Written By: JAKE TOUGHILL
Struggling to get your online health business off the ground? It’s a problem that many businesses in the health and wellness space have.
While there are dozens of potential reasons why your product or service hasn’t grown in popularity, these issues can usually be traced back to a marketing problem.
As a business owner, it’s critical to understand how online marketing works. While that doesn’t mean you need to run out and get a degree in marketing, you should at least have a basic understanding of “marketing best practices.”
Here are 6 of the most basic principles of online marketing that can help you reach success quicker:
1. Identify your ideal customer
One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is to identify your target customer and learn more about who they are.
By understanding your customer on a deeper level, you can better position yourself as the solution to their problems.
What are their hopes, dreams, and aspirations? What are they afraid of? What do they believe in? These are all questions you should be able to answer about your target customers.
Anytime you market your business, picture your target customer in your mind's eye and ask yourself "Is this valuable to my customer?"
A lot of companies target too many different people and end up with zero customers. Instead, focus on a very narrow and specific group of people.
Never start your marketing until you have a thorough understanding of who your target customer is.
2. What's Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
A USP is a statement that explains what sets you apart from your competitors. You should always try to communicate your USP to prospects, so they know what makes you the better choice. If you have a good USP, people will choose your product or service over the rest.
If you think you can grow an online business in the competitive health and wellness space without a USP, think again.
When developing a USP, place yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what they'd want from your product or service.
A USP should be something your target customer cares about or it won't hold any weight.
Here are a few examples:
"You'll love the taste of our volcanic soil grown coffee beans."
"Our 7-step gut healing protocol eliminates gas, bloating, and other digestive problems in as little as 1 week!"
3. Developing Credibility & Track-Record
People are naturally skeptical, especially when you’re trying to sell them something. In general, they’re worried about losing money or not getting the results they want. To help alleviate their concerns, you’ll need to establish credibility and track-record.
Credibility and track-record can be established by showing:
• Proof of claims
• Specific results from your product/program/service
4. Focus on your customers
Sharing your achievements and credentials are great for establishing credibility, authority, and a proven track-record with your audience. But spend too much time talking about yourself, and you'll lose your prospect.
And unfortunately, when it comes to the web, it's easy to focus a little too much on yourself.
Think about it.
Do you enjoy talking to someone who rambles on only about themselves?
Most people would look for ways to escape the conversation…and they’d do all they can to avoid that person in the future!
Your prospect is visiting your website to find out how your product or service can benefit them. Always keep the focus of your content on your prospect's current needs or desires.
Are you getting stuck in what I like to call the "feature trap”? This is when a company talks too much about the features of their product or service and not the benefits of it.
So, what's the difference?
A feature is a characteristic of your product or service. A benefit is a result your customer will get when they use your product or service.
In general, benefits are much more important to a customer than features are. Features help them justify the reason for their purchase while benefits make them want your product.
If all you're doing is listing product features, then you're leaving it up to your audience to figure out how your service is going to benefit them.
Here are some examples of features and benefits:
Feature: Our liver supplement contains a therapeutic dosage of milk thistle.
Benefit: Improves your liver function and helps remove toxins
Feature: Professional therapy for couples.
Benefit: Solve your relationship problems and learn to love each other again.
To find out benefits of your product or service, list out all its features and think about how each one would help your prospect.
6. Offer something free
People love free stuff. One of the best ways to quickly grow a loyal following is to give away something for free.
But there is a right and wrong way to do this.
For example, if you're a therapist, you might want to give away a free 20-minute session and not a blender. Otherwise, you're going to attract the wrong kind of people.
Always make sure what you're giving away reflects your service in some way.
One great way to use this technique is with email opt-ins. In exchange for an email address, you can provide your prospect with a free book or coupon.
There's also another benefit of giving away freebies: it engages the rule of reciprocity.
The reciprocity principle is one of the basic laws of social psychology. According to the rule, people feel compelled to reciprocate when receiving a gift.
Have you ever been given a free sample and then found it difficult to turn down their sale offer? If so, you were victim to the rule of reciprocity!
In simple terms, when you give something away, people are going to feel naturally inclined to buy your product or service.
Remember, great marketing is all about helping your audience solve their problems or fulfill their needs. Once you understand that, you’ll be well on the path to a successful and lucrative online health business.
Jake Toughill is a Direct Response Copywriter who's written persuasive advertisements for supplement companies, doctors, entrepreneurs, and more. He relies on the principles of Scientific Advertising and Psychology to craft compelling copy for his clients. Jake has helped countless entrepreneurs build their dream businesses and now seeks to educate others on copywriting and marketing best practices.