Customers are the engine that drives a business. Businesses should develop a strategy to continually gain new customers to keep their business going. Investing in customer acquisition is an excellent way to attract leads and increase your chances of making sales.
Acquisition marketing is a complex process that requires a lot of effort and skills. After all, it is not easy to convince someone to become a customer and purchase from you. And acquiring customers is just the first step; you need to find ways to keep them happy so they can continue to buy from you in the long term.
One of the ways you can retain your customers is to ensure you target the right people and deliver the right message to them. Read along to learn more about acquisition marketing and the best organic practices for customer acquisition in 2022 and moving forward.
What is Acquisition Marketing
Acquisition marketing is the process of marketing to a new audience to bring new customers to your business. Unlike other marketing strategies, acquisition marketing targets prospects considering buying the type of products or services you offer regardless of whether they have shown interest in your company or not.
This strategy goes beyond developing brand awareness but focuses on converting quality leads into customers. The truth is that not every visitor to your site will make a purchase. Statistics show that about 69.99% of online shoppers abandon their cart before making a purchase. As such, having a strategy that can help turn these leads into long-term customers is paramount.
Having a robust acquisition marketing strategy is one of the ways you can turn interested leads into customers. To better understand acquisition marketing, let’s look at where it falls in the customer acquisition cycle.
Understanding Customer Acquisition
Customer acquisition involves a customer’s journey with a business, from awareness to buying. Customer acquisition refers to the process from when you capture a lead’s attention to when you process their payment; basically, this is what drives a business and enables you to make a profit.
Every business would like loyal customers who can tell others about your business. However, it takes a lot of work to get to that point. To better understand the customer acquisition process, let’s look at the sales funnel and flywheel.
The sales funnel is a common marketing model that describes the customer’s journey from the awareness stage to when they make a purchase. Here are the different stages of a sales funnel:
Top of Funnel
At this stage, the customer may not know they are looking for a product to solve a problem. For instance, a customer at the top of the sales funnel may be searching: “why does my website load slowly?” When searching, they become aware of their problem and potential solutions.
Middle of Funnel
At this stage, the customer knows their problem and starts to compare relevant tools or services to solve the issue. For instance, in their research, the customer may realize that they need the help of an SEO and web design agency to rework their website to increase its loading speed. The customer is at the consideration stage, and acquisition marketing provides an excellent way to convince a lead that your tool or service is the best solution to their problem.
Bottom of Funnel
Finally, at this stage, the lead decides on the specific product or service they want and makes the purchase.
Sales flywheel is a marketing model that regards the role of customer service in customer acquisition. This strategy prioritizes remarkable customer experience and word-of-mouth referrals to gain repeat customers. As such, flywheel sales involve engaging customers and attracting them with your offer to earn their support.
Like the sales funnel, the flywheel funnel can help understand the behavior of an average consumer.
Benefits of Having an Acquisition Marketing Strategy
One way you can grow your business is through acquisition marketing. Proper planning is essential if you want to have a successful business. Planning allows you to spend time and effort growing your business instead of chasing after customers and forms the basis of creating other strategies to grow your business further. That said, here are benefits of having an acquisition marketing strategy:
Helps Gain Clarity
The primary benefit of having an acquisition marketing strategy is that it gives clarity on the direction your business should take going into the future. It helps to know the tactics you can use to acquire new leads and convert them into paying customers. Having a plan helps you know what tactics are working and which aren’t as far as customer acquisition is concerned.
Helps Identify Critical Service Gaps
The consumer market often changes, meaning businesses should be highly flexible to cope with changing customer preferences. When customer preferences change, it creates gaps in the services that businesses offer. With a good acquisition strategy, you can continue serving your customers without disrupting your services.
Gain Market Power
Acquisition marketing is one of the effective ways to increase market share in a specific market. With the ever-increasing market competition, having a customer acquisition strategy provides a competitive advantage over your competitors.
What is Organic Customer Acquisition?
As the name suggests, organic customer acquisition means using non-paid strategies to get customers. Unlike pay-per-click and other traditional strategies, you don’t have to pay upfront to benefit from organic customer acquisition.
To benefit from organic customer acquisition, you should first build long-term relationships with potential customers. One way to achieve this is by providing value to your visitors. There are many organic customer acquisition strategies that we’ll look at later in the post. Of course, each method has its pros and cons, meaning you may want to combine different strategies depending on the category of customers you’re reaching.
