The lazy entrepreneur’s guide to SEO marketing.

What if you could get a steady flow of traffic to your small business website? What if without any form of advertising, you could get customers to check out what you have on your site. And what if when they do get to your website, they find relevant content that engages them and leads to more of them signing up to do business with you?


Continue reading “The lazy entrepreneur’s guide to SEO marketing.”

9 actionable tips for growing your e-commerce sales 10x

Whether you’re thinking of starting up a new online store or you’re fairly established as an e-commerce business, one major hurdle you face is increasing your business reach. You have to keep thinking up innovative ways to get more sales for your business in a highly competitive market. Unless you’re an exclusive brand, you most likely have a lot of competition out there.

How can you ensure that your e-commerce store continually remains in your audience eyes? How do you acquire newer customers while retaining the ones you currently have?

Find below 9 actionable tips to help you grow your e-commerce sales and get the best ROI for your business.

  1. Streamline your customer’s options
  2. Increase the search stress for a highly discounted product or service
  3. Use the magic power of the number 9
  4. Optimise your checkout process
  5. Provide a secure shopping platform.
  6. Create the fear of missing out (FOMO)
  7. Start a content marketing campaign.
  8. Automate your SMS marketing campaigns
  9. Promote your e-commerce site via paid and organic optimisation

Actionable tips to help you grow your e-commerce business

Streamline your customer’s options

While offering up several opportunities to your customers may seem like the best way to get them to choose at least one option, this tactic may prove counterproductive.

When customers are left with an overwhelming number of decisions to take, they would more often than not choose the least tasking decision. This could mean not buying any product in a lot of cases.

In her study on the process of choosing, Psychologist Shenna Iyengar highlights why having fewer options are usually better than more. She conducted a simple experiment and found out that customers who were offered various brands of a particular product were more likely to sample all and less likely to decide on purchasing one.

The conversion to customers for those offered fewer options was 30% as compared to those who had more opportunities to pick from; a mere 3%.

The moral of the story: to get your customers to buy a product, give them fewer choices to choose from.

Promote your e-commerce site via paid promotions and organic search optimisation

Just like any other business platform, you need to advertise your e-commerce site to create awareness about your brand and what makes your business unique. You should also do this whenever you have new products or special offers.

If you’re running an e-commerce store, Facebook page and Instagram offers you the best platforms to showcase your products. Pinterest is another underutilised platform that you can use to draw attention to your brands.

You can find more tips for advertising your online business in this article on online advertising. A more sustainable way to promote your brand online is to optimise your e-commerce store for organic rankings on search engine result pages.

You can do this by targeting longtailed niche queries that customers type in when looking for your services. For instance, if your store deals with baby wear; you can target keywords like baby clothes online in Nigeria, cheap baby wears online, shop baby clothes online, etc. Optimising your website content for these search queries would help your business show up on the first page for such queries.

Shop con Pk picture
A good example is one of my clients’ business( shown in the screenshot above), an e-commerce store in Pakistan. He currently ranks among the top three for mini fan stores in Pakistan, and his website has been on the first page for more than a few months now.
Apart from optimising for user search queries, you need to start a content marketing campaign, on a scale that suits your budget, to sell more value to your subscribed customers.
Content marketing

Harness the magic power of the number 9:

Have you ever wondered why so many products displayed in big online e-commerce stores are never rounded up to the nearest whole number? You see a lot of 1.99, 2: 95, 99 prices and you may wonder – what’s the difference between 99 and 100.

A study done by MIT shows that price-sensitive customers most times do not make rational decisions when it comes to making a purchase. A mere one cent or one Naira difference could make a massive difference to the perceived cost of your product.

By reducing your prices by that negligible fraction, you can increase your e-commerce sales by 24 %. This study also showed that the number 9 in particular, has a magical effect of pulling in customers.

In the study, several customers were offered three price ranges for the same product, with the middle pricing ending in 9and surprisingly they all went with the price that had a 9 in them, even though this was not the cheapest alternative!

Lesson learned: if you want to improve sales for your e-commerce products, include the magic number 9 in your pricing. This only works, though, when you’re introducing a new product and hardly ever works for existing products.

