Attracting customers nowadays largely depends on your online presence. Without social media, all you’re going to get are people who don’t use the internet, which isn’t a lot. Even baby boomers, who grew up without so much as a cellphone, are avid internet users today.
No matter what you’re offering, it’s crucial to use digital marketing strategies. But digital marketing strategies aren’t created equal. Online ads, for example, may work well on everyday consumer products like household cleaners, but can you say the same for gourmet products?
When you offer products or services for a very specific niche in the market, relying on ads alone won’t likely generate leads, let alone sales. A very specific niche, after all, is a smaller market segment, hence you have to win all of their trust to make your business succeed. Instead of using hard-selling tactics to persuade them to make a purchase, you have tobe more subtle, focusing on their needs or problems, rather than your need, which is revenue.
What is Hard Selling?
Hard selling, or hard sell, is an advertising or sales approach that uses direct or insistent language. It’s the tactic commonly used by the salespersons you encounter in malls. They’d walk up to you and blabber about why you need to buy a car right now. Insurance agents, multi-level marketing members, and some real-estate agents also tend to use hard selling tactics.
When you’re the subject of a salesperson’s hard selling approach, you feel pressured because of their aggressiveness. And that’s exactly why hard selling is considered ineffective and counterproductive. It may work on people who indeed need to buy a car, an insurance policy, or a home at the moment, but in most cases, hard-selling makes a consumer feel coerced. As such, it creates negative feelings that make repeat sales less probable. Moreover, hard-selling leaves no room for education and persuasion, only dictation that makes consumers feel disrespected.
Although some industries still use hard-sell tactics, it’s mostly outdated. Startups and small businesses won’t benefit from it too, no matter how eager they are to make sales. Soft sell techniques are what they should use instead, as consumers prefer it.
What is Soft Selling?
As the name suggests, soft sell is the opposite of hard sell. It’s an advertising and sales approach that’s more subtle, causing less pressure and more repeat sales. A salesperson using soft-sell tactics makes a consumer feel relaxed. They use cordial language, as opposed to hard sell’s authoritative language.
Soft selling emphasizes the benefits of a product or service and appeals to the consumers’ emotions through humor or friendliness. If hard-selling focuses on what consumers will miss out on without the product or service, soft sell focuses on what the consumers will gain with the product or service.
In e-commerce, an example of a soft sell tactic is notifying a customer about their abandoned cart. A bot will email the customer, asking them if there’s any problem, or if they needed advice on how to proceed.
Effective Soft Selling Tactics for Your Startup
Since you need to boost your online presence and web traffic, it’s good to start with guest blogs. Guest blogs are content posted on another website, talking about a topic that’s related to your products or services. Within the content is a keyword that links to your site or social media. If a user clicks that link, they most likely see value in your business; otherwise, they would’ve just ignored the link.
Guest blogs are offered by digital marketing agencies such as Truelogic Hong Kong. According to their website, they offer Search Engine Optimization (SEO), web design and development, and pay-per-click management. Guest blogs are a form of SEO since they increase traffic on your website or social media.
Part of defining your target market is determining their interests. If you’re targeting young adults aged 20 to 30, who are fans of a certain artist running their own podcast, you can offer to sponsor an episode of that podcast to catch your target’s attention. You just need to ensure that the artist also uses or benefits from your product or service, to make them more credible and convincing.
Your Own Blogs
Aside from guest blogs, your own blogs are an effective SEO technique, too. Publish engaging blogs on a schedule, and in every new blog, link another blog you’ve previously written. Linking your blogs together allows you to create powerful backlinks, which helps your site gain credibility from Google. As a result, yoursite’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERP) can shoot up.
Stay consistent with these soft-sell tactics, and once you reach your desired traffic, attracting customers should be easier. You can start engaging with them more through live chats, polls, or contests. Or, continue sponsoring influencers that your target market admires. These days, people like to use the same products their idols are using anyway.