Starting your own business is usually a long and complicated process. You need a vision of what you want to do, people and resources to carry out that vision. But you definitely need to find customers to grow.
What you’re looking for is an effective customer acquisition strategy. To bring in new clients. It also needs to be easy enough to put in place, without breaking the bank.
What Is Customer Acquisition?
Customer acquisition is an ongoing process of getting new clients for your company. The idea here is that you want your potential customers to take a certain action.
This is the most glaring difference between customer acquisition and marketing. Marketing focuses on making your company well-known among potential buyers. It paves the way for customer acquisition. Customer acquisition drives your revenue, convincing potential clients to buy from you.
Why Do You Need a Customer Acquisition Strategy?
Only about 3% of your total target audience is ready to buy. What about the other 97%? You need to nurture them until they are ready to buy from you. That’s what a customer acquisition strategy is for.
It helps you break down the stages of your funnel. This breakdown will determine what action you want customers to take in each stage of the funnel. Then you can create content and design your website to make visitors and prospects take those actions. And finally, become a customer. Don’t forget that a good strategy lets you adapt to any potential changes in the market and industry. Moreover, make sure to use professional web hosting so that your website is secure for users.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. Often we think about eCommerce businesses, but same would be for any type of business or sole proprietor. Who the client is differs per market though. It is important to know who you are targetting!
3 business models with different acquisition types:
- An ecommerce company needs to find the audience for their products, pretty straight forward it seems. But even here there may be direct to consumer, reselling brands, or a marketplace model.
- An event coordinator needs new events to help organise, this can be either directly for companies, through an event organising company or creating events and acquiring the vistors.
- An affiliate company needs to find the right programs partners, get approved as an affiliate and manage that relationship. But that is the supply part. The actual clients are the ones that buy the products. These companies are also using affiliate tracking strategies to measure the results of their campaign.
In short, the model may be different, but whatever your business: You need a customer acquisition strategy.
The 3 Stages of the Customer Acquisition Funnel
Customers don’t appear out of thin air. Instead, attracting and retaining them is more of a journey. A person visiting your website changes from a visitor to a lead when they download an ebook, sign up for your newsletter. Or take any action that shows their interest in your company. Then, they turn into a prospect – a potential ideal client – and finally, to a customer.
This is called the customer acquisition funnel, and it consists of three main stages:
The Awareness Stage
In the beginning, you don’t take any action to convince your potential customers to buy. Instead, you build their trust and interest in your brand.
Most people who see your ads on social media or various websites won’t think much of them. A piece of trivia at best, an annoying ad at worst. But as more people see your ads and content, your brand awareness and reach start to increase. You’re showing your target audience that you’re out there. Your name becomes recognizable.
The Consideration Stage
In the consideration stage of the funnel, your target audience considers your product as an option to resolve their problem.
For this stage, create content that answers all questions your target audience has about your product. Position your product against competitors in your field. It’s crucial to make your content as informative as possible and center it around solving the buyer’s problem.
Cost calculators, ebooks, research papers, podcasts, webinars, and branded videos are all great content types for this stage of the funnel.
The Conversion Stage
At this point in the funnel, your product is on a shortlist of products with some of your competitors. To convert prospects into customers you need to show them that you’re the best fit. In other words, they need a final push.
Free trials, live demos, consultation offers, discounts, and free products are the best for this final push. Is there a better way to decide if a product is right for you than taking it for a test drive? I don’t think so.
Use these tactics together. You can combine free trials with discounts. When the users are on the final days of their trials send them a discount coupon for that final nudge.
3 Tips to Create the Perfect Customer Acquisition Strategy
Developing your customer acquisition strategy and tracking your funnel is crucial to making it work long-term. Here’s a list of tips that can help you achieve this:
1. Make Your Strategy as Sustainable and Flexible as Possible
Everything in the world of marketing and sales is changing rapidly. Here’s what you can do to be prepared:
Make your customer acquisition efforts flexible. It never pays off to put all the apples into one basket. Instead, make sure your strategy involves many approaches. For example, apart from traditional marketing, you can try setting up a referral program or email campaigns.
Lower your customer acquisition cost with marketing automation. You can schedule your social media content to increase your reach in the awareness stage. You might send notifications to your prospects with limited-time deals. Or automate emails asking customers to leave a review, and so on. There is no point in having an employee for these kinds of jobs. Specialized marketing automation software can do these tasks without breaking a sweat.
2. Understand Yourself and Your Customers
To develop the perfect customer acquisition strategy, you first need to have complete knowledge of both your brand and your target audience. The business world is diverse. Certain strategies might be less effective in some circumstances than others.
Who Is Your Ideal Client?
Define your ideal customer profile. B2C marketers rely more on demographics, like age, location, relationship status, and income. B2B marketers profile their ideal audience based on firmographics like company, job title, employee number, and revenue. Knowing these things about your ideal customer is critical in shaping your acquisition strategy.
Let’s say you run a beauty salon aimed at middle-aged women. You’ll have more luck targeting them on a social media platform like Pinterest rather than TikTok. The latter is perfect for targeting teenagers and young adults below 30. If you make office equipment, it’s better to use a platform for entrepreneurs and business owners like LinkedIn.
Know Your Objectives
Make sure to set clear goals. You should be able to adjust your tactics according to the stage of the funnel. Building brand awareness among customers who are close to buying is a waste of your resources. After all, they are already well-versed in your brand and what you offer.
3. Enter Into Lucrative Partnerships
Make your customer acquisition strategy stronger by partnering with complementary products for campaigns. The idea here is simple: make your brand known to the customers of your partners.
Work With Other Companies
Try to look for partners in different industries. For example, BMW entered into a partnership with the fashion brand Louis Vuitton. The main goal was to market a new car model: the BMW i8. The German car company designed the vehicle, and Louis Vuitton created some masterfully crafted bags and suitcases for it. This way, both businesses exposed their brands to new audiences.
Another approach is to form a professional relationship with an influencer. They are considered credible by their target audience. As such, if they agree to recommend your company to their followers, you might be looking at an influx of potential clients.
Wrapping up Customer Acquisition Tips
As you can see, creating a customer acquisition strategy doesn’t have to be that challenging. You need to understand the customer acquisition funnel, its stages, and your ideal customer profile. Then, you design your tactics around that. By following these customer acquisition tips, you’ll soon see a visible improvement.