Graphic Arts Magazine online marketing specialist Greg Turner, entrepreneur and author of Supersize Your Business, a digital marketing guide to transform leads into profits, reveals the four key strategies printers need to utilize to generate leads and turn them into actual sales.
What does it take to successfully generate leads online and convert those leads into sales? In over five years as an online marketing specialist, I’ve found that many businesses are still struggling to use the most accessible marketing vehicle there is – the Internet! Some have even declared that it simply doesn’t work! Well, I’ve discovered why: most businesses don’t understand the mentality of users while online. And for this reason they mistakenly approach this form of marketing as they have with all others.
PSYCHOLOGY OF AN ONLINE USER
While users go online, they receive literally thousands of marketing messages every day. They’ve grown accustomed to this and have conditioned themselves to ignore these messages. There are four stages we all go through before we buy a new product. They are awareness, interest, decision then action. We must cater to all these stages.
THE FOUR KEY STAGES
When we use the Internet, we’re looking for information or entertainment. To sell online, we must first understand what our ideal customer is looking for and position ourselves as the source of that information. We do that by producing compelling content they want to read and see as helpful. If I’m selling toner, I’ll share content on how to choose the right toner, how to make it last longer, and how to save money using it. By sharing this content, I’ve now made you AWARE of my business while sparking your INTEREST. I may invite you to look at my toner catalogue to get you to buy, thus taking you to the DECISION stage.
However, you may still not buy at this time. So I may ask you to leave your email address so you can learn more about saving money using my product. This is a big deal – because if I get a reply, I can now reach my prospect directly by email, continue to persuade him or her, and hopefully get ACTION via an actual sale. This is a great way to pull in cold prospects, because they’re looking to solve a problem and find solutions that will do just that. Also, while searching, they’ll find your content and also be introduced to your business.
Unfortunately, companies don’t use this approach often enough. Instead, they’ll create a traditional ad promoting their product to cold prospects who have never heard of them. These ads are usually ignored. Companies often do this because building a platform for content and having it found online can be extremely challenging. There’s a lot of competition, and having their site rank high enough in searches so people will randomly find this content, may take many years. They also know that if this content is promoted from their own website, most savvy online users will identify it as self-promotion and ignore it.
It’s because of these challenges that Graphic Arts Magazine has positioned itself as a trusted “partner” with our advertisers for over 19 years. We create a platform where they can reach their target audience as quickly as possible with maximum credibility. Instead of creating content on their own, promoting this content, and trying to raise the ranking of their corporate page, we leverage our resources as a credible, trusted influencer in the printing industry while taking their message to the marketplace in a compelling way. Bottom line: our advertisers are successful because we show our readers how to best use their products, while educating them on the benefits and ROI.