No matter how much a business grows, it should never stop striving for new customers. The world is evolving at a faster rate than ever before and business owners need to take advantage of this.
These days, everything works around the ever-changing face of technology and digitization. Digital marketing is a gigantic industry that didn’t even exist a few decades ago.
As society develops and evolves, so will your consumer base. As we approach the end of 2019, I would encourage you to re-evaluate your customer acquisition strategies to ensure your business has continued success and impact come the new year.
What is a Customer Acquisition Strategy?
Put simply, a customer acquisition strategy is about the powers of persuasion. It describes a series of steps or a particular method you use in order to convince consumers to purchase the products and services your business has to offer.
It is important to remember that customer acquisition strategies are not a case of one-size-fits-all. Depending on your customer base, business needs, and the products you are marketing, your customer acquisition strategy will vary.
When it comes to customer acquisition strategies, no two businesses are the same. Competitors may be seeking to persuade a similar customer base, but they will use slightly different strategies to achieve that goal. The most successful business among others in a competitive market is subsequently the one with the best customer acquisition strategy.
Evidently, a well-informed and properly implemented customer acquisition strategy is key to the success of any business. But with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start.
We’ve taken the time to break down and explain some of the most popular and successful customer acquisition strategies. By the end of this article, you should have a good foundation of customer acquisition which you can then apply to your business and customer base. This will help secure your success in the upcoming year.
1. Do your market research
This sounds like an obvious step, but it is something that is often rushed and overlooked – especially when you are an already-established business. You may think that the market research you conducted as part of your initial business plan is enough.
The truth is, the market is constantly changing. The market you researched even a year ago probably doesn’t exist anymore. In order to understand your customer base and catch their attention, you need to know what it is they’re demanding and determine whether the market in its current state is supplying that.
2. Identify your target audience
In order to market your products successfully, you need to know who you’re marketing to. What is the demographic you’re appealing to? What are their interests, age, and gender? What can your business do for them? Answering these questions is the first crucial step in the development of a customer acquisition strategy, as they can help you tailor your approach towards your demographic.
3. See what competitors are offering these customers
Now that you understand who your customer base is, you need to consider which businesses have that same customer base. Comparing yourself to your competitor is useful because that is exactly what your customer will be doing. You should research not only the products they offer but also how they market them. These two elements should not be looked at in isolation: they feed into each other and impact one another’s successes. It doesn’t matter how great a product is. If it isn’t attracting customers, what’s the point?
4. Develop a unique selling point
Your product’s unique selling point will always be at the forefront of your marketing. It’s that one quality of your product that differentiates it from competitors, which ultimately persuades the customer to choose your business over the competition. If your product offers a strong unique selling point, it will be much easier to show potential consumers its value.
5. Consider the best B2C social media platform
Social media marketing is what’s called an inbound customer acquisition strategy. It involves going further than just promoting your product and aims to engage consumers by creating meaningful and engaging content. However, for this content to reach your customers, you need to consider which social media platforms they use the most. One way to find this out is by tracking the number of link clicks to a certain social media platform from your website.
You could also revisit your market research and consider how factors like age and interests play into what social media platform they’re most likely to use. Once you have determined the best platform to acquire customers, you will be able to implement your plan with maximum success.
6. Find Out Where Your Customers are Based
Through programmes like Google Maps or analytic plugins, you will be able to find out the different locations your customers are visiting your website or social media platforms from. Once you know the most common area your customers reside, you could localise your strategy.
Another technique includes posting blogs on your website which talk about their local area or find the time to visit local conferences and events where you could advertise the business in person.
7. Run a Referral Program
There are many ways to run a referral programme, but they all come down to the same concept. You give an existing customer a benefit (like a coupon or discount) if they refer one of their friends to your business. This works as a method of both customer acquisition and retention.
Not only are you able to attract brand new customers (who are presumably part of the same demographic you’re targeting because they know a current customer), but you are also further engaging existing customers with incentivisations.
8. Offer Giveaways and Free Trials
Nothing attracts people more than free stuff! If you feel like advertising your product doesn’t really do justice to how great it is, why not get the customer to see for themselves?