Power of the number 9

Optimise your check out process

  • One way to do this is to offer your customers more options to pay for your services. Rather than sticking to credit or debit cards alone, try to integrate other payment options. You should include payment options like PayPal, stripe, Google pay, WePay etc.
  • Most e-commerce hosting sites like Magento and Shopify allow you to integrate up to 100 payment plans on your e-commerce site. 5% of users have been known to abandon their shopping carts because their credit cards were declined. While this may seem like a small number of your market potential, if you’re just starting up an e-commerce store, 5% of the customers you currently do not have is a significant number to lose. Try to integrate more than one payment option on your site to reduce the risk of abandoned carts.
  • Provide a seamless checkout experience: Make your navigation easy for your users by creating a simple check out process from your shopping point to the final waypoint. Only ask for necessary information for the transaction. Requesting your users to fill in a long form detailing so many specifics may not be the best way to make a sale.
  • In a study done on several consumers to find out why they abandoned their shopping carts, 27% of the respondents said that the checkout process was either too long or too complicated. 61% said they didn’t want to create an account. What this means is that as much as 60% of customers may not buy from your e-commerce store because the checkout process is not consumer friendly.
  • Declutter your e-commerce site. Make your store user-friendly and easy on the eyes. You don’t have to place all the items you have on display on one page. You could create multiple display pages and provide a navigation bar that allows your users to move from one display interface to the next.
  • Ensure a smooth navigation process on your e-commerce site by Creating category pages. This allow your users to browse stock based on different available categories.
  • Optimise your sites mobile speed.This is important because a lot of customers shop on their mobile devices. A few seconds delay in site loading may cause them to move on to the next shopping platform.

An excellent example of a robust and well-optimised check out platform is the SME market hub checkout platform. Apart from offering various payment options, this platform also provides several options for checking out. This includes the opportunity to check out as a guest, i.e. no registration required.

Some market hub checkout point

Offer your customers a secure shopping platform.

Merely encrypting your website with an SSL certificate increases the credibility and trustworthiness of your store. Display your trust signals thought-out the checkout process. Show your secure payment platform badge, secure SSL encryption. This tells your customers that any information they provide you( their names, addresses and phone numbers) are safe and secure.

Create the fear of missing out ( FOMO)

The fear of missing out is what spurs us into taking action when we see that there are limited amounts of a particular product or service we want. Nobody wants to be left out, and this is also true for shoppers on your e-commerce platforms. There are several ways you can leverage FOMO to drive more sales on your e-commerce websites.

  • Create artificial scarcity. You can tweak your display counter to show a limited availability of that product even if you have zillions of it still in stock( after all, all’s fair in love, war and e-commerce selling!). Display this limited number of products when a customer clicks on that particular item. When a customer sees that a specific product is running out, they are more likely to make a purchase there and then.
  • Display the number of a particular product you have sold recently to show customers that others are buying. The fear of missing out on something other people are getting could spur some of your customers into taking action.
  • Display a countdown timer on a discounted product. Amazon is very good at doing this and Jumia also inculcates this practice on their e-commerce website. Once customer see that the discount is only available for a limited period it would gear them into placing an order. They could even end up buying more of the product than they planned to initially.
  • Show customers people that have just ordered a particular product from you. This real-time purchase displays can help your customer gain confidence to buy that same product.
Cyber Monday sales

Automate your SMS marketing campaign

You can send useful information, deals, price discount offers and even curated news via mail or text messages to your customers. Text messaging is a great way to post valuable content to both potential customers and established customers on e-commerce sites; almost as good as sending emails. There are a lot of things you can do with an automated SMS process.

  • Follow up on abandoned shopping carts with integration tool like the one SMS bump offers. This tool provides an easy way to send automated shopping cart abandonment messages.
  • Send special offers and price discounts to subscribed customers.
  • Notify your subscribers on new arrivals.
  • Send holiday messages too, a great way to cement your bond with your existing customers. A more innovative approach to building a stable connection with your customers would be to send them customised messages on their special days; birthdays, wedding anniversaries. To do that you’ll need these dates, and you can customise your sign up form to include these options. Make sure you let them know why you want those details. You can label this as an optional form field they can choose to ignore if they wish.

Start a targeted content marketing campaign

Providing more value for your services may require that you go beyond simple text messaging. You could start by creating a newsletter to provide valuable and relevant information to your business subscribers.

If you sell baby products, your information could be regular tips that pertain to baby care. If you sell fashion products, I’m sure your subscribers would be interested in information that could improve their fashion savviness. This will help cement your relationship with your existing customers and strengthen their loyalty to your brand.

