Customer acquisition strategies change with every company, but
the goal is generally the same: capture the attention of your target
demographic, and convert that attention to sales.
Decades ago, these strategies played out in real life, in
newspaper ads, billboards, events, socials, and word-of-mouth. Now we have to
consider organic search traffic, “customer acquisition funnels”, appropriate
blogs, SEO, UX, social media, and all the rest.
When it comes to numbers, customer acquisition can be a
complicated game, but a better way to think of it is community building; which
has been around for centuries. It doesn’t have to be complicated to
acquire new customers: just make sure your user experience is top-notch, and
engage with your community on a human level.
Here are a few ways to do just that:
1. Audit & Update Frequently
Companies are always changing – especially in the early stages
– so it’s important to be on the same page with the people you’re
trying to attract. This is why we advise constantly auditing your stats, and
updating your goals. Gearing up for your next milestone, you might want to pull
out your stats – see where you’re getting the most traffic, and where you’re
getting the most conversions, as well as the campaigns that have yielded the
You might find some unexpected results, like subtle shifts in
demographic, new ways people are using your product, and where you have hidden
If you’re a B2B company, consider your customer acquisition
funnel, and see if you’re experiencing blockages. Are you experiencing
recurring points of tension that is preventing new customers from coming back?
Try to pinpoint where they are and adjust as necessary.
2. Become an Expert in Your Field
The best way to gain credibility for not just your current
endeavors, but your future ones, is by establishing yourself as thought leader
in your field. This is the sort of project that requires time, dedication, and
upkeep, but there are tools available to help experts build and sustain their
Becoming an expert in your niche involves at least some, or all,
of the following: finding a specific niche (which has something to do with your
business), compiling a list of the influencers in the field, engaging with them
regularly on Twitter, building a blog and guest blogging for trade websites and
other blogs, and taking diligent advantage of LinkedIn, Facebook and other
social media sites where your potential clientele/colleagues might be.
Enhancing your own personal brand will naturally connect you with potential
customers who work in your field, and build a pre-existing demographic when you
start your next venture.
3. Up Your Landing Page Game
It takes weeks of building a website, social networking, and
getting your brand out to reach the target demo you want, and less than a
second of lag time for potential customers to turn away. It’s like having a
potential client go out of their way to come to your house, and ring the
doorbell only to have to wait an unforgivable amount of time to be
So first things first: make sure the user experience on your
landing page is as good as possible. This includes implementing responsive
design, having a clear and tightly edited value proposition and call to action,
and giving people clear directions on where to go to find out more information
about your company. There are also a few tricks to employ when appropriate:
integrating videos into your website can boost
your conversion rate up to 30%, crafting a perfect
headline will gain you longer visits (only 2 of 10 people will
read past the headline on any given page), and include customer
testimonials if you can (research has shown that 63%
of visitors are more likely to make purchases after
reading social recommendations).
4. Double Down on Social Media Efforts
To maintain customer retention, you have to engage in a way that
has never been possible before. A lot of companies will slip social media into
their To Do list, but often that just involves scheduled tweets in Hootsuite.
And this is a shame, because social media lets you get into the pockets of your
customers, ask them pointedly about their feelings on your product, keep them
informed of software updates, and do it all in a way that is best suited to
While your company should already be on Facebook and Twitter,
think about where your demographic spends their time. If your market trends
young, like high school or college students, then make a fun blog on Tumblr; if
you’re selling a well-designed wearable product, or the image of an
aspirational lifestyle, try Instagram or Pinterest. If you’re targeting a
mostly mobile audience, then consider Snapchat. Consider using an SEO and
content marketing analysis platform like Searchmetrics,
which provides market insight specific to your website to help you target and
optimize your content and social media channels. And don’t forget: with social
media, a little charm goes a long way.
5. Use a Human Incentive to Increase
Engagement on Your Turf & Find Visibility IRL
Dive deep into the community you’re trying to tap with your
project through all of the networks which already exist (mothers,
fashion-conscious bloggers, gamers, freelancers, other entrepreneurs, avid
sports fans, pop culture enthusiasts, business travelers, etc.) and try to
gauge the language and rhetoric used by members of those communities, as well
as their concerns and priorities.
Try to apply that knowledge to your social media presence and
website’s blog by creating engaging original content about issues that affect
the community, and tweet your posts to key influencers within those
communities. Find out which events and conferences they show up to, and partner
with organizers of those conferences. People are more likely to remember your
name once they’ve seen you in person, so take advantage of that fact! One way
to extend your brand awareness is by using social referral software like ReferralCandy,
which sends out referral links and emails to your company through your
6. Call in PR Help When Necessary
If you’ve been around for a while and your product has developed
a strong, if not small, base of supporters that you’re ready to expand, it
might be time to call in the big guns. PR reps can help your brand by getting
your name out into larger news platforms by pitching the right journalists,
build hype for possible launches, plan events that can get the best possible
people into the same room as you, and tailor your product and message to suit
the different kinds of people who might be interested in your product.
Peter Daisyme is the co-founder of Palo Alto, California-based Hostt,
specializing in helping businesses with hosting their website for free,
for life. Previously he was the co-founder of Pixloo, a company that
helped people sell their homes online, that was acquired in 2012.