How to Attract New Customers With “How To” Advice

by G.B. Oliver

I wanted to give an excerpt from my ebooks today, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, because I want to talk about a popular trend in marketing – giving advice your customers are looking for, in order to bring them to your online business.

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Well, that’s kind of what I do here, but I am going to discuss it from an online retail point of view.

A lot of online retailers will offer sections on their websites or blogs that give expert advice on topics you are searching for on Google. The hope is that page will turn up in search results and bring these potential customers over to their website (and their shop).

A good example is World Market. They are a popular online store selling a variety of goods from all over the globe, and they have a section on their home page this month entitled, “9 Ways to Tie a Scarf” and each of the nine ways shows a different scarf they sell. Each way also includes a 40-second clip on how to do it.

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Why is this brilliant? Well, besides showing how to wear their scarves, they are capitalizing on the fact that the phrase, “Ways to Tie a Scarf” is searched over 8,000 times a month on Google. So when someone searches that phrase, there is a good chance their home page will come up.  Plus, visitors can now Pin, Tweet, Facebook this video tutorial (social media loves videos) and World Market can add it to their YouTube channel, spreading this advertorial even further.

Pottery Barn is another online store that knows what its customers are looking for. They have a page called, “How to Hang Curtains” because that phrase is searched about 3,600 times a month on Google. While it is a nice value added service to offer this information to customers, it is also a great hook to bring in new customers who are searching on this, especially when Pottery Barn products are used in the tutorial.

FINAL WORD: What do your potential customers want to know related to what you sell? Be a source of advice for them and they may “accidentally” discover you.

Get More Great Marketing Advice in My Ebooks (because I don’t give away everything here 🙂 )

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“Best buy ever!” . . “Cannot recommend this enough!” . .  ”You will not be disappointed!” . . “Incredible!” 

Take your online business to the top, before your competition does. My expert, innovative advice, ideas and tactics will make you an online superstar! Download your copy of Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!HERE (versions for selling Home products, Jewelry / Fashion Accessories, Kids & Baby products and Wedding products).

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Product Photography I Love – March 2013

by G.B. Oliver

I love great photography. It really does help sell a product. Here are some favorites I found, and I will explain (in case it’s not obvious) what works that makes this a photo that sells.

Beauty Products

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Why It Works: I love this product shot by Crabtree & Evelyn for many reasons. One, I think by including the oranges in the shot, it really does convey that you will find them in the product. Two, I love how they positioned the bottles on this white washed table, making it feel like a very natural, fresh product. Finally, grouping all four products together really does help upsell, making you want the whole set.

 

Vintage Products

IMG_1970

Why It Works: The vintage shop, Dreamy  Whites, does an amazing job of shooting their vintage finds with magazine quality photos. The soft lighting makes the vintage product feel like it will fit into any type of home today. Showing the product in use is always a good idea. If you just saw a photo of this basket on its own, empty, would you be as inclined to want it?

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Pet Products

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Why It Works: This is a great product shot from a company called Kurgo selling on HSN. You can never go wrong showing a cute dog, and this one is a great model. Again, showing the product in action helps me visualize it in my own car and with my own sized dog. And they make it look just too adorable to pass up.

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Paper Products

laser-cut-pebble-wedding-invitations2

Why It Works: Invitation company, Luscious Verde, shows various aspects of the design in one photo, really highlighting nice details you might have otherwise missed. Doing a collage is a great way to ensure the customer see all the features and benefits.

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FINAL WORD: Photos really can sell a product if you use them to highlight use, need unique features. Plus, with today’s image-hungry online environment, top quality photos are more likely to be “pinned” and “liked” helping your products to go viral.

Want My Very Best Marketing Ideas, That I Don’t Put Here on the Blog?

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“Best buy ever!” . . “Cannot recommend this enough!” . .  ”You will not be disappointed!” . . “Incredible!” –  If you want my VERY BEST marketing tactics and advice, I save that exclusively for my Ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, available at my Etsy shop.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Online Stores I Love – Harabu House

by G.B. Oliver

One of the things I try to do with my blog is frequently point out Marketing I Love and Products I Love, but today I am actually going to talk about an Online Store I Love. The store is called Harabu House and if you are looking for ideas to what makes an online store work, you definitely should check them out.

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.41.45 AMHarabu House was launched in 2010 and is an exclusive online eco-boutique for contemporary and stylish global finds. Their mission is to find sustainable products that provide economic, social and environmental benefits to the artisans who create them, and they carry products from all over the globe.

What Harabu House is Doing Right:

  • Great Products – They carry truly unique, beautiful products for the home (as well as some jewelry and fashion accessories). From hand painted tea cups to teak measuring spoons, everything seems to have a mix of the exotic and the contemporary at the same time. Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.44.17 AM
  • Easy to Navigate – I personally do not like busy home/landing pages and Harabu’s is sleek and simple. They have a slide show running of various products with a caption such as “Find Me Under Dinnerware“, making it easy for the visitor to find the products on display. All the categories are neatly displayed at the top and the particulars such as contact info, FAQs, newsletter, and social media icons are tightly compacted in a barred off section at the bottom. I also love how that important upper right hand corner notifies customers of their free shipping offer on domestic orders over $75 with a hot pink elephant icon drawing the eye right to it.

