What does it take for brands to convert customers in 2023? Well, it’s safe to say that the first step to business success is developing a first-rate solution. But, unfortunately, that’s not enough. To genuinely stand out (and boost sales), brands must do everything they can to reach, engage, convert, and retain their customers through exceptional customer experience. And the simple fact is that this can be challenging, seeing as we live in the era of unlimited choice.
According to data from the Census Bureau, business creation is higher than ever. The average annual number of new businesses between 2020 and 2022 was 4.9 million, 89% higher than between 2005 and 2016. And if you’re wondering why this number is so impactful, it’s because a higher number of new businesses means increased competition. It means more brands — possibly just like yours — are competing to convert customers and establish themselves as industry leaders. And this is a problem.
In 2023, we live in a world where consumers no longer practice (almost blind) brand loyalty. Nowadays, buyers are more than willing to switch brands due to cost savings, service quality, or even the impression of novelty. Yet, knowing that business success depends on making sales, then achieving customer loyalty and retention, it’s more important than ever to adopt advanced strategies for helping your business achieve prominence.
This guide will cover some of the best tactics to help your brand stand out and boost sales while relying on marketing strategies you, hopefully, already employ. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
Know your audience
In order to boost sales in the era of unlimited choice, the first step is simply knowing your market and audience.
If you know who you’re selling to, you can effectively plan your marketing strategies in a way that appeals to your potential customers. Moreover, by being aware of the trends in your industry, you can ensure that your tactics are up-to-date, relevant to your prospects, and stand a chance when competing against businesses whose marketing budgets are far greater than your own.
In other words, the first step towards allowing your brand to attract, convert, and retain customers is having a crystal clear image of your audience.
Use existing analytical data from your website, conduct thorough market research, become acquainted with your competition, and don’t forget to use social listening tools to have the best insights regarding your audience’s current sentiments. With this information, you’ll uncover the best ways to position your brand, market your products, and eventually boost sales in the era of unlimited choice. Plus, the activities may even allow you to identify new product development opportunities that will put you ahead of your competitors and secure your reputation as the go-to in your industry.
For example, the Calm homepage shows how well the business understands its target audience and their needs, which enables the brand to deliver industry-leading services. Having identified four primary consumer pain points, Calm starts the conversion journey by asking, “What can we help with today?” It’s a simple question. Yet, the possibility of choice makes this service such a compelling option for the brand’s prospects. A single glance at the website proves that this organization understands what its target audience needs and has the potential to deliver the sought-after benefits.
Differentiate yourself from your competitors
Once you understand what your audience wants and needs, it’s time to explore ways to convince them that your solution trumps every other option on the market.
Of course, there are various methods to help your brand stand out and boost sales in the era of unlimited choice. But they all start with one thing: differentiating your products and services. Once you’ve identified the distinctive characteristics that make your solution the right choice for your audience, you need to explore ways to market them to capture your prospects’ attention and convince them to put their faith in your business.
First and foremost, explore ways to point out the value of your solutions on your website. If you look at the Shop Solar Kits homepage, you’ll see that it features an “Us vs. Them” section, where the brand compares its services to those offered by competing local installers and online retailers.
Secondly, advertise that unique value through all of your marketing campaigns. If you look at the SERP below, you’ll see how the brand Monday uses PPC advertising to target its main competitors’ brand names. Then, it tells prospects that its solution is “better than anything [they] know,” leading them to a dedicated Monday vs. Asana comparison page where they point out everything the first business does better than its popular competitor.
Thirdly, even when you aren’t actively comparing your brand to its competitors, you need to employ copy highlighting the value your business offers, whether that’s reflected in price, convenience, ease of use, or something else. By composing a unique sales proposition that does this — like Simple’s “See how fast you can hit your weight loss goals” — you’ll effectively encourage your target audience to associate your solution with the results they’re after, which is what will, ultimately, nudge them towards opting for your product instead of one offered by your competition.
How to stand out and boost sales? Compose and deliver valuable content
Consumer behavior research shows that people spend a tremendous amount of time-consuming digital content. And while our collective content consumption habits have somewhat reduced since their peak in 2020, it’s still important to note that the typical person spends, on average, more than 6 hours on the internet.
