Driving leads and sales can sometimes be a scary idea. What happens if your marketing plan fails? How do you keep up with a market and a world that are forever changing? The answer to all of this is simple: you get creative.
This aspect of business doesn’t have to be a drag, in fact in can be fun and enjoyable for both marketing professionals and your consumers. In many ways it should be the fun part of the gig. If you’re still not convinced, let’s have a look through some of the most creative ways to drive sales by engaging your customers.
1. Get social.
We consume so much information through social media. Whether it be celebrity endorsements, sponsored ads, Instagram’s algorithm finds or a friend’s post, social media has become a hub for online marketing and buying. A LinkedIn report in 2017 showed that several similar industries gained more than 50% of their revenue by social selling. (1)
So, how can you specifically use it to drive sales? Social media is all about engagement, and that engagement can lead to people sticking around and checking out your business, whatever that may be. The advice can vary as online algorithms change, but one thing is for sure: you need to post good content and interact with your followers.
Post about your product or service and always have a call to action. This is huge for converting a lead to a sale. Someone could find your post interesting but if they are given no direction on what to do next, they might just keep scrolling. Another thing not to overlook is the trust that can be formed when your business interacts with others online. Share other posts, comment, save and like!
The whole point of social media is to attract possible clients/customers to engage with and purchase what you have on offer. All of the above can help you get these users to the next stage, which is usually either your online shop connected to your social media or your website.
2. Website makeover.
Now that you have those users on your site, what does it look like to them? If it’s been a while since you’ve done an update, you might want to think about a website makeover. In this day and age, it’s all about two things: user experience (UX) and content.
It’s important to make sure your site runs smoothly and quickly and that it’s easy to navigate on both desktop and mobile devices. According to Statista, 93% of retailers indicated that mobile marketing was their most effective driver for online sales. So, it’s important to have your website optimized for mobile devices. (2)
With platforms such as WordPress available, you don’t necessarily need an expert web developer to get things done. When re-doing a website remember these points:
- Make it user friendly
- Keep it simple, don’t be afraid of whitespace
- Use well written SEO friendly content that adds value
- Make sure your calls-to-action stand out.
3. Take to the streets.
While the world might be in the age of technology driven marketing, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hit the pavement to spread the word and drive sales. Especially if your business has an “in real life” (IRL) aspect (perhaps a restaurant or retail store) this can be a fun and creative way to drive sales. With only about 24% of sales emails being opened and most sales people wanting to interact with potential customers during the sale process, seeing them in person could be very beneficial. You can gauge right then and there the success of your marketing. (3)
There is nothing wrong with taking a page from the past and handing out flyers at local cafes or social hot spots. You can put up posters for an event or sale or even do some sidewalk chalk writing. This angle would definitely suit a locally run business but it could work for any business looking for another approach to marketing.
User engagement is very important when driving leads online. Giving your potential customers incentives to engage with your content is a great way to get people to sample your business’s product or service. Plus, you can gain a better understanding of your target audience.
Organizing giveaways or online challenges can also be really fun. Some competitions you can run online include:
- Photo/video contests: Very easy to enter into and easy to manage as well. An example would be a dog grooming service challenging their followers to post the funniest pet picture tagging them and using a hashtag for the competition.
- Caption contests: Post a picture and have your followers come up with a caption. The best one wins!
- Giveaways: You can simply get your followers to enter in the comments or via email and offer some products or services for the winner.
Another key tip for competitions is to make them shareable. Review 42 shared that 92% of consumers trust referrals and shares from people they know. Running your contest on your Instagram or Facebook as a great way of ensuring that you and your followers can share information about the contest to encourage others to engage. (4)
5. Content marketing.
The keys to great content are quality and consistency. You want to get your audience excited about what you have on offer. You want to show them how knowledgeable you are, and to give them reasons why they should choose your business without actually saying “you should choose our business.” Your website should be equipped with top notch content because, as mentioned already, for most businesses this is where a lead is converted into a sale.
Your competition or social media engagement might have gotten them there, but now it’s time to use the right language and images to drive that sale! The number one thing to remember when creating content is to write for your audience. Understand their pain points, know what gets them excited and even why they came to your website. Your content should address all of these things.
Images and videos are also considered content and are great tools to break up text and add value and information too. Finally, remember those calls-to-action that should take the user where they need to go for the next stage of their experience. If they are on the homepage there should be a call-to-action taking them to your about page, service page/online store and contact page. If they are already on your about page have a call-to-action that takes them to your online store or service page.
Figures and statistics are important, but driving sales doesn’t have to be based on numbers on a screen or chart. This process can be fun and creative, and putting that personal touch into driving sales is what can ultimately convince a potential customer to become an actual buyer.
- “Investigating the Truth About Social Selling by Industry,” Source: https://www.linkedin.com/business/sales/blog/proof/investigating-the-truth-about-social-selling-by-industry
- “Leading channels in driving sales through mobile marketing in the U.S. 2018,” Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/925802/leading-distribution-channels-mobile-marketing-effective-driving-sales-usa/
- “Sales Development Technology: The Stack Emerges, source: https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/sales-development-technology-the-stack-emerges
- “80+ Referral Marketing Statistics that Show Why It Works,” Source: https://review42.com/resources/referral-marketing-statistics/