The 4 Pillars of a Successful Online Marketing Strategy

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By Miva | May 22, 2013
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1.  Building Strong Relationships with Potential Customers

Your audience is comprised of the people who are your potential customers and could-be loyal fans. Your customers are the most valuable asset of your business, and once you have a loyal customer, they will want to tell everyone about your brand.  Building a great marketing strategy is all about creating a relationship with your customers, even if you never actually see them.

How to Create Loyal Customers:

  • Find out who they really are.
    If you don’t take the time to get to know your potential customers, then you will have a hard time gaining their attention, interest, and money.  Really dig into getting to know their demographics, psychographics, expectations, and knowledge of your product or service.  What social media sites are popular with your prospects and customers?  Do your research on their environment and focus your marketing energies to meet them right where they are at.
  • Tall, Grande, or Venti?
    Speak their language.  Starbucks is a great example of a company that actually created an industry “lingo” that made customers feel included, and it has even become a way of life for loyal customers.  When you are starting a new business, you are probably entering an industry with its own “lingo.”  Make sure that your communication with your audience is in a language that they can understand.
  • Offer something of value.
    To really win the hearts of your audience, you must differentiate your business and stand out from the crowd.  By adding value to your customers’ lives, you will be able to create loyalty that lasts a lifetime.  Remember, loyal customers are your best sales people.
  • Communicate authentically and effectively.
    As with any relationship, communication is key to its success.  Even online, people can sense authenticity.  As Benjamin Franklin said, ““It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”  Build trust with vigilance and quality every time your customer encounters your brand.  Founder and CEO of Dwolla, Ben Milne, believes that delivering on your promise is your business, and if you don’t deliver, “there’s no tagline that fixes it.”

2.  The Art of Converting Consumers into Customers

Once you have successfully attracted, engaged, and inspired your audience, the next step is to bring them to the logical conclusion to buy your product.  Each potential customer goes through a “decision journey.” Mckinsey & Co. created the following cycle which effectively demonstrates a circular consumer decision journey that your potential customers might go through.


The Consumer “Decision Journey” Cycle:

Step 1.  Consumer has a want, need, or desire that they are looking to satisfy by purchasing a product or service.

Step 2.  Consumer locates product/service and evaluates if it would satisfy their want, need, or desire.

Step 3.  Consumer compares and contrasts product or service with other options, and decides on a favorite solution.

Step 4.  Consumer makes a decision to purchase and successfully converts into customer.

Step 5.  After purchasing, consumer assesses the user experience and eventually returns to Step 1.

If you successfully meet your audience at each stage of the decision journey with a solution for every want, need, or desire they have along the way, then you will be able to successfully guide them to conversion.

3.  Creating Effective Content

Quality content is the cornerstone of your marketing, meaning it is the essential piece that determines the success of your online marketing strategy.  All other pieces of your store will reference this piece while building a strong foundation for your website. Each block, or piece of content, should be intended to help your customers address a specific need better than any other resource provided by your competition.  Effective content is a crucial piece to the success of your online business.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is simply producing and publishing information that is used by customers to better understand your product or service.  Once you know what your potential customers are searching for, it will make it easier for you to create effective content that addresses their specific questions.

4 Building Blocks of Creating Effective Content:

  1. Write quality product descriptions that appeal to the customer’s senses.
  2. Use keywords strategically in your website for SEO strategy.
  3. Use videos, blogs, and case studies to reach new customers and please the search engines.
  4. Provide valuable information for your visitors to give them insight into solutions your product/service can provide.

Creating highly relevant content for consumers in each of the consumer “decision journey” stages will create a stronger connection between you and your customers, which eventually could lead them to purchase.

4.  Producing High-Quality Products or Services

The best way to succeed is to design and offer exactly what your customers want.  Create products that are better quality than any of your competitors to help maximize your success rate in the marketplace. High quality products will lead to lasting business success because you will actually add value to your customer’s lives by providing them with the best that they can get. This will bring them back, time and time again.  We all know that it is easier to make sales from existing customers than it is to acquiring new ones.  If you want to grow your business and set yourself apart from other ecommerce stores, focus your time and energy on planning, organizing, and delivering top-notch products/services.

What Defines a “High-Quality” Product or Service?

In order to determine if your product/service is high-quality, consider the following factors:

  • Test your products/services
  • Constantly improve your products/services
  • Deliver products/services quickly
  • Offer superior customer service, even after delivery
  • Offer a great return policy
  • Use great product-photography
  • Use high-quality materials
  • Ensure conformity with market requirements
  • Become properly accredited
  • Ensure customers’ expectations are fulfilled or exceeded

The only way to sustain sales, gain competitive advantage, and create loyal customers is by consistently offering high-quality products and services that achieve customer satisfaction.

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Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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