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Small Business Marketing - Know Your Customer’s Online Behavior

Small business marketing, specifically internet marketing, boils down to predicting online behavior in terms of what it will take to turn a visitor into a customer.

According to the “experienced marketers and expert testers” at MarketingExperiments.com, this is a key element to success.

You’ve done your research and created a product or service to sell to others. And, you’ve researched your target market. Everything is in place to attract potential customers to your site.

But, once you get the prospect to your site, then what?

The purpose of bringing visitors to your site is the have them buy what you’re selling – this is called conversion. The ratio of the number of visitors to the number of buyers is your conversion rate.

Knowing your customer’s online behavior will help you enhance your site’s conversion rate.

According to a webinar presented by Marketing Experiments, How to Increase Conversion in 2012, for every action or step you want a visitor to take, it must be worth his time and money – it must be worth the opportunity cost.

In other words, the buyer must feel that choosing your product or service is of greater benefit compared to spending that money and time on another product or service. And, each step in the buying process must equate to a perceived benefit. The perceived value must outweigh the perceived cost, including time and effort.

The webinar offered four factors or key principles to small business marketing that will help guide the potential customer to the desired online behavior:

1. Appeal – Is your product desired enough by the prospect? Have you made your product and promo copy effective and enticing enough?

2. Exclusivity – Can the prospect find your product or service elsewhere online or is your offer unique and exclusive?

3. Credibility – Are your promo copy claims believable enough for the prospect to take action?

4. Clarity – Can the prospect quickly and easily understand what your site and offer is about? And, are the steps needed to purchase what you’re offering easy to follow and minimal? Having an effective heading that conveys the value of the offer, is essential to this element.

These four key principles are necessary to your small business marketing strategy – they’re needed to effectively lead a customer through the steps of buying.

Testing and research demonstrate that you must have “an unbroken chain of Yeses” in order to get the conversion. Along with this you must reduce buyer anxiety that usually appears during an involved buying process.

This means you must simplify the buying experience for the customer to allow for a smooth flow that maintains “cognitive momentum.”

Steps you can take to simplify the customer’s buying experience include:

• Have an effective image on your site – studies show that images increase clicks
• Have a clean and uncluttered page – clutter causes distraction, which breaks the “yes” chain
• Make the shopping cart steps as minimal as possible – keep it short and simple

In its simplest form, your ‘small business marketing customer value proposition’ needs to answer the question of ‘why should that customer buy from you, rather than from your competitor.’ And, you must convey that answer quickly, simply, and effectively in order to drive desired online behavior.

To check out Articles One and Two in this three-part series go to:

Small Business Marketing – Know What Consumers Buy (Part 1)
Small Business Marketing - Meet Your Customers' Wants (Part 2)

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