With the holidays over and businesses settled back to something approaching normal, now is the perfect time to reassess digital marketing strategies. From learning how to get creative with email campaigns to understanding how to set up Facebook ads, plenty of small business owners are making it their New Year’s resolution to invigorate their marketing.

The new year also presents an opportunity for critical analysis about what is working and which parts of your marketing plan are simply not succeeding. Maybe your new year resolutions should include implementing new approaches to spreading brand awareness and converting those clicks into orders.

In this article, we will take a look at some tricks, tips, and tweaks to ensure that 2021 is truly the year of higher conversions.

1. Harness The Power of Referrals

When both new and existing customers visit your site, you want them to feel like they already belong. If they feel comfortable navigating and know that it is legitimate and trustworthy, they will more likely be ready to place an order.

One way to do this is through referral traffic. If visitors arrive via a referring site, like a blog or social network, you can display a custom greeting that references where they have just been and what their interests might include. Personalize their experience by including a reference like: “Hello foodie! Check out our exclusive deals here,” or “Hey Vanity Fair reader! Click to learn more about our latest deals.”

Be sure to keep the message brief, clear, and to the point. There is a fine line between personalization and privacy invasion – you’ll want to make sure your ads are not mistaken for spam or malvertising, which can be a risk if potential customers feel your greeting is nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt to gather data about them.

While personalized welcome messages rely on the benefits of referral sites, when it comes to the power of referrals, nothing beats word-of-mouth. The majority of consumers today are more likely to purchase from a site that has public reviews and customer testimonials. That’s just the fact.

Be sure to include follow up emails from every order and make it as easy as possible for customers to leave feedback that others will be able to see. The more public reviews and testimonials you have available on the greatest number of platforms, the more potential customers will consider your site trustworthy and, you guessed it, pull out that credit card.

2. Share, Share, Share

Your most powerful tool for creating conversions will come from customers who share your site with others. So, you’ll want to make sharing your site as easy as possible. Be sure to include social media share icons on every page of your site. Include multiple options on each page, with icons that allow visitors to easily post to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more.

Use your market research to determine which social networks will best reach your target audience. Although Instagram may seem the most popular choice for digital retail, don’t discount less obvious choices. Twitter users can help spread information quickly, reach a broad audience, and 78 percent use Facebook to find new products and services. Display your top three preferred social media platforms first, with easily discernible links to more options, like text message or Whatsapp message.

While you should definitely emphasize shareability, be careful with design. The sharing icon placement shouldn’t disrupt the main call-to-action button – typically “Place Order” or “Add to Cart.” Consider placing your social media share icons on the same line as an item’s rating, so it doesn’t block the customer from clicking the order button but is also highly visible. If a prospective customer clicks share, the icon will likely send them to a different app or webpage. You will want to make sure that they don’t get so distracted by this that they forget to return to your purchase page.

Here’s a big tip. Track the number of customers who choose to share your pages on their own social media feeds. Many new companies make the mistake of overlooking social metrics when it comes to designing key performance indicators (or KPIs) for their site, but these are some of the most important metrics for startups.

3. Tell a Story

Today’s consumers are undoubtedly more discerning than yesteryear’s about which products they buy and from whom. Not only do they want items and services that are useful and practical, they want to know the story behind who makes them and why. They want to know where the ingredients and supplies come from, who manufactured the item and how, and whether their money will go towards any charitable cause.

So, when crafting social media and digital marketing campaigns, keep in mind a clear narrative. What is the story behind your brand? Figure out a clear, concise brand narrative, and then make sure every ad campaign and social media post is consistent with that story.

Emphasize your company’s values. If customers feel that your values are in line with theirs, they will be more likely to buy from you and remain loyal repeat customers. There is also a good chance they will be more enthusiastic reviewers and referrers, which means your site gets free advertising for simply doing a good job.

Consider adding a charitable aspect to your company, but make it legitimate. Launch a specific product or discount code that allows a portion of each purchase to be donated to a specific cause. Emphasize the part your business plays to reduce environmental impact and wastefulness. Include in the brand narrative not just which products and services you offer but also how you aim to make the world a little better every day. Given a choice between two similar companies, customers almost always choose the one with the more compelling narrative.

4. Be Persistent

This new breed of customer wants to be assured that any brand they patronize is consistent, dynamic, active, and involved. Respond to any negative feedback with courtesy – and actually make the changes requested if they are reasonable. Post frequently, reinforcing that powerful referral system and reminding potential customers that your brand is always there waiting to serve. This persistence will reward you. Also, keep posting, never stop fine-tuning, and don’t forget to enjoy that avalanche of conversions.

Author Bio

Brian Skewes is a technologist into deconstruction. Over two decades of self-employment, he has accumulated a wealth of inadvertent real-world lessons related to building, running, and preserving a small company.