While the Internet has created a strong platform for businesses to reach out to their customers and show why they are the firm to trust, there is an argument that social media has provided the real key to success in an online marketplace.
Social media has created the opportunity to find an audience, and engage it, to become part of a community and to provide proof of what your product or service has to offer. These are all vital aspects of online marketplace success and good social media engagement and activity lies at the heart of reaching out to your audience, providing them with the information they need to make the best buying decision.
There are barriers to success in the online marketplace
While the online era has helped many firms to prosper, it is important to be aware of some of the challenges that firms operating in the online marketplace experience.
A high volume of competition
The fact that it is easy to set up a site, and an online business is initially a positive point for a company, this ease of entry means there is a lot of competition in the marketplace. This means to attract business, companies need to stand out from their peers, being seen as better than similar firms.
Consumers are more cynical/savvy in the online marketplace
As there are more firms operating and clamoring for business, many consumers are savvier and more cynical about what is on offer. A firm can promise the world online but this has led to consumers wanting genuine proof of the product or service a company offers. A company that offers genuine testimonials or allows potential consumers to evaluate the product will be more likely to achieve success.
Other barriers/challenges to online success include:
- Driving traffic to your site
- Converting traffic into sales
- Ensuring customers come back for further sales
These pose different problems in the online arena and as such, there is a need to take different actions to obtain success in the online marketplace.
You need to know your audience
In order to sell to your audience, you need to know:
- Who your audience is
- Where you can reach your audience
- What your audience is looking for
- Why you are the option your audience should rely on
If you can answer these questions, and then use it to create your marketing strategy, you’ll find that online success is a lot more likely.
You have to offer proof to your audience
It doesn’t matter how many times you talk about how good your products are and what benefits they’ll give customers, you need to offer your audience more proof. Using testimonials from genuine customers is a good starting point and in the present day, social media should be at the heart of this work. However, you can also use video content and show your product being used in everyday situations.
Showing how your product solves problems that impact on people’s lives is a key factor in convincing customers you are the firm to trust. One company that understands the benefits of showing a product in action is As seen on TV. Customers love seeing a product in use and when the footage shows how to resolve an issue that they have with a minimum of fuss and effort, they’ll be eager to buy the product.
Integrate all of your channels
With so many different online platforms and channels, it can be easy for firms to treat them as different entities, perhaps delegating responsibility to separate departments. This would be a mistake. Customers view your firm as a single entity, and this means your online engagement has to be focused and coherent. Firms should develop an overall online marketing strategy and then determine individual tactics and strategies for relevant platforms within their overall strategy.
Have a single brand for your company
While focusing on the online marketplace is important, companies need to have a singular brand for online and offline situations. The online or social media brand can be slightly more relaxed or fun but ultimately, a company needs to provide all of their customers with an immediate sense of who they are and what they offer. This is why having a single brand remains a vital component for any firm.
Knowing the challenges and opportunities provided by the online marketplace is the first step in succeeding in this market. There is a need for companies to have a tailored online strategy that also fits alongside their overall brand and strategy. Companies that provide a cohesive brand and know their audience will find that achieving success is a lot simpler and straightforward.