The whirlwind shopping season has died down, and unless you're in the health or personal fitness industry, you're probably taking a big breath of air. But now can be a great time to think about your customer acquisition strategy.
Getting new customers is something that most businesses need. Lucky for you, there are a lot of ways to attract customers to your business.
Sources are becoming more diverse and accessible for businesses to utilize. With the rise of native advertising, retargeting and local search, your customer acquisition strategy can become more diverse as well.
I'd like to highlight some methods that might work for your business.
You may be missing out if you're not doing email marketing. It's hard for me to imagine a company that wouldn't benefit from better email marketing. If you sell something and have a list of customers, there's a chance that they'll buy from you again, as you've already earned their trust. Once they've given you their email address, you can start sending them useful information. This might be a product you sell, it also might be a helpful tip that relates to your industry. Regardless, you now have a platform to send potential customers repeat marketing.
2. Social Ads
Social ads have come a long way in the past few years, and more are being created all the time. Thanks to better reporting and better ad-serving technology, your business can better gauge if social ads are working as part of your customer acquisition strategy.
There are many platforms that currently offer of social ads (or native ads) you can currently use:
There are two important things to consider when trying social ads:
- The demographics of people on the social network.
- The content type and offer.
A 2015 Pew study on Mobile Messaging and Social Media that surveyed 1,907 American adults found interesting demographic differences among users of certain social media. According to the survey, LinkedIn users are a much different crowd than Pinterest users, for example. Depending on what your business offers, some networks might be better for spending ad money than others.
When determining where you want to advertise, think about the content you'll be sharing. For example, if you have great video content, Facebook may be an excellent option for advertising. If you have a lot of image-heavy content, Pinterest or Instagram might work best. Understand the key difference in content format for each network before you dive in.
One last thing: To make the most of your ad dollars, consider utilizing retargeting to capture visitors who didn't become customers right away. Retargeting means showing ads to people who have taken an action like visiting your website or clicking on your ad. This can be extremely valuable because these people are already familiar with your brand, so they're not cold prospects.
3. Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing
Since 2012 Google has shifted how it ranks content. It's now possible for smaller brands to create amazing content and outrank much bigger established brands.
A key to outranking bigger brands is to create content that is better than your competitors. This is worthy of another article by itself, but Rand Fishkin, one of the most respected experts on SEO in the industry, has a great tutorial on how to create more comprehensive content that ranks better than your competitors.
Creating content like this often requires a lot of time and resources, but the results could be very worthwhile. Consider making sure that you've covered your website's SEO basics, and start planning better content that your competitors won't (or can't) create. Your size and speed may give you an advantage.
How to Test Which Sources Work Best in Your Customer Acquisition Strategy
Once you start incorporating new customer acquisition sources, you can gauge their effectiveness and ROI fairly simply. After all, if you're not making sales, your resources probably aren't being used effectively.
If you're using social ads like Twitter or Facebook, they provide tracking scripts that allow you to track actual conversions. The same with most PPC ad networks. Just install their tracking software, and it should give you the data you need to understand the conversions and ROI from your customer acquisition strategy.
If you're investing money into a channel like content marketing where the results are harder to collect, then you may want to use an analytics program like Google Analytics to track where your visitors are coming from. Google provides an entire suite of learning tools if you're not familiar with Google Analytics.
With Google Analytics you can track the source of the traffic and the landing page for your customers. So if you've started a blog for your business, you can track how many customers your articles generated. This can help you see the big picture of what's working (and what's not) in your customer acquisition strategy.
Test, Test, Test
While I've covered a lot of different ways to improve your customer acquisition strategy, at the end of the day nothing beats just trying something.
Finding new sources of traffic is always a learning process, and learning can be painful. Some of these traffic sources might not work for your business, and that's normal. The important thing is that by experimenting, you may start to see patterns of sources that do work and you can start putting resources into those sources.
Read more articles on getting customers.