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5 ways to ignite your online sales

3 min read

Nick Saltarelli bases the success of Mid-Day Squares largely on one critical element: the company’s online, user-friendly social media marketing content.

Mid-Day Squares, co-owned by Saltarelli, his wife Lezlie Karls (co-CEO), and her brother Jake Karls (business development), produces high-end functional chocolate bars. They’re mostly sold online or in any one of the 9,000 retail stores they have shelf space in throughout North America. Every day, the company ships up to 2,000 parcels directly to consumers or stores.

The company uses its online presence on three social media channels: TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

Online is the only way to go to build a brand to reach and communicate with today’s customers.

“We get an average of 50,000 to 150,000 views for every video we post,” says Saltarelli. “That’s a lot of free publicity. Online is the only way to go to build a brand to reach and communicate with our customers.”

Digital engagement between companies and customers is expected to continue its strong growth, says Vince Sgabellone, a Canadian foodservice industry analyst with the market research company Circana.

“The younger the consumer, the more engaged they are with digital technology,” he says. Over half the world’s population is in the Millennial or Gen Z categories.

Sgabellone says trends like direct-to-consumer selling mean companies in both arenas must raise their online game.

“Lines are getting blurred - marketing to end-consumers is now more digital,” he says.

At the height of the pandemic, online orders peaked. While they have dipped slightly, they are still higher than before the pandemic, adds Sgabellone.

Canadian digital marketing expert John-Kurt Pliniussen says businesses take a few key steps to drive online traffic and enhance a brand in a highly connected world.

1. Keep it simple

“The first thing is to make access to your website easy, easy, easy for anyone from anywhere,” Pliniussen says.

Use familiar menu templates and links to social media pages with common icons. That’s what grabs first-time customers and helps to build your brand.

2. Make it mobile

He says all companies must guarantee their website is configured for optimal smartphone viewing and that font size is an important consideration, especially as customers age.

“The majority of people now shop online with their phones, either by voice or by typing in reference words to see what pops up, and you want it to be you,” says Pliniussen.

Your dream is always to be on the first page because no one goes to the second page.

3. Check the site

Pliniussen recommends that business owners or marketing personnel ask friends in the target market to visit the company’s website via their smartphones—and even make purchases—to ensure it looks good, is user-friendly, and is easy to navigate.

4. Optimize and analyze

Pay for search engine optimization, plain and simple. The process of improving the quality and quantity of web traffic from searches while leveraging the statistics and analytics that most websites generate for free cannot be overstated enough.

“That’s the power of digital marketing—no matter what you do, almost instantly you can see whether you’re getting results through these analytics, which is very different than a radio, TV, print ad or billboard,” he says. “You need to understand who is coming to your site, the pages they visit and when and where they leave.”

5. Be visual

Since the average time online shoppers spend on a website’s homepage is only three or four seconds, Pliniussen recommends using visual and audio content to convey the brand’s wow factor. This is called “sensory branding.” The top two human senses that impact people are their eyes and ears, so companies must leverage that to their advantage.

Digital engagement between food and beverage manufacturing companies and customers is growing and will only increase. Build a straightforward website, ensure it’s optimized for a mobile experience, post audio/visual content and analyze site visits. The younger the consumer, the more engaged they are with digital technology.

Article by: Mark Cardwell