Once a product reaches a certain level of public awareness it may very well almost sell itself (think of the eagerness with which new iPhone launches are awaited). For small businesses however, particularly newer ones, it is crucial to work actively and effectively to maximize a product’s sales potential. Here are 3 top tips on how to do this.
Make the most of real-world opportunities
Much has been written about the internet and how it has made it possible for small businesses to have a global reach. This is absolutely true, but cyberspace has become very crowded, which means that smaller businesses have to be very astute about getting that vital early engagement which should, if properly managed, lead to broader reach through those crucial likes and shares. Hence, even if your game plan is to dominate the internet, think local first. If you live in Woking, get out and about in Woking and, indeed, the rest of Surrey. You may not make many actual sales, but you can generate interest and, crucially, point people to your online presence, where your regular content needs to keep them interested. You may also want to think about having a physical address, which you can give to customers. Even in this digital age, details such as an address in Surrey and a landline phone number with the right code can inspire confidence since they indicate that somebody can be found in case of problems.
Engage on at least one social media platform
Any business which wants to maximize its sales potential needs to be on at least one social media platform. This has long gone past the point of being optional. Businesses can tie themselves in knots trying to measure and analyse social media. For small businesses however, there are really only 2 fundamental points to remember.
1 - Choose a channel which fits your passions.
2 - If at all possible, use at least one photograph with every post.
If you love to write, then write and use Twitter to post a link to your blog. Just be sure to use some sort of image with each of your posts if at all possible as there is extensive evidence to show that this does increase user engagement. For those who love photography and/or are prepared to spend the money on quality photographs, Instagram is an obvious choice. Those who aren’t confident with (or have budget for) either may find curating content on Pinterest is the way to go. With the exception of Pinterest, posting content to social media is far more than just a “hit and run” process, it’s important to read and respond to comments too. Engagement is crucial and it works both ways.
Understand that photographs are vital to success
Let’s split photography into two categories, products and social media. Unless you are an expert photographer, then product photography is a job for the professionals. They are practised in walking the fine line between presenting products in the best possible light (literally as well as metaphorically) without misrepresenting them (which leads to disappointed customers). Ideally businesses should try to find a photographer near them. If a business is based in Woking, Surrey, it’s a whole lot easier to manage product photography with someone who is also based in Woking, Surrey than it is to work with someone at the other end of the country. For social media, it may be perfectly fine to use amateur/amateur+ photographs most of the time, although “mission critical” shots, particularly those involving your products are often best left to professionals. Whatever form of social media you choose, however, remember the importance of tagging and tagging etiquette. As a rule of thumb use one to three relevant tags. Avoid the temptation to use every tag you can think of, doing so is likely just to confuse and possibly annoy users.