It’s safe to say that in order to boost sales in the era of unlimited choice, you first need a tight grasp on your audience’s attention. And the best way to get that is to present them with valuable, engaging content that will convince them to interact with your brand and start considering a purchase.
The easiest (and most cost-effective) way to do this is to start blogging. However, composing and distributing fluffy blog posts won’t necessarily deliver results. In fact, data from Backlinko shows that the key to reaping the benefits of a content marketing strategy (and appearing on the top of Google SERPs) is to invest in high-quality long-form content. So, if you’re looking for ways to stand out, invest your time and budget into producing genuinely helpful articles
If you check out the ATH approach to blogging, you’ll see that the brand exclusively focuses on educational, trust-building articles. In its Nutrition for Athletes guide, the business covers 20 vitamins and minerals with performance-boosting properties. Moreover, the 2,700-word article includes dozens of links to scientific studies. Plus, it promises readers an evidence-based read supported by the author’s professional bio, proving that it’s a resource made to genuinely benefit the brand’s target audience.
In addition to written content, know that visuals also play a role in allowing your brand to stand out and boost sales. So don’t hesitate to create aesthetically pleasing images and illustrations, which communicate your product’s benefits, show off an aspirational lifestyle, or encourage web visitors/social media followers to convert via an emotional impact.
If you check out FOCL, you’ll see how effectively the brand uses imagery to communicate the benefits of using its premium CBD products. Every photo on the homepage oozes a sense of calm and well-being. Moreover, the brand utilizes illustrations to communicate more complex benefits, like the fact that the products improve focus, aid relaxation, and are made with quality ingredients.
Finally, expanding your content marketing efforts with video can certainly help you boost sales in the era of unlimited choice.
Data shows that video is one of the most effective formats for engaging audiences. Moreover, it can effectively help boost product understanding, which is one of the prerequisites for converting more customers — especially when selling complex or innovative products.
This is why businesses like Bay Alarm Medical regularly employ videos instead of visuals. And not just because they’re compelling and aesthetically attractive. More importantly, they can make it super-easy to communicate the benefits of a solution without forcing prospects to read through pages of text trying to convey the way it works.
Start the retention process early
Lastly, as you explore methods to stand out and boost sales in the era of unlimited choice, remember that the most effective way to grow your business and invest in its success is to focus on converting long-term customers who’ll spend money with your brand over time (as opposed to buying once then moving on to one of your competitors).
So, to boost customer retention and lifetime value, you need to approach every customer acquisition as the building blocks of a lasting relationship. In addition to actively encouraging your prospects to continue using your solutions — offering and promoting long subscriptions, as done by MyFitnessPal on its Premium page — you should also do your best to turn the shopping experience into an enjoyable process that gives future users a taste of the exceptional service they can expect to receive from your business.
Additionally, make sure to show off plenty of real and relevant social proof throughout your distribution channels. Research from PowerReviews shows that 97% of people consult online reviews before buying a product. So don’t be afraid to handpick some of your customers’ most positive feedback. Turn it into distinguishing content you can show off on your website or social media channels to help you boost sales in the era of unlimited choice.
For example, if you check out the Vivion homepage, you’ll notice that the reviews the business displays all point out the amount of time happy customers have been buying from Vivion. This is not just a sales-boosting trick. It’s also a testament to the brand’s dedication to CX and a real-life confirmation that it’s a company potential buyers can rely on to deliver exceptional products for years to come.
Cutting through the noise in the era of unlimited choice isn’t easy. It necessitates even more than a great product or service. You need a powerful marketing strategy that incorporates multiple channels and makes the most of the compounding effect to deliver next-level results in the long run.
In other words, standing out, maximizing sales, and retaining customers aren’t effortless. However, if you’re looking to guarantee the health of your business (and its profitability), it’s an essential part of running your organization. So don’t hesitate to implement the tactics described above. Sure, the ROI won’t come quickly, but at the end of the day, slow and steady wins the race. Rest assured that differentiating your business pays off, no matter how long you have to wait to successfully boost sales in the era of unlimited choice.
Author bio: Natasha is a lady of a keyboard and one hell of a geek. She has been working for, and collaborating with, individual clients and companies of all sizes for more than a decade. Natasha specializes in writing about design, branding, digital marketing, and business growth. She is also addicted to art in all its forms and grilled tofu.