Industry experts from the digital world, including leaders at boagworks.com, Orbit Media Studios, and Survey Monkey, were recently part of a live discussion hosted by 2Checkout. The panel was asked to address three key questions for online businesses: how to attract new customers, the biggest growth challenges, and their top “growth hacks.”
See what these leaders had to say about these topics and more to gain instant insights into your own business growth.
For the full discussion, watch the recording here.
Question #1: What are some effective ways for an online business to attract new customers?
Paul Boag, UX & Digital Transformation Strategist, boagworks
“One of the ways that attracts me the most is providing valuable content around your offering. For example, Envision is a company aimed at design, and they supply a huge amount of information about design best practices via interviews, webinars, and they use that to keep their audience engaged, so when the time comes to buy, they think of Envision. But you can’t just stop there—you have to understand your customers’ pain points and address them. Show that you appreciate your customer.”
Andy Crestodina, Content Manager, Co-Founder, Orbit Media Studios
“I agree with Paul: Be relevant, be helpful, show gratitude. I’m a little bit obsessed about the difference between search and social, and the quality of visitors at the top of the funnel vs the bottom of the funnel . . . If you want to attract new customers and your product is more visual and more of an impulse buy, social ads are doing very, very well. For other types of products that involve a long, high consideration decision: search. These are different types of people looking for different things. Then, what does the product landing page look like?”
Ian Lurie, Digital Marketer, Consultant
“What I’ve seen work the best recently is what might be called the “recipe page.” It involves long descriptions of process and procedure, and you capitalize on this to sell your product using a hybrid of content marketing, landing pages, and eCommerce. Create a page with step-by-step [instructions] that includes your products they need, as well as other people’s products. Be a “one-stop-shop” to learn and purchase.”
Dennis Scott, Vice President of Marketing – Growth, Survey Monkey
“Listen to customers and understand the data you have on them. This can be via your customer service teams and also watch for what customers are doing on your site and apps. They may not be ready to convert—but you as a marketer can get other teams to value a visit and say “this is the start of the journey; they are doing their research . . . eventually, they will convert.”
Question #2: What are the biggest challenges of growing an online business and how can you tackle them?
Dennis: “Spending time understanding your data and how you’re measuring your business is one of the fastest ways to grow the business. It’s also a way to identify where there are holes in the content and what other content you can add. “
Ian: “I see two [challenges]. The biggest is always [marketing/advertising] budget. Don’t think you’ll convert 10% of your visitors, think that you’ll convert 1%. Don’t think you’ll drive 50% of people who see your ad to your site, think about driving maybe 5%. Build something a brick at a time, and be very careful. The other thing I see a lot is an organic search problem. You are not going to get what you used to get from organic search, but you can get some great territory if you create content that will appear in some of those searches.”
Andy: “The goal of analytics is not to report, it’s to answer. Analytics is a decision support tool. Attribution is going to be hard, but don’t get too frustrated by the accuracy of your data—it only has to be accurate enough to cause an insight to take action.”
Paul: “I think we should focus on building actively engaged groups of people. Build passionate, engaged followers and they will do a lot of the work for you. The challenge that online businesses face is that you are very disconnected from the customer, and if you only rely on data, you’re not connecting with the customer. Spend time talking, one to one, with customers.”
Question #3: What’s the one growth hack every online business should leverage?
Ian: “There are no growth hacks. If you have an idea, someone else has already had it. The best tool I have found for building a customer base, for the least amount of money, is to build a high-quality house list. And do it patiently. Auto-subscribing is not building a house list. You need to offer something cool to download or to read, and then invite [visitors] to join your list.”
Paul: “Everyone wants quick wins, and they don’t exist. Don’t waste time on massive mailing lists. The three things I focus on for growing in a mature sensible manner, are: focus on objection handling and answering your customers’ fundamental questions. Secondly, relentlessly simplify your website. You have to make it easier to buy. And finally, build trust through honesty and transparency.”
Dennis: “My pet peeve is that growth is a marketing thing. There’s not one team responsible for growth in an organization. We all have to be in partnership. The SEO team, the email team, the search team, and the social teams all have to focus on the most important aspects of the business so it can grow. “
Andy: “My number one growth hack is to put your product or your website in front of a person and give them a use case. [Say] “Buy this thing” and stand back and watch what happens. Find out what’s important to your audience. Some insights will quickly jump out. Watch for the hurdles they face and find the unanswered questions. “
I would like to give a special Thank You to our experts for participating in the discussion!
They offer many more tips throughout the panel discussion, so make sure to watch the recording!