In the times of intellectual overstimulation, funded by — among other things — hostile ads that are literally everywhere, consumers are more tired than ever before. It certainly doesn’t help that ads are highly personalized, thanks to brands using personal data, which for many people feel invasive. This irrevocably leads to a lack of trust, with more than half of brands seen as untrustworthy (53%).
Add to that the fact that it’s harder more than ever to engage audiences, and we’re all set with the current state of the marketing landscape.
A bit depressing, isn’t it?
Thankfully, the data shown above can give us tips on how to use today’s consumer’s attitudes for better marketing. And to create more efficient, evergreen customer acquisition strategies. Not all hope is lost!
Customer Acquisition Strategy: Quick Definition
But first let’s take a look at what exactly customer acquisition strategy is.
A customer acquisition strategy is all about building processes to reach and gain new customers. Sounds rather simple, doesn’t it?
But the matter complicates once we add the requirements — for the acquisition process should be systematic, sustainable, flexible, and as evergreen as possible. Moreover, it should also take into consideration customer retention. That is, how to keep paying customers invested in your brand.
And most importantly, a solid customer acquisition strategy requires a perfect understanding of the products or/and services offered, as well as the motives, wants, and needs of an ideal customer.
Before Crafting Your Customer Acquisition Plan…
…ensure that you have well–thought–out answers to the following questions:
1. Who is the target audience?
Defining demographics is a starting point for any product and/or service. All the information gathered — like age, sex, education, and income — is vital to make your offer relevant. If you try to make it universal instead, you’ll probably fail.
2. Where can you find your target audience?
Launching your marketing campaign on as many channels as your budget allows is the fastest way to waste it. It’s more effective to focus on just a few that are surely frequented by your target audience. For example, it’s better to reach younger people through Youtube over TV, while older generations can be found embracing Facebook. Twitter is better at reaching a male audience, since 63.7% of users are male, while Pinterest attracts more women (77.1%).
Moreover, each channel will require a different strategy, so choose wisely. Some prefer videos, other short messages with bright images, or informative, comprehensive blog posts. The frequency of posting also depends on the platform.
3. What language do they prefer?
Discerning the language of your target audience should be easy enough — just frequent the right spaces and take notes. Does it seem trivial to you? I promise it’s not. Adapting the same language will prove that your brand understands its target audience and that you’re on the same side.
Language doesn’t stop at words. It also encompasses visuals, so take notice of that as well.
4. What problem do they face and how can you solve it?
Practicality over aesthetics. Ideally, both. But if someone’s got to choose, they’ll probably settle on something that makes their life easier. Or better.
While researching how your target audience speaks, it’s important to take note of what they say, and especially — what do they complain about. And people do complain a lot.
If you want to make a streaming site, check what people say about those that already exist. What features don’t they like? What issues do they face? What do they wish to be different? Are there any obstacles that prevent users from enjoying themselves?
And the most important question — can your product or service fix that?
5. Why should they use your product or accept your offer?
Why is it your product or service that triumphs over the competition? What unique traits or features does it have? How can people benefit from it?
Crafting Your Own Customer Acquisition Strategy
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing consists of creation and distribution of any type of content. It’s responsible for creating cohesive brand equity, spreading the right message, and building authority. Good, consistent content adds to your credibility and increases trust, while a unique voice and style can make you memorable. Overall, it’s a great opportunity to gain a reputation as an expert in the field. And the more helpful your content is, the more value it gains.
The type of content can be varied: it can be in written, visual, audio, or video form. You should aim to include as many as you can. Why? Well, let the numbers speak for themselves.
- Articles with images get 94% more views.
- Video can directly increase sales, as confirmed by 80% of video marketers. 87% of them noticed increased onsite traffic as well.
- Podcasts are on the rise: there’s more than 2,000.000 shows and 48 million episodes available, with 50% of US households being fans.