It is by far the best way to convert a one-time customer to a regular consumer, as they will be able to know exactly what to expect before they purchase. This means that they will be well-informed and more likely to re-purchase if they like it.
It also has the benefit of helping you quickly increase your following organically if you were to incorporate it as part of a social media competition. If, as part of this competition, the randomly selected winner would get free products or other benefits, they’d be more likely to share your business on social media for a chance at the prize.
9. Search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a vital element of any customer acquisition strategy. If you utilise SEO the right way, you will increase your visibility to your target market with ease.
There are a variety of ways you can use SEO to get more customers. These include using back links from more authoritative websites, using industry-related keywords on your website landing pages, and optimizing your website for use on mobile browsers.
Once you have mastered the basics of SEO, you can work to integrate it in several customer acquisition strategies by utilising keywords, as you can see below.
10. Using keywords to inform your products
Some analytic tools enable you to determine the kinds of keywords customers used in search engines to lead them to your website. From there, you will be able to understand what your demographic is looking for.
So, for example, if you run a business selling headphones, you might find from reverse analytics that a lot of customers came across your website after typing ‘bluetooth headphones’. This then tells you that your demographic wants Bluetooth headphones, which is a good indication that, if you were to sell that product, it will be successful.
11. Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising is pricey but effective. This type of advertising entails you paying the publisher of a well-known search engine like Google every time a user on their platform interacts with the advert. You would, however, be getting your monies worth or quite possibly even making the money back.
If it is a struggle to get your website to the front page of a search engine (which may be the case if your business is in a somewhat oversaturated market), you will get unrivalled exposure to potential customers thanks to the platform you are advertising on.
12. Co-operate with influencers
Today, influencers as an advertising platform are almost as effective as leading search engines – and are especially effective if you are targeting a younger demographic.
Engaging in a business relationship with an influencer can be a very effective way to turn their fans into customers. To their fanbase, influencers are an authoritative, trustworthy voice. If an influencer says a product is high quality, they will believe them.
Customers will be more likely to be swayed if their favourite influencer told them to buy a product as opposed to a website they don’t know.
13. Revise your emailing strategy
When it comes to customer acquisition strategies, emails are often neglected. Businesses usually think that it is enough to just send a generic email out to a mailing list. However, if you want to maximise the effectivity of email marketing, you will have to go beyond that. You can integrate email as part of your customer acquisition strategy in two ways.
One way is to split up your email lists into different segments depending on how much engagement they have previously had with your business. So, for example, you could split up your email lists into loyal customers, first-time buyers and people who have never interacted with your business before. This then allows you to tailor your emails accordingly and make the emails more relevant, personalised and engaging for them.
Another way is to try and target those on your mailing list who don’t usually open your emails. Some people don’t really engage with cookie-cutter, mass-marketing emails, so again it is about that degree of personalisation. But, if you notice that a potential consumer didn’t open your previous email, sending the exact same email again won’t be as effective. Instead, you should make a completely new subject line and adapt the body of the email to entice the recipient to open it.
14. Write Response Posts
Response posts are another type of SEO content that aims to engage consumers by directly answering the questions they type into Google. If you write response posts about topics that are within your field, this is a more subtle and indirect way of attracting the consumer to your website and products whilst simultaneously arming them with useful information!
It is easy to find topics for response posts. If you start typing in field-related keywords into Google, the auto-fill feature will show you some of the most common questions related to that keyword. Furthermore, if you search a question on Google, you will find an ‘other questions you may ask’ section at the bottom of the page, which gives you a good indication of related keyword-based questions people searched for.
Overall, to develop any successful customer-acquisition strategies, you must take two crucial steps. The first step is about arming yourself with crucial knowledge about your demographic, their behaviors and habits, potential competitors, your USP, and field-related keywords.
Then, for the second step, you need to apply that knowledge. You need to take the information you know about your business and audience and shape that into a customer acquisition strategy that is tailored to your business identity and needs.
As you can see, there are several kinds of customer acquisition strategies out there for your business to implement, and this list is by no means exhaustive. But ultimately, by taking those two crucial steps and considering how effective and applicable these different customer acquisition strategies might be for your business, you are well on your way to a successful and fruitful 2020. Good luck!