One, all too familiar, problem for people who start online businesses is that after they have put so much effort into building a fantastic website they find that once it goes live no-one buys anything.
The problem here is not having poor products or that the website design was all wrong. Other businesses will sell the same products and many will have less sophisticated websites. The reason, instead, is that no-one knows your website is there. If no-one knows it is there, you will not get any visitors and no-one is going to buy from you.
To run a successful dropshipping business one of the things you need to do to help people get to your website is do some good marketing to attract customers.
Tips for marketing your dropshipping business
The most common method for marketing your business is to advertise. You can do this in many ways, but online, most people tend to use what is known as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. One PPC advertising you will have seen all too often is Google Adwords, where you see adverts at the top, bottom and sides of Google search results. Google are not the only company to offer PPC ads, there are many other companies out there who do the same, including Facebook and Bing.
The way advertising networks like Google and Facebook work, is that you create an advert, either text or image, and add a link to the page of your website you want visitors to go to. You then tell the ad network which search results you want your advert to appear on. The final thing you need to do is to set an advertising budget and tell the network how much you are prepared to pay for each time your ad is clicked.
If, for example, you were selling log cabins and you set up a Google Adwords account, you could arrange your adverts to appear only when people in the UK searched for the term ‘buy log cabins’. You could set the maximum you were prepared to pay to 50p every time someone clicked and fix your weekly spend to £30. (The more you offer to pay for each click, the higher up the advert list you company will appear when someone searches.)
As a result, you would be getting 60 visitors a week coming to your website and know that they had got there because they were looking to buy log cabins. What you are getting from the ad, therefore, is a targeted sales lead which you need to make the most of on your site.
Whilst you are not guaranteed to get any visitors at all from this method, you do only pay when someone clicks. If you are not getting any visitors it will be because your ad is not appealing or because other advertisers are out bidding you and your ad is appearing at the bottom of the list.
The disadvantage of PPC advertising, of course, is that it can be expensive. Not every click will translate into a sale and different types of business have different success ratios – it could be that on average only 1 in 100 clicks results in a sale. That would mean a £50 marketing cost for each log cabin you sell. This may need to be factored into your pricing.
If you don’t have a budget for PPC advertising there are other, more creative ways to market your business. Here are a list of them:
Post about your business on Twitter
Find a relevant #hashtag for your business on Twitter and send out regular posts. Follow people who are interested in your sector. For example:
“Grab a 10% discount on the UK’s best log cabins – hurry, ends Sunday. #logcabins #gardeners”
Set up a Facebook Business page
Set up a Facebook business page and post pictures of your products on there. Then ask your personal friends to like your web page. Remember to post regularly to keep people interested. People can search Facebook like Google and find your website from there. Once you have done this on Facebook, so the same on Instagram.
Set up a Pinterest Board
Pinterest is another effective marketing tool you can use. If you were selling log cabins you could set up a board called “Beautiful Gardens” then add hundreds of pictures of gardens and garden furniture which would generate lots of people coming to look. Once you started to get people sharing your pins and following you, start adding all the pictures of your log cabins and make sure you place them in highly visible parts of your board. The pictures will link back to your website when people start clicking on them.
Get bloggers to write about your business
Inviting bloggers to write about your products or your business can introduce you to enormous new audiences, especially as blogs are one of the most shared and commented on forms of internet content. You can even ask bloggers to review your products. For log cabin and garden building dropshippers, getting a review on websites like bestgardenbuildingsuk.co.uk can be very beneficial. To get in touch, simply find the Contact Us page on the blog that most appeals to you and ask the blogger if they are interested. Depending upon the blog, you may have to pay a small fee or send them a product to review.
Open an affiliate program
One way that many businesses market their products is through opening an affiliate program. Affiliate programs are where you get bloggers and other websites to put adverts, banners and text links to your website on theirs. Unlike PPC, where you pay every time someone clicks on an advert, with an affiliate program you only pay when someone actually buys from you.
Bloggers who put affiliate adverts on their websites do it to help them make money from their blog. However, you will find that they will only advertise products which are relevant to their audience. The other thing they will do is promote the company that makes them the most money. For this reason, you are more likely to get affiliates signing up if you pay reasonable commission rates. The average is 5 -10% for physical products. For software, companies often pay up to 50% commission on each sale. For a £1500 log cabin, this could mean paying the affiliate £75 for the sale. However, if you have 100 affiliates each sending you 1 sale a week of £1,500, that would give you a turnover of £7,800,000 a year.
Affilate programs work by using software which tells you where each person who visited your site came from. If they came from an affiliate it will tell you which affiliate sent the customer and how much the affiliate earned. There are two types of affiliate program – self hosted and managed. With self-hosted you can simply get a plugin, such as AffiliateWP (for WordPress sites), which adds to your website and you set it up from there. This is an easy and free way to set up an affiliate program, but its big disadvantage is that affiliates have to find your website in order to sign up. If you are trying to get affiliates to find you then using a managed affiliate program can be better.
With a managed affiliate program you will pay both the affiliate and the company that does the managing – however, the huge advantage is that you will be given an account manager who will actively seek out the best bloggers for you and encourage them to put your adverts on their websites. There can be thousands of potential bloggers with millions of viewers ready to start finding your website – and the account manager is the person who can put everything in place. To find out more take a look at companies like Rakuten Affiliate Marketing orWebgains.
If you are considering selling log cabins or garden buildings and need a company which drop ship high quality garden buildings for you and provide you with outstanding customer support, then take a close look at our Timber World Dropshipping Account. It’s free to join.