A business who makes their profit online versus brick and mortar finds itself in a quandary. How do we go about finding customers online? How do we see who comes to our domain and how do we find people on the online streets to sell to? And if you have a brick and mortar store, how to you help drive out-of-towners to your site?

Business Insider reported on comScore’s quarterly State of Retail report that “In the first quarter of 2014, 198 million U.S. consumers bought something online…That translates to 78% of the U.S. population age 15 and above.” With the right tactics, you’ll know where your customers spend their time online, what they want and how to position your product effectively. Here we’ll give you a roadmap to navigating the online sales funnel.

Free download: Could you use a refresher on what your customers’ thought processes look like? Download our free whitepaper, Decision Journeys, now!

Your customers live on social media

You want to have a presence where your clients spend the bulk of their time. Your social media pages need to not only be an extension of your brand, but the content needs to be compelling, engaging and of importance to your ideal customer. Find your customer by leaving a trail of content they can’t live without.

In an Entrepreneur.com post entitled, How to get Customers Raving About your Brand, Sean Kim stated, “The continuing rise of social media and additional platforms screams the need for brands to begin humanizing themselves. Consumers are no longer buying from the large conglomerates that have established a presence simply by having a healthy balance sheet and being in existence for 50 years.”

Track website activity and nurture immediately

Unless you’re living in your website coding, you will need systems in place to capture the information of visitors to your website and automation set up to quickly nurture those contacts. Your customers could be right on your shopping cart, but unless they click “Purchase” they’re just strangers on the street. That is, unless you are monitoring that activity and cognizant of where they are in the buying cycle. Marketing automation is a systematic and wonderful tool, but do proceed with some caution. Don’t thwart someone who is just researching their options by bombarding them with pricing and sales calls.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, Lack of websites common pitfall for small businesses, by Deborah M. Todd, reports that 97% of consumers search online for products and services, 70% have compared prices or read reviews and 88% have been influenced by an online review.

Help your customers make their decision and don’t let them leave your website without finding the information they need and a solid, accurate impression of your brand!

Create compelling content

You may have the best product on the planet, but if you’re story doesn’t get your customers to connect and see your personality, you may as well have no product on your online shelf.

Brad Lloyd of the Atlanta Marketing Company, wrote a LinkedIn post, How to Use Content to Find Customers, in which he explained, “Raise questions. Poke around at pain points that you can address in later content. Tell stories that resolve objections. But be subtle about it. The purpose of this content is to get your audience into a receptive state of mind before they start hearing any overt sales messages from you.”

Give your customer information that they need, so that you become, or remain, an authority figure in their mind. Maybe a whitepaper that answers, or to Lloyd’s point, raises a question, will be the push a prospect needs to become a customer.

When you understand who your target market is, you know who your target customer should be. Creating content that they’ll benefit from not only helps in showing the personal side of your business but it paves the way for a reliable sales funnel.

There’s more! Download our free guide, Identifying your Customers on the Web!

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