To better understand organic customer acquisition, let’s look at what organic customer acquisition is not.
Ideally, any strategy that requires you to pay to acquire customers is not organic customer acquisition. This includes Google AdWords or sponsored posts on Facebook. When you use these strategies, you rely on paid customer acquisition strategies.
Paid advertising is still effective as it allows you to reach potential customers via platforms they spend most of their time online. The best part is that you can track your campaign’s strategies to determine what’s working and what’s not.
Paid customer acquisition will come in handy if you struggle to market your brand organically. It could also work best for startups with a limited marketing budget.
Both paid and organic customer acquisition strategies are effective and target the same person. The main difference is that one is free while the other you will have to pay to acquire traffic. Of course, it may take much longer to get results with organic customer acquisition, but it will have long-term effects on your business. You can expect steady monthly traffic from organic search engine optimization when done right.
However, to achieve this, you need to invest in content creation. Creating relevant and valuable content for your target audience will make people want to visit your site. This will bring new visitors to your site every month, which will increase the chances of conversions.
Top Organic Customer Acquisition Strategies and How to Optimize Them
Organic customer acquisition channels form a critical part of business growth. This section looks at common organic acquisition strategies and how to optimize them for better conversions.
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is one of the effective forms of marketing, and for good reasons. It involves building your organic presence to increase visibility in search engines which helps grow brand authority and customer engagement.
Unlike paid advertising, you don’t have to constantly spend money on SEO to get results; you only have to invest in better SEO strategies. Your business will continue reaping the benefits for a long time.
However, it is important to understand that SEO is a long-term game that demands constant content creation to get results. Depending on your business size and marketing goals, you can hire freelancers, an agency, or full-time content marketers to handle your content creation efforts. SEO can bring more qualified leads to your business and increase conversions if handled well.
The goal of SEO is to rank higher in search engine results when people search for products or services like yours. That way, when people perform a related search, your business will be found at the top of the search results.
How to Optimize for SEO
The best approach towards optimizing your website for SEO is to partner with a reputable SEO agency. The agency will analyze your site and your business goals alongside your competitors to create a perfect SEO strategy for your business.
That said, here are some of the best SEO practices to remember:
- Identify High Purchase Intent Keywords: Use highly relevant keywords to create content on your site; otherwise, you may attract people who don’t intend to buy from you. We recommend analyzing the performance of your current keywords and using Google Analytics to check how visitors interact with your site. Also, use Google Search Console to identify relevant terms with higher chances of bringing more qualified leads to your site.
- Create Topic Clusters: Next, create content around topics that interest your audience or customer FAQs. Use multiple long-tail keywords to create content that answers several questions in your niche.
- Consider the user journey: We cannot underestimate the role of content in business growth. Take time to understand the user journey, what potential buyers consider in every stage, and the issue they want to solve with your product or service. Use those insights to create content that can convert.
Your customers are an effective organic acquisition strategy. In fact, earning referrals through word of mouth is one of the best things to happen to your business and an easy way to acquire new customers.
One way to ensure your customers refer you to others is to create a referral program. You can use incentives, including physical gifts and monetary rewards, to encourage customers to tell others about your business. Of course, you should be ready to provide something valuable to your customers to give them a reason to refer you.
Ways to Optimize Your Referral Program
- Prioritize better customer service: Providing your customers better customer support is a great way to improve your customer experience. When customers have a better experience with your business, they are more likely to refer you to others.
- Be selective: Getting referrals from people who have not used your product or service will have little impact on your business. When getting referrals, prioritize customers who know your product or service better and can provide a personal experience.
- A/B test incentives: Different incentives will bring a different level of motivation to your customers. Test various incentives to see what motivates customers more.
Organic Social Media
We cannot overstate how important social media is in running businesses today. Ideally, most consumers spend most of their time on social media, whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.
Besides entertainment, social media provides a great opportunity to expand your business reach and improve brand authority. The best part is that it offers more room for creativity than other marketing channels.
However, it’s important to understand that social media marketing involves both organic and paid options. Organic media is a great option for sharing published content and developing a company personality to boost brand awareness. It provides an opportunity to grow connections through sharing knowledge and personal customer engagements.
