The foundation of your marketing strategy lies in your ability to identify demographics that fit your target audience and to turn those audiences into paying customers. Simply put, you will always struggle to elevate your business if you cannot attract new customers to your business. However, this vital marketing operation is not always a smooth ride. Industry trends are constantly changing, technology is evolving rather too fast, the needs and preferences of potential customers are too diverse and dynamic to cope with and lead generation as a whole is almost impossible to comprehend especially if you aren’t a marketing expert. The truth is that you will always be chasing marketing perfection from a point of disadvantage, but you cannot afford to stop unless you intend to quit your business and ultimately exit the industry. To help you close the disadvantage gap, here are 10 credible tips on how you can attract new customers and elevate your business:
1. Leverage social media
Which social media platforms are your customers and prospective customers on? If you aren’t sure, at least you are almost certain that most of them use at least one of the big 3 social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Set up accounts on the 3 platforms and optimize them in order to boost the visibility of your content. Ensure that each account bears your business’s name, website(s), contact details, location, and working hours. Follow that up by posting content that is not only related to your business but that inspires the target audience to share with their friends. Also:
· Make sure that the marketing videos you post on your social media accounts are authentic, informative, engaging, truthful, unbiased, and completely relatable to your target audience.
· Be very careful not to share your personal opinions on religion and/or politics on your business pages, unless the opinions are relevant to the products/services you sell.
· Post new content regularly, but be careful not to oversaturate your pages to the point of overwhelming users.
· Include social media plugins in your site to make it easy for your online visitors to share your web content with their social media followers.
2. Leverage your social and corporate networks
You should never underestimate the power of social and corporate networks when doing business. They allow you to raise brand awareness without having to dig too deep into your pockets. So, tell your friends and family to tell their friends about your business, both online and offline. Join as many trade associations and chambers of commerce as you can. Attend PTA, church, and other community gatherings and speak about how your products and/or services can solve people’s problems.
3. Try the reciprocity effect
The reciprocity effect is simply the effect that gifting has on people. When someone gifts you with something special, you feel almost obligated to reciprocate by giving them something of equal or bigger value. This can work in your favor. For example:
· If you support local businesses by promoting their products on your social media pages, you can bet that most of them will return the favor. They become your allies.
· If you provide searchers on search engines with high-quality, informative answers to their questions, they will be more willing to share their emails and other contact information with you. Such info will help you build your list of prospective customers.
· If you organize social media contests and challenges and reward winners, the people who will participate in those contests will feel obligated to become your unpaid brand ambassadors.
4. Invest in SEO
Improving your website’s Search Engine Optimization can help it rank at the top of search engine results, making your content visible to online searchers. It is almost a fact that people who search for the keywords you use on your website fit the description of your target audience. So, how do you build better SEO for your website?
· Start a high-quality blog.
· Use keywords related to your business, your industry, and that make sense to the target audience. You can research the right keywords for your business using tools such as Google Analytics.
· List your business on Google my Business and other local listings.
· Localize your business for local audiences.
· Think how to expand globally through SEO or with your services.
5. Hold marketing events
Invite prospective customers to events and appeal to their desire to be part of your brand building process. Allow ordinary customers to make suggestions on how you can improve your brand awareness; how you can make the products and services more satisfying in the customers’ eyes. Give customers a taste of your products before you release them to the world.
6. Offer giveaways and discounts
People are always searching on how to do most things on a budget. At any given time, there will be people shopping around for deals, discounts, or even giveaways in a bid to save a few coins.
While not all will stick by you after getting your product or service for free or at a discounted price, each one of them will be aware of your product. In addition, free things work as a sample of what you are offering. It gives potential customers the chance to try out what you have probably been talking to them about without risking their money. If you are built on quality, most of them will be willing to pay for it in the future.
7. Start a referral program
People are always willing to share with others about a quality service or product that they have recently discovered. Imagine how much effort they would put in if they were to be compensated for every referral, or a certain number of referrals that they give.
If your budget allows, start a referral program where customers earn points for referring your business to another person. You can then give them a chance to redeem their points when they reach a certain amount. If you get 10 customers to register, they will bring another 10, and the 10 will bring another 10, and so on and so forth. Before you know it, you will have many new customers buying from you, with a guarantee of future prospects.
8 Use flyers for advertising
Flyers offer an affordable way to publicize your business to your target market. It is especially effective if your target customers are located in the same area, for instance, university students. Just like the word of mouth, flyers will reach many people, including those with no access to the internet or have little time for television, if you have ads running on television.
The good thing is that you don’t really need expensive flyers. Just a simple design with all the important info about your product is sufficient. You can design it yourself or hire a designer to do them professionally. Hire some people to go hand them out in car parks, offices, residential building and any other place that people gather.
It is, however, important to train them about your business. That way they will be able to answer questions if they encounter any in the process.
9 Utilize influencer marketing
Days are gone when customers trusted companies to tell them about their products or service. Nowadays, the modern consumer wants to hear about a product from another person before considering buying it. The process is expedited if they hear a testimonial from someone they trust or look up to.
Most people have influencers they idolize and look up to in one way or another. Some even follow them religiously to the point of liking or disliking everything their idols like or dislike.
Involving a personality that is a sensation for your target customer in marketing your products is a sure way to command a following.
You, however, need to be careful in choosing an influencer, if you want it to work in your favor. For starters, it should be a person who is influential to your target customer.
Have them make reviews about your products, or pay them to make posts with hashtags about your business. You can also have them start a contest on their social media pages to create a buzz around your products or services.
10. Start a CSR program
People are now more conscious about their communities and everything that goes around them. As the world changes, so are the people continuing to embrace one another in communities. Anyone willing to lift the unfortunate or assist the community in one way or another is a friend to such communities. It is safe to say that businesses that go the extra mile to give back to the society, appeal to such people. They will be willing to spend on your business, knowing that a fraction will go back to them at some point.
It actually doesn’t have to be monetary. It could be giving advice on your area of expertise, or even volunteering in communal work. Just be sure to go there as a business and not as an individual.
Your input doesn’t end with attracting new customers. You must follow up after every lead you make, to ensure that they aren’t poached from you by your competitors. It is very important to maintain your brand awareness, corporate social responsibility is always a good approach to sustain customer loyalty, and at a time of the current global climate, crucial.