Everyone is looking for better ways to increase ecommerce sales, and it’s easy to get stuck in the same old patterns.
Budgets are set for creating product launch pages, landing pages, and new marketing campaigns for the brand site. Agencies are hired, campaigns are created, and everyone feels like they’re doing their job.
The problem is, most of that effort falls flat because it was created for the purpose of marketing at our customers instead of creating a way to connect with them.
The only way to connect with your customers through your marketing is by creating something they care about.
The truth is, most of the time they don’t care about your latest campaign idea. If the content you add to your site is only about your company instead of your customer it costs you double. You lose the money and effort spent to create the campaign, and more importantly, you lose the attention of someone who is asking for your help.
Here’s how to fix this problem:
Start with why they came
By coming to your site, your customers are asking for validation:
- Do your brand values line up with theirs?
- Are your products a high quality for the price?
- Will they have a better time out in the world doing what they love?
- Do you care about what they care about?
The good news is people are coming to your site. It’s not like they don’t want to buy your products, they do. But on their terms and at their pace.
Maybe they’re comparing 5 different brands that sell the same type of product, maybe they’ve already bought from you in the past and are looking for a newer model, or to return something that isn’t working for them. Whatever the reason is they’ve come to your site, they’re looking for something specific in that moment.
Understand what they want
Your customers are telling you exactly what they want by the specific pages they visit on your site, the products they view, and the calls and emails to customer service they make.
Some of these activities turn up in analytics. Others come up in customer service meetings. None of them can help you unless you’re paying attention, and do something about it.
Look at your data, talk with your customer service team, and adjust your site (and marketing budget) accordingly.
If you make something that matters to your customers, you’ll get results that matter to your company. You’ll need to know:
This is the opposite of the “if you build it they will come” mindset that results in more landing pages. It’s a “why are they here and how can I help?” mindset that results in increased sales.
Make small changes for big results
Small changes in your approach can make a big difference in your results.
Instead of adding a new brand image to the rotating carousel that shouldn’t be on your homepage, put a link to your 3 top selling products. Instead of immediately covering the screen with an email signup box, help your customers easily find what they are looking for. Instead of trying to involve them in another hashtag campaign, create some content that will make your site more like a store.
The faster you can show that you’re aligned with your customer, the better your chance of making the sale. That means less storytelling and more “research helping”.
You can create inspiring brand content and put it in your customers browsing path, but if you want it to be effective at converting the sale, it must help them see how aligned you are with the things that matter to them. As people. As customers. As someone who wants to get tons of value from the things they buy from you.
Set better metrics for success
If you judge the success of your marketing spend based on pageviews and facebook likes, you’re not likely to get a return on those dollars. If you keep creating more landing pages and more brand story content without first understanding what your customers want, that money will not make its way back to your bottom line.
The goal of your marketing is ultimately to grow sales. To get a return on your marketing spend, you have to start with that end in mind. To grow sales, your storytelling is key. More sales mean you’re telling the right story.
If you’re telling a story about your brand, you’re just adding to the noise your customers are looking to tune out.
If you’re telling the story of how your customers will enjoy doing the things they love, you will make the sale.