For week 2, our assignment was to put myself in the role of a business owner who is thinking about starting a new online business that would be very similar to Red Paddle Co who sells inflatable, stand up paddleboards. We are required to discuss the type of business model we would use for the business, who our customers would be, and offer three marketing strategies for getting the website out to the world.
As a company that is selling paddle boards, I would start out my business with an online store where my customers could purchase directly from my website. This would be a Business to Consumer (B2C) model. I would also be looking to quickly expand to have my product sold at a brick and mortar retailer like REI which would be Business to Business (B2B) model.
I would anticipate that the bulk of purchasers would likely be male adults age 25-35 and who make $30-$75k/year. I suspect they would mostly be male purchasers; guys who are buying for themselves and for their significant other or family members. They would be people who love the outdoors and are already involved in several other outdoor activities like hiking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking. They would also be in areas with easy access to water (lakes, rivers, or ocean).
- High Quality Website: My first avenue for marketing would be having a high quality website that is easy to navigate and is full of visually stimulating photos and graphics. I know that in the last several years, Google has changed their algorithm to focus less on keywords (Google doesn’t use metatag keywords in it’s rankings) and more on high quality content (which is going to produce more links on it’s own). The website would therefore be focused on high quality content but at the same time, I would still utilize relevant SEO wording throughout the site.Secure Online store: A secure online store would obviously be vital to sales and having a secure SSL Certificate on the site will boost the website rankings with Google. For each individual product on the store I would include as much detailed information about the individual product as possible.Mobile friendly: These days you MUST have a mobile friendly website because the majority of people are searching for product on their mobile devices and tablets.
- Sell on Amazon: Being a retailer on Amazon is a great opportunity to increase sales.
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube are excellent tools to get people to know about your business and get the word out. In order to be most successful with it I would need high quality graphics and imagery that is appealing and stands out. I love how REI has incredibly informative instructional videos on YouTube. They show how to properly pack your hiking backpack, how to set up a tent, etc. I would use this same idea to create videos to share on the various social media platforms.
- Contest/Giveaway: I would consider using a few different contest ideas for promoting my website on Social Media platforms.Post sharing giveaway: “Share this page and be entered to win a $100 gift certificate.” I have learned about more companies through Social Media by using this type of giveaway than any other method. People love to get a deal so they are happy to share your site if they think they will get something for free or a serious discount. One company that I follow, Dene Adams, does this on a very regular basis and I have watched their business grow exponentially over the last two years.#hashtag: Create a contest in which customers post a photo or video of themselves using the paddleboards with a company hashtag like #redpaddleco.
In the long run, I would be looking to connect with a company like REI to get my boards in their stores and participate in some of their events.
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