The articles depot team can help you plan and execute your content marketing strategies on a simple platform. Our content strategy platform provides you with the right outline for your content marketing activities.

Promote your content

Increase the search stress on highly discounted products

Now I know this last part sounds counterintuitive to what you’re trying to achieve, which is creating a better user experience that will lead to more sales. But a recent study ( I’m talking as recent as March this year), proves that increasing the search stress reasonably on moderate to heavily discounted products could increase your sales for that product. This sales technique could even improve sales for your store as a whole.

What do I mean by a reasonable level of search friction? While increasing search stress, you have to be careful to do it in such a way that you don’t send customers running off your site, which means there has to be a great incentive to make your customer, ( especially your price sensitive customers ) want to continue to search for the product.

In this study on search friction, the researchers from Havard did a preliminary test to explore the best methods for increasing search friction that would have the least negative effect on user experience.

They explored different ways to increase search friction. Removing a direct link to the discounted product, increasing the number of pages a user would have to browse, removing any visual price indicators on the discounted products.

They postulated that under certain conditions, increasing the search stress on the highly discounted product would yield more sales for an online store. The terms being:

  • Price sensitive customers would have to browse through several undiscounted products before finally getting to the discounted product they initially set out to buy. Doing so would expose them potentially to other products they probably had no prior intention of buying, but which they could also find useful and include in their shopping cart as well.
  • Price-insensitive customers would not bother searching intensively for the discounted products and would probably remove the search friction by choosing from the undiscounted product section.
  • Price sensitive customers would continue to search for the discounted product until they can locate it.

The results?

The customers were randomly assigned to a treatment group ( those who experienced the search friction), and a control group and the sales results from both groups were assessed.

At the end of the research, they found that the number of discounted items purchased in the treatment group was less than in the control group, while the total number of items purchased overall was significantly higher in the treatment group( the group exposed to search friction). You can download the full details on this study here

What does this mean for growing your e-commerce business? If you have a highly discounted product, you could leverage this product to improve your sales overall and even deals on non- discounted brands by moderately increasing the search stress for that discounted product.

A fourth condition that would possibly make this work in a price sensitive environment would be that on locating the highly discounted products, the price sensitive customer would most likely buy more than they set out to buy initially. This is probably, so they don’t have to go through the process again anytime soon.

If you enjoyed this write up, please like, share and comment.

For actionable copywriting to boost your brand promotions, get in touch with us.



12 tips to help you become a great SEO copywriter

Chances are if you are reading this article, you may have asked yourself this question several times, ‘what is an SEO copywriter? ‘On the other hand, If you are an SEO copywriter, you may be looking for resources that could make you a better SEO copywriter. If you are, then you are in the right place! Let’s start by defining copywriting. Copywriting is a form of content writing that seeks to persuade potential customers to buy a product or sign up for a particular service. There are different kinds of copywriting and copywriters.

Creative copywriters

Marketing copywriters

SEO copywriters.

Sales copywriters

Technical writer

Brand journalist

Continue reading “12 tips to help you become a great SEO copywriter”

What is the Future of Content creation?

What changes do you need to be prepared for as a content writer.

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

Malcolm X

With the constant updates by Google and changes to its ranking algorithms , you often wonder if optimizing content for search visibility is really worth it .

I mean as soon as you begin to figure out what the ranking factors are, Google announces some major changes that leaves you not knowing where you stand.

This also brings to mind a critical question ‘what is the future of content writing? ‘Content quality has long been a ranking factor in Google algorithms and through all the turbulent changes, this ranking algorithm has withstood the test of time. So what will be the future of content creation? Will robots take over the world leaving human writers struggling for relevance?

Continue reading “What is the Future of Content creation?”

The ultimate guide to content scaling for brand promotion.

How to scale content marketing

What is Content promotion?

Content promotion or content marketing simply means scaling content creation for marketing purposes, using different content creation tools and promoting on different marketing platforms.A successful content promotion campaign requires the use of analytics tools to measure the success of each content marketing campaign.

Content marketing leads to increased brand awareness, improved customer relationship,more leads, and ultimately, better ROI.

What does it mean to scale content for brand promotion?

Content scaling involves writing volumes of content for the right audience using the right people, systems, and strategies and delivering it with the right technology.

