There are many ways to attract more customers to your business, and it can seem intimidating because there aren’t any one-size-fits-all strategies. Everything takes a commitment of time and/or money. In this guide, we’ll be offering you a variety of marketing strategies to attract customers with the goal of providing you with some ideas to help grow your business. This will mostly focus on how to attract customers online, but others will be in-person tactics for businesses with a brick & mortar presence.
Data is powerful
If you want to attract more customers to your business online, it’s important to understand as much as you can about your customers; both existing and prospective. With this data, you can gain new insights into your web traffic and see trends as they emerge. Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool that costs nothing to use. There are tools in Google Analytics that can help you determine your cost of customer acquisition, which is particularly crucial if using online advertising.
Additionally, most chat widgets come with basic analytics that will help you collect customer information such as name, email and more. With these, you can go beyond just the chat function and gain insight into where your web visitors are coming from (google search, paid ads, social media, etc.).
Always be collecting emails
Whenever possible, you should be collecting the email of everyone your business interacts with. Email marketing is an excellent low-cost high-impact way to attract and keep customers. With platforms such as VipeCloud, you can automate communication, create beautiful templates and track email interactions such as opens and link clicks.
When done right, email marketing is a welcome communication between a business and its customers. It also doesn’t need to require much time or money for small business owners. Once an email or automation template has been created, it can be reused and tweaked for a long time going forward.
Every business needs to have some degree of social media presence. However, a heavy investment of time and resources into social media isn’t necessary for every business. For instance, it’s clear when viewing the Instagram for State Farm, a multi-billion-dollar behemoth with a monstrous marketing budget has only minimally allocated their resources into their presence on the social media platform. It seems they’ve determined that their resources are better spent in spaces such as TV and sponsorships.
Every business should look for ways to leverage social media platforms. Where things can get tricky is in the time it takes to build a following. Plus, you also need a following that is full of your target customer. On top of that, you need to be able to regularly create content that your customers are interested. This isn’t to say that social media should be avoided – it just can look deceptively quick, easy and cheap.
When it comes to paid methods of attracting more customers to your business, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising giants such as Google AdWords, Facebook and Bing have brought powerful targeted advertising to businesses big and small. What makes these platforms great is their ability to build custom ad campaigns that can target extremely specific demographics. You can also have complete control over your budget.
PPC advertising can be deceptively simple, but doing it right takes quite a bit of trial and error. It also requires some upkeep. Just because a campaign is successful now doesn’t mean that it will be running perfectly 3 months from now. So, this is hardly a set-and-forget method of marketing. Plus, PPC advertising is done best when you are directing the prospect to a landing page, rather than simply your home page; another thing to build, test and manage. Additionally, if you plan on using display ads, you’ll need to either make them yourself or hire a graphic designer. There are so many variables in PPC advertising that it’s a tactic that can’t really be done on a whim.
If you’re leaning against doing PPC, it would be advisable to at least evaluate how competitive your keywords would be. Since PPC advertising is essentially a never-ending auction, keywords with low demand will generally fetch low prices per click. If your first pick for a keyword is averaging only $0.10 per click and you earn hundreds per year from each customer, this might be a marketing strategy worth considering. If each click is $25, then maybe not.
Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews
A great deal of customers will do research on review sites before they set out to do business with someone. Customers also might even be shown your rating on Google Search or Google Maps despite not actively seeking it out. It’s critical that every business is mindful of which review sites the bulk of their customers are visiting and that they do as much as they can to ensure they are shown in the best possible light.
Your best customers are a source for 5-star ratings, and you shouldn’t be afraid to encourage them to review your business. The best time to ask them is when they are at their peak happiness in the sales cycle. For instance, an auto dealership could ask for it at the time of delivery for a new purchase or a SaaS company could do it after a new implementation has been completed and the service dept has ensured all systems are go. With a little bit of trial-and-error, you’ll be able to determine the moment that has the highest success and make it into a routine to ask going forward.
Lastly, if price negotiations are standard in your sales process, this is a great thing to bargain with. It can go like this: “I’ll be happy to give you that discount. Now, if you’ve found that you absolutely love what we deliver, would you be willing to write a review on examplereviewsite.com in return?” This likely will require follow-up and thus would be far less effective in a setting that doesn’t involve ongoing service.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means organic traffic
Your web presence is critical to your digital footprint. If SEO is a new concept to you, what this means is setting up your website in such a way that Google recognizes you as being an authority on the subject. That way your website will rank highly when people search for keywords related to your business.
While it might not make financial sense for every business to hire SEO experts, it’s essential that you cover the basics if you want to attract customers online. There are many guides that will show you the simple steps to cover those basics.
Referrals are a classic way to earn new business – and for good reason
Are there adjacent businesses that you could form a strategic partnership with? Your customers could very well be valuable leads to another business in your general field and vice versa. You can also turn to existing customers for referrals. You might consider offering a discount of some sort for both your customer and who they are referring to you.
Engage with bloggers in your space
Bloggers are always looking for content to share, and you very well might be able to offer them something that would be worth sharing to their audience. It’s a win-win for all parties involved. There are also opportunities for affiliate deals with bloggers, though more organic content is preferable since it will be more trustworthy to the audience, doesn’t cost you money and doesn’t set a precedent that you’ll always pay for content.
Google Maps isn’t just for brick & mortar business
Even if you aren’t a business with a storefront, you should be on Google Maps. Google Maps is bigger than simply a navigation platform and many people use it to look up phone numbers, business hours and websites. If you want to attract customers online, you need to make sure that they’ll be able to find you any place they search for you – otherwise they’ll likely be presented with your competition instead.
What is your competition doing?
You are likely already paying attention to the products and services your competitors are offering – are you also noting how they market themselves? Chances are, their marketing choices are the result of expensive experimentation. If you see them using a particular method over a long period of time, this is a strong indication that it’s working for them. These observations can help you bypass needless experimentation.
Other strategies to attract and keep customers
Pay close attention to the first impression you make with customers. This has more of an impact than just aiding your close percentage. Customers who don’t buy will still have decided how likeable your business is and may share it with friends/associates…or with review sites. I’m guessing you, the reader, have likely seen one-star reviews from people who didn’t even do business with the place they were reviewing.
Another strategy for how to attract more customers to your business is to apply a human element in your customer experience where one is typically not expected. A classic version of this is the restaurant manager/owner asking patrons how their meal is. Another approach is to have the human touch appear in a less expected way. An ecommerce business could include a handwritten note in the package when the customer had to wait longer than expected. A software company can call a customer a little while after a successful roll-out to see how things are going and if they have any questions.
The risk with a high-touch strategy is that it might be time-consuming and not scale well. When considering this method, keep this in mind. You will want to make sure the customer service precedents you set are sustainable and bring you a positive return.
When your think of how to attract more customers to your business, it’s easy to have paid advertisements be the first thing that comes to mind. It’s clearly an effective strategy for many businesses, otherwise it wouldn’t be the massive industry that it is, however, there are many alternatives. With many of these, the cost of customer acquisition is far less, and the retention can be much higher. It’s important to consider multiple options, evaluate the data and then hone a strategy over time.