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Customer acquisition is exactly what is sounds like: the act of acquiring customers. But what goes into a the creation of a successful customer acquisition model? A strong customer acquisition strategy encompasses all aspects of the marketing funnel from lead generation to lead nurturing to closing customers. This holistic strategy focuses on the tangible and intangible resources needed to educate prospects about why your product is worth their purchase.
It's important to note that a successful customer acquisition strategy isn't just about acquiring a bunch of new customers; it's about acquiring them in an efficient manner that is cost-effective for your company. Because at the end of the day, if it costs you more to generate new customers than you gain from the customer-lifetime value, you'll never get out of the red or grow revenue from you efforts.
Here are some of the most efficient and effective ways you can acquire new customers for your business.
1. There is power in partnership
Referrals are a great way to generate new customers. We've mentioned in previous posts, and we'll mention it again: building out a robust partner program is one of the fastest and most efficient ways your company can scale your growing B2B SaaS business. Selecting partners who provide services which complement your own is an excellent way to develop relationships not only with potential customers, but with other growing companies (potential future partners!) in your industry.
Partnership programs will build your referral base, but these types of relationships aren't formed overnight. If you are looking for a quick win in your referral marketing, offering incentives for referrals (discounts, money, credit, swag, etc.) is a fast and efficient way to generate new leads and prompt stronger word-of-mouth advertising for your company.
2. Optimize your website for search rankings
Organic search plays a pivotal role in driving traffic to your website. Nearly half of the leads New Breed has generated this year have been through organic search. Customer acquisition through organic search is derived on the basis of strong website optimization. For a long time, we would have told you that targeting relevant keywords in your company's industry was the best way to move up through the search ranks. But with Google's search algorithms constantly changing, we are moving away from targeting specific keywords and toward a topic cluster strategy that, as you may have guessed, focuses on optimizing for topics. With search engine optimization making the shift toward topic clusters, we recommend building out pillar pages for each specific topic. This is a great way to get recognized by Google for a solution your company offers.
Driving website traffic is important, but the ultimate goal is to get your visitors to convert. Your website should include conversion pathways to provide your buyer personas ample opportunities to move through the funnel.
3. Build your social media presence
A lot of companies write off social media as a way to sell their product, particularly in the B2B space. We will admit, social media will probably not be your number-one source for customer acquisition. It's a strong channel in which to share high-level, top-of-the-funnel content to educate followers. While it might not be your best way to bring in new customers, it is still important to maintain a presence on social media. Social media is a great way to generate brand awareness, prompt engagement and show the personality of your company. If you can build your social presence by conveying a strong brand representation and likeability, these attributes could eventually contribute to customer acquisition as much as your product does.
4. Leverage paid search advertising
Paid search is another great way to enhance your customer acquisition model. While the cost-per-click form of advertising dips into your funds, it is a highly effective tactic to promote your brand because it allows marketers to engage with prospects at every stage of the marketing funnel. Paid advertising campaign strategies we suggest leveraging are:
- Branded Campaigns: Branded campaigns are essentially used to bid on your company name. While this might seem counterintuitive, we highly recommend putting some of your paid budget into these campaigns. It would look really bad if one of your competitors appeared before you when someone searched for your company, specifically. It's worth the small portion of money these campaigns typically cost to save yourself from your competitor beating you at your own game.
- Search Campaigns: Search campaigns are text-based campaigns designed to help a prospect convert. Strong headlines that prompt action are a great way to nurture your customer through their buyer's journey toward acquisition.
- Display Campaigns: Display campaigns are not only effective for driving conversions, but also great for driving brand awareness. We have found a great deal of our paid advertising success has come from a combination of search and display advertising.
- Retargeting Campaigns: Retargeting campaigns are behavior-based campaigns that focus on targeting those who have taken some course of action on your website or through your content. These campaigns are highly effective for those who are in the middle or bottom of the marketing funnel, because they are already aware of your product.
Because paid advertising is a full-funnel marketing strategy, one of the most important things to consider is which types of content to promote for your various campaigns. For example, you aren't going to want to promote an ad for a free consultation to those who have never even visited your website. You would want to promote your top of the funnel content, such as guides or e-books, for your new prospects, and save your bottom of the funnel content, such as consultations and assessments, for those who you are remarketing to.
5. Nurture your leads with email marketing
We've talked a lot about ways you can generate new leads for your business, but lead generation is only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to customer acquisition. Email marketing is a great channel to nurture the leads you already have. Promoting upcoming events, webinars, new marketing trends or content offers is a great way to propel a prospect to the next stage of their buyer's journey. If you are looking for a way to simplify your email strategy, HubSpot's workflow automation is a lifesaver when it comes to scheduling and coordinating your email marketing campaigns.
Customer acquisition is a key element in driving growth and revenue for your company. In order for you to acquire new customers, you really need to consider your inbound marketing strategy from a holistic perspective. This means considering all lifecycle stages a customer moves through from the time they become a lead, to when they become a closed-won. But what we cannot stress enough (especially as we move into the flywheel era of inbound marketing) is that even after you have successfully acquired a new customer, you should continue trying to delight them. While the acquisition of new customers is imperative to future growth, retaining your existing customer base is just as important.
Amanda is a former New Breeder.
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