Once you have a salable product, the first thing you probably think of is how to develop an effective customer acquisition strategy. To achieve sustainable long-term growth of a customer base, you need to have a proper strategy from the very start. This requires goal setting, audience refinement, and multi-channel marketing.
In the article, you’ll learn more about what customer acquisition is and what strategies you can use to increase your customer base.
What is customer acquisition?
For any business owner, getting new customers is definitely something to celebrate. You’ve been working for months, or maybe years, to build your business, and someone has finally appreciated what you’ve been doing and became your customer. Isn’t it exciting?
In simple terms, customer acquisition is the process of bringing new customers or clients to a business. Having a strong customer acquisition strategy is essential for any kind of business. That said, one of the hardest parts of scaling any business is figuring out which marketing channel is the most sustainable for bringing new customers. Just keep in mind that an acquisition channel working for one business may be ineffective for another. At HubSpot organic search is a major channel for attracting new users, while for Slack, most of their customer acquisition comes from viral marketing.
There are a lot of techniques and frameworks that seek to help you find the right channel to pursue. However, this eventually comes down to a fair amount of trial and error.
That’s why we’re not going to delve into the details of any certain framework. Instead, we’ll present customer acquisition tactics to give you a feel for which channels have the potential to deliver the most value for your project or business.
Channels, Goals, and Audience
Before you start experimenting, make sure that you’ve identified your target audience and set clear goals that you’d like to achieve. Developing customer acquisition strategies without setting goals makes no sense. Step number one is:
Define your goals
Here are some possible goals you can take as an example:
- To increase website visitors by 20%
- To increase the conversion rate by 15%
- To increase new customers by 5000 in three months.
Make sure your goals are measurable and achievable. Additionally, they must be time-bound, so stick to a time frame.
Define your Audience
Your product’s or service’s data is the ultimate tool that will show you patterns in your customer base. These patterns may include geographic location, interests, influencers they follow, type of products they buy, one-time or repeat buyer, etc. In fact, data is a tool that helps you understand what problems people are looking to solve with your products.
You’ll do a great job once you identify not only a buyer persona portrait, but true reasons why your customers ‘hire’ your product or its alternatives. Jobs To Be Done framework may help you determine the mechanisms that drive consumers to act and buy products or services.
To sum up, your customers’ data helps you:
- Identify customers’ problems, needs, and hesitations;
- Create lookalike audiences — new people who haven’t ever heard of your business before, but they are very similar to your current customer base;
- Create a hypothesis, choose elements to test and test.
Define your channels
Let’s see what types of both online and offline channels are available to you for customer acquisition.
Online marketing channels are:
Paid marketing is an advertising model in which advertisers directly target users based on their interests or behavioral patterns. Here are some strategies you can use for paid marketing:
- Promote marketing content in social media groups
- Create remarketing campaigns
- Search for a lookalike audience
Email marketing is not a brand-new marketing method. But the reason we have decided to add it to our guide is that it still works! People buy products if they are connected with companies on a regular basis. Sending email letters is a great way to land a message containing some value offerings in customers’ inboxes. If designed properly, emails can make customers feel significant and appreciated.
Affiliate marketing is another great way of acquiring new customers. For these purposes, you should set up an affiliate program for your website using affiliate tracking software.
Once you have set it up, convince influencers or bloggers to promote your products on their blogs, websites, or social media platforms. They’ll get paid a commission for the sales made using your affiliate link.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing involves publishing high-quality content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc., engaging followers, analyzing results, and running social media advertisements.
QA websites like Quora is also a platform you can use to answer questions about various topics. Just create a profile and start promoting your brand by answering relevant queries of the users.
Another way to get more customers on board through social media is by collaborating with influencers. By partnering with bloggers or influencers who have a large number of followers on social media, you are expanding your target audience.
Another smart acquisition strategy to increase your reach is promoting user-generated content. Being mentioned or shared by a brand is often fun and exciting for users. Their shares not only help you reach a wider audience but you also expose your audience as well. It obviously doesn’t guarantee customer acquisition, but it will definitely increase your brand’s reach to people who didn’t know about you before.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing includes techniques and tools to optimize the visibility of websites on search engines such as Google. The algorithm assesses both the website relevance and the authority of the website — the more relevant the website is and the better the content and user experience are on the web pages, the higher a search engine will rank the website.
In organic marketing, you don’t pay anything to market your products or services. The best way to beat the competition and get customers organically is by ranking for those keywords your customers associate you with.
Another way to acquire more customers is to improve user experience on your website — сheck the bounce rate and average page session duration. If you want more data, integrate heat maps on your website.
Offline channels usually include:
If your business is targeting a local community, hosting an event in the specific area may be a great idea in terms of customer acquisition.
Banners and billboards
You can also go for promotion through banners and billboards. These are hard to track but great for building awareness.
Customer acquisition is the lifeblood of any company, no matter the size or industry. That means you can’t afford to give up on attracting new customers.
We’ve shared with you the most popular customer acquisition strategies. However, knowing about these strategies is not enough, you should test them out.
Before finding the right customer acquisition channel that works well for your business, the process will likely involve a fair amount of trial and error. Don’t be afraid of failures and keep experimenting. Eventually, you’ll find your own ‘recipe’ to attract new users to your product.
Author: Anna Grechko is a marketing enthusiast and knows the field inside out. She is the marketing specialist at Smart IT. Sharing knowledge is a big part of her career, so Anna actively seeks to spread good vibes, and collaborate with the great tech and marketing minds of the world.