Most brands focus on followers and engagement metrics in this social selling era. But, of course, everyone wants that viral post, right? But how do you convert your readers into paying customers?
It’s true—you need to build your audience and engagement metrics.
More followers and engagement tells the algorithms that your content is valuable. Once that happens, your followers and potential customers are more likely to see your digital assets. But that’s only part of the story.
You also need sales. Selling your products and services is the only way to grow your business.
This article will discuss some challenges facing small business growth, with tips on converting your readers into paying customers.
Unless you’re operating in an extremely narrow niche, you have competition. And even if you think you don’t have competitors, you do.
This means you must get your message out in a crowded, competitive digital space.
Your competitors are in this space, too, vying for the same audience. But, standing out and capturing attention is challenging.
So, how do you do it?
Differentiate yourself with a strong value proposition.
Convert your readers into paying customers by clearly articulating why they should buy your service or product rather than a competitor’s.
Your value proposition should appear everywhere you are—on your website, marketing campaigns, social media profiles, and brochures.
Keep your value proposition simple but striking:
- Address your audience’s pain points (clearly define your target audience and understand their needs, concerns, and interests)
- Identify all the problems your products or services solve and tie them to your audience’s pain points
- Differentiate yourself as the preferred brand for this value: why should your customers choose you over others? (pricing, customer service, global shipping, personalization, social consciousness)
- Focus on the benefits and not just the features of your services or products. Emphasize how it will improve the lives of your target audience, solve their problems, and address their concerns.
Let’s say you’re a small jeweler. You have a thousand followers but want to convert your readers into paying customers. Your value proposition statement might focus on your
- unique designs
- quality of materials/endurance
- commitment to sustainability
- quick turn-around on orders/made to order
- perfect for gifts/adults/children
- free shipping
Perhaps you are a coach.
If you look online, there appear to be a gazillion coaches today. But, unlike a jewelry brand, which typically caters to a broad audience, you really want to drill down into your niche with your value proposition.
Identifying your target audience and understanding their pain points is critical to your ability to convert your readers into paying customers.
- What kind of coach are you?
- Who do you coach? Business executives, public speakers, medical professionals, startup founders, teachers, parents, adults, kids, fitness enthusiasts or sports professionals, nutritionists, etc.
- What is your experience? What makes you qualified to coach in this particular niche?
- What benefit will someone get by hiring you as a coach? First, focus on why it’s worth the investment. Then, tie your value proposition to their pain points.
Customer reviews are one of the best ways to cap off your value proposition. This is because your audience trusts what other consumers say more than what you say. Include quotes from your customers on your website copy. Ask your customers to generate content that you can share on your social channels (and they can share on theirs).
Building Brand Awareness
Creating a positive brand image and growing awareness are critical elements for converting your readers into customers. People need to know who you are before they will do business with you.
Unlike B2B brands, B2C companies cater to a much larger consumer audience. Still, everyone is not your customer.
- Share your brand vision, mission, and purpose.
- Create compelling copy that is unique and easy to remember.
- Be authentic and consistent. The most famous and enduring brands have a straightforward logo, tagline, and message quickly recognizable in a sea of competitors.
This is what you need to convert your followers into customers. It’s also what you need to retain your customers. Of course, new customer acquisition should still be a goal during these tough economic times. But repeat business is what will sustain you through the downtimes.
Shorter Attention Spans
Consumers have short attention spans. According to a study by Yahoo and OMD Worldwide, the average attention span of Gen Z is only 1.3 seconds. For the rest, most studies suggest 8 seconds.
In addition, online users face a constant bombardment of ads and information. So, you must capture your audience’s attention long enough to move them from “skimmers” to buyers.
Skimming-yes, most people, don’t read online content; they skim the headlines and look at the graphics.
Despite the studies and surveys, if you create compelling copy and digital assets, your target audience will take the time to consume them. Everything goes back to the beginning:
- identify your target audience
- understand their pain points
- speak to them on a personal and genuine level
- build relationships based on trust and consistency
- create engaging, authentic, valuable, and helpful content (storytelling and personalized marketing)
- optimize your value proposition
No one knows if we’re in a recession or still experiencing inflation. Policymakers don’t seem to know either, but they implement corrective action. Unfortunately, none of these appear to be trickling down to help consumers. But this doesn’t mean that your customers have stopped buying. They will still purchase your products or services if they feel they’re getting the best price.
Today, everyone is looking for a bargain.
What can you do?
Review the first paragraph regarding the value proposition and the benefits of your products or services. If you need to reduce your marketing budget (and you shouldn’t), protect this part of your strategy. Invest in optimizing your messaging regarding the value of your products or services.
Offer competitive prices, discounts, promotions, and frequent buyer incentives.
To protect your current customer base, offer referrals and other incentives that turn them into repeat customers and brand ambassadors.
Post-Purchase Satisfaction And Loyalty
One of the things about bargain shopping is that your customer may buy from you today but not tomorrow. Therefore, brand loyalty is not as critical as finding the best value for their money.
Building customer loyalty is crucial, more than customer acquisition.
Word-of-mouth marketing still reigns supreme.
Implement effective loyalty programs beyond special sales or coupons. For example, give your loyal customers gift cards they can use wherever they want. It demonstrates that you care about their anxiety about their financial situation.
Provide excellent customer service. Even if your prices are slightly higher, but you provide better customer service than your competitors, your customers will repeatedly return to purchase your products or services.
Ensure your website or social selling platform is easy to use, transparent, and honest.
Most consumer shopping is impulse buying. Your readers/followers see your social media post, get inspired, and head to your website to make a purchase.
If the copy is difficult to follow, there is friction between the pages, or the checkout process is laborious and confusing, your potential customer will go to a competitor.
Be sure the products or services you advertise on social media are the same as those you offer on your website.
A thousand followers are great if they’re also buyers. One hundred followers are great if they’re also buyers. So your follower counter may not grow your business. But your business will grow if you convert your readers into paying customers.
There is a lot of uncertainty in the world, especially financially. However, people are still shopping and buying. So naturally, you want them to buy from you.
- Differentiate yourself with a strong value proposition.
- Create a positive brand image.
- Be authentic, transparent, and consistent.
- Make sure your website provides a smooth user experience.
- Offer competitive prices, discounts, promotions, and loyalty rewards.
- Provide excellent customer service.
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