With the increasing importance of content as a ranking factor on the internet, more companies are championing large-scale content promotion as an effective lead generation. As effective as this technique may seem, it also comes with its pitfalls. This is especially true if your core business is not content creation.

A robust approach to scaling content marketing involves providing information while at the same time promoting your brand. Your content messages, style, and delivery methods have to suit your content marketing objectives. Scaling content production for brand promotion requires developing an efficient content creation system and an equally effective content marketing strategy.

How to start scaling content promotion

  • Starting a company blog is the best way to start a content promotion strategy.If you do not have a blog then it’s high time you got one. Posting content frequently to your target audience is an excellent way to rank higher in the search engines and drive more traffic to your website.
Blogging is a valid content promotion stratgegy
  • Starting a newsletter: Newsletter marketing is also another great way to promote relevant and engaging information to your target audfience. You can send your subscribed customers pertinent information by mail and probably link this to more in-depth information on your website or blog.
  • Social media marketing: There’s no gainsaying the fact that no content promotion campaign would be complete without a robust social media marketing campaign.
  • Sms marketing : Sms marketing is still a very cost effective way to promote content if you are on a low marketing budget. It comes in handy when you need to give urgent updates and vital information to your subscribers. The major limitation of SMS marketing is the limited amount of information that you can pass. Usually sms marketing is channeled at promoting a brand, but with a little bit of creativity you can pass along some beneficial information as well.

To scale content creation and promotion effectively, you need to develop a system with the right teams, tools, and resources.

What are the Benefits to your Brand from Scaling Content Promotion?

  • Improves your SEO and hence your online visibility. Google loves great content and the more productive the content you produce, and the more the frequency at which you produce quality content, the better your chances of ranking higher on the internet.
  • Content scaling gives your brand a stronger share of voice; since you are always out there, in your audience’s face.
  • Helps you build credibility. By providing in-depth and regular information on your area of expertise, you stamp your authority as an expert in your field.
  • Helps your audience engage better with your brand. Using different content platforms enables you to reach a broader audience.
  • Creates trust and a better relationship with your customers. By providing your customers with useful information, you show you care about their interests too and not only about your bottom-line.
  • Helps you engage your customers at their level. By creating different audience personas and engaging each persona with the right language and style, you connect with them on a more personal level.
  • Allows you to funnel content effectively, to guide your audience through the various stages of the customer journey.
  • Leads to better conversion rates to business for your brand. The more your audience is engrossed in your brand content, the better the chances of them clicking on that button that converts them to customers.
  • By employing useful content analytic tools, you can measure the success of each message you deliver and track the progress of your content promotion strategies.

Content scaling for brand promotion- tools, tips, and resources.

So how do you start a content scaling strategy? Producing content on a large scale is hard work, and you need to sit down with your sales and marketing teams to determine the best plan for content marketing that would yield the best results.

Outlined below in detail, are useful tips and tools that can help y our online enterprise reap the most benefits from scaling your content promotion activities.

Define your Content Budget and Scale to Fit

One critical mistake any organisation could make would be to jump into content marketing without first defining a budget. Do you have the financial capacity to hire the needed human resources for content promotion regularly?When I mean resources I’m talking about writers and support teams like editors to make the work easier.

While large-scale production of the content may be an excellent way to keep your brand top of mind, it could also be a hole in your pocket, draining resources without necessarily yielding results

Hiring in-house writers too comes with its own cost; salaries, health benefit and other allowances. While out-sourcing to good content writers may be cheaper, it’s still some significant chunk out of your budget!

But you need good, constant content to rank, don’t you? Of course, you do! It’s far from a case of being between the Devil and the deep blue sea, though. It’s great if you can produce quality content every day or every other day, but if you can’t, one quality blog post per week would keep your brand relevant to your audience.

Use data insights to drive your content creation

Use data to drive your content marketing

Use analytics to measure the effects of your scaled content marketing

Research, analyse and strategise your content creation using data in your particular Industry or field of expertise. What are the topics that are currently trending in your industry? What topics are your competitors leveraging to boost their brand Image? You probably have written a few pieces of content in the past; which of these topics did well and ranked on the first page? Which ones had the highest shares or comments on your blog or social media? You can find issues that are trending by looking at social media business pages such as LinkedIn or discussion pages on Quora. Once you’ve analysed the necessary data and found out the topics that are likely to do well, the next step is to create broad outlines for the content you plan to promote.This takes us to the next tip on content scaling for promotional purposes.

