Before launching ads

Ideally, before starting a new business you have to find out whether there is enough demand for your product in the city, district, or the world. It’s particularly important if you focus on the short term. 

However, if you aim to change people’s minds or shape a new need, it may take several years to achieve this goal. 

Yet you need to understand the demand for this type of product and its real value, and not rely on the opinion of people around you. Dreaming big on a low starting budget can be risky.

Valerie Kraskova
Valerie Kraskova

Ways to learn what your audience needs

Companies often fail within the first sales. One of the main reasons lies in unattainable targets, as people tend to overestimate the number of potential customers.

In order not to waste money and time, imagine that your company is already running and set up its promotion campaign, even if you don’t have enough ready-made goods yet. To do this, you need to choose social media platforms, create a simple logo, come up with a few sales posts, launch targeting ads, and collect orders. This will help you understand if people are willing to buy your product, in other words, test the demand for it. In some cases, for example, for a b2b product, it is also worth trying contextual ads.

If the customer acquisition cost fits into the unit economics of your project (you can learn the profitability of your business model by using the formula: “revenue – cost price – customer acquisition cost”) and there is a demand for the product, you can launch your project and start stocking and selling the product.

The marketing costs should be immediately included in project economics. Moreover, it is better to allocate the largest portion of your budget towards marketing. If you don’t push your product at the very beginning, it may not happen at all. For this purpose, you need to set up a digital marketing system. Let's have a look at some of key marketing platforms you can use.

The workshop on promoting your business online
The workshop on promoting your business online

Top channels for attracting new customers

  • Website

Even a simple website created with the help of a constructor allows you to present your goods and services, and users can easily contact the company. It also helps clients who come through search engines, for example, Google or Yandex, to contact you.

Yet the fact that your business has a website won’t make you sales, you have to put a lot of effort into it. 

The website should be simple in terms of design, navigation, and placing orders, capable of adapting to any device, and have insightful information.

It’s crucial to pay extra attention to details like having enough feedback forms and a clickable phone for mobile viewing.

  • Сontexual advertising vs SEO promotion

Depending on how quickly and for how long you want to attract customers, there are various marketing strategies.

If you want to attract customers as quickly as possible – the easiest way to do this is through contextual advertising. But this type of marketing strategy requires money and a ready-made website. However, you can expect a quick result. By setting up contextual advertising, you pay search engines to place your ad at the top of the search results’ page. It means that as long as you have enough money, your ads will work.

SEO works best for long-term planning. The entire process is laborious and often requires professional help. They fix bugs on the website, write texts in a certain way, and build its design based on customer orders.

However, all your efforts will pay off in the future. Your website is ranked in search engines using algorithms. If it meets all the technical and content queries of the search network, there are no technical errors and it contains many articles, then it automatically appears on the first page of the search results. Users entering a specific query in a search engine see the site and get free access.

You can also use both contextual advertising and SEO promotion for your business.

The workshop on promoting your business online
The workshop on promoting your business online
  • Social media

A clear picture of your target audience and a good marketing offer are the two pillars of success in social media marketing.

Valerie Kraskova believes that it’s enough to allocate at least 10,000 rubles to each social network, run ads, and track the audience's response to attract more customers through social media.

Also, using social media for promotion creates room for creativity, makes it possible to hook your audience, predict the number of potential customers, as well as calculate sale conversion and marketing budget. Besides, users can place their orders right on the product page.

Another advantage is that the algorithms of social networks, including targeted advertising, are constantly evolving.

The main thing is to remember that the success of an advertising campaign depends on the need for your product, the absence of pitfalls, and the response to placed orders.

  • Blog on a popular outlet

Depending on your business, you can place your blog on Yandex Zen or vc.ru. It will let you elaborate on your product or service in articles and demonstrate the values of your company to potential users. And, importantly, this way you can attract new customers for free.

Working on a blog is also tiresome, because, for example, Yandex Zen won’t start showing your articles to users after a couple of posts. You need to write articles regularly, especially at the beginning, and only then will the outlet show quality content to a potential audience.

  • YouTube channel

YouTube makes it possible to promote your company, product, or service through videos. You can create videos of your working process or present your cases visually.

However, this strategy is also time-consuming as it takes a lot of time and effort to develop and promote your channel and start making first sales.

The workshop on promoting your business online
The workshop on promoting your business online

Don’ts

  • Avoiding tests and hypotheses is a waste of time. If you dwell on a thought whether you should launch online marketing or not, customers won’t wait for you and will reach out to your competitors.
  • Rely on your friends’ opinion. They will suggest marketing channels and strategies based on their own experience. But you should keep in mind that they can’t speak for all people.
  • Counting on SMM and marketing specialists to do your job. If your specialists are in charge of not only launching a marketing campaign but also making sales, it’s a mistake. Sales specialists should perform the primary processing of orders while the key task of marketing experts is to bring potential customers to the company.
  • Deceive consumers. No 3% discounts, pitfalls, and details hidden under asterisks.

Dos

  • Create a comprehensive online marketing system. This means using a promotion channel and correctly processing orders.
  • Allocate time to work with orders and payment systems. Consumers should be able to easily contact the company and purchase their products.
  • Correctly evaluate the results and analyze the promotion process at every stage.
The workshop on promoting your business online
The workshop on promoting your business online

Analyzing the effectiveness of your promotion

It can be calculated using the ROAS formula (Return On Advertising Spend) = average bill* the number of buyers / budget spent. This is the percentage that is returned from the money invested in advertising. The more efficiently the sales department works, the greater this percentage.

It is worth paying attention to the cost of a potential client’s order from the company, as well as the sales funnel at each stage. For example, call-tracking is useful for analyzing calls from different outlets. Valerie also recommends CRM for working with large amounts of data in order to avoid mistakes.

Think like a customer

When starting a business, go to your website or other promotion channels, and try to purchase your product or find out something about it: see if it is easy to find the information you need and contact the company, if everything is convenient and clear, and if you can pay for the product on the website.

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