By Takatomo Homma
Please raise your hand if you have never bought anything online.
I see no hands?
Well, it’s easy to predict that because a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2016 reveals that 79% of U.S. adults have made an online purchase of any type. Despite the clear disadvantages of not being able to touch or see the products, popularity of online shopping doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Who doesn’t like online shopping? Because all you need is internet and either a computer, smartphone or tablet. You can enjoy browsing from the comfort of your own home and you can do it any time, anywhere. Also, if you are looking for niche products that not many people are interested, probably it’s hard to find a physical store in your city. But on the web a wider selection of items are available and you don’t have to travel to a store.
In recent years, technology advances have enabled us to build a business relatively easily and you see more and more ecommerce stores popping up and selling the same or similar products. That makes it competition very fierce.
So, that’s when your unique value or branding becomes more important than simply you selling the latest and best product X or Y. How can you grow your brand and stand out above the rest in the crowded ecommerce market? These five brand awareness tips will help.
1. Educate or Entertain Your Audience
Informative content is key. Although people mostly visit social media to have fun, it doesn’t mean they don’t value informative content that teaches something. Especially, if it’s something that has a big impact on their lives such as career change, health-related issues or latest trends, you should be using social media to promote your content and get more eyeballs to your site.
Even if your products are boring and not so glamorous, you can still find content ideas, which could be your industry’s trend or lifestyle of your audience.
So, how do you create informative content?
You can create informative content even if you are not an expert at it. You can do research on Google or sites like Quora to find out what problems people are having and write a post that answers those questions. Of course, you shouldn’t just copy what other people are saying. You should put your own voice to it.
The next step is getting more attention for your content on social media. In order to do that, you need each of the skills listed below.
Creating social media accounts don’t cost a thing. So, just about anyone can join and post whatever they want to post, which leads to information overload.
As such, ability to write copy that gets attention can go a long way.
Eye for Design and Visual Aesthetic
Sometimes you don’t need words to make people feel certain way or let them take action. People want to find out what is on the other end when they see beautiful images. But you can’t do it just for clickbait. You need to make it relevant.
Ability to Make Them Laugh
Although watching videos online is nothing new, its popularity as a marketing tool has increased over the last couple years. As some people prefer watching a video to reading, using a video is a quick way to make them laugh.
The trend nowadays is bite-sized content that people can consume quickly and video is a perfect tool for that.
If creating a video is difficult, a GIF could be an option and it is just as good. But the key is to make it relevant. Anyone can post a funny video or GIF. It should be funny and still relevant to what you are doing.
2. Be Selective with Social Media Platforms
It seems most brands today are at least on two or more social media platforms. Some brands have more. So, you see websites out there and think to yourself that you also have to be on all of them. The more is better, right?
Because in order to get the maximum results out of one platform, you have to perform a few different tasks such as:
- Editing images according to the size of each platform
- Choosing the best hashtags
- Choosing which content to share
- Scheduling content using an automation tool
And the image size for each platform is different, so you need to create images slightly differently. If you sign up five different socials and try to be active on all of them, that really keeps you busy.
If you are not updating regularly, it gives people an impression that you are not really into it, so that’s another thing. It will look like an abandoned house.
3. Engage and Build Relationships
Publishing content on the internet and starting a business have become easier than ever. However, that hasn’t made building a sustainable and profitable business any easier. Before you start to sell anything, you have to show people you are a trustworthy business that has something interesting to offer.
Creating educational content is a good start and it can become a conversation starter. If they have a question, social media can become a place to engage with your audience. Not only that, other people will get to see that question and it becomes FAQ.
According to a recent research from Smart Assistant and Researchscape, 72% of consumers in U.S., UK and Germany think of “trust” as #1 priority in brands. You don’t build trust overnight, and social media is a great place to nurture relationships with people from all walks of life under one roof.
4. Be Consistent
People will not recognize your existence unless you let everyone know your presence. This is just a plain and simple fact about online business.
So, create different types of social media content and schedule your posts using automation tools like Buffer, which lets you post at your preferred time slots.
Find friends and engage with them. Be there regularly and you’ll get more traction and exposure.
5. Take Care of Your Customers
Days of calling customer service on the phone and having to listen to an automated message may be becoming obsolete. Obviously, there will be a situation where you need to talk to a real person over the phone, but live chat and messaging on social media can often replace that and is becoming popular.
If someone discovered your brand on social media, it’s more convenient for them to stay right there and ask you a question rather than visiting a website and filling out the form.
Internet users today want to get things done as quickly as possible. Waiting for a few minutes on the phone until a customer service agent is available not only wastes their time, but also adds to their phone bills.
Take a look at these stats by Go-Globe and you will see how customer service is important:
- Solving a customer issue on social media costs nearly ⅙ as compared to call center interaction.
- 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from companies that leave complaints on social media unanswered
- Customers who experience positive social media interactions are nearly 3X more likely to recommend that brand
These tips might be basic, but a lot of people take basics for granted. Success always lies on fundamentals in almost anything whether it’s marketing, playing sports or artistic talent. So, build the solid foundation first and go from there.