Growing your sales is very much subject to your circumstances and how your business is performing. Do you want to focus on customers who have already bought from you? Or win new ones?
The simplest way to grow your business is to sell more of the products or services you’re selling at the moment to those who are already buying them. Whether that’s persuading one-off customers to become repeat customers, win back customers who don’t shop with you anymore, or increasing the amount of sales you make to your regular customers. This approach tends to be more cost-effective than seeking out brand new customers to your business.
Bearing this in mind, we’ve rounded up 26 ways you can grow your sales, with a nod to some emerging trends in 2023.
1. Reassess your website.
- Is it easy to buy from?
- Is your content helpful and appealing to customers?
- Is your product or service information clear and easy to find?
- Is it obvious how they add something to their basket, make a payment, book a demo, get in touch?
- Is your site quick to load? Mobile/tablet-friendly?
2. Smarten up on your SEO. While it’s great to have a user-friendly website, you need to drive traffic to it. Search Engine Optimisation is the process of increasing your visibility in search engine results. Getting your website to the top of the results for relevant keywords is essentially free advertising! A good start is to brush up on the basics – we’ve written a comprehensive overview of SEO in our article: search engine marketing for small businesses.
3. An agile SEO strategy. OK, you’ve learnt the basics but SEO is constantly changing, so it’s important to be aware of updates that could impact your visibility (and stop any activity that is now considered as negative SEO e.g. keyword stuffing). A popular SEO trend for 2023 is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Google’s AI algorithm RankBrain, is likely to become one of Google’s most important ranking factors. Experts believe that user experience is a primary ranking factor. Click through rate and the amount of time users spend on a website will all contribute to positive user experience signals (another reason to get your website in order!).
4. An engaging content marketing strategy. Creating and marketing content that builds your brand and demonstrates your expertise is a smart move in encouraging sales. It not only connects with your existing customers as well as your target audience, but directs them to your website and into your sales funnel. Well positioned and optimised content will also have a positive impact on your search engine listings. Ensure your content conforms to Google’s EAT principle (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness), which it uses to determine whether a website offers quality content.
5. Evergreen content. While topical content is useful and can attract high levels of social engagement, also consider creating evergreen content (search-optimised content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers over a long period of time), so your website can enjoy long term traffic benefits.
6. Prioritise video content. If you haven’t done so already, it’s imperative that you include video as part of your SEO strategy in 2023 (and beyond!). Online video platforms have exploded in the last few years and are the optimal way to grab attention and engage customers and prospects. (Our How to Create Impactful Video Content as a Business Owner is a great place to start your video journey.)
7. A/B testing of your website content. Do you have a popular page or blog post on your website, but still struggling to convert? See if you can reposition your messaging and user experience to increase conversions by running split A/B tests.
8. Up your search engine marketing (SEM) game. SEM almost exclusively refers to paid search advertising and includes marketing formats such as display, retargeting, shopping, and pay per click (PPC). If you’re unsure whether to immediately address your SEO or SEM first, we’ve put together a helpful comparison table for you, here.
9. Local SEO and PPC: There are a number of local marketing techniques that you can utilise within your SEO and PPC strategies. Our 17 ways to do effective local marketing article lists ways you can improve your local SEO and PPC to increase your visibility in local search results.
10. Paid social ads are effective in raising brand awareness to drive traffic and leads, which can produce immediate results for your business. Take time to grasp the best social platforms for your target audience before launching, and always ensure A/B testing on ad copy, images and calls to action to ensure your ad campaigns are being regularly refined for optimum results. Read our guide on social media advertising for small businesses.
11. Utilise the best social media marketing tools to increase efficiency and inform strategy to encourage sales.
12. Launch a podcast. A key trend for 2023 is audio – with podcasts providing a fantastic marketing opportunity. Make sure your podcast theme ties in with your expertise and offers value and entertainment to listeners. Put time into planning and promoting your podcast just as much as recording it, and ensure you have the time to commit to the project and the expertise to ensure a quality output.
