How to Find Hungry Online Buyers with Absolutely Zero Budget

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By 2016, the number of online buyers is expected to grow to 1.32 billion, with U.S. shoppers alone spending up to $1,804 on online shopping each month.

These figures are good news to any online marketer—the playing field is large and the demand is ever growing. But, do you ever wonder how to bag ready, hot, sizzling online customers who are raving to buy your products or services on a regular basis?

How do you find and attract even a portion of the 1.32 billion customers who are already shopping online?

Find your customers on social media

If you thought social media as a place to find and engage with potential customers is overrated, think again. A recent study showed that up to 74% of online buyers consult social media before making a purchase decision. I find this to be a conservative estimate. Polling our own client’s at Jiggle Digital revealed a much higher percentage, 94%. That’s huge!

This means consumers who are ready to buy but are looking for a good deal or the right provider, spend a good amount of time on social media before settling on the best option for them.

A simple search using the social search function on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or any other social site will reveal a ton of questions customers in your niche are asking.  For example, on Twitter, a search for ‘wedding photography’ will reveal a lot of conversations around this topic. This presents an opportunity to offer your services or advice to potential customers.

When used strategically, social media can be a useful platform for keeping track of consumers’ conversations and queries about product or service recommendations in your niche.

Participate in niche online groups/forums

Social media is widely popular and offers a great opportunity to reach a mass audience. But what if you were pursuing a small, select and exclusive group of customers for your products or services? Niche online groups and forums are some of the best ways to reach this type of target market.

While some of these groups are membership-based and require an access fee, most are free but may involve some screening before you are let in. LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups are examples of free yet potentially highly resourceful tools to find groups where your ready customers may be hanging out.

A quick Google search, for example “niche” + group will provide a good number of groups and forums in your niche.  Some of the groups and forums may allow you to sell your products but most do not encourage over the top marketing and self-promotion. The general idea on these platforms is to share information, provide relevant advice and help other users to find solutions to their problems. If you go in all guns blazing in promotion mode you’ll likely either be removed or be perceived as a “spammer”.

Optimize content for organic traffic

Do you not have a huge budget to pay for the services of an SEO consultant or to buy AdWords? That should not be a problem. Good old search optimization is one of the best and most affordable ways to draw in customers who are ready to buy because they come to your web page organically.

The best part is that you can optimize your own content if you learn the basics. It may take a little bit of work and time to find the right combination of long-tail and short-tail keywords, have an accurate buyer profile of your target market and create content that converts. However, once you have your optimized content in place, customers who are on the final stage of the purchase cycle, will find you just when they need you the most.

Leverage the power of referrals

net3By now, you are probably aware that you cannot make it alone in the world of online business, or in any other business. Referrals from complementary businesses can be a great source of customers who already know what they want and are ready to buy.

For example, if you are in the health and nutrition niche, you could partner up with a business that sells fitness equipment online but is not in the business of selling nutritional foods, supplements, organic foods etc. People who are interested in fitness are very likely interested in investing in all things nutrition, so you would have a ready market through this kind of strategic partnership.

As an example, my agency Jiggle Digital is a full service marketing agency meaning we offer all types of marketing services. Many digital agencies specialise in certain areas and don’t always offer every marketing service. Some work purely on video marketing but don’t do website design. By building alliances with these businesses we get the important referrals and they are happy to pass on the work they don’t do themselves safe in the knowledge that the people will receive a first class service from us.

More Buyers Means More Marketing Options

There are millions of customers looking for the right product, from the right provider at the right time. To find these customers, it is really important to know where they are in the first place. Conducting frequent customer analytics as well as simple Google and social media searches can point you in the direction of your ideal customers.

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