- With the help of the audio content, lead generation can be increased by more than 21%.
But of course, it all comes down to quality. The importance of investing in high–quality content can’t be overstated — it’s considered to be one of the most effective strategies, while at the same time, it tends to be cheaper than the others. The drawback — it’s a long–term game, so patience is needed.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Great, helpful content won’t do much if it’s buried deep down on the web and nobody sees it. And with the astounding amount of content already available, visibility might be a challenge.
That’s where SEO comes in.
SEO is responsible for driving traffic to your website, making it more visible to the users on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Although Google doesn’t really want to confirm which practices are the best ones, people have already figured out a thing or two. Let’s see some examples:
- Target relevant keywords, especially the long–tail ones,
- Follow EAT principles (expertise, authority and trustworthiness),
- Get backlinks via guest blogging, online forums, and social media platforms,
- Ensuring a mobile–friendly design,
- Make certain that page’s main content loads fast.
If the above fails, you can also pay your way into Google’s good graces, but this might significantly increase your customer acquisition costs. You can advertise your page on SERP with the help of several payment models, for example:
- CPC (cost–per–click) — when you pay each time the ad is clicked,
- CPM (cost–per–mille) — when you pay for one thousand views or impressions,
- CPA (cost–per–action) — when you pay each time a specific action is done by the user.
3. Email Marketing
Although it may seem obsolete by some, email marketing is still a powerful tool that can get you a lot of new customers acquired. Its average return on investment (ROI) is reported to be $44 for every $1 spent. So it’s really cost–effective, as well as easy to start, and the whole process can be automated. And the results are easy to measure as well.
So many benefits! But how can you build your email list in the first place?
Well, there are several ways to do that. For example:
- By creating a signup form on the website. As long as the benefits of signing up are emphasised — in the form of discounts, free additional content, access to ebooks and guides — people should be swayed into giving you a shot.
- By promoting your newsletter. Again, behind each message there should be good enough value to keep people interested. A nice tip is to ask in the mail to forward the message to a friend if the mail was found useful.
- By leveraging social media. By doing giveaways, contests, or hosting livestreams and webinars, you can request email submissions.
Once you’ve got the emails, how to keep people subscribed?
- Make the messages visually appealing. Currently, there’s an abundance of templates, images, and fonts that can be used to make the emails pleasing to the eye.
- Make them interactive. You can add dynamic elements for bigger engagement and to increase the rate of click–to–open by 73%. Adding just videos can boost click rates by 300%.
- Intrigue, amuse, surprise. A good content will stay undiscovered and the message unopened if the headline won’t catch the recipier’s attention. Making it fun, interesting or shocking can increase the open rates, just like adding numbers (like top 10 lists) or restricting it to one word for some mystery.
- Make it personal. Even just using the recipient’s name can be enough to influence someone’s decision to open the mail or not. Also, you can send emails once customers do a certain action: like downloading a resource or signing up for a webinar. The so–called behavioral trigger emails have up to 152% higher open rate than regular emails.
- Customize emails to fit the customer acquisition funnel. Send different emails depending on how far along a client is in the acquisition process. New customers should get different emails than long–term clients.
4. Social Media
With the amount of different social media channels — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, TikTok, LinkedIn, and so on — it’s easy to find one that suits the brand’s persona best. Through them, you can easily engage your audience and let your creativity go wild.
With the help of social media, you can:
- Directly communicate with your customers: accept their feedback, learn of their preferences, build a loyal customer base, and to improve your website traffic.
- Increase your brand awareness thanks to consistent, high–quality content.
- Keep your customers updated by promoting your new products, discounts, and events.
- Relax your business persona. It’s more than okay to post memes or show backstage photos, share anecdotes from office life, or celebrate any successes. Your followers will appreciate seeing the more human side of your brand.
Just like with content marketing, it’s crucial to develop a brand voice first and to keep it consistent. It’s okay if the voice changes slowly over time — which can happen while gathering new data — but chaoting updates with random content will compromise your authority.