13. Market in the metaverse! A parallel virtual world consisting of multiple interoperable online spaces, where people (as digital avatars) can shop, trade, travel, socialise, and interact with one another. The goal is to offer a hyper-real alternative world for the one that you currently live in. An estimated 85 million people used augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) in 2021. Usage has been growing steadily and has more than doubled since 2017. If marketing in the metaverse isn’t already part of your content strategy for 2023, it needs to be. Geri Mileva’s A Deep Dive into Metaverse Marketing is an eye-opening read and offers some great marketing examples. Worth a read especially if you’re looking to target Millennials and Gen Zers.
14. Utilise shoppable links. Allow users to buy your products directly through your posts. Shoppable content can range from images to videos, social media to articles. Feature and tag your products in your posts, with a checkout link, price, product info, etc, allowing users to easily buy without having to hunt out the product or how to add it to their basket. Make shopping as direct and easy as possible.
15. Turn individual content creators into brand ambassadors. Depending on your industry, collaborating with content creators who share similar values and target audiences is a great way to encourage sales through association, whether it’s via podcasts, vlogs, blogs or social media.
16. Launch new products/services. Do you feel like your marketing strategy needs something shiny and new to promote, which you can shout about? Reassess what you offer while looking closely at your analytics to ensure any new products/services are informed by data and demand.
17. Read our 42 Free Resources to Inspire and Energise your Business in 2022 – adding some rocket fuel to your business can have positive implications on your sales figures.
18. Recruit new talent. Can you expand your team to include additional sales expertise? Or turn to a consultant? If your budget is tight, could you take an online course to upskill in this area? Or skill-swap with a friend or family member who can bring their expertise to the table?
19. Work with a mentor. Business mentors can help you develop your ideas for growth by sharing their skills, expertise, experience and contacts. Find free and paid-for mentors in your area via mentorsme, which also includes advice on how to pick the right mentor for your business.
20. Talk to your staff. Subject to your business set up, check in regularly with your team. Ask their opinion on the sales and marketing strategy. Have they spoken to any customers and prospects recently? Do they have feedback that you could use to develop your communications and evolve your sales funnel? Maintain these regular conversations and keep your sales strategy agile and responsive to feedback.
21. Expand your network. Depending on your industry, could you look to join local networking groups for your business, or on a larger, national/global scale via online networking events? Are there non-competitive businesses that share your target audience, which you could collaborate with and cross-promote? Could you sponsor – or even speak at! – an event that will build your brand and expand your network?
22. Review your business plan. If you haven’t looked at your business plan for a while, it’s worth doing so and reassessing your sales and marketing plan within it. Could your target market have changed? Are there new competitors on the scene? Are there new industry trends you need to consider? This could all be limiting your sales and require updating. You should also consider creating tailored business proposals to use when pitching to potential new customers and clients.
23. Take time in your day to identify new markets and opportunities. Maintain this routine to ensure you stay abreast of sales opportunities in a way that feels bitesize instead of readdressing a hefty business plan intermittently. This will keep your sales and marketing strategy agile and responsive to changes in your market.
24. Spring clean your data. Having incomplete or inaccurate data will hinder your sales efforts. Address duplicate data and discover if you’re missing any key information from prospect’s contact information. Enabling a customer relationship management (CRM) database will help you put your customers first, using data to enhance customer experiences to nurture leads, build loyalty and encourage sales.
25. Automate everyday tasks that take up time. Struggling to find the time to focus on your marketing campaigns, sales funnel and customer service? Technology reduces human intervention in your processes – take a look at ones that specialise in your industry and address your specific process pain points. Top tip: Many CRMs include automated marketing campaigns!
26. Encourage reviews. According to Statista, 90% of UK consumers check online reviews before buying from a business. So for a small business, this can make a big difference to your conversion rate. Subject to your industry, ask for testimonials or reviews from your customers and include them on your website. Make sure to respond to bad reviews on your website or social media. It’s an opportunity to put something right and demonstrate good customer service. (For further detail, take a look at How do I Manage Customer Reviews and Online Reputation?)