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How to Make Your First Sale Online
2016-11-17
How to Make Your First Sale Online

So you havemade a great product. Now it’s time to sell it. If you are a first time onlineentrepreneur, you will know that there’s a big discrepancy betweenmanufacturing and sales. No matter how good your product is, no one will buy itunless you convince them to. Marketing is the art of convincing people to buyyour products. Marketing has come a long way since its inception. Modernbusinesses are increasingly becoming reliant on digital marketing to sellproducts.

This articlewill examine the many effective marketing tactics that you can use to sell yourproduct online. 

Before Marketing

Gather Data

First of all, you must collect data. Gatherinformation about web traffic generated by each type of marketing tactic thatyou have used. This data will show you which methods work, and which are only awaste of money. Analyse the gathered data to determine the most effectivemarketing channels for your business. Then, invest more in these channels toattract more customers and increase your year-end profit margin.


Know Your Customer Base 


Why

Before you start selling, you should knowyour customers. Obviously, not everyone online would want to buy your product.So, narrow down your customer base. For example, you can determine if you wantto sell your product to an international audience, or an exclusively Sri Lankanaudience. The location of your customers greatly matters when it comes toadvertising the product.

Statistics

Then, try to determine the demographics ofyour target customer base. Would women be more inclined than men to buy yourproducts? Is your product ideal for young people or older consumers? If you areselling your product online, you can be confident that your target customerbase will be younger than 40. In Sri Lanka, internet access is limited to the upperrungs of the working class. Therefore, you can safely say that much of yourtarget customer base will be web-savvy, young professionals.

How

Big companiesuse surveys and market research to identify the target customer base. Becauseyou are still a new company, you won’t be able to research your audience rightaway. Therefore, depend on generic statistics to know who you are selling to.Once you know the location and demographics of your target audience, you willbe able to make educated guesses regarding your customers’ buying habits,preferences, and behaviours. This information is paramount to making youradvertisements and marketing efforts effective and relatable to the customer.  


Plan a Marketing Strategy


Why

Once you havea good idea who your target audience will be, it’s time to design a marketingstrategy. A marketing strategy is simply a comprehensive plan to attractcustomers using convincing advertisements. Because your company is online, youwill need a good digital marketing strategy. Advertisements for your product publishedin the Daily News will not reach thetarget audience.

Example

When it comesto digital marketing, there are a number of channels that you can use to youradvantage. Channels are advertising platforms. The Daily News is an example of an advertising channel, albeit an ill-suitedone for an online company. Likewise, digital marketing will use advertisingchannels like Facebook and Google.

How

Generallyspeaking, there are four main aspects of a digital marketing campaign: socialmedia, search engines, content, and outreach. You can do online researchregarding the specifics of devising a good marketing strategy. You can also contact WEBXPAY forprofessional advice.

Social mediais possibly the most powerful advertising platform available to digitalmarketers today. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram giveadvertisers unprecedented access and insight into potential customers.Therefore, social media will be one of the key driving forces behind yourbusiness sales.


Facebook

You are mostlikely familiar with how to use platforms like Facebook. Using Facebook foryour business is slightly different from using it for personal needs. The Facebookprofiles you create for your products will be the face of your company. Theyhave to be relatable and interesting, and look good enough to attract potentialcustomers.

Facebook isnecessary for basically all B2C businesses. After that, you may also benefitfrom Twitter. There are also other social media sites, like Tumblr, that maybenefit your business. Identify what the best social media sites are for yourbusiness and create profiles on them.

You shouldupdate all your Facebook profiles on a regular basis. You need to engage with yourcustomers just like with any other friend or follower. You should also makeyour posts interesting and relevant to attract profile likes and shares. Youcan buy likes and shares to temporarily boost your reputation. However, in thelong run, your organic likes and shares must increase. The best way to attractyour first batch of Facebook page likes is to get your friends, family, andcolleagues to like the page. Ask all your employees to like all the companysocial media profiles, and stay active.

You can initiatea brand awareness campaign on Facebook to attract fans. Join groups that mightrelate to your business. For example, if you sell paintings online, you canjoin an artworks enthusiasts group to market to people who are alreadyinterested. You should also plan to launch Facebook campaigns to create brandawareness. These are not easy. But, you can start with a free giveaway. Freestuff usually attracts customers in droves. Use the tools provided by Facebookto gather statistics, such as the median age of your fans.


Instagram


Somebusinesses may benefit from Instagram, which is rising in popularity in SriLanka. Big names in local business like Keells, Cargills, and Unilever now useInstagram. This platform is excellent for businesses to share product images.

