The 3 C’s Of Online Marketing
Content, above all, is what gains your site visitors and keeps them coming back for more. It is also one of the largest opportunities as many sites have decided to focus on quantity over quality of pages in order to gain SEO rankings. While this trend is slowly changing; prompted by strong activism on the part of Google, many sites still have not invested in this area. Changing our mentality as it relates to content is the only lasting method to become a leader in this area. That means incorporating content that is not traditionally used in eCommerce (or any other type of site you are operating). What content does your favorite blog, social site, or wiki uses to grab your attention? Being an innovator means keeping everything on the table.
While social media is now well established, and I would argue a bit over-exploited, there are many other methods of adding a community aspect to your site. Forums, blogs, reviews, discussion groups & product suggestions are all incredibly effective ways of converting your customers into brand advocates. Getting your customers involved has shown to not only increase levels of satisfaction with their product and brand experience, but it also makes them much more likely to return for a second purchase and speak positively about your brand to their friends and family.
Of-course the end result of combining all your marketing efforts with appealing content and engaging community is to drive conversions and sales. This also happens to be the second greatest lost opportunity to convert visitors into customers (the first being when visitors first arrive at your site). While a number of sites have made improvements in their shopping cart and checkout experience, many do not realize that seemingly insignificant struggles can be catastrophic for conversions. Successfully converting visitors to customers requires a great deal of empathy for just how exhausting the online shopping experience can be. Overwhelmed with choices and always doubting whether you are overpaying is a stressful ordeal and shoppers are looking for reasons to put it off. If your visitors need to engage in just one too many steps you may lose them. The best way to examine if your checkout needs an overhaul is with the “cart abandonment” metric. This will reflect the percentage of your visitors who add an item to their shopping cart, only to tell themselves they will return at another date; similar to the in-store customers that promises to be back another day to purchase an item. And we all know where that customer ends up….. generally at your competitors doorstep.