According to the Harvard Business Review, average customer acquisition costs can range from 5 to 25 times more than customer retention, depending on your industry. In these economically tumultuous times, businesses of all shapes and sizes are looking for ways to acquire new customers without compromising their cash flow.
We look at 10 customer acquisition strategies to help you achieve the growth you need in 2024 and beyond.
1- Content marketing
Creating your own high-quality, high-value content is a useful marketing acquisition strategy that can attract prospective customers.
Blog posts, podcasts, webinars, e-books, white papers and other cornerstone content can be used as lead magnets, social posts or email marketing content to pique interest in your brand. They also aid new customer acquisition by positioning your company as an authoritative, useful and trustworthy resource.
Just remember to keep your content useful, relevant and valuable for the consumer. It should address customer pain points and help them with problems they encounter in their day-to-day lives. While you can, and should, position your brand as a solution to their problems, the focus needs to be on educating and helping prospective customers.
As well as thinking about where to find customers, you should be thinking about how to make it easier for them to find you. Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be a powerful tool for this, helping you to appear above your competitors in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The good news is that if you’re regularly generating high-quality content that is of value to readers, your SEO will already be decent. Google’s helpful content update values websites that regularly publish first-rate content. However, there are also a number of tweaks that can be made to your website in order to make your pages more search-friendly. While many of these may require the help of a web developer, there are some things you can do right now to improve your website’s search engine performance, such as:
Ensuring that your website and all pages are secure
Checking for dead links
Ensuring that your content is responsive (optimised for mobile)
Removing duplicate content and pages from your website
Conducting keyword research and optimising your pages to reflect this
Identifying issues that slow the page loading speed (e.g. large images and files)
3- Customer referrals
Building trust can be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to acquiring customers. Referrals from customers in your existing directory can be a great way of targeting consumers that would otherwise require more resource to convert. Studies show that referred customers are 18% more loyal than customers acquired by other means with a 37% higher retention rate and 25% higher profit margin. Setting up a scheme to reward and incentivise customer referrals should be a part of your customer acquisiton strategy in 2024.
4- Influencer marketing
Brand partnerships with influencers are likely to remain popular in 2023, and to continue enjoying exponential growth. Brands may want to consider focusing on micro-influencers with smaller, more niche followings, and converting them into loyal brand ambassadors. Studies have shown engagement and levels of influence are greater with micro-influencers. Creative, authentic content from influencers can prove highly effective for consumers within your target market.
Giveaways are a great way to bring traffic and interest to your brand. By offering a chance to try your products for free, you could engage a broad range of prospective customers and potentially turn them into loyal customers. All at a fairly negligible cost to your net profit margin.
Giveaways have a conversion rate of almost 34% and can be highly effective lead magnets.
6- Freemium value propositions
The freemium value proposition is commonly used by the SaaS industry. However, it can prove effective for a range of digital products and services. Offering a free version of your product or service that can be upgraded for an additional fee enables new customers to build a relationship with your brand at no cost or commitment to themselves. From Dropbox and LinkedIn to Spotify and Mailchimp, there is no shortage of freemium success stories. While conversion rates typically range between 2 and 5%, it can nonetheless be an effective user acquisition strategy in the long term.
Embarking on a joint venture with another brand can be a great way of building trust by association. Co-branding can introduce your brand to a whole new audience that may not have heard of you but will be willing to hear your call to action because you are associated with a company that they know, use and trust.
Co-branding doesn’t necessarily mean developing a new product in association with another business. It can mean collaborating on a creative venture that draws attention to both brands.
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8- Loyalty programmes
Loyalty programmes are not only a great way to acquire new customers and reward the already faithful, but they can also improve customer lifetime value (LTV) and average order value (AOV). Reports suggest that 78% of customers are more likely to choose a business with a loyalty programme.
9- Leverage social proof
In the age of near-omnipresent digital marketing, consumers have learnt to be dubious about the claims brands make about themselves. What they do trust, however, is what other consumers say about those brands. As such, you should focus on harvesting social proof in the form of customer reviews on platforms like Trustpilot and your social channels. You may wish to take snippets from 5-star customer reviews and place them prominently on your homepage or feature a dedicated customer testimonials page on your website.
10- Wear your ethical focus on your sleeve
Finally, there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that even in this economically tempestuous climate, consumers are growing more ethically focused. Ethical and sustainable products are extremely popular among consumers, especially if they can also help them to live more cost-effectively. In a survey by Futerra, 88% of respondents stated that they wanted brands to help them live more sustainably and ethically. Research by Deloitte suggests that 40% of consumers in 2021 chose brands that have sustainable practices and values.
So don’t be shy about your ethical focus. Share your stories of how you’ve made your operations more sustainable, reduced waste and cut down your carbon footprint. It could make all the difference to eco-conscious consumers who are looking for new ethically-motivated brands.
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