Out of all the work I’ve done, helping small businesses learn how to navigate their way through the digital business world is absolutely the most gratifying thing I do. Seeing them transforming and growing their businesses, going from strength to strength as novice to an absolute rockstar in their sales/marketing campaigns is the best reward I can ever give to myself.
Over the years, I have learned so much, and today I’d like to impart the 8 most important lessons I learned about online sales and marketing to help you into 2015.
1. Business Growth 101, know your numbers!
This is simple, the businesses owners and marketers that know their number can grow anything as long as they keep moving upwards and being innovative of course.
It still shocks me as to how many business owners don’t actually know their most important business numbers. Leads x Conversion% = Customers, right?
Knowing your sales conversion rate online and off is one of the most important metrics to know in your business because you can increase revenue instantly without spending any extra money on advertising. If you don’t know your at LEAST your online conversion rate, check your Google Analytics, if you can’t see this contact us about a free Google Analytics Audit. You may not be setup and tracking properly.
Top numbers to know: Leads, CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), Conversion Rate, Cart or Transaction Abandonment Rate, Bounce Rate, AOV (Average Order Value) and Margin.
2. To thrive you must go Multi Channel
You’ve heard the saying don’t put all your eggs in one basket right? This is much the same as relying on one store, one advertising method…
So why am I telling you this? Because I want to emphasise the importance on having different traffic sources to sell your products, services or generate leads. In the digital business world we have so many ways to find our ideal customer and setup multiple store fronts for relatively a low cost cost.
Remember your multiple touch points when planning your sales and marketing strategy for next year. I have been heard saying many times, marketing campaigns are dead… Its about the customer journey. Be where they are, at the right time for your best chance of success.
3. Paying for Impressions, don’t do it!
Impressions are single occurrence your ad appears on a website. 1 set of eye balls on your ad = 1 impression. Marketing is a lot more sophisticated so we no longer have to rely on this old method of media buying.
The problem is, when paying for impressions not everyone who sees your ad is interested in your business. So when you pay for impressions, you’re actually paying for people who may not even click your ad and find out more about your proposed opportunity. In my experience this is a total waste of money and the value isn’t nearly as high as paying for clicks.
While there are still successful testimonials about “impression-based” advertising today, the numbers in my experience don’t stack up. When paying for clicks in a lot of cases your impressions are usually higher anyway!
Your primary concern should be on conversion, impressions aren’t a highly targeted way to drive leads and get value for money.
4. The importance of knowing your Cost Per Acquisition
One common mistake small businesses make is not knowing how much their Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is. CPA defines your marketing budget. You can almost have an infinite marketing budget if you know and stick to or lower your CPA.
I remember meeting a potential client a while back who wanted to know why her revenue wasn’t doing so well despite the increasing number of sales she had on her website. My first question was, “What’s your target CPA?” She stared at me with a blank face, and right there and then I knew what the problem was.
If you know the maximum amount you can afford to acquire a lead, and finding ways to capture them without going beyond your CPA, then you’ll sure to have higher revenue with the ability to market in a highly profitable manner.
5. SEO and PPC should work in harmony, it’s not a one or the other situation.
Let’s get to know the terms first… Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a process affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results; while Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising is a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.
It is important for business to invest in both, to gain optimum return. Even though you work really hard on your PPC strategies, without SEO, you won’t be seeing great results… vice versa. SEO can help you to build trust with your audience over a long period of time whilst PPC allows your maintain agile with you promotions strategy.
6. Email Marketing is KING of all marketing
I’ve said it before, and I stand by what I said with all confidence: Email Marketing is KING of all marketing.
According to a study conducted by Direct Marketing Association, Email Marketing can provide small and huge business up to 4,300% Return Of Investment (ROI). No other marketing strategy can do that. In fact, it can give you better results than any social media marketing (combined) can.
This is why it is very important to create and grow an email list. Here are some ways you can start building your email list today:
- Have a clear objective for all your emails
- Write an engaging pre-header text and body
- Spice up your subject line
- Use an attractive, neat, and responsive theme
- Include a compelling call to action button
- Create a landing page for your offers
- Study the right “timing” before sending your email
- Test! Test!
Read more about Email Marketing on our blog (Free Download included!) >> Top 8 Email Marketing Fundamentals You Must Know About
7. Follow the 3 E’s of Content
Remember the three E’s when creating content: Empower, Educate, Entertain. Whether you’re writing a photo caption for your social media content or researching for your next blog post, use the three E’s as a guideline, and I guarantee that you won’t fail.
By sharing content that follows the three E’s, you’re building a reputation for yourself. This is the best way to show that you are an industry leader and that you can always find ways to engage to the people that supports / follows you. You can also build trust and a relationship with them.
8. Be all about the BRAND
Be constant with your branding across all channels online and off. The goal should be to be a recognisable brand that people trust and buy from again and again.
The easiest way to maintain branding is to include your logo, business name, and general company hashtag in the social media updates you’re posting. By doing this, you’ll get more exposure when people like, comment, and most importantly share your posts. Remember this is the basic’s. This is so important yet so many just throw this to the wayside.
My learnings haven’t finished in Digital Business Development, but it’s something I would do over and over, if it means I’d get to see my students / clients rise up and be successful.
How about you? Are you interested in bringing your business online? What struggles are you currently having with your business? Let me know how I can help by leaving a comment below!