Create a Structured Guide for your Content creation

Trying to produce volumes of great content without a structured plan or the right tools is akin to sailing a ship without a navigation tool, and relying on the elements. You may eventually make it to your destination (after losing your way several times) or be cast adrift on the wild seas.

  • Define your objectives for each piece of content you want to write- brand awareness, launching a new product line, generating leads, getting customers to sign up for your newsletter and so on. Be sure your writing team is clear on purpose for each piece you’re writing.
  • Create a broad content outline that aligns with your organisational goals. How do you intend to weave your brand messages into each piece and not sound like an enthusiastic salesperson? Decide how each part of the content you create will link to the next to form a seamless flow in your content promotion activities.
  • Create an editorial calendar and use this to note down all the milestones for all your content goals. How often can you produce fresh content ( weekly or bi-weekly)?
  • Plan content ahead for events and holidays. While it may not make so much sense to plan for the Christmas Holidays in January, it could certainly help to note this down in your Calendar as a to-do. That way you avoid last-minute rushes in content production. Apart from the big Holidays, plan content for the smaller ones as well. If you cater to a broad client base from different cultural backgrounds, you should create content that would fit all the major holidays your potential customers celebrate as well.
  • Plan content for a 3-6 months period. This time frame would be long enough to give you a long-term focus, and short enough so that you are not overwhelmed.
  • Define the technologies you want to use in your content creation- online and offline content writing tools. It’s always a good idea to plan to vary your content forms as well.
  • Plan content for all stages of the customer journey: Ideally, you should write content to guide your customers through each step of the customer journey starting from awareness, to when they engage and interact with your brand and all through to when they subscribe and after that. This step by step approach to ‘marketing-content’ creation is what is commonly referred to as content funnelling.

Target broad marketing channels

Target broad contend marketing channels

Unless your objective for producing content is because you like to write, it makes sense for you to define before-hand how you intend to market the content you create. While Instagram, Facebook, and You-tube are great for promoting your brand to a large market, there are other more focused channels for your niche audience, and which could help you reach your marketing goals faster. Publishing your content on as many of these platforms as possible would give you more visibility for your brand.

Important! Install analytics tools on your web pages

Okay, so your content team has produced viral content that people are sharing on social media. Good job! Obviously, a lot of people would be visiting your site as a result.

The question is how does this translate to sales for you? What analytic tools have you put in place to determine if your content marketing is generating ROI? What’s the conversion rate to business for you? How do you quantify the profit or perhaps, the loss you are making with your content scaling and promotion activities?

The screenshot below shows how you can set objectives to track your content promotion success using Google analytics.

The first step is to install the analytics on all your important web pages; your landing page and contact pages, especially.

Next, you set up goals in the analytics site. Your goal could be the amount of time spent by visitors on your web pages. It could also be the number of visitors that migrate to your contact page. The Google analytics tool allows you to assign monetary values to these goals and this would enable you to estimate your ROI.

There’s a useful resource on how to measure marketing metrics from optinmonster that explains in detail how to use Google analytics to measure the impact of your content promotion.

Get the Right Content team for your Project

Get an efficient content scaling team

Writing creative content is not something you assign to just anyone. While a lot of people could probably write some good lines if they put their mind to it, scaling quality and quantity that will get you to the top, requires a team of professionals.

Your content team should include SEO experts, content strategists, content writers, and content marketers. It is at this stage you have to decide if it’s better to onboard a few content writers or out-source your content strategy and writing. Whatever your decision, make sure that your content teams , both internal and external are all aligned with the content forms, delivery channels, and brand messages. It is also essential that you get the buy-in of your customer-facing associates as well as your management team.

For your content promotion to succeed, apart from your content team, it’s essential you get the buy-in of your sales team as well. They could give some useful tips that would help you better define the buyer personas of your target audience( more on that later).This will enable you to write compelling content specifically targeted to appeal to each group and yield better results from your promotion.

Put an Effective Project management Plan in place

Whether you’ve decided to employ an in-house content team or outsource your content promotion activities, you still need to coordinate their businesses properly. How do you ensure that your team is still working within the specified timelines? Sending emails back and forth or hollering at Jack from across the hall may not be the best way to keep your team on track with your content goals. A much better approach would be to create an online project management system where you can check on everyone’s progress in one place.