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  • Gift Guide – Another icon on the home page is their gift guide. But once you click on it, you are actually then given more options to narrow it down further, such as a gift guide for housewarming, baby shower, for him, for her. Another attempt to make the shopping experience easier for the customer.
  • Product Descriptions – The product descriptions are so well written, with compact narratives that tell you everything you need to know and create a need to buy. They are typically followed by a small write-up about the artist. I love the Tell a Friend feature, allowing you to instantly email the product to a friend, the Add to Wish List icon, and the Request More Information icon – three great Call to Actions to keep buyers engaged.
  • Category Highlight – A nice touch this online store has, is that when you are in a particular product category, the icon behind it colorizes, reminding you where you are. Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.47.55 AM
  • Photographs – The photographs are definitely top notch. Well-lit, various angles, magazine-quality set-ups, typically showing the product in use. I also like that for certain products, they include a photo of any magazine editorial that product has appeared in, which helps credibility with customers because it acts as an endorsement.
  • Shopping Cart Total – A cool feature about their shopping cart icon in the upper right hand corner, is that it will not only display the number of items (which is pretty common with most online sellers) but it actually displays how much you have spent so far. Love that!

FINAL WORD: So, if you want a good example of what a sleek, attractive online home products shop should look like, check out Harabu House.

Download My New Marketing Ebooks Today!

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Get my exclusive marketing ideas that will help drive your online business in my ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, (for Jewelry/Fashion, Home, Wedding and Kids & Baby Products) and other helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Be Careful About Sharing Your “Success” Tips … Your Competition is Listening

by G.B. Oliver

I was on one a popular online store’s forums the other day where sellers talk to each other and share information. Here, I frequently see sellers who make grand declarations such as they’ve made 500 sales in a month and here is how they did it. And I scratch my head and think to myself, BIG MISTAKE!

I realize that a lot of these online marketplaces like to foster a sense of community, but, at the end of the day this is still business and many of these sellers are your direct competition. Why on earth would you want to tell them your success secrets?

That is the problem when your ego takes over from your business sense. You have a bit of success and you want to tell everyone. But now realize, you are telling everyone, including your competition, and that’s not good.

It is NEVER a good idea to share your secrets with competitors. I dare anyone to find me a business book that says to do that. Would Coca-Cola email Pepsi and say, “Here is everything we did last year that worked. Good luck”. You would be sabotaging your own business. You don’t have any control over who reads your posts or your blog or tweets, so why put information out there that can hurt you? You want customers to notice you, but quite frankly, when it comes to your competition, you want to fly under their radar.

I have marketing professionals follow me all the time on Twitter. They don’t need my services, obviously. They are keeping tabs on me, which is what the competition does. If I do something they think works, let’s be honest, they will probably “borrow” it.

This is just good seasoned business advice. Remember the saying, Loose Lips Sink Ships. If you have an amazing secret that you stumbled upon that is causing your sales to skyrocket – KEEP IT TO YOURSELF (but tell me, of course).

Now, luckily for you I share my marketing secrets that will help your online business, in my ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, plus find other helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Are Your Keywords Covering All Aspects of the English Language?

by G.B. Oliver

When you are adding tags and keywords to your website, shop, product listings, and so forth, are you considering all variations of the English language?

As you are aware, the English language has slight differences whether you live in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia and other English speaking countries. You could be missing out on these areas being potential customers (if you do ship product to these countries) simply because you did include their more commonly used phrases and spellings.

In the UK these are baby rompers or bodysuits, not baby onesies.
In the UK these are baby rompers or bodysuits, not baby onesies.

For example, if you are selling baby onesies, no one in the UK or Australia will be searching for that phrase. Instead they will be searching bodysuit, playsuit, sleepsuit or romper. So, if you want to sell to this international market as well, it couldn’t hurt to add these keywords to your tags.

If you sell pants, no one in the UK and Australia that will looking searching on that word either, (unless they are looking for underwear) but rather, they would be searching the word, trousers.

Words that are different in the U.S. and UK:

  • Overalls are dungarees
  • Toiletry bag is wash bag
  • Swimwear is beachwear
  • Sweater is jumper
  • Backpack is day pack
  • Pillows are cushions
  • Message boards are notice boards
  • Cupcake liners are cupcake cases
  • Cookies are biscuits
  • Underwear is knickers (women’s)
  • Ring bearer is pageboy
  • Stroller is pram or pushchair
  • Crib mobile is cot mobile
  • Diapers are nappies
  • Birdhouse is bird box
  • Sleepwear is nightwear
  • Subway is metro

Not to mention slight spelling differences:

  • Personalized is personalised
  • Jewelry is jewellery
  • Wedding favors are wedding favours
  • Organizer is organiser
  • Color is colour
  • Center is centre
  • Pajamas is pyjamas
  • Gray is grey
  • Mustache is moustache

So simply by adding a few extra keywords that cater to other English markets, this will help expose your products to even more customers.