Remember thatyou cannot sell products directly on social media. This platform is best usedto create brand awareness and engage with customers to retain them. Socialmedia is also the best place to announce promotions and deals to generate interestin your product. However, avoid directly pitching products on social mediasites like Instagram.


LinkedIn


Customerswant to buy products from businesses that they can trust. Therefore, you mustaim to make your website and company credible and trustworthy to customers.Your professional network, including your work friends and colleagues, may beable to help you in this regard. Use a social media site like LinkedIn toidentify important work contacts. Reach out to these people and connect with themonline. Once you have built a credible professional network online, yourreputation as an entrepreneur will improve. Along with it, the reputation ofyour business will improve as well.

In addition,your professional contacts will be able to give you tips and tricks formarketing well. They might even be willing to showcase your product or mentionyour business name on one of their sites as well. Cross references like thiscan boost your company’s traffic stats and brand recognition.


Google Marketing


If you want to pitch your products directlyto your customers, then the best platform is a search engine. Here, searchengine marketing largely refers to Google ads. There are other search engineslike Bing, but they are less frequently used. Your focus right now should bemainly on Google ads.

Google ads appear among Google searchresults as “sponsored” content. You can also buy Google ads to post on othersites like blogs. However, the most effective Google ads are the ones thatappear at the top of organic search results. As a new company, you will notrank high on Google search results. Therefore, the best way to get attention isto buy an ad that will attract the attention of a web user almost instantly.

Google Adwords is currently the mostimportant advertising platform in the world. Google will give your companyaccess to billions of users. However, Google ad campaigns will only beeffective if you know how to get your paid search advertisement to the rightkind of user. There’s little point in throwing a hook into the pond and hopingthat a fish would catch it. You need to bait the fish. In the paid search advertisingworld, SEO is the bait that lures the right kind of customer to your website.

SEO stands for search engine optimisation.It employs tools like keywords to make content more relevant to a search query.For example, say you sell flowers online. If people search a lot for onlineflower sellers, you can use that phrase as a keyword in your ad. Google will beable to instantly connect you to people who search for flowers online. You canmake your keywords even more specific by including a location, like Colombo,and targeting trending keywords.

Advertising on Google really is an art. Itwill take some time for you to master Google Adwords. Meanwhile, you can usethe guides and analytics provided by Google to perfect the ads you publish. Ingeneral, the text on your ads should be concise and specific to attract users.Keywords should be used in the title and the body of the text. Include a relevantlink back to your site or a product page. Use action verbs like “buy now” toprompt users to click.

Once an ad is online, you can use GoogleAnalytics tools to see how many users click on your ad and visit your website.If the number is too low, you should try to determine what is wrong. You couldbe using the wrong keyword. If the traffic directed to your website by an ad ishigh, keep doing what you initially did. 


Content Marketing


Posting on Facebook is not enough to getpeople to buy your products. You must also market it online in an indirectmanner to build trust with customers. Content marketing is the term given toblog posts, articles, videos, and infographics posted online that create brandawareness for your products.

Content marketing pushes products tocustomers subtly. Customers do not necessarily realise that they are consumingadvertising material when they, for example, read a blog post. You can alsopublish sponsored content on popular and credible websites to attract newcustomers. Sponsored content is like the television advertorials of the past.They generate interest by providing customers with detailed informationregarding a product.

The content you post online should beunique and interesting. It should be well written, factual, and free ofspelling or grammatical errors. You should incorporate SEO tactics into contentas well to boost search rankings. Try to make content visually appealing withattractive graphics and videos. Post your content on popular and trustworthywebsites to benefit from the high traffic numbers these sites enjoy. When youare posting a sponsored blog post or an article, you can add a ‘shop now’button at the end to provide a direct link to the product.


Email Marketing


In addition to the above mentioned marketing methods, there’s one marketingtactic that can provide immediate sales for your business: email marketing.Email is considered an outreach marketing tactic. It means that email candirectly connect your business to a customer. If you can get your productstraight into the inbox of a potential customer, he or she is most likely toclick on the link and make a purchase. Email marketing is considered to be moreeffective in this manner.

From day one at your business, you muststart building an email list. Gather email addresses of customers who havealready bought from you, because these are the people who are most likely tobuy from you in the future. Develop an email marketing campaign, and regularlykeep in touch with customers by sending out emails about promotions, specialnews, and holiday greetings.

Once you aggressively begin marketing yourproducts using the above mentioned methods, it’s only a matter of time beforecustomers flock to your website. Your marketing campaign does not stop afteryou make your first sale. You must research new ways to market your product andboost sales numbers.