Optimise for your readers first, then for the Search Engines next

Your goal for creating content should be to engage your target audience and then Google, in that order.With this goal in mind, create content that is fluid and readable and go for quality, every time. Content SEO is necessary to help you gain visibility because if people don’t stay on your page for long, you will gradually lose your position. You need high quality content to keep your readers engaged and get as many of them to stay long enough to click on your CTA buttons.To scale content quality, you need to follow the G.R.E.A.T format

G– google manual compliant, meaning no shady keyword stuffing and no funny SEO stuff.

R – Well researched and should provide in-depth information on the topic.Should also be relevant to your field of expertise and of course to your audience.

E– Engaging. Nobody likes to read boring stuff. Save the big words for the medical encyclopedias. Use analogies your audience can relate to and write for a 7th-9th-grade reading level.

A – Accurate.Even though the search engines may not mind a few errors here and there, I’m quite sure your human audience would be put off. Your style and writing language must be consistent and should appeal to your target audience.The data you present must be accurate.Check and double check for typos.Get an editing team or invest in an online editing tool like Grammarly.

T-Thick as opposed to thin.The dos of SEO include creating long-form content that provides all the information your readers need, in one place.That way you ensure loyalty to your brand.

You can check my guide on how to write content that ranks for more tips on writing great content.

Create evergreen content for all your content promotion strategies.

Choose topics that will be relevant for years to come and write extensively on such issues.This way you can always recycle the content when your writing team needs a break or when you are on a tight budget. ‘How- to’ guides are usually the most common topics for ever-green content creation, and making an Ultimate list seems to be the in-thing these days. Other topics that will stand the test of time include ‘where to’ topics especially if they direct readers to cheaper alternatives or make valid comparisons between multiple service providers.

Topics that answer questions people ask about a particular field, are a sure-fire way to get audience engagement. These guys right here did a beautiful job of explaining the problem; how much does web development cost? Their content deserves to rank every time. Just think of topics that would provide useful information to your target audience, and you are well on your way to scaling great content.

Customize content for the customer life cycle

Plan an A-B shift for your customers to guide them through the four stages of the customer life-cycle for your brand.

While offering promo codes, freebies and discounts are an excellent way to get new customers, keep in mind that they could get this free stuff elsewhere too. This method of marketing content to take your customers through all the stages of the buying process up until getting them to become brand advocates is known as content funnelling.

This short video explains how funneling content creation would help you create awareness for your brand and turn potential customers into repeat buyers and advocates for your brand.

Stick to your Brand Identity

One pitfall your team needs to be mindful of when scaling promotional content constantly is veering off your brand Identity.This is more likely to occur when you have a large group managing different aspects of your content promotion activities. To avoid this, you need to ensure that the team continually refers to the content guide you set at the beginning and understand how each goal aligns with the organisation’s vision and mission.

Your brand message, logo ,and style of delivery should also be consistently clear in all your content promotion activities.Failure to stick to a consistent brand message would create different impressions and versions of your brand value in the minds of your customer. Telling different brand stories will also detract from your overall goal of creating loyal customers because you come across as confused about your own identity.

Post frequently, but allow sufficient interval between posts

There are several opinions about how regular the frequency of posting content to social media platforms should be. Many agree that posting no more than once daily or less than three times weekly should be the ideal. As for me, I say go by the rule of common sense. What is your purpose of posting content? If its only to keep your blog ratings up, then post as many times as you like in a day( let’s hope your audience has all the time in the world to read your posts).

If, however, the intention behind content marketing is to generate more ROI, then it would be a better idea to wait for a little to measure the success of one promotional content before dishing out the next.How well are people viewing your post? How much time are they spending on your website as a result? Allow at least a day between posts to measure the impact on your target audience.

The same goes for targeted email campaigns. I’m hoping you have optimised your emails for mobile devices as well and installed triggers that show when a client reads your emails. If you don’t know how to do this please save this article to read later. In the meantime, shall we continue with the frequency of your sending emails? Guess what the click-through rates (CTR)for most emails are? A measly 2%, that’s what. Think of all the time and resources you spent creating one beautiful email that a prospective buyer never even opens. Frustrating. Huh? Okay, be wise. Nobody likes to get bombarded with emails daily. However, marketing professionals recommend staying in touch with your potential customer regularly.