Of all the strategies mentioned, this one is the most unpredictable customer acquisition channel. It can be considered a hit–or–miss. That’s why it’s so important to properly measure your marketing efforts.
If the above fails or you need an additional boost, consider paid social media marketing, which can help you with reaching more people with your ads. You can additionally collect information with Facebook Lead Ads.
5. Referral Program
Ever since customer’s trust in brands took a deep dive, word–of–mouth advertising went on a rise. People are four times more likely to buy a product or a service referred by a friend, which stems from the fact that 92% of people trust their recommendations more. And a good marketing team will use that to its advantage.
That’s why you shouldn’t neglect your existing customers and turn them into brand advocates instead by asking for referrals. It’s rather difficult — which is why only 11% of salespeople do it.
How to ask for referrals successfully:
- Pick the right people. Especially those who have wide audiences — like influencers — can be particularly helpful. And it’s also good to target people with high customer lifetime value.
- Don’t delay. Ask for referrals sooner than later, before the excitement disappears.
- Personalize the message. Use the client’s name and make references to your business relationship. Make them feel special.
- Make it easy for them. Send a template or add a special functionality on your website. The less the client has to do, the better.
- Make the client benefit from it. Offer a discount, a gift card, or access to unique content. Anything that will make it worthwhile for them.
- Be specific. If the client agrees to the referral, tell them exactly what to do and how. You can also specify what kind of referral you’re after.
After getting that referral don’t forget to thank the client. Show them that you appreciate their help.
6. Co–branding & Co–marketing
Co–branding and co–marketing are both similar enough to discuss them together.
Co–branding involves joining arms with two or more brands to create new products or services.
Example: Alexander Wang & H&M by creating new, unique collections.
Co–marketing involves joining arms with two or more brands to promote a product or service.
Example: Uber & Spotify by allowing users to listen to their own Spotify playlists during Uber drives.
Both strategies offer the following benefits:
- Reaching new markets,
- Increasing brand awareness and visibility,
- Increasing trust towards the brands,
- Expanding the existing offer,
- Sharing of expertise and creative content,
- Sharing leads and/or profits,
- Sharing the risks.
For new businesses, allying with other brands might be a challenge without a good enough influence or authority. But there are other ways of working together — for example, writing guest posts for external sites.
Signs of a Good Customer Acquisition Process
A successful customer acquisition strategy should also have certain traits:
1. It suits your business.
Don’t force yourself to conquer Facebook just because you have the funds for it. Pick a strategy that reflects your brand.
2. It’s sustainable.
Often enough, you have to wait long for your marketing efforts to bear fruits. But you can get there, as long as you work consistently — and to be able to work consistently, your marketing strategy needs to be maintainable. So for example, it needs a realistic budget.
3. It fits within your budget.
Don’t pick the most expensive option hoping it will pay off against all odds. Calculate the customer acquisition cost of each strategy and pick the best one for long–term campaigns.
4. It’s flexible.
Flexible enough to respond to any hurdles, challenges, or sudden changes — like cutting off funds, inconvenient updates in the workings of a chosen social media channel, or pandemic.
5. It’s measurable.
Putting all your funds, efforts, and time into a strategy that doesn’t bring much profit, doesn’t make sense. And yet that happens whenever the marketing team doesn’t know how to measure the results. And when you can’t measure the results, it’ll be hard to improve your customer acquisition in the first place.
New customer acquisition should have no secrets now. But as a reminder, let’s sum up what we’ve learned:
- Before launching your customer acquisition efforts, make sure to know your product or services very well,
- Research your targeted audience extensively — learn as much as you can about them,
- Choose a suitable strategy that best serves your interests. You can look up the best strategies in the table below.
To acquire customers well in the long–run, your strategy should reflect your business, be sustainable, well within your budget, flexible, and measurable.