How to Optimize Organic Social Media
- Select high-value channels: One mistake that businesses trying to build social media presence make is to focus on all social media channels. Instead, select one or two high-value channels and create high-quality content that will benefit users. Be consistent on those channels before you move to other channels.
- Be human: The fact you run a business doesn’t mean you should dehumanize your brand—share photos, your daily experiences, current events, and other content that can encourage user engagement.
Customer information like email addresses is also a great way to connect and convert customers. Despite what you might have heard, email marketing remains an effective method to generate leads and convert them to customers. Email isn’t dead and is one of the effective and cost-effective customer acquisition channels.
The best part about email marketing is that it allows you to get directly into the customer’s inbox. This is not the case with content marketing or social media marketing.
However, you should follow CAN-SPAM rules and create content that adds value to your audience; otherwise, you’ll be flagged as spam. The trick is not to sell directly to your potential customers but to offer valuable information they will find helpful.
Tips for Email Marketing
- Customize Every Email: The worst mistake in email marketing is sending an email without a recipient’s name. When sending your emails include your recipient’s names, company names, and other important details to warm them up.
- Segment your list: Segmenting emails will come in handy if you have a large contact list. For instance, you can segment your list according to job roles or goals and tailor your content to match their needs.
Conferences, webinars, trade shows, and other such events offer an excellent way to connect with potential customers. In fact, since these events happen online, they allow you to grow your list since attendees register with their email addresses.
Besides growing your list, engaging in online events allows you to connect with sponsors and prospects without traveling from your current location.
How to Get the Most of Online Events Customer Acquisition Strategy
- Gather content ideas from your internal team: The best place to get inspiration regarding the content useful for your leads would be to ask your sales and support teams. Use the insights to create a targeting strategy based on different stages of the customer journey.
- Repurpose your event content: Share your webinar content on social media and blog to reach more people and promote engagement
Another channel for organic customer acquisition is through brand partnerships. This is a win-win situation where you and the other party can improve visibility and expand your reach by taking advantage of each other’s network. A brand partnership is an excellent way to fill content gaps and boost your online credibility.
Great examples of brand partnerships include blog exchanges, joint webinars, and newsletter callouts. Of course, you should find a partner with similar goals and values and one that targets a similar audience.
Tips for Brand Partnerships
- Set realistic expectations: Like any other marketing strategy, you should set realistic expectations when it comes to brand partnerships. Take time to plan and set goals to avoid over-promising due to excitement. Your goals should include timelines, and remember to assign team members to handle specific roles.
- Partner with select brands: The only way you can acquire customers through brand partnerships is if you partner with relevant brands. Before you partner with a brand, check their domain authority and online presence in your industry to ensure they can add value to your business.
Last but not least is videos. Ideally, video is a great way to reach out to an audience that prefers videos over other forms of content.
Like social media, video provides room for flexibility, from recording product demonstrations to sharing them on your social media platforms to including them in your email outreach.
Tips on Using Video for Customer Acquisition
- Build relationships with storytelling: Storytelling is an effective marketing tactic that still provides results. Use storytelling as a fundamental aspect of your video to capture the attention of your target audience to increase the chances of converting them into paying customers.
- Test different video formats: Different video formats will produce different results. Test different video styles, including webinar clips and customer video records, to see which one will bring more engagement.
How to Create Effective Acquisition Marketing Strategy
Now that you understand what acquisition marketing is and the organic customer acquisition strategies you can use, let’s look at the best practices to create an effective acquisition strategy for your business:
Define Your Target Customers
The first step to having an effective customer acquisition strategy is to identify your target audience. Understanding your customer base (both current and potential customers) will help create a personalized acquisition strategy for each group.
An effective acquisition strategy includes customized elements depending on the targeted individuals’ needs, behavior, and interests. Here are the strategies you can use to identify and understand your target audience:
- Conduct market research
- Create a persona or target prospect profile
- Analyze third-party data from competitors
- Analyze custom profiles
- Be keen on social trends
Make Clear Goals
After identifying your ideal customers, the next step is to set clear goals and objectives. Like other business goals, your customer acquisition goals should be SMART:
- Specific: Have a specific outcome connected to each goal
- Measurable: Ensure you can successfully track the progress of your goals
- Achievable: Set realistic and achievable goals
- Relevant: Set goals that match your business needs
- Timely: No goal is open-ended. Ensure to specify the time within which you should achieve a particular goal
Having well-defined goals and objectives will guide your acquisition plan and focus your efforts on what you want to achieve.