The question is how often is too often? Let’s get a little more scientific: when is the best day of the week to send an email to your potential clients? This research by Get Response has all the fantastic facts and figures on how clients behave in response to an email. Can you believe it? The best day of the week to send an email is Tuesday! Some marketing mail gurus did more research showing that 90% of your target audience would like to receive promotional emails only once a month. This may sound too long an interval, especially if you’re planning to grow your business reach. Interestingly, 61% said they wouldn’t mind getting such mails once a week and only 15% say they don’t mind being bombarded with emails daily.

On the average, it looks like posting twice a week may be better, to strike a balance between customer preferences and your promotional objectives. The best way, though,would be to customise email sending preferences for each customer. Click here to find out how you can do this.

Create content that resonates with your audience.

Define your audience pereonas

Bust your assumptions of what your audience likes best and tailor your message to what they actually would love to read. A great way to do this is to create buyer personas. Buyer personas mean fictitious marketing characters you create that have all the human elements( based on your knowledge of your users) as well as the demographics of your target audience. These personas enable you to step into your audience shoes and design content that will best appeal to them.

To create great buyer personas you will need to follow some of the steps listed in this great article from Forbes.

Ask yourself all the right questions about what benefits of your product would best appeal to your different personas

What are the pain points that your brand can solve?
How do they currently manage these needs?
Why have they not found a solution to it or if they have, what are the shortfalls of their current solution?

The final step is to create brand stories that appeal to these personas using impact- benefit selling model. What is the impact of not using your brand? Fear is a strong emotion that galvanises people into taking decisions. What unique selling point does your brand have that could mitigate this impact?- Slay them with these benefits and you probably will have given them solid reasons to convert.

Frequent Content Curation is not an Option

While curation is an excellent way to get content out to your audience like this, if not correctly done, it could get your target market slipping through your fingers like that (grains of sand). Content Curation while presenting you with an easy way to Scale content promotion, comes with its own challenges too.

You need to ensure that you thoroughly vet whatever material you are presenting, so you don’t end up endorsing an article with wrong information. Also, a significant disadvantage to curating too often would be that it could hurt your SEO. While Google may not penalise you for copying the work of others( since you cited your sources), it would not recognise your content as original either. The chances of you ranking high with such curation would probably be less than if you created the content yourself.

Get Creative with your Content forms.

Get out of your comfort zone. Rather than sticking to writing blog posts or articles, you can switch it up a bit with video marketing and infographics. Today’s generation of internet users interacts more with content if it comes in the form of exciting videos, which is probably one of the reasons why You-tube has risen steadily to become the second most popular social media platform on the internet.

Scale content to promote your brand as well as to provide valuable information:

Tips for growing your e-commerce sales

While maintaining a consistent brand message and Identity, ensure that your brand promotion is not at the expense of providing useful information to your readers. Every customer wants to feel like you genuinely care about them even though they know you care about your profit margin too. They are likely to be more interested in listening to what you have to say if the ‘what’s in it for them’ is consistently clear throughout.

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How to do Online Advertising on a tight budget.

What is online advertising?

Online advertising, online marketing, or internet marketing means promoting your business on the internet either through paid content promotion or optimising your website for organic search. Nowadays most people looking for your services or products would google it or check it up on Facebook, Yahoo, Youtube or Bing. Whether you are a B2B (business to business), or a B2C ( business to consumer) firm, for you to grow, you need online marketing.

Continue reading “How to do Online Advertising on a tight budget.”

What makes a Small Business Successful-Learn from 5 great entrepreneurs

People ask -what makes a small business successful? Lots of Capital, a winning mindset, mother luck or a combination of all three?

Well, for those of us who don’t have millions to invest in starting a project, there’s good news: you don’t need a huge capital to start up a small business, and neither is it required to make your small business successful.

While it may be nice to have lots of cash to throw around on your project, it is not necessarily a must-have for a new startup. So what makes a small business successful?

Let’s start with stories from five self-made millionaires and billionaires who started from scratch and were able to turn their small businesses into multi-million dollar empires.

Continue reading “What makes a Small Business Successful-Learn from 5 great entrepreneurs”

5 tips to help you improve your sales during off-peak periods

If you run a seasonal business, you probably know what it means to take an enforced business holiday. There may have been days when you’ve had to lock shop or watch balefully as customers trickle in.

