You’ve made an amazing product or service. You’re proud of your website. You brace yourself for customers and…
Unfortunately, being an eCommerce business owner means you also need to be a digital marketer (as well as a ton of other things).
In this short post, we’ll take a look at 20 proven, tactical ways to attract more customers to your online store.
Let’s get started!
20 Ways to Attract More Customers to Your Business
1: Leverage SEO best practices to rank highly in Google
SEO still remains one of the best ways to generate buzz for any online business. It takes a while to kick in (often 3-6 months), but optimizing your website according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and creating great content will always be one of the best ways to attract customers.
For more info on how to get started, check out Moz’s excellent beginner’s guide to SEO.
2: Offer incentives for new customers
Oftentimes, that first sale is the hardest. By offering incentives for new customers (like discounts, coupons, or anything else that’s relevant to your business), you can break down barriers and win over more hesitant buyers.
3: Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices
In 2020, mobile usage surpassed desktop usage – making it essential that all online businesses have a well-optimized mobile website. This includes making sure your checkout process is quick, easy, and loads fast on all devices.
4: Utilize retargeting ads
Retargeting (or remarketing) allows you to show targeted ads to people who have already interacted with your business in some way (for example, visited your website or clicked on an ad). This is a great way to stay top-of-mind and encourage repeat purchases.
Check out Hubspot’s guide on how to set up a remarketing campaign. It’s not nearly as hard as you might think.
5: Platform user-generated content (UGC)
UGC refers to any content that’s generated by your customers. This could be anything from product photos to reviews, and it can add a lot of credibility and authenticity to your brand.
It also saves you the trouble of actually creating the content by “outsourcing” that to your customers. It’s a win-win situation and an awesome digital marketing trend to capitalize on.
Check out Yotpo’s beginner’s guide on UGC to get started.
6: Make sure you’re listed in all relevant industry citation websites
Citation websites are those that list business information like addresses, phone numbers, and websites – think Yellow Pages or Yelp.
Making sure your business is listed in all relevant citation websites is a great way to attract more customers. It also helps build credibility for your brand as it increases the chance of people seeing you in multiple places online.
Lastly, it helps with SEO since each of these citations technically counts as a nofollow backlink (vote of confidence) back to your site.
7: Run giveaways and contests
People love free stuff – so why not run a giveaway or contest? This is an awesome way to attract more customers, as well as reward your existing ones. It also helps create a bit of buzz around your brand, which is never a bad thing.
8: Leverage email marketing
Email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool. By building up your customer list and emailing them regularly (with relevant offers, discounts, or any other type of content that’s useful to them), you can keep people engaged with your business and attract more customers over time.
Moreover, setting up a nurture campaign that “drips” out emails over time is a great way to stay top-of-mind and encourage purchases from prospects who are still on the fence.
9: Create demonstration videos
Whether you’re selling soap or software, users are more likely to purchase when they can see your product in context and imagine themselves using it.
Creating demonstration or tutorial videos is a great way to do this. You can also use them in email campaigns, on social media, or even on your website.
And the best part is that you don’t fancy high-quality camera equipment to do this. Many brands use user-generated content as their demonstration videos, effectively letting their customers do the work for them.
10: Leverage influencer marketing
Influencer marketing involves working with relevant industry figures (who have an engaged following) and having them promote your business to their followers.
This is an incredibly effective way to reach more people and increase your brand awareness. And, if you play your cards right, it can also be surprisingly affordable.
Check out this beginner’s guide to influencer marketing by Blogging Wizard.
11: Invest in paid search ads
Paid search ads can be a great way to drive more traffic to your website. These campaigns are relatively easy to set up and manage, and you only pay when someone actually clicks on one of your ads.
Google Ads is the most popular paid search platform, but there are other options available as well, such as Bing Ads or Yahoo Search Ads.
For more information on setting up a paid search campaign, check out Google’s beginner’s guide for advertisers.