Select the Channels to Use
Identifying your customers and defining your goals is great, but not everything. You’ll also want to select your customer acquisition channels based on your research. This can be organic search, social media, or any other channels we discovered above where you could connect with your ideal customers.
Create a Customized Strategy for Each Channel
While you should not focus on every channel when starting, you should create a unique strategy for each channel you use. Here are things to consider when developing a marketing strategy for each channel:
- What type of content does your audience like
- Competitors’ content
- Information from your key performance indicators (KPIs)
Depending on your target audience and goals, you may want to use more video content than words and vice versa. Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok will be ideal if you use video. The best approach is to research what strategies work for each channel and place your effort towards it.
Engage Your Customer Base
The success of your customer acquisition strategy partly depends on the feedback you get from your customers. To get this feedback, you need to communicate with your customer base. You achieve this through customer interviews, blog posts, social media posts, email contact forms, and customer surveys.
The idea is to have a communication plan that promotes regular communication with your customers to help them understand their requirements and expectations.
Measure Your Strategy
You should constantly measure and improve your strategy to succeed in your customer acquisition efforts. Analyzing your strategy helps you know what’s working and what’s not, what channels bring more traffic, what marketing messaging converts more leads to paying customers, and where your business is headed. Things to focus on during analytics include:
- Where your customers are located
- What channels did customers hear about your brand?
- Where customers bought your products
Some of the common metrics you should track include:
- Churn rate
- Customer acquisition costs (CAC)
- Customer lifetime value (VLT)
- New customer growth
Tactics to Help Improve Your Customer Acquisition Strategy
Having looked at the channels and ways to develop an effective customer acquisition strategy, let’s now look at how to improve your acquisition marketing strategy.
Create Unique and Relevant Content
Content marketing is one of the effective ways you can use to attract potential customers to your business. However, to get results from content marketing, you should post high-quality content. Ideally, your content should provide value to your target audience and be unique.
Take Advantage of SEO
No one will see your content if it doesn’t appear on the top of the search engine results page for related searches. Besides, SEO is one of the effective customer acquisition methods for eCommerce. As such, you need to optimize content for SEO to ensure that customers can see it when they search for information related to your industry.
Break Your Content into Smaller Pieces to Share on Social Media
Publishing content on your website is a great thing but not enough. You can engage with more customers by breaking your content into pieces and sharing it on social media.
For instance, you can create short posts to form your core content and share it on Facebook and Instagram. Also, consider creating videos from your articles and sharing them with your social media followers.
Prioritize Highly Converting Channel
Marketers use different channels to attract customers. While trying different channels is okay, you should prioritize one that works best for your business. Ideally, focus on the channels that help bring more customers with less input.
Get Insights from Customer Stories
One way to know what customers like and dislike is through customer stories. Knowing what your customers want is an excellent way to address customer problems and what type of solutions they are looking for. Take time to understand your customer journey and their decision-making process so you can derive ways to bring them closer to making a purchase.
Build Relationships with Your Loyal Customers
There’s nothing as good as having loyal customers who buy from you anytime you have a new product or service. Such customers can become brand ambassadors who will be happy to tell people about your business. That said, you should create a sustainable relationship with them to ensure you don’t lose them and they continue to refer others to your business.
Grow Your Business with Organic Acquisition Marketing Strategies
We cannot overstate the importance of customer acquisition for the growth and success of a business. No matter the size of your business, you shouldn’t give up on acquisition marketing to get new customers. Besides marketing, you should focus on providing better customer support to your customers to enhance the growth of your business.
That said, the success of your organic customer acquisition efforts depends on how well you can target quality leads and the quality of content you provide them. With high-quality content, you’ll attract more visitors and increase your chances of converting them to paying customers.
Even so, creating quality alone isn’t enough to drive traffic to your site; you should optimize your content for SEO to ensure it ranks higher on the search engine results page when potential customers perform related searches. If you need help handling search engine optimization for your acquisition marketing campaigns, we can help. Contact us today, and our highly experienced SEO experts will help develop a perfect SEO strategy for your business.