There has never been a more important time to build a digital presence for your water quality business than now. A 2020 survey from PYMNTS, a business intelligence company, shared nearly 36% of U.S. consumers are buying retail products online, and a McKinsey & Co. report predicts that people will continue to shop online even when the pandemic ends.
The following steps will help you to build a digital presence and bring an online customer base to your business quickly and effectively.
Step 1: Build Your Platform
If you sell products directly to end customers, the most sensible selling solution is to build an ecommerce website. Research suggests that many customers are now solely shopping online, and it is no different when it comes to water quality products.
When shopping online, customers can take their time comparing products, reading reviews and looking for the features that appeal to them the most. This means that not only do you have a bigger audience to appeal to, you also have a more interested one.
Building a website is not anywhere near as expensive or difficult as it once was. Nowadays, you can build a high-quality website in no time at all using an online drag-and-drop website builder, or you can browse freelancer sites like Fiverr and pay less than $200 for an expert to handle the job.
Some of the most popular ecommerce platforms worth considering are Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Woocommerce. You will need an ecommerce platform if you want to sell your product online, which will help you to deliver the best customer experience with little-to-no hassle on your end.
If you provide a service, such as installation of water quality products, your job is a little simpler. All you need is an online platform that you can direct customers to — a website is the most commonsense option. Make it as easy as possible for customers to get in touch with a contact form for online inquiries and a phone number for immediate contact.
Selling a service to a local audience means that you do not have to worry about being seen by an extensive international user base — only to the people that matter. Utilizing Google My Business can help you to get seen by people searching for your service nearby. Providing your location on Maps and basic business information, such as address and phone number, will make it easier for people to get in touch or pay you a visit.
Step 2: Drive Traffic to Your Platform
Trying to get noticed on Google is an ongoing battle that often feels impossible, but improving your website’s SEO ranking is not actually as difficult as it seems once you are aware of the tried-and-tested formulas for success.
If you do not have one already, it is a good idea to start a water quality blog and post regularly. Blogging contributes to SEO success by helping you to rank on Google and get seen by customers online.
Think carefully about the topics you choose to discuss on your blog. You want to answer your customers’ questions, so make sure your content is as relevant as possible. If you are frequently asked the same questions by customers making a sale, answer these first in the form of long-form blog posts (which generally perform best on Google). Do not forget to optimize your content with keyword research, too. There are plenty of free online learning tools if you are not familiar with the ins and outs of keyword research already.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads
Investing in PPC advertising will help to bring in new leads — providing you know how, where and when to spend your money. Google shopping ads for ecommerce websites are really simple to set up. You simply build a list of products, connect it to your Google ads account, set your budget and off you go. Google will automatically serve your ads for the best possible searches with no need to even write ad copy.
Social media paid ads are another effective way to reach a local audience. Rather than targeting people who have searched for your service on Google, you can focus on customers who are still at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. It is your job to make them aware of the service you offer and persuade them to learn more.
While you may not make immediate sales from social media advertising, you should be able to educate your audience. You may eventually convince a customer of the value of your product or service and organically encourage them to make a purchase.
Social media should not only be used to post ads. You can use the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to build up a presence on the main social media channels your customers use.
You should have a good idea of your audience, so make sure to focus most of your social media efforts on the platform that your customers are most likely to hang out. Engage with your customers. Reply to comments and messages promptly and devise clever tactics to bring in new followers, such as hosting competitions and teaming up with other brands to promote your business.
Step 3: Optimize Conversions
Build an Email List
The majority of websites nowadays use pop-ups that will encourage you to subscribe to their email newsletter, but how many of these have you actually entered your details into? The key to an effective email marketing strategy is to give your customers a reason to want to subscribe, whether that is because you will keep them informed with news that relates directly to them, it will give them a chance to enter a prize giveaway, or you offer exclusive deals to your email subscribers.
Building an email list is not as daunting as it may seem. To begin, you only need to produce around five to 10 emails and schedule them to automatically send out to subscribers’ inboxes whenever you choose. You can use software such as Mailchimp to plan your content and send it out, rather than having to manage everything yourself.
Incentivize with Promotions
People love a bargain. According to Convince and Convert, about 93% of shoppers use a discount coupon or code throughout the year. There is a psychology behind discounts, because when you offer a product at a discounted price, customers feel that if they do not buy it right now at a lower cost they will miss out on saving money.
Do not only offer discounts on your products though. Get clever by offering alternative savings. For example, promote bundle deals that will increase your profits and promote certain products at certain times of the year. Be sure to get on board with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales if you have not already, as people are specifically looking for a good deal on those days.
Stay Top of Mind with Retargeting Ads
Using social media or Display network retargeting ads to reach out to previous visitors to your website is an effective means of encouraging a sale that did not happen the first time. Retargeting ads are clever. They promote specific products or services that a customer has already viewed, giving the highest possible chance of that customer clicking back onto your website to consider the product that caught their eye once again.
Even if your retargeting ad does not automatically make a sale, your customer is much more likely to remember one of your products, or even simply the name of your business, if they are exposed to a clever retargeting ad that reminds them of something that took their interest.
If your water quality business does not already use these simple online marketing techniques to build a well-rounded digital presence, you are missing out. Not only can building a digital presence improve your online visibility and give you access to a brand-new audience, but over time it can make you an influencer in your industry. When your name becomes well-known, either locally or nationally, you are much more likely to bring in new customers from word-of-mouth alone.