy your product or service.
2. Email Campaigns
We all use email on a daily basis, which makes it the perfect place to target your potential customers. When creating an email campaign you want to utilise eye-catching images and actionable content to encourage people to read your message and head to your website. There are small but impactful ways to increase open rates, from highlighting offers in the subject line, creating clickabout preview text to using preheader text and personalisation. In the email itself, you want to focus more on the solution your product or service solves than the actual features, make the copy all about your reader. To help get them to your site, add a final call to action to your email signature.
For more tips on growing your email list, check out this article.
Blog posts are a fantastic way to increase engagement, you’re providing your customers with a helpful resource. Like your email campaign, your blogs talks about the solution, it educates and adds value. The call to action would be to go to your landing page where you can talk about the details and benefits you’re offering.
Expand your blog to include other content that meets your client’s needs, writing posts answering their frequently asked questions. You can build your audience by connecting with other experts in your industry by leaving comments and writing guest posts.
4. Website Optimisation
Ensuring your website optimised for the best possible user experience begins with making sure the site is both easy to use and engaging, by using eye-catching visuals with white space and punchy copy. Your visitors shouldn’t be confused when trying to find the information they need, otherwise, they will leave without taking action.
In our website audit product we look at your site’s:
5. Paid Ads
Paid promotion ensures your content reaches the right audience at the right time by essentially making it visible in their newsfeeds. It’s also a great way of testing that content to make sure it’s resonating with your target audience. It also allows for scale and reach once you’ve tested and refined your ads to get the best return on your investment.
Depending on your audience and budget, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn are the most popular platforms, all offering various options for targeting and placement.
If you’re a beginner to ads, in order to get the very best results we recommend outsourcing to an expert. Options include marketing agencies, virtual assistants, or freelancers specialising in ads found on outsourcing sites.
6. Google My Business
Google My Business is a wonderful promotional tool for online businesses. Businesses with a physical location often use it as a NAP source (name, address, phone number) for customers to easily access this important information, as it will also list your address on Google Maps and Search. You can publish posts (and promote them) to advertise limited offers and new releases.
Consider too offering your new product or service at a discounted price in exchange for Google reviews which is one of the best ways to increase visibility in rankings. See tip 11 below.
7. Virtual Events
Ordinarily, hosting an event is a great way for businesses to make personal connections with their customer base, but with Covid, this strategy has been almost entirely moved online. While in-person events can still be an option for some, online makes the most sense (especially for businesses with an established digital presence). From virtual parties and webinars to product previews, demos or Q&As, you can utilise Zoom or Facebook/Instagram Live to host an event that brings people together to bond over your products or services.
Record your event to use as social media and website content, educational resources and email campaigns in the future.
8. Joint Ventures
Joint ventures are a smart way of expanding your audience by connecting with other businesses in your industry for mutual benefit. By partnering with non-competing but compatible businesses, you can unite your customer bases that may have similar interests and needs. These ventures can be anything from blog collaborations or newsletters to social media contests or even events, but growing a sustainable working relationship is a great way to cross-promote for an ongoing strategy.
9. Exclusive Offers
Exclusive offers are the best way to reward and incentivise your customers to return to your business, building a relationship of trust in the process. You can target different groups with specialised offers, from your regular customers to first-time shoppers or those on your mailing list. You can offer previews, deals (e.g. free shipping/bundles), discounts (e.g. 10% off your first order), free gifts with purchases, exclusive content and more. When you are promoting these, you want to emphasise the time limits (scarcity) so that people are aware of the window they have, which will motivate them to act.
10. Complimentary Upgrades
Another way to reward your loyal customers is by offering complimentary upgrades for your new product or service. If your business offers services, complimentary upgrades improve their experience at a lowered cost. These offers should be time-sensitive, running for the duration of your launch, as this will bring customers in while the excitement is high. By rewarding your returning customers, they will appreciate your efforts and spread positive feedback about your business, promoting you through word of mouth.
11. Sharing Customer Reviews
Sharing customer reviews is another great way of utilising organic word of mouth promotion. A 2019 study shows that 54% of people visit a company’s website after reading positive reviews, and the vast majority trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations. By taking advantage of this user-generated content, you can take positive reviews from social media or your emails to build trust and credibility.
Reviews can be placed on Facebook, Google, shared on social media and your website. Ask your customers for reviews by way of automation within your processes, personal emails, customer satisfaction surveys.
Importantly, when you are looking for reviews, if you notice bad reviews you have to address these just as much as the positive ones. It’s hugely valuable to listen to the complaint, investigate the validity of the problem, and consider if there is a way it can be fixed. Doing simple actions like apologising and offering discounts while you try to get to the root of the issue shows your customer that you care, turning a bad situation into an opportunity.
With the right action, you can turn this into a win-win situation where an unhappy customer is so pleased by your top-notch service that they return to your business in the future.
More ways to promote your services online:
- Press mentions
- Influencer marketing
- Pre-order promotions
- Loyalty programmes
- Promote your products on Pinterest
- Free samples
- Facebook Live
- Text your list
Growing your business online is something well within your reach. Using any of these as part of your strategy can help this process be both more effective and cost-efficient.
And if you’ll still in the setup phase of your E-Commerce site and need a hand so you can go live sooner rather than later, check out our E-Commerce Setup “done for you” product. We do all the hard lifting so you can get to market on your timeline!