For some other entrepreneurs, your business may not be precisely seasonal but could be subject to seasonal fluctuations in patronage. Clothing stores, gift shops, resorts and tourist attractions are examples of the companies that experience seasonal variations in sales traffic.

Regardless of whether you run a seasonal business or a business whose sales fluctuates with the seasons, the plan you implement to survive the lean months may make the difference between your packing up entirely or experiencing a significant boost in sales when the peak periods roll in.

Find below some valuable tips to help you sell better during lean times.

How to thrive during the lean sales months

Start a content marketing campaign:

If you’ve not been reaching out to your subscribed customers to provide useful information, now’s the time to leverage content marketing on a scale to suit your budget. A simple email or newsletter with helpful information will be the right place to start.

Let’s suppose you run a clothing business; you can send useful tips on how to take care of different kinds of clothing materials, tips on how to combine fashion items and accessories and 1001 other fashion tips and how-to guides to your subscribers. By doing this, you achieve several objectives :

  • Provide helpful resources to your customers.
  • Position yourself as a value adder rather than a potential money grabber.
  • Keep your brand top of mind.
  • Build a relationship where the customer can view you as a partner of choice.
  • Differentiate your brand from the competition. Even if there is no immediate reason for the customer to buy from you, you never know when they may need your product or services. The key is to remain top of the mind when they require services such as those you offer.

Offer massive sales discounts on slow-moving items:

Discount your products

Apart from the holiday periods, the lean months are the second best periods to offer discounts and promos to both potential and existing customers.

If you run a local boutique, for instance, the lean periods are the best times to take proper stock of your inventory. If you have items that are just gathering dust in your store, you can offer huge discounts to get these items out.

If you run a business that thrives on tourist engagement, the slow periods when the tourists have come and gone would be an excellent time to focus on the locals.

To help your business survive during these off-season periods, you should offer special discounts on your products and services.

Intensify your product marketing campaigns:

Use the lean periods to intensify your PPC advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you are a highly seasonal business, depending on the nature of your services, you could repurpose your strategy for the off-peak periods.

For instance, if you provide resort or holiday getaway services, you could focus your business as a family weekend getaway during the off-season months.

Below are some useful advertising tips to help you gain more clicks and more conversions with your promotions.

● Create a captivating one-liner headline that tugs at the potential customer’s emotions.
● Use stunning visuals.The more creative, the better.If you sell men sneakers, don’t just display a picture of the shoes( that’s entirely predictable and your competitors are doing that too). You can choose humorous visuals if your message is formal, or more formal images if your headline is playful.The key to grabbing your audience’s attention is to create a contrast between your headline and your visuals.
● In the description, add a simple offer the customer can’t refuse.This is the right place to state your discount offer, your free trial sample or free shipping.
● End with a compelling CTA. Keep your call to action, short and straightforward.

This Facebook ad by Classpass blends all the elements of a compelling social media ad- Engaging headline, stunning visuals and a compelling offer wrapped up in its call to action; ‘Try two weeks free!’

Upsell using conditional rebates.

You can use conditional discount selling to push out products that are not fast moving — an excellent way to upsell without looking like you’re up selling.

As an example, if you have men’s sneakers that sell reasonably well even during the leaner months, you can tie a conditional discount to this item by offering rebates if the sneaker and any other related item/ items are purchased together. If you run an e-commerce store, there are several apps to help you set up conditional discounts for your products.

Take a quick survey of your existing customers:

It’s sometimes beneficial to take a review of your current customers to find out how you can improve your services. If your seasonal business has experienced a more drastic decline in sales in recent times ( more than seasonal variation would account for), it’s essential you find out what the problem could be.

Starting a short survey using any of the free, or very affordable survey tools can help you gain valuable customer insights into your services and the customer-centricity of your brand.

With these insights, you can know what you need to maintain, adjust, or overhaul to gain more sales for your business both during peak and off peak periods.

So now you know what to do during those months when the customers barely trickle in. Rather than fold your arms and watch helplessly as your sales plummet, you should take your purchases in your hands, literally.

The key to succeeding during the lean or off-season periods is thinking outside the box and adopting a proactive mindset.

For innovative tips on how to grow your e-commerce business, please check our guide on scaling your e-commerce sales

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