How to Drive More Sales and Conversions From 7 Overlooked Places
You can now use the likes of Facebook and Instagram to directly sell to consumers. Read this guide and find out how to generate more income
Increasing sales is a shared goal for the majority of businesses; meaning marketing across several channels is a common tactic. However, whilst extensive advertising will build awareness of your brand, forcing potential customers to suffer from a slow and complicated sales path could be the reason your conversion rate is slipping and therefore why sales are dropping.
Regardless of whether you’re using social media, email newsletters or even paid advertising campaigns, here are seven marketing tools you should be utilising better to improve the efficiency, relevancy and accessibility of your customer’s journey which will ultimately improve your conversion and sales rate.
The ever-increasing popularity of social media is undoubted making it a central marketing platform – in fact, 50 million companies, businesses and organisations now have a Facebook brand page. Whilst updating status or sharing some photos might increase brand awareness, it won’t encourage users to interact with your website (whether it’s through filling out a form, signing up to a newsletter or your main goal – making a purchase), ultimately reducing your conversion rate and chance of making a sale.
In order to fully benefit from having a Facebook page, providing direct ‘Calls to Action’ help to capture your prospects in that all-important sales funnel. Facebook buttons allow you to select from a variety of options, such as: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up or Watch Video, these also function on mobile devices. You can measure the click-through-rate (CTR) of your call to action button by using Facebook Insights.
New Look have included a Shop Now call to action in their page’s header that leads directly to their website which will increase the likelihood of a user interacting with the site and making a sale. Alternatively, a restaurant or a hotel would benefit from including a ‘Book Now’ button to their reservations landing page, whereas a ‘Sign Up’ button would be advantageous for growing the email database of virtually every business.
The preference for using mobile devices to browse social media means that mobile-based campaigns are ideal for increasing customer engagement and, with 80% of online consumers using their smartphones to shop, creating mobile-specific advertisements can make a substantial difference to your conversion and sales rates.
Considering Instagram has a community of 500 million users, it is easily one of the world’s largest mobile ad platforms: it has evolved beyond a photo or video-sharing service and now caters for businesses directly. According to Iconosquare, 70% of Instagram users report to have already looked up a brand on the platform; while 62% of users follow a brand “just because they like it”, so ensuring your Instagram page is sufficiently optimised is vital.
Instagram enables businesses to produce sponsored adverts in various formats – photos, videos or carousel ads (swiping through several images) with a call to action button. These are shown specifically to users who have shown interest in similar niche products or services with the intention of increasing engagement. For example, Redbubble have used the ‘Shop Now’ banner on their advertisement for women’s fitted scoop t-shirts, which leads directly to the relevant landing page.
A case study of child’s clothing retailer Sparkle in Pink depicts how using a slideshow campaign with the ‘Shop Now’ banner generated a 9% growth in total monthly sales, whilst another study of flexible fashion provider Inflow Style received a 5x sales increase on their website through sponsored advertising on Instagram.
Applying telephone numbers across your channels
A recent survey by Mediahawk discovered over-the-phone sales increase by up to 40% for small businesses in run up to Christmas meaning the accessibility of your contact information is essential for answering queries from potential customers to avoid losing a sale, in fact the preferred communication channel for 80% of consumers to reach customer support representatives is through a phone call.
Ensure phone numbers are easy to locate across all of your marketing channels. Including the contact number in the header of your website and on a designated ‘Contact Us’ page makes it quicker and easier to find. If your business has a location-based element, then add all the contact numbers for different areas and ensure these numbers are applied to your Google Plus Local Listings too as these citations will appear for local searches and often a phone number is sought by consumers shopping locally.
Answering and responding to all enquiries through email can be an extremely time-consuming process which is definite drawback if your response is required during a potential sale. 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered through a live chat session while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer and 38% admit they made their purchase due to the chat session itself.
Providing a live chat feature fulfils a consumer’s need for urgency and allows you to answer any questions that could make or break a sale as a customer will have someone who can immediately walk them through the process. This option decreases the chance of a shopping cart being abandoned and therefore a higher chance of a sales conversion.
Email newsletters are ideal for providing direct links to sales, new releases, specific products and contact information eliminating the need for potential customers to navigate through your entire website.
The Horn of Plenty hotel use a call to action button in their email newsletter which leads directly to their reservations landing page for New Year bookings. They also include several links to the services they offer throughout the year – hotel, food & drink, weddings & celebrations and offers & events to cater for a broader audience.
Including tap target links for their telephone number and email address will make contact easier and quicker on mobile devices making the chance of achieving a conversion or an over-the-phone booking more likely. Even if a sale isn’t made by clicking one of these links, it would at least indicate interest and still count as a conversion, proving that your techniques are generating interest.
YouTube can be a fantastic marketing tool if utilised effectively. Recent figures from Boom Social indicate over 69% of marketers are planning to increase their YouTube use which is unsurprising considering over 4 billion videos are viewed a day.
Having a branded YouTube channel with consistent content production will certainly increase awareness of your brand but this can be taken a step further by adding link cards to your videos.These cards allow you to associate specific pages on your website with your YouTube account: for example, if a clothing retailer had a discount on shoes a card could be added on the video campaign that leads to the sale landing page.
Shopping cards link viewers directly to products they’ve already viewed or to products related to the video they’re watching: you can include up to six shopping cards in a video. Remember – shopping cards will automatically replace any other call to action cards when added to a video advertisement.
Pay per click landing pages
If a carefully targeted pay-per-click (PPC) campaign isn’t converting, the landing page is usually the problem. The end-goal is to get your landing page to do the selling, but your PPC ads are responsible for the initial convincing. PPC campaigns are an essential marketing tool for increasing traffic, improving brand awareness and driving sales. However, even paid advertising can fail when employed incorrectly.
You should implement dedicated PPC landing pages which are tied exactly to what the prospective customer is expecting to see and experience when they visit the page. Watchshop have created a relevant PPC campaign that directs the user to the ladies watches landing page when the term ‘ladies watches’ is searched; this will add personalisation to the potential customer’s journey and make them more likely to purchase from your website rather than from a competitor’s site.
Natalia Selby is a marketing co-ordinator at Mediahawk