Studies have found that the cost of new customer acquisition has the potential to be five times greater than customer retention. Yet, there will always be merit in recruiting new customers, as this is the fastest way to meet short-term revenue goals for some companies. But, in order to develop an effective customer acquisition strategy, brands must consider ways to increase brand awareness and turn browsers into buyers.
Brand awareness is the first step in converting a prospective buyer into a customer. The critical component in building brand awareness is reaching the right audience. Oftentimes, these new audiences may not be aware of a brand or may not have formed an opinion about it, which limits the brand’s ability to convert them into customers. A solid customer acquisition strategy is able to meet potential customers at any point on the path to purchase and help guide them through the process.
Build Brand Awareness Through Content Marketing
According to Entrepreneur, content marketing is at the heart of customer acquisition. Well-written content is what powers all other strategies—social media, pay per click, search engine optimization, and inbound marketing alike. Today’s consumer loves to research products, services, and brands before buying. In fact, more than 65% of consumers conduct online product research before stepping foot in a store.
For effective content marketing, brands should:
- Identify and define the right target audience.
- Choose the channels where the ideal demographic spends their time.
- Have a call-to-action at the end of every piece of long-form content.
- Run A/B tests to optimize landing pages.
- Occasionally publish on third-party platforms for greater reach.
Connecting with consumers through content optimized for search engines is a sure-fire way to build awareness for your brand.
Leverage Social Media Influencers in Your Customer Acquisition Strategy
When brands want to reach a particular audience, they should leverage the power of social media influence. Social media influencers have cultivated a reputation for being experts on, or aficionados of, a specific topic. By regularly posting, streaming, or blogging about a topic, these individuals generate engagement from followers. There are three types of influencers online: micro-, macro-, and mega-influencers.
- Micro-influencers: Micro-influencers may not be big-name celebrities, but they have a lot of trust in their own social circles. These relationships can be beneficial to brands as they don’t require a substantial initial investment, but the results pay ongoing dividends as the influencers share information about the brand with their friends, families, and co-workers.
- Macro-influencers: These influencers may be thought leaders, industry experts, or may work for a notable publication. They can lend an expert’s seal of approval to a brand, for example, having a popular food blogger review your restaurant in efforts to attract more patrons.
- Mega-influencers: Celebrities can be thought to be the original influencers as product endorsement campaigns date back to long before the internet. Celebrities will often have social media followings in the hundreds of thousands, even millions, but their endorsements are expensive, and their followers usually aren’t as engaged as those of other influencer types.
Brands should understand that influencer marketing is not about getting the widest reach. It’s about generating quality relationships that produce quality leads. So choose an influencer who advocates for your brand in a way that tells your story, and a niche that’s filled with dedicated followers.
Personalize Your Customer Acquisition Strategy
Email is a classic method of connecting with prospects, keeping them engaged, and delivering timely, relevant offers to people who opt-in and are most willing to buy. Here you can personalize content by using the prospect’s name and using purchase history to recommend the next best action.
For better email marketing:
- Know where buyers are in their journey.
- Deliver helpful, informative content for those who are early in the sales funnel.
- Offer deals and special offers for those who are late in the sales funnel.
- Set up email alerts when shoppers abandon carts, update wishlist items, or purchase.
- If recipients do not open your email, resend with a new headline 48 hours later.
Incorporate Mobile Partnerships in Your Customer Acquisition Strategy
Smartphone users spend roughly three hours engaging with mobile app content. According to New Breed Marketing, “referrals are a great way to generate new customers,” and “building out a robust partner program is one of the fastest and most efficient ways” for a company to scale a growing business. Mobile apps offer a convenient platform to build brand awareness and offer incentives to customers for their loyalty.
In order to develop an effective customer acquisition strategy, brands must consider ways to increase brand awareness and turn browsers into buyers.
Shopkick uses gamification as a strategy to build brand awareness within its app. By offering rewards for scanning UPC codes, the app can direct consumers to the product in the store and incentivize engagement. This drives consideration and customer acquisition by encouraging a participant to pick up a product they may not have before. This is also a subtle way of building brand affinity because interactions are incentivized creating a favorable impression of your brand.
A leading coffee brand partnered with Shopkick to increase awareness of its holiday seasonal flavors and drive sales of two packaged products. To drive engagement at the crowded coffee shelf, customers were incentivized to pick up the products in the store. The overall campaign showed positive results across all key metrics including 42% of incremental dollar sales being from new customer acquisition.
Image courtesy of Syda Productions