Maybe you’ve been a little lax with the marketing efforts on your business website lately, instead focusing on fulfilling orders and shipping product. That can take you pretty far sometimes, until one day you’re confronted with the inevitable slump in business. Where did everybody go?!
And more importantly, “How can we get our mojo back?” Here are four ways to start up the lead machine again on your business website, so you can change the sales trajectory for the year. If you’re reading this and you need to take the lead again on your company’s marketing and operations (to FIX IT), you’re in the right place.
Your Business Website Should Show Your Products (or Services) Off with Video
Do you have a product or service that practically sells itself when the client sees it or walks into your office? Well, how much more business could you generate if you could recapture some of those potential customers who never made it that far?
There is a great first impression to be made for both product AND service companies with the power of a short but effective video (or set of videos) on your business website. Sure the customer has an idea of your business, the location, and maybe they have a printed catalog or brochure of your offerings. But what if they could see for themselves how sturdy, sleek, effective, durable, low profile, luxurious, or high powered your products are?
The Power of Show and Tell
Henry Ford once struck a vehicle with a hammer in a publicity stunt to show how durable the panels of his car would be. It caused such a stir that we are still talking about it to this day. Is there a demonstration you can show for your product?
What Could You Do With Thirty Million Views?
Totally relevant Youtube story: there is a lovely channel James Townsend and Sons, who produce high quality video clips on what life would have been like about the time America separated from the British (circa late 1700’s). These folks put out high quality and thought-provoking videos every single week, which in turn promotes their catalog of reproduction clothing and housewares. How big of a market do you think historical re-enactment really is? While I can’t tell you that number for sure, what I can say is that this channel has garnered over 30,000,000 views — you read that right, thirty million — for what are generally advertisements and promotions for their products.
Let that sink in. Here is a channel with 280,000 subscribers and 30M total views who show their products in every single episode, give short weekly history lessons, and generate a return without Youtube ads. I myself am very warmed to technology (naturally!) and the last person who would get into historical reenacting, yet even I start thinking every once in a while that maybe I need a hand carved wooden bowl and spoon, sourced from some small artisan shop in the midwest, to really connect with what life was like a few hundred years ago. It’s only a matter of time before they get a sale out of me at this point.
Entertain While You Demonstrate
Consider this other hugely popular channel from several years back: Will It Blend? I dare say this channel put BlendTec on the map, so much so that now you can find their product right next to the American incumbent champion Vitamix at any Costco store. Let me say that again — unlike most things, Costco is carrying multiple brands of superblenders, because both are just so popular. There are VERY FEW items that Costco will sell several brand names of at one time.
Do you remember those Will It Blend videos? They were quite a sensation and no doubt led to a lot of traffic for the company’s business website. Though Blendtec hasn’t used its channel much in several years, they rose to 900,000 subscribers and 280,000,000 views by throwing anything and everything in their 1/4 or 1/2 horsepower blenders and chopping it to shreds. Phones, gluesticks, DVDs, and even Shia LaBeouf – nothing was spared the experience.
While churning the latest hot pieces of technology to bits is a lot of showmanship (and maybe not right for your business), the most important thing people took away is that this was a blender that didn’t back down. It ate up metal and plastic and glass and anything else that was shoved in the carafe. And the big result? The high end blender market got a lot more competitive.
What could you show off that would either garner new views or inspire the right ideas in your customers?
Let Your Customers Get an Instant Quote
Sometimes we lose buyers because they just want to see the bottom line and they don’t want to get in touch with a representative or have their information jotted down to get a price during the business hours of 9-5. There are so many potential clients who just want to find their solutions that will solve their problems now. Could you recapture some of these eyeballs?
With few exceptions, your pricing process is probably quite automated and at worst involves some complex formulas to determine the price of products and services. Maybe there is shipping to consider. In pretty much all cases, these can be calculated excellently (but with delay) by humans, or in the blink of an eye by machines. Nobody likes to wait, and there is such a thing as an impulse buy, so why not facilitate that?