12: Implement a referral or advocacy program
Referral programs are a great way to attract more customers. By offering existing customers an incentive (like discounts or freebies) if they refer someone to your business, you can encourage them to spread the word and bring in more people.
You can also offer referral rewards for sharing content on social media, writing reviews, or even just visiting your store.
Advocacy programs are similar, but instead of offering incentives for referrals, you focus on rewarding customers for being brand ambassadors and actively promoting your business via their own channels.
It’s an effective way to increase customer loyalty, as well as attract more people to your door.
13: Start a podcast
If you’re the type of person that can talk for hours about your niche or industry (especially with other experts), why not monetize those conversations?
Starting a podcast is an awesome way to build your authority and reputation while also connecting with potential customers in a meaningful way.
14: Engage in existing online communities
Tap into online communities like Reddit, Quora, and Facebook Groups. This is a great way to get your brand in front of a new audience, answer questions related to your products or services, and build relationships with potential customers.
If done properly, this can be an incredibly effective way to increase brand awareness and drive more sales.
15: Leverage the power of storytelling
Storytelling is a great way to engage your audience and build emotional connections with them. Create stories around your products or services that bring out their unique features and benefits, as well as the sense of purpose and values behind your business.
This is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition and make sure that your customers remember you.
A tried-and-true copywriting principle is to leverage the Hero’s Journey framework. This is a storytelling structure that helps you engage your audience and make them the hero of their own story.
By using this framework, you can create stories that will draw people into your brand and help them remember you, as well as position your product as the solution to whatever pain points they’re experiencing.
16: Participate In networking events
A firm handshake and eye contact is worth 1,000 cold emails. Yes, even for you introverts reading.
Networking events are a great way to build relationships with potential customers and partners. Not only do you get to meet new people face-to-face, but it’s also an opportunity for you to promote your business and make sure that people remember who you are.
Try using Meetup.com to scout out relevant networking events in your area.
17: Set up a live chat system on your site
Thanks to the rapid evolution of AI technologies, intelligent chat bots have never been easier to implement on your site.
Live chat systems are a great way to provide immediate customer service and help customers get their questions answered quickly. They can also be used as a tool for collecting feedback and data from customers, which you can then use to improve your products or services.
There are many different types of chatbot solutions available, so shop around and find the best one for your needs.
18: Try Digital PR
Digital PR is an effective way to get your brand featured in relevant publications, websites and blogs.
It’s a great way to get exposure for your business, as well as build relationships with influential people in your industry. And you don’t have to have a large budget to do it — there are plenty of digital PR tactics that won’t break the bank.
For example, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a free service that emails you three times per day with reporters seeking quotes, testimonials, and statistics.
All you have to do is set up a simple email filter with your keywords, and relevant press inquiries will come to your inbox. From there, it’s a matter of quickly responding to these inquiries and taking advantage of these opportunities to get your brand featured.
Digital PR is a great way to create backlinks, build relationships with influencers in your industry, and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.
19: Publish case studies
Case studies are a great way to showcase your products or services in action and prove their value to potential customers. It’s also an effective way to boost credibility and trust, as they provide real-world examples of how customers have used your product or service to benefit their businesses.
If you’re struggling to find customers for case studies, consider offering them a discount on their next purchase in exchange for an interview or, even better, a video testimonial.
20: Start a YouTube channel
Which do you think is more difficult: spinning up a blog post or creating a well-editing, engaging YouTube video? Obviously, the latter, which is why despite being the largest video repository in the world, YouTube still has a ton of potential for businesses.
When the barrier to entry is higher, the competition will always be lower. If you’re comfortable talking in front of a camera, you should absolutely start a YouTube channel.
You can use it to create product walkthroughs, share customer stories, or even just offer helpful industry advice.
YouTube is also a great way to drive traffic and build relationships with influencers in your industry.
As you can see, there are many different marketing strategies out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
The key is to find the strategies that make sense for your business, experiment with them, and track the results. That way, you’ll know what works — and what doesn’t — so you can focus your time and energy on the strategies that pay off.