Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 Online Marketing Secrets That Help You Sell More

by Carl Weiss

When creating content, it's easy to lose track of the fact that your website is designed specifically to sell your products and services to your target market. That being said, if you hope to generate the desired result, you need to keep your eyes on the prize. 

Remember, the two hardest things to accomplish online are to generate traffic and then generate a result.  Having one without the other is great for bragging rights, but it won’t do much to augment the bottom line. Statistics show us that the average visitor to a website will only view 4.6 pages and stay on site for 3.45 minutes.  So you had better provide the visitor with compelling content if you hope to generate either a lead or a sale.

Below are ten online marketing secrets you need to employ if you hope to achieve the desired result.

  1. Which is more powerful, showing or telling?
Think about it…99% of the people who click from a search engine to your website have never done business with you.  They don’t know you.  They don’t know your reputation.  They don’t know what sets you apart from the competition.  And they don’t have a tangible reason to do business with you.  The solution to this dilemma is to create a 60-90 second video that will show people what makes you special.  (If you go back to our February 27 blogpost: How to use Video SEO to Jump to Google Page 1, you will also find out how to employ this video as a traffic generator as well.

  1. Never talk down to your audience.
The quickest way to lose your audience is to talk down to them.  Even though you know way more about your industry and your business than your audience, you don’t want to lord this fact over them.  The best way to catch flies is with honey.  That being said, the best way to become an authority figure without upsetting your audience is to make it fun for them to absorb the wisdom you wish to impart.

  1. Why KISS equals CA$H
Another deal killer I see presented on any number of websites is trying to cram as much information onto a page as is humanly possible.  Given the statistic presented in the second paragraph of this blogpost, having a page that scrolls down ten feet is hardly the way to make your point and generate the desired result.  By keeping it simple and limiting your salient points down to one or two per page, you will create the desired effect without overwhelming the visitor.

  1. Using grabber headlines to steer the visitor.
If your intention is to steer your audience in order to get them to watch a video or read a paragraph, the first thing you need to do is whet their appetite by providing a killer headline.  On average, eight out of ten people will read a headline, but only two out of ten will read the copy.  The key to writing killer headlines is to state the biggest benefit in the boldest way possible.  “Create an instant audience in only one click!”  “Blog your way to BIG BUCK$.”  “How to use FREE offers to generate direct response results.”

  1. Features inform, benefits sell.
If you want visitors to read beyond the headline, you need to first spell out the benefits before describing the describing the features.  The public doesn’t purchase automobiles because they can travel from point “A” to point “B”.  They buy them because they are sporty or fuel efficient or because they can ford a stream to reach that secluded camping spot.

  1. If you hope to hook a fish you need to dangle some bait.
Circle this item in red.  The main reason that most online marketing campaigns don’t succeed is due to the fact that they don’t provide a compelling inducement to click or buy.  Or, they hide the offer so that it is nearly impossible to find.  Remember, the goal is to generate a new customer.  In order to prime the pump, you need to offer something of real or perceived value that is going get the prospect to take action.  This means offering something free or discounted in order to generate either a registration or a sale.  The best place to position the offer is at the top of the page.  Having a great offer and burying it below the fold will defeat the purpose of the exercise.

  1. How to make the fish take a second nibble at the bait.
One of the intangibles can be a free webinar.  If the webinar is taped or live is immaterial, (although personally I prefer taped, since you can deliver it as soon as you generate the registration), either way you get a second shot at the prospect.  Add to this the fact that a webinar will provide far more information and enhance your credibility further still, since you will get to talk far longer than you will during your intro video.

  1. Don’t make it hard to act.
Another reason that many online marketing campaigns fail is due to the fact that it is sometimes difficult to find contact info, such as a phone number.  This is another item you should have displayed prominently at the top of each page.  You should also include it on every video, since videos can take on a life all their own, especially if you post them on youtube, facebook and embed them on your blog.

  1. Don’t drop the ball once you have generated a lead.
Here is another keypoint to highlight.  Once you generate a lead, what do you do with it?  Obviously every one that opts in for your offer and/or listens to your webinar is not going to make an instant buying decision.  Does that mean you should discard the lead?  Hardly.  If you want to make real money in online marketing you need to take the long approach and set up a drip marketing campaign that automatically sends out a newsletter or offer every couple of weeks.  As they say in sales, persistence beats resistance. 

  1. How tracking the results can equal BIG dividends.
Another one of the beauties of online marketing is the fact that you can experiment with different approaches and offers without breaking the bank.  Unlike printing, it costs you nothing to experiment with a number of inducements designed to elicit a response or sale.  However, if you fail to track the results, what benefit will you derive from all the hard work expended in creating and running a robust online marketing campaign?  With free tools from Google such as analytics and Google Voice you can track both clicks and calls with ease in order to determine with great precision what works and what does not.

If you want to learn even more online secrets that can give you an edge over the competition, don’t forget to connect with Carl via Facebook and Twitter.

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