We Live In A Busy World
Are your customers really busy people? Maybe the time they have to look at your website and brochures is after their work day has concluded. Perhaps they’d really like to get a handle on their problem ASAP, and time is the most important factor. Well then, let’s get you there. Let’s build an instant online quote/estimate generator on your website. While we’re at it, think about an ROI calculator for any service that warrants it.
What a powerful one-two punch that is! First you show them the money they’ll save going with you, and then you turn right around and show them how easy it is to get started. That’s gold.
Attract A Whole New Audience Than Before
It’s moment of truth time now. Are you stuck on the same old niche or type of customer that you have been for years (or decades)? A client found ten years ago as “fashionistas in their 20s” could now well be “tired parents in their 30s”. How can you be sure now, when you go back to dust off your marketing and drum up some business, that you’re still standing on the right soapbox? It’s time to re-evaluate, and maybe even redesign your website.
Who’s Visiting Your Business Website?
I’ll bet there is another group of people out there who you haven’t even begun to tap on who would be interested in hearing about your products and services. Every day the world is changing and shifting a little, and new markets can open up to you. A funny quip I read the other day: “Minimalism is taking off because it’s a fashionable way of not having much money.” This idea is combining a high-style minimalist approach with the employment gripes of many recent grads, and there’s a nugget of truth there. You may not sell a lot of $10,000 minimalist sofas to the latter crowd, but you can sell a whole lot of $100 lamps, chairs, cookware, or accessories. Sky’s the limit.
Online the whole world opens up to you, and you can probe these markets and niches quickly and easily to see if they’re a new match for you. How many new customers might you find if even a small (but dedicated) type of people learned of and got excited about your offerings?
Position Yourself as Leader in Your Industry
This one touches a little bit on human nature and a lot on outreach. If you make yourself visible and keep sharing on important topics, whether you meant to or not you will become a de facto expert in your field. If you can change thoughts and opinions, even better.
He Presented The World With His Findings
This example is very niche but it’s powerful. Let’s talk about bees. Bees.
Michael Bush is a software programmer in rural Nebraska who has been keeping bees for decades. He doesn’t make his living on this activity, and doesn’t even hardly advertise himself as an expert. Would it surprise you to know that he’s been translated into at least 6 languages, is cited constantly, and gets flown around the country? That the reason he became an author was to have something to point at when people asked him about writing it all down?
In an industry with demanding schedules and fierce price competition (honey producers and pollination services), ever threatened by cheap imports and disastrous pests, Mr. Bush has emerged a leader by virtue of his experience and simple willingness to lead. Over time he made his own experiments, drew and tested his conclusions, and published his methods on the web. As the article count on his bee business website grew, so did his number of readers and their desire to emulate his success. Had he kept to himself and not written a word, I’m quite sure he would not be where he is today.
A Platform That Compounds With Time
The point here is that our experts are found and proven over time. If you’d like to be an expert in your field and to your customers, the time to start is now. Grow your sphere of influence, solve big problems, educate about your industry, and enjoy the benefits that being an expert will bring. Your business website can make this happen for you!
How valuable would it be to be seen as an expert in your industry? You’ll have to answer that question for yourself, but I suspect the answer is: Very!
Where to Go to Fix Your Sales
We’ve explored some ideas to solve a decline in sales, and the great part is that a lot of these can be effective with just one fast re-evaluation round on your website. A couple of these ideas need a little follow through (for example, becoming an expert takes time and repetition), but the base is laid in the beginning.
Turn It Around Faster With An Experienced Guide
If you are so ready to push out of the slump, let me throw you the rope! Let’s find out together what’s occurring for your business website right now, and how we can invest a little elbow grease in your 24/7 sales representative (aka your website) to get things rolling again.
Don’t stew in it, you need to take some action! Even the best referrals run out eventually, and everybody needs that marketing jumpstart sometimes. Give me a shout if you’re interested in excellent service at a 20-50% discount (that’s a freelance perk) and we’ll get things rolling again for you.
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