Despite the many ways to build your online business through advertising, you can also alter your pricing and offer more to existing customers. This is something many small business owner neglect. They only go after finding new customers, rather than leveraging what they already have, loyal customers who can grow your business if you offer them more.
People don’t buy only based on price either. Testing a new pricing structure can add profit to your bottom line in the long run. Yes you could lose customers, true. But if your profit goes up and most of them stay, you’ve already grown your business with a simple change.
You can also use your existing customers to grow your customer base by offering referral rewards. Give your existing customers motivation to bring in new customers for you by offering a discount or some kind of reward.
People will buy the same products for vastly different prices too. They might purchase the same jar of coffee from Harrods, for example, as they can get from ASDA for less than half the price. By aligning your branding and business with a premium image, you can charge more and customers will happily pay if you offer a good service.
This comes down to brand perception. If you are perceived as a market authority, people are more likely to buy from you anyway, because they perceive you as ‘the best’.
You can build you reputation in a number of ways. Branding, celebrity endorsement and marketing are just some simple strategies. First though, you need to build a loyal following. Once your customers like you, they are much more likely to continue to use you. If they trust you and know you offer a good service, they are likely to keep using you, despite small price increases.
If you look at the top brands of mobile phones, for example, you’ll see them rolling out price changes on a near constant basis. that’s because they know you’ll probably stick with them anyway, and for the few people they lose, they’ll make a huge profit for the ones who stay. Their future customers will accept their pricing immediately anyway, as they build their business.
So, if you test your prices, offer add-on products for existing customers and offer a referral scheme to reward customers for referrals, you can make a substantial shit in your business right away. That’s before spending any money!
Then you can also use Google Places for business. This is a free service which you should be using if you’re a small business. It allows you to list your local business on Google’s directory and it will usually show in the results of the search results for your major keywords.
Bing and Yahoo also offer a similar service. It’s well worth the few minutes it takes to set up your listing. You then just need to verify your listing after you get a code in the post. Once you’ve done this, you’re all up and running. You’ll potentially have a free business listing which brings you consistent new customers for years to come. Worth its weight in gold.
Facebook also offer the option of building a free business listing too. This is well worth doing. Your business listing on Facebook can easily rank on Google’s first page too, depending on your relative competition. Again, this doesn’t take long to set up and you can build a stream of new customers through it.
Blogging is another free strategy for lead generation in your business. Of course you need a website, but you should have one of these already if you’re serious about your business. Once you set up a website, you’ll also want to start building a list of subscribers from it. Email marketing is an absolute necessity if you want to grow your business. By offering a free giveaway product on your website, you can get your visitors to opt in to your email list. The giveaway can be anything which your customers are likely to benefit from and which are relevant to your business. You can offer discount codes if you don’t have anything else.
Then there’s paid marketing. Direct response marketing is the fastest way to grow your business. Each of the methods listed above, will work, depending on your competition. However, pay per click advertising is faster and can be scaled up very quickly.
If you don’t know about pay per click marketing, and you want to grow your business, you should definitely take the time to learn. It can dramatically grow your business in a very short amount of time.
AdWords and Bing are good platforms to start with. Then there’s Facebook and even YouTube which offer a very targeted platform for businesses.
Once you’ve mastered all of those strategies, you’ll have a business which is booming! Start with one strategy though and learn how it works. AdWords does take time to learn and you need to be careful. You can burn through a budget very quickly and get nothing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Many business owners try this strategy and quit. That’s because they haven’t stuck at it for long enough.
Initially your adverts might not work, but that’s not the fault of the platform. It’s down to your understanding of how to test and measure adverts, and to either cut back an advert or scale it up according to its performance.
Start with a small daily budget and target keywords which are relevant for your business. Your advert will show only for those keywords, if you do an exact match search. You can also broaden your search if your advert isn’t showing up enough in the searches. Just be careful not to do a broad match at first because you don’t want your advert showing for any keyword. This is how to burn through you budget very quickly and get the wrong kind of traffic.
Over time, and with practice, you adverts will bring you new customers. Make sure you track where your customers have come from. Then you’ll know if your advertising campaigns are working. When you have multiple campaigns running along side each other, you’ll be able to determine which to scale up and which to cut back on.
You can apply this same methodology to other advertising methods too. You don’t have to stick entirely to online advertising, but it’s a good starting point. Once you have learned one strategy, you can move on to another. Use newspaper adverts, magazine adverts, radio advertising and banner advertising too. Make sure you track all your sales by using discount codes or tracking in your online adverts.