Finding new customers for your webshop is surely one of the most important aspects you continuously work on. The process involves finding new leads, funnelling out prospects and turning them into a loyal customer base. In order to do that successfully, first, let’s look at the difference between a lead and a prospect.
How is a prospect different than a lead?
As many marketers mix these terms and use them interchangeably, it’s important to differentiate them from the start. Any potential customer that shows interest in your product or service is classified as a lead. When talking about webshops, that translates to providing contact information.
In that sense, a prospect is a qualified and interested individual who, through a two-way interaction, has demonstrated that they are preparing to make a purchase decision. Visually speaking, leads are at the top of your sales funnel, while prospects are right below them.
Now that we covered the basics, let’s see which steps to take in order to attract more prospects to your e-commerce platform.
1. Create a buyer persona
Your buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on data and research. They are created with the purpose of helping you save time with segmenting your audience and focusing on qualified prospects, as opposed to all leads.
An easy way to create your buyer persona is by finding out what your ideal clients do, which industry they’re in, their job title, level of education, challenges they face and what their lifestyle is like (do they follow fashion, which books and magazines do they read, which movies and series do they watch etc.).
A deeper understanding of your buyer persona leads to creating more insightful and higher performing content, increase in sales and higher customer retention. You’ll know exactly what materials to share at which step of your sales process. With a better understanding of your customers, you’ll have an easier time combating their problems and worries.
2. Go to your customers
The time of old media and one-way communication between brands and customers is long gone. If you’ve created your buyer personas, you’ve gathered intel for which social media platforms and websites your target audience uses. You should use this to your advantage and go to your customers, instead of them coming to you.
For a step further, you should take a part in social listening i.e.monitoring social media channels that mention your brand to gain perspective into their web presence. Make sure to follow relevant hashtags and opinion-makers, and make sure to stay informed about your competition.
Beyond social media, you should follow platforms like Reddit, Quora, Voat and recommendation sites like Yelp and Product Hunt to see what your customers think of your products or services, as well as how the market changes.
3. Let’s talk marketing campaigns
Once you’ve found your target audience, target them with specific ads tailored to the culture and the community of the platform. With each site having a different demographic of users, you have an opportunity to reach potential customers across the spectrum.
Social media advertising provides a great opportunity for brands with small budgets since you can run campaigns with only a few dollars a day. Facebook and Instagram are great for reaching a big number of people with specific interests, as well as retargeting.
The products and services that thrive on these social media are ones used by a vast number of people since this is where most social media users are and spend most of their time on, so food products, cleaning products, clothes and cosmetics do amazingly on Facebook and Instagram.
LinkedIn is definitely more expensive, meaning you need a bigger budget to even start advertising, so it’s more suitable for higher-end products and services in the B2B sector. Since LinkedIn has a specific pool of users, it makes sense to target them with services linked to work efficiency or products meant for office workers.
The choice of social media platforms ultimately lies in two factors – what are you selling and where your target audience is spending their time.
4. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a quick fix to the long process it takes to build trust between a brand and its customers. Nowadays, it may seem like the market is oversaturated with influencers. However, businesses are investing more and more in this type of marketing.
The reasoning behind this is that it works, and it works amazingly if done well. According to Adweek, influencer campaigns earn $6,85 in earned media value for every dollar spent. With an amazing ROI like that and the unprecedented brand awareness, influencer marketing is a powerful tool that brings results and should be considered when discussing your marketing strategy.
5. Set yourself apart
Do you have a brand story that is different from all of your competitors? Have you thought about your USP (unique selling point)? Have you differentiated your brand based on the quality of your products/services and the quality of your customers’ experiences?
Take time to think and brainstorm about these points, and make sure you and your customers are on the same page when it comes to your brand values. If however, you have an answer for all of these questions, you’re ready to start your campaign for attracting new prospects to your webshop.
There is always room for improvement, and if you want to bring your business to the next level, we recommend Better Proposals, a high-converting proposal software with integrated payment solutions, that will set you apart from your competition.
Now that you have all the information you need to attract more prospects to your e-commerce platform, the last bit of advice would be to go through a purchase and monitor every step from a customers perspective. Remember, this whole process will take time, so make sure to do it right, with your customers’ interest in mind at every step.
Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She’s a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.
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