Q I'm the owner of an online green business. What are some of the best ways to market online? I have placed ads on eco-friendly blogs and also tried Google AdWords but none of these have translated into sales. Because I am a small business, I don't have a large budget for advertising and want to ensure that I see a return on my investment.
GREEN 4 YOUR SOUL
A Effective marketing communication typically takes a consumer through sequential stages of awareness, interest, desire, and action (purchase). In today's cluttered media environment, firms have to first get noticed by their target consumers and then be able to maintain enough traction to lead consumers through the action stage.
I would start by studying whether the traffic to your website increased after using Google AdWords and placing ads on eco-friendly blogs. If you did not see any increase, it may suggest one or all of the following: (a) the venues/channels you chose to create brand awareness are not optimal in reaching your target segments; (b) your target consumers may not consult online sources while making purchase decisions; or (c) your message is getting lost in the clutter.
If you saw an increase in site traffic but did not see increase in sales, it tells you that you need to re-examine whether you are telling an engaging story about your offerings that not only sustains consumers' interest once they visit your site, but also motivates them to engage with the content. An engaged consumer is more likely to buy your product online and to give it a try.
Also remember that communication strategy has to be in sync with your product and pricing strategies. As you reassess your strategy, I urge you to also examine if your products and pricing offer a differentiated value to your consumers.
UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
OPUS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS