3 Steps to Converting Your Online Audience Into Customers

By C&EN Media Group

In 2014, the average amount of time U.S. adults spend with digital media per day will surpass TV viewing for the first time. For this reason, nearly every marketing campaign today includes a significant online component.

Online marketing often takes the form of social media postings, banner ads, or paid search ads (also known as pay per click). In every situation, the goal is the same: capture your prospects’ attention and drive them to a new destination — in many cases, a special landing page on your website.

Convincing your target audience to click on your ad is a huge goal in itself. But clicks alone aren’t enough. You must turn those people into loyal customers. Here are three steps to help you achieve that goal.

Step 1: Make an offer they can’t refuse.

Why would prospective customers pay attention to your ad? What incentive is great enough to bring them to your website? Get inside the mind of your customers and define the problem you can solve. Once you know what your audience wants, you can develop a call to action around that offer. Be sure to incorporate keywords into your ad copy that speak to the problem you’re solving.

Step 2: Don’t overlook the landing page.

When customers click on your ad, where do they go? Your home page might be too general to satisfy the call to action from your ad. Don’t give your prospects the option of getting lost along the way. Create a landing page that’s clean, concise, and answers the promise of your ad. Make your call to action very prominent — ideally, above “the fold” of the page. And again, incorporate applicable keywords that get to the heart of the problem you’re solving.

Step 3: Get them hooked.

Your prospective customers clicked your ad, and they landed on your website to obtain a special offer of some sort. Now you’ve got to stay top of mind until they’re ready to buy. Give them a good reason to submit their contact information to continue receiving information from you. You may want to offer monthly discount specials or a weekly e-newsletter on a compelling topic. And in every piece of communication, give them the opportunity to purchase or learn more.

Perhaps the best thing about online marketing is that it’s easy to test and measure. If one headline isn’t working well, try another. Experimentation will help you perfect your conversion process and become more in tune with what your customers want. And when you can provide exactly what your customers want, they’ll keep coming back.

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