A strong customer acquisition strategy is key to moving your business into its next stage of growth. For marketers across industries, the main objective is universal: help promote brand discovery and convert interested consumers into new customers.
Brands’ budgeting priorities tell the story: when it comes to adding headcount, marketing dollars, and third-party resources, almost 43% of companies say they’re moving towards greater investments in customer acquisition (compared to 28.5% who expect to lean into customer retention, and another 28.6% who plan to increase both activities).
As with so many things, taking in the best practices is essential to setting your customer acquisition strategy up for repeatable success.
Launching a Customer Acquisition Strategy
At the outset of a customer acquisition campaign, it’s essential to identify your target audience and the channels where they’re most active. You should have a good sense of what your ideal customer is looking for in a product or service, as well as the problem or pain points your offering can help to address. Here are eight tactics you can use in tandem to enhance your company’s customer acquisition strategy:
1. Create a partnership program to tap into new audiences.
Partner marketing no longer simply provides brands with inbound leads and traffic to their website. The concept has evolved to help optimize traffic as well as brand affinity during discovery, purchase, and even post-purchase. Partnership programs can help build your referral base and attract interest in your brand, especially when leveraging enticing incentives.
Influencer and affiliate partnerships offer a great opportunity to get in front of your target customers. On average, brands can earn $5.78 for every dollar spent when using these programs. In a typical example, a brand will collaborate with influencers or affiliates to exchange guest posts and social media links. Leveraging the trust and loyalty creators have already built with their followers, advertisers can tap into new audiences and promote exclusive offers through the trusted voices of influencers and affiliates.
2. Develop an SEO strategy to improve your search rankings.
Your SEO strategy needs constant updating and attention. There’s no “setting and forgetting” when it comes to search marketing. That’s especially true as generative artificial intelligence is poised to change consumer expectations by providing direct answers to queries instead of simply offering infinite “blue links.”
Optimizing your search rankings can be one of the best tools in your arsenal to find new customers. One useful strategy is creating category clusters that lead back to individual topic pages on your company’s website. When executed properly, SEO is a cost-effective way to bring more organic traffic to your site and increase conversions.
3. Leverage social media to build a loyal following.
More than nine out of ten businesses with more than 100 employees in the United States currently use social media platforms to connect to prospective customers — in other words, just about everybody. Creating and sharing high-value content with your followers is a great way to build awareness and encourage potential customers to interact with your brand.
For example, PHD UK’s award-winning Best Paid Social Campaign for Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz leveraged the brand’s Disney partnership to drive social shares and engagement. Praised for its contextual, native creatives and audience expansion, the campaign featured Star Wars characters in posts that seamlessly connected with its ID Buzz model and helped to increase consideration for its EV model.
4. Use paid search advertising to drive traffic to your website.
Pay-per-click (PPC) allows marketers to advertise within the sponsored listing of a search engine or partner site. Paid search ads appear alongside organic search results and cost the advertiser a fixed amount each time someone clicks on that result. PPC offers laser-targeted ads for quick results and dominates “above-the-fold” content.
In comparison, SEO promotes awareness, branding, and trust, while PPC provides agile testing and marketing intelligence. SEO’s “80/20 rule” simplifies optimization by promising that just a small effort leads to significant results, even as challenges like content development and algorithm changes continue to be a stumbling block.
5. Utilize email marketing to stay connected with consumers.
The ability to strike a direct conversation with a customer through newsletter sign-ups is woefully underappreciated. Maybe it’s because we all use email every day, seeing it through a marketing prism just feels too ordinary. Beyond that, another misunderstanding about this kind of messaging persists: the most effective email marketing hinges on optimization, not sheer volume.
Unlike ads, email allows for greater personalization, enabling the precise targeting of messages to the right audience. It also lays the groundwork for cross-channel campaigns, as it identifies consumers through primary email addresses – a match key for addressability across the open web. Despite being an underutilized channel, email marketing boasts exceptional ROI, with every $1 spent yielding a $36 return. Ultimately, successful email strategies foster customer loyalty and enhance consumer interaction.
6. Embrace content marketing to engage consumers with storytelling.
Content marketing has become increasingly crucial as a way to tap into a customer’s interests and questions. Content marketing is meant to educate and inform audiences, whether it’s how-to videos or a podcast discussion. The practice imbues a brand with authority about its industry, paving the way for deeper relationships and helping to build credibility and trust.
Not only does content marketing cost less and offer better ROI than traditional marketing, but consumers prefer it, too. 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles versus advertisements. Quality content creates positive brand perception by delivering real value to consumers, attracting higher-quality leads at various buying stages. It enhances websites, fosters loyalty, and aligns with modern consumer preferences.
7. Boost customer loyalty with a rewards program.
Think of the act of bringing a physical card to a restaurant and getting a free sandwich after your tenth order. Or imagine an extra night’s stay in a hotel based on points accrued over the years. While those two examples remain the archetype for loyalty and rewards programs, they by no means define the role that rewards programs play now.
Hospitality, entertainment, and fashion are increasingly turning to “personalized experiences” as an incentive to attract and retain regular customers. This may include an invitation to a private restaurant tasting or event or early access to concert tickets or merchandise.
Still, even at the most basic level, loyalty programs affect a consumer’s purchase decisions and help build brand affinity. As McKinsey & Co. noted, three out of four members of top-performing loyalty programs changed their behavior to generate more value for businesses.
8. Drive incremental profit with a great post-purchase experience.
This format requires a more careful level of subtlety than other marketing efforts. But when done properly, post-transaction advertising can represent perfect up-selling and cross-selling opportunities. The value of being able to generate additional sales from the same customer at a lower incremental cost is clear.
Personalized offers after the checkout experience help to enrich the customer journey and keep consumers engaged. Let’s say a shopper just bought new pants — perhaps they need a belt to match. Or if a concert-goer just purchased tickets to see their favorite artist perform in two months — wouldn’t they be open to seeing a similar act in the next week or two?
All successful marketing is about appealing to a particular consumer mindset. It’s common practice to “leave the audience wanting more.” But doesn’t it simply make sense to satisfy that customer’s desire for something extra?
Customer Acquisition Strategy: Next Steps
Whether you’re a new company looking to grow your customer base or an established brand striving to drive long-term retention, customer acquisition is the best place to start. Connecting with the right consumers at the top of the funnel will help your brand build a strong base of loyal customers with high lifetime value.
Get in touch with us here to learn how Fluent can help you upgrade your customer acquisition strategy,