5 ways to attract the right customers for your online business

July 12, 2021
5 min read

This post is a version of SME Clinic newsletter, a weekly newsletter that provides tips and recommendations to help you position your small business for successRegister to attend SME Clinic 2021 here.

Have you ever wondered what attracts ants to honey or magnets to metal? Or in less figurative terms, paying customers to a business? If you have, then you're not alone. 

Factors ranging from pricing to aesthetics and sometimes certain nuances lead to a person dipping their hands into a wallet to pay for a good(s) or service(s). 

But just as ants gather around honey and not gall, magnets have an affinity to metal and not wood, so is there a target audience for every business. 

In other words, as a business owner, your offerings have an audience, and when you recognise them, it's like the satisfying sound of the correct key for a keyhole. Click!

Fortunately, we're in a time where people are so interconnected and can be reached more than before. But remember, not all "people" are your target market. So, how do you strategically reach the right audience, I mean  "your people" via social media?

Whatever your preferred social media platform, the five steps below provide strategies to attract the right customers to your business.

1. Put value first

The cliché that money follows value is true. Think of value first. Step outside the ecstatic rush of those bomb ideas and plans running through your mind, and ask yourself, genuinely, "what value am I looking to offer with this product?" 

In other words, why should anyone even care about your offering? I'd even take it a notch higher and say if you weren't you, how will your product make a difference in your life?  Faster delivery, better aesthetics to an already existing offering, fresher food? 

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Whatever you're selling, recognising the value you're offering is so important because if your product/service doesn't seem worth a high degree of effort and earnestness to you, then you won't present it in a valuable light to the public eye.

2. Make it easy for people to find you (Search Engine Optimisation)

Most social media platforms have a bio space when opening your business page where you have a limited word character count to talk about your offerings. You can do this by using keywords. This can't be overstressed.

Instead of merely writing "food and clothes services", Use specific terms that accurately capture the uniqueness of your brand. Doing this is key to your business popping up among the first results Google displays when people search for the service you offer. 

3. Identify the people who need you

Now that you've identified the value you're offering, the next thing to do is find your people, the ones who will be willing to pay for the value you're offering. 

If, as a business owner, you sell clothes and your primary target audience are pregnant women, you are probably best suited looking for them on Facebook, where there are several Moms' Pages for mothers and intending mothers. 

Don't just sit there. With your business name, go into these groups, answer questions, build relevance, ask intending mothers what they wish they had in comfortable clothing, interact with them, know their needs. Be genuinely interested in building relationships. Many times, the primary factor in online sales via social media is relationships; sales follow.

Then introduce your product, let them know why your offering fits their needs, and remember we talked about how word-of-mouth boosts sales last week? One satisfied customer will spread the word, and that might just be the spark that sets off your forest fire. 

This quote by Barbara Findlay perfectly captures the point:

"No matter what goal you’re reaching for, don’t make sales your primary aim online. Selling repels people rather than attracts them to your business, especially on social media sites."

What an irony! If you're looking to stay in the game for the long haul, then relationships will go a long way in deepening your reach in the long run. You can engage in and contribute to conversations happening in your field using a tool like Social Mentions.

4. Ensure your content is engaging

Now you've ascertained value, you're building beneficial relationships, and your user base is steadily increasing, but it doesn't end there. You have to maintain relevance, and an excellent way to do this is to post visually engaging and relevant content.

You can go about this by posting snippets of informative content using tools like Canva or opening a blog on platforms like Medium. In the grand scheme of things, please ensure that all content stresses the importance and uniqueness of your offerings.

5. Leverage online sites

Several transactional and classified eCommerce platforms have an option for merchants to sign-up and post their products/services with their brand name. 

This is one way to leverage already established online platforms to reach your unique customer base. Whether you're starting with the famous Jumia.ng or Scrader.com, you can make your offerings known to the public, easily reach more customers, and measure online growth.

Another thing to note is that given the somewhat crowded nature of these platforms, much strategic marketing is still needed.

If these all feel a tad overwhelming, then it's understandable. Interconnectedness and business growth are having a field day in this day and age. Your brand has a share in the pie too, but only in strategically applying the right tools can you fully tap into the cream of this crop. 

That's why you shouldn't miss the upcoming SME Clinic 2021, where you'd get first hand proven strategies from seasoned experts to grow your business online.

Join us at SME Clinic 2021 to learn more about how to market and grow your business online.

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