Want more advice on keywords that will attract your target market? You’ll find that, and hundreds of other innovative ideas, in my marketing guides, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! as well as other helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Do You Know Who Your Target Market Is?

by G.B. Oliver

I am always amazed by businesses who don’t seem to know who their target market is. These are the primary people who are most likely to buy your products and/or services. It is one of the first things you must identify before you can do any type of marketing.

Why is it important to know who is most likely to buy from you? Well, you can’t find them to sell to, if you don’t know who they are.

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Your Target Market Q&A

1. Gender – Are your products for male, female or both?

2. Age – You just need a range. For example, if you are selling wedding products, the age range is probably 23 to 33, for the most part. If you are selling orthopedic shoes, then probably an age range of 60+.

3. Income – For example, are you selling luxury products? Then you need to target buyers in the higher income range.

4. Business or End User – Are you selling products a business or profession wants or for personal use? Maybe you have a product aimed at teachers, or in my case, small business owners. Maybe you sell art which you think is mostly for the home, but businesses look for art for their offices as well.

5. Primary Buyer – Is the buyer of the product not the user? For example, if you sell baby products, obviously you are selling to the parents, not the baby.

6. Location – Is this a product only of interest to someone in a certain city or country? For example, you have a product with the Union Jack flag on it. Would someone outside of the U.K. still be interested?

7. Needs – What are the current needs of your target market? Is it someone who is getting married, having a baby, starting a business, going to college, buying a new home, etc.

There are other factors you can consider as well, depending on what you sell, such as your target market’s style (traditional, modern, etc.), ethnicity, education level and so forth.

Once you have identified your primary target market, go back over this list and identify possible secondary markets. For example, my primary target market is small business owners, but I have actually had marketing students buy my ebooks. A secondary market can be the gift giver, an event planner, a fashion stylist, a daycare provider, etc. – basically, WHO could benefit from your products?

Once you have identified your primary and secondary target markets, now you have to go and find where they are and what makes them buy. I always recommend asking friends, family and colleagues who fit the description of your target market. It should NOT be guess work.

FINAL WORD: It is impossible to market your business effectively if you do not know who you are selling to. Make that your first priority to determine who wants your products and/or services, and everything else should work around that.

My New Marketing Ebooks

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“Best buy ever!” . . “Cannot recommend this enough!” . .  ”You will not be disappointed!” . . “Incredible! .. AMAZING advice!” 

Take your online business to the top TODAY, before your competition does. My expert, innovative advice, ideas and tactics will make you an online superstar! Download your copy of Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!HERE.

PLEASE Tweet, Post to Facebook, Stumple, PIN & more this post using the SHARE button below. Thanks!

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

More Quirky Products That Will Sell

by G.B. Oliver

I love quirky products. To me they show innovation and creativity and are so inspiring in terms of product ideas. Plus, as I’ve said many times, quirky products always sell and always get publicity!

So, I went over to my favorite online shopping site, Outblush – who loves quirky products – and found some of their finds that I think show really creative design.

Kate Spade “Say the Word” Word Search Dish

Word Search Crystal Dish by Kate Spade New York
Word Search Crystal Dish by Kate Spade New York

I love this crystal dish by Kate Spade. There are also matching mugs with crossword patterns as well. It is fun, colorful and conversational, which is perfect when you are using a dish like this to serve to guests.

BFF Pendant Set

Zelda and Becky Play Telephone from Flapper Doodle on Storenvy
Zelda and Becky Play Telephone from Flapper Doodle on Storenvy

Just when you thought there were no more ways to do a BFF necklace (Best Friends Forever), Flapper Doodle on Storenvy comes out with this adorable pendant set. What I love about this is the originality. No heart divided in two that has to fit together or one pendant says “Best” and the other says “Friend”. Instead they really did something fresh and eye catching.

Skeleton Shirt

Skeleton Shirt by Romwe
Skeleton Shirt by Romwe

What I like about this Skeleton shirt from Romwe, is that it is definitely not something you would normally see on a traditional white shirt. Now, it is made to be street fashion, but you could probably get away with wearing it to work on Halloween.

Office Chair Cell Phone Holders

Office Chair Cell Phone Holders from the Lakeside Collection
Office Chair Cell Phone Holders from the Lakeside Collection

Cell phones have created quite the cottage industry, and unusual holders have been one of the most popular products to result. This set of 3 office chair holders from the Lakeside Collection is pretty whimsical if your daughter doesn’t steal them for her Barbies.

Grey Cat iPhone Case

Grey Wool iPhone Case from TokyoInspired on Etsy
Grey Wool iPhone Case from TokyoInspired on Etsy

There are so many creative iPhone cases out there, but you have to love this one from TokyoInspired on Etsy, especially for the cat lady in your life. Really creative design by incorporating the zipper as the mouth and using wool fabric. Love it!

My marketing guides will tell you everything you need to do to successfully sell online, including how to create products the market wants. The early reviews have been great! Click here for more information.

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Click the image to order
Click the image to order

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.