Marketing your business online is all about showing that you have something to offer your visitors that your competitors do not have. Marketing your small business online means reaching out to your current customers as well as prospective customers and setting yourself apart.
Successful small business Internet marketing is all about establishing relationships. Just as customers in your brick and mortar store have a chance to come in and get to know you, online customers need to be given the chance to learn more about what you do and to decide that they want to do business with you.
This is where the concept of your small biz online marketing funnel comes in. Your small biz online marketing funnel is a means by which you can – over time – find new customers and increase your small business sales.
Your small biz online marketing funnel is not unlike the local small business marketing that you undertook when you first opened your business in its physical location. First you needed to choose a location and to get that location ready. You ordered the supplies you needed. Then you started advertising. On opening day, it’s likely that you had a product giveaway – a keychain, a coffee mug or maybe even a t-shirt – as well as a coupon giveaway, something that would entice your customer to come back.
Your small biz online marketing funnel works in much the same way: you choose a domain name and build your website, or have your website built for you. You’ll get everything that you need in order – including a free or low-cost giveaway. And then you will begin marketing your small business online.
It is important to remember that your website is your virtual business. All of the Internet ads that you place will bring traffic to your page, so be sure to use the page wisely.
Use your homepage to tell prospective customers about your business – share your mission statement, share customer compliments. Use a page of your website to let your current and prospective customers know more about who you are and what you believe in. Focus both on your business and on establishing a relationship with your customer.
Drawing prospective customers in to your website brings them into the widest part of your small biz online marketing funnel; allowing them the opportunity to get to know you begins to draw them down into the funnel.
However, you do not want them to make it to the second level of the funnel and stay there, just as you do not want customers at your physical location to walk in and walk back out again. This is why you should plan – as part of your small business Internet marketing campaign – to draw them into the next smallest area of your small biz online marketing funnel.
You do not need to offer a physical giveaway. Instead, continue to build relationships with your site visitors by offering them something of value. Offer them free articles about products and services that your small business offers. Set up a newsletter that will allow you to communicate valuable information (as well as special offers) to them at specified intervals.
Doing so allows you to take an important step towards increasing sales: it allows you to establish a relationship. By consistently providing your subscribers with information or coupons that are valuable to them, they will begin to recognize you and your company as a company that they want to do business with, and they will look forward to hearing from you.
You will be able to encourage them to do business with you by promoting low-cost front-end products. Now, rather than a free article that gives your prospective customers a little bit of information, turn them into your new customers by offering low-cost products. Low-cost front-end products such as e-books that provide useful information about important topics within your industry – and further establish your credibility and the customers’ trust – will help to draw those customers down to the smallest level of your small biz online marketing funnel.
For instance, let’s say you own and operate a local floral shop. A perfect low-cost front-end information product that you could offer to your customers to draw them further into your sales funnel would be an e-book with planting tips for growing flowers in your local area. Customers who purchase your low-cost e-book will find value in the information, increasing the likelihood that they will purchase additional, higher priced products from you as well.
The last level of your small biz online marketing funnel is the place that you want your new customers to be: it’s the stage where your free and low-cost front-end items, along with your newsletters and other marketing, will increase sales of your high-cost, back-end products and services.
This is the goal of your small business Internet marketing: to find prospective customers, establish a relationship and increase sales. To recap, your small biz online marketing funnel works like this:
o Build and Market Your Website to Draw in Prospective Customers
o Engage the Prospective Customer
o Establish Trust with a Giveaway
o Establish a relationship using a newsletter and special offers
o Encourage small, low-cost front-end sales
o Make the big-ticket sales of your products and services
Through this process, and by continuing to market your site to new prospective customers, you will find that the small biz online marketing funnel is a technique that allows you to consistently and reliably get new customers and increase sales for your small business.