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Whether your enterprise is new or a business with a history, you’ll find that online marketing needs a slightly different approach compared to regular marketing. For the most part, this is because despite the fact that online communication is, by its very nature, remote and ‘virtual’. The people you are marketing to want to be valued and appreciated as individuals, so the personal touch becomes all-important. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of your opportunities in marketing via the Internet.

Your options

When you move your marketing online, you have several different options in terms of the tools at your disposal. For example, you can create your own website (and probably already have) so that you have a specially designed personal space in which to sell your products – whether you’re promoting cupcakes, children’s toys or electronic accessories. If you’ve done your research, you’ll know about ways to spell out the benefits of your products and work out what your customers, and potential customers, are looking for.

Also, if you have a blog in addition to your website, this is a great opportunity to ‘chat’ with your clients about the latest relevant news and new developments. Regular posts, news releases and both paid and unpaid ads will help keep your information fresh and interesting.

Finding a good hook

One of the best ways to promote new businesses when going online for the first time is to identify something unique about your product and using this to interest your customers. For example, the marketplace created by As Seen On TV serves the needs of many different retailers by gathering together an immense variety of products under one virtual roof. Products advertised ship from multiple locations, so it’s very easy for customers to find what they want without having to sift through lots of different websites. As Seen On TV says, it welcomes new businesses who want to submit proposals and will consider any new idea if it’s a fit with their unique customer-centric shopping policy. It’s worth checking out if you have a brilliant invention that you think could really catch on.

Your customer reviews

Inviting customers to review the goods or services you supply is a sound policy as long as you engage with them. Sometimes, new businesses are nervous about asking for responses in case they are criticized or found wanting. However, providing you are able to offer valid reasons for any shortcomings (the goods were delivered late because there was a delay caused by the couriers) or make good on any problems (returning the item for a full refund), you will enhance your reputation by trading honestly and openly.

Social media

E-commerce has now truly established itself in the arena of social media: people have become used to seeing and responding to adverts on Instagram and Pinterest, and other platforms are quickly catching up. Visual images still play a large part in online marketing, as they do when you’re selling by traditional methods. Instagram and Pinterest are image rather than text-based sites, so a picture really does say a thousand words. Spotting a picture of something that a customer believes they simply have to have can easily turn into a sale if you get the product placement details just right.

Some companies make sure the images they display on social media sites are linked to pages where customers can actually buy the products. This streamlines the process of purchasing so that once someone sees something they like; they have quick and easy access to further information and the opportunity to buy.

Your online profile

Treating your customers as individuals is easier to do if you have already established a personable, friendly profile on your website or blog. This shouldn’t interfere with the efficiency of your operation and exchanges with potential buyers should always be respectful and polite. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a byword for good business and responding to or acting on feedback will increase your credibility as a supplier.

In fact, canvassing opinions on your products or services via social media networks can help you to increase your customer base significantly, especially if you build in a reward of some kind, such as a free product for the best contribution at the end of a given time period.

Online marketing can be very good for your business, providing you treat the Internet as simply another way to communicate and use the opportunities it provides as efficiently as possible.

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