Ten Ways to Attract New Customers Online: Part Two

Mar 19, 2014
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Ten Ways to Attract New Customers Online: Part Two
In our previous post, we asked this question:
How long do you have to grab & hold the attention of a potential customer visiting your website?
Answer: 
You have 5-10 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention… but sometimes less! That’s why it’s critical to present your absolute best front with your website. If you have flash but no substance, or lots of “cool” stuff but the website takes 3 minutes to load, guess where that visitor’s business is going? That’s right—to the next guy, whose website is user-friendly and efficient.
Did you get it?
Now for this post’s question!
How many active users does the social media giant Facebook currently have?
We’ll reveal the answer next time!
In Part One of this series on attracting new customers via online marketing, we looked at a few key things businesses need to do in order to reach potential consumers in a competitive digital age. For example, we advised business owners to stay available to their customers; to understand their market through data tracking; and to make sure that their main website is user-friendly.
This isn’t all to say that traditional marketing should be abandoned completely—it still has its place for some types of businesses and some target markets—but in the same way that online marketing used to be the “alternate” way to attract new customers, traditional marketing has now become the “alternate!”
Let’s continue looking at the various methods businesses can use to attract new people to their products and services via the internet.
4) Serve Your Mobile Visitors.
During last month’s discussion, we suggested that an online presence is more important than ever in 2014, especially considering how widespread the adoption of smartphones has been in the past five years. These days, there are many potential customers out there who use their smartphones as a primary access point for shopping, banking, researching purchases, and so forth.
And because you’ve been tracking where each lead to your website comes from—right?—you probably know how much of your website’s traffic is coming from mobile visitors. According to Lifeline Design, if you have more than 10-15% of your website traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s time to get moving on a mobile optimized version of the site.
If your website, for example, isn’t mobile-friendly, those visitors to the site won’t be able to read your content or see your products & services. They’ll give up and move on to the next option, and guess who’s going to get their business in the end?
And if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ve just left a bad taste in someone’s mouth—or worse, you’ve become forgettable. Don’t encourage potential customers to choose someone else! Provide a mobile-friendly, secure website that allows them to do what they need to do to become your customer.
Yes, this means that the mobile site won’t have all the same content as your main website—it’s just not possible to do that without overwhelming someone who’s using a small screen—but providing the basic necessities to attract and keep a visitor goes a long way to increasing your online presence in a positive way.
And if you have less than 10-15% of online traffic from mobile browsers? Hold off on spending that cash for now. If it’s not useful to your business, spend your finances and time in another way that will be more effective at attracting new customers.
5) Don’t Overextend Yourself & Your Business!  
Email marketing. SEO. Social media. Blogging. Webinars.
Does your head hurt yet? There are so many ways to promote your business online that it can be difficult to know where to start… and more importantly, where to stop! All too often, businesses believe that “online marketing” means jumping in feet first and tackling as much of what’s available to them as they can.
Unfortunately, this often results in an online marketing campaign that’s spread far too thin. If you try to tackle everything all at once, inevitably something is going to get left behind—whether that’s your Twitter page, your newsletter, or even website updates. And guess what? Potential (and existing) customers will notice!
If a potential customer has a question and asks it on Facebook, only to wait weeks for a response, how does that make your business look? How do you think that comes across to a potential customer? By the time you’ve gotten back to them, they may very well have chosen to go with a competitor and established a loyalty to them.
If you can’t maintain all the facets of business promotion that you’re tackling, then back off until you’re ready to increase complexity. Begin with one promotional avenue—literally, one at a time!—and perfect it. Get it working like clockwork before expanding.  For example, want to try blogging? Great! Make sure you’re posting useful, relevant content on a regular basis and are responding to anyone’s comments and questions. Once you’ve got that down—no missed posts, constant updates, ongoing interaction—then move on to the next option.
Trying to do everything at once is a recipe for failure, unless you’re a huge organization with staff who are salaried for online promotions. Give yourself the best chance at success, and take it one step at a time.
It’s a lot to think about… but any business who wants to survive in today’s competitive marketplace should be looking toward online resources for attracting new customers. When we continue this series, we’ll look at several things businesses can do to stand out from the crowd that, while traditionally considered common sense, aren’t quite so common anymore.

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