The last blog post was all about making the right impression with your customers. This, we found out, is a rather important step in defining the kind of atmosphere your customers will encounter and how effective it is in keeping them around.
Making a lasting first impression is not easy. As much as we would liken it with wearing a good suit, it is not exactly the same.
Your customers vary in taste, livelihoods, backgrounds, education, and so much more. There is nothing you can do about it. However, there are similarities you could address that will surely make you first impression stick.
These aspects are your target group; they are your sweet spot and you have to focus your time and energy on them.
- Understand Your Customer’s Preferences
Even with all the differences in the world, your customers are more likely to be influenced by the same things when making certain decisions. More often than not, these things influence their buying moods and behaviours.
Preferences are the things that your general pool of customers likes. It is highly unlikely that your business is operating in a vacuum. Therefore, find out what would excite all your customers at the same time.
For example, Bitcoin was a huge success in 2017. Millions of people invested billions of dollars in Bitcoin expecting to earn colossal amounts of money.
And they did!
The funny thing is that it was not Bitcoin that was their preference. Bitcoin was just a way for people to meet their most general and common need, making huge monetary returns without investing too much.
That is why other crypto-currencies soon mushroomed around the time Bitcoin was at its peak. Also, businesses that dealt in Bitcoin and copywriters who wrote matters Crypto-currencies made a killing in the subsequent months. Even now people still continue to make money off Cryptocurrency.
One common factor that affects most people’s preferences is emerging trends. Human beings have been known to do things because other people were doing them. We are, after all, social beings.
One good example was Pokémon go. The game did not add any real value to humanity, yet there were people playing Pokémon go even at 3 AM in the morning.
Such trends also play out in the buying culture. Finding a way to incorporate incoming trends into your business will do a great job at influencing your customers’ decisions. Amazon did it with their Amazon Prime Video. They realized that people were moving to watch movies and other series from the internet and they created a service that would feed into their preferences while still leading people to their retail website.
- Work on Your Image
Your image is the one thing people will look at when they meet your products and services in the market. Having a good image is important because it has been known to create the right impression. People are less likely to spend their money on businesses that look disorganized.
Here are a few things you need to do to enhance your image.
- Use quality branding materials and make sure you work with professionals for the same. This will make your overall appearance appealing.
- Have presentable business cards. How would you feel if you and your fellow business owners placed their business cards on the table and decided to vote on whose looks more presentable? Would you feel ashamed?
- Your business colors should be appropriate for your niche. Your potential customers are more likely to take you more seriously if you have your colors in order.
- You should also work on your business logo. Most business owners do not pay attention to their business logos, much to their peril. Make such a logo that people will be able to recognize even without your business name’s presence.
- Your website should be inviting at all times. This means posting content that will add value to your customers’ lives. Business owners need to consider investing in good content to make sure that they not only appeal to their customers but also gain authority in their respective niches.
- Always remember that you are a walking and talking representation of your business. This means working on yourself as well and branding yourself appropriately.
From the onset, your business should look clean and inviting. This means doing everything in your power to look like you can be trusted with their money. It will not matter that you are selling if your business looks like it could need a year of work.
- Be unpredictable
This is one of the most generic pieces of advice on the internet, yet its effectiveness is still valid. Currently, every smart business person is investing in their marketing. They want to sell more, and to do that, they have to get their marketing right.
We could safely consider that as a common norm for current business owners. What we should not consider common, is creativity in marketing methods. Your methods of marketing your business should not necessarily be the same ones used by the next fifty businesses around you.
Cliché is the most dangerous road you could take as a business person. This is because customers are always keen, even they do not appear to be. They are easy to dismiss your business simply because your marketing methods are the same as every other brand on the market (read boring).
What you need to do is come up with different ways to market your products and services. Be unpredictable and exciting at the same time. Create methods that will stick to your customers’ minds.
Some companies have resulted in almost offensive methods of marketing. This is not exactly the kind of strategy you need to embrace in this day and age.
Take for example what MasterCard did for their sound of priceless campaign. In a bid to support the Chicago Cubs team after a rival player questioned their fans’ enthusiasm, MasterCard came up with a campaign that would show just how much ‘sound’ the fans could make.
The fans cheered so loudly, they broker the 100 decibels record. For MasterCard, they were able to bring more awareness to their businesses.
The idea that a financial-oriented institution like MasterCard could even think of doing something like that was unimaginable, yet MasterCard did it and managed to create a new record altogether.
Your unpredictability and creativity when launching marketing campaigns will be noticed by your customers. They will be more drawn to your business.
- Invest in promotional items
There is close to 100% chance that you have a branded shirt or cap in your house.
How about a calendar, key holder? Umbrella?
Unless you bought them, these are promotional items. Things you were given for free by a business.
This is not an entirely new trade. If you go to a country like Kenya, you will not miss green T-shirts from Safaricom, the largest telecommunications company in the country. The company is known to invest in promotional materials, so much such that if you see anyone with a green T-shirt, even without having to see the words Safaricom on it, your mind simply concludes it theirs. Green is synonymous with their products.
- They increase brand awareness. The above example is a form of brand awareness. People will be able to identify with your brand more easily.
- They create a good impression. People like free things and nothing beats a good first impression than giving them free things. Remember, your marketing campaign is aimed at creating a good first impression.
- They will boost your ROI. Everybody wants good returns on their investments. Promotional materials are a sure way of bringing your customers to your business. Therefore, whatever investment you will have made, either through your website, social media sites, or the promotional materials themselves, will be repaid.
Your promotional materials ought not to be too expensive, they should not even be expensive at all. Some businesses offer e-books as promotional materials. As long as they offer something valuable to the clients for free, they can be considered as promotional materials and will offer you good returns.
- Use Active Communication
Lack of proper communication kills more businesses than people realize. Your communication should foster trust among your customers. Smart business people have mastered the art of communicating in a way that makes your customers feel like they are part of the movement.
There are a number of ways to make sure that your communication builds your customers’ trust.
- Be honest about your products. Business owners might not realize it but customers can spot a snake’s oil salesman from a mile away. They can also spot honesty in how you present your products and services.
- Use proper communication tools. The last two decades have seen the world open up with social media taking the center stage. Business owners have benefited a lot because they can use these platforms to communicate with their customers. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., will help you bring awareness to your business. Customers will also be more likely to trust you because they know you are highly accessible.
- Utilize email marketing. This is another goldmine that has been bringing credible results to businesses for years. Emails help you with delivering content aimed at boosting sales. It is the one avenue where you can speak to your collective customers in a way that feels personal to them.
Majority of your customers have an email address which they open every day. They might not visit your business page every day but you can easily remedy that through your email, by taking your business to them.
These are but just some of the methods of making the right first impression even before making your first sale. They are, simply, steps you take through your marketing journey to attract customers to your business.
Remember the idea is not to get acquisitions only. You want your customers to feel comfortable around you, enough for them to want to come back. Take some time to incorporate these steps into your marketing campaign and then watch the traffic pour in.