Knowing where your customers spend their time online is very important to your marketing strategies. This information will allow you to determine where best to spend your advertising budget and plan your sales budget better. Looking to consumer research organizations for answers is an important part of obtaining this information. Interviewing actual customers also plays a significant role. Once you know your customers' online shopping behaviors, you’ll know how to capture their attention and get more of their business. This will improve your company's bottom line and put you on the fast track to success in your online commerce endeavors.
Recent studies by numerous consumer research organizations show that today's Internet denizens are spending about a quarter of their online time on social media networks. One out of every six online minutes are spent on social media sites, and the amount of time Internet users spend on social networks is rising. Social media is becoming the "new" Internet in many important ways.
The best way to reach your customers online is to go where they go. This means going to social media.
Engaging with users on social media is an important part of marketing. All businesses should at least have an active Facebook and Twitter account, and they should interact with customers there on a regular basis. In fact, many companies use Facebook and Twitter to achieve multiple goals: visibility, customer interaction, promotion of products/services, and a way to cultivate email lists.
Capturing a customer's email address through social media promotions gives you another avenue to contact your customer base and get them engaged with your business. Interacting with customers on social media and through email gives insight into what types of products and/or services they want to see from you. This allows you to adjust your sales budget to meet the needs and desires of your customers, inspiring loyalty and bringing in new customers through word of mouth.
You should also use social media to talk to your customers directly through surveys and interaction on virtual platforms. Asking them what more you can do for them, what you are doing well, where you need improvement, and how they prefer to shop are all questions that will make a big difference in your marketing strategy. If customers say they prefer to shop online, ask them how they find the things they are looking for and what factors prompt them to make a buying decision. Knowing how they use Google to search for products and services, for example, can help you fine tune your Google Adwords campaign and let you know which keywords to target to attract their attention when they are shopping online.
Using the information you glean from these interactions helps you create detailed buyer personas. As these personas develop, you’ll know how different groups of shoppers find you, locate your products and services, and decide whether or not to buy from you—by performing some simple market research, you’ll know what your customers are doing rather than blindly guessing or assuming they use the internet in certain ways.
Knowing what your customers want from you and how they use the Internet to find and interact with you is important to your business success. Conducting extensive market research and developing customer profiles for your different groups of shoppers is key to being the best company you can be, and achieving the greatest amount of success. If you don't have the time or resources in your business to do this yourself, you should hire a professional marketing firm to do it for you. It is worth it. The return on investment will be incredible. It will be one of the best business decisions you can make, and your sales budget will reflect in with improved company performance.