Are you starting a new business you want to use the internet to promote? Do you want to know the online customer acquisition methods that your business can tap from? Well, look no further as the internet is full of many online marketing methods that promise to help you attract customers. But this blog post will cover the ones that are still effective in 2016.
Image credit (Flickr Joe the Goat Farmer)
The online customer acquisition methods I will be sharing with you in this blog post have been proven to deliver some of the best results when it comes to online marketing and I will often back them up with case studies.
Without further delay, below are online customer acquisition methods that still work.
#1. Guest Blogging
How does guest blogging help you acquire new customers? By showcasing your expertise on other blogs where your potential customers will be reading from you, you can leverage this form of online marketing to build your customer base quickly.
In a blog post on DailyBlogTips, writer and blogger, Bamidele Onibalusi shared a case study of how he used guest blogging to gain thousands of leads and move his business forward in just months.
Going by results, guest blogging is still one of the most effective online marketing tactics to acquire customers. In a Search Engine Journal interview with the co-founder, Eric Siu shared how BufferApp, a social sharing tool, went from 0 to 100,000 customers with guest blogging.
Guest blogging can help your business in the following ways:
- Boost website traffic: traffic to your website will be significantly improved through effective use of guest blogging. Traffic from the host website/blog your guest post is published on will often result in direct sales for your business.
- Establish authority: get customers to trust your brand easily by establishing yourself as an authority through guest posts published on powerful website.
- Create awareness for your brand/business: repeat guest blogging will help to create awareness for your brand. Guest blogging is also one of the cheapest methods to instantly boost the awareness of your brand online.
#2. Social Media
Image Credit: Flickr Sean MacEntee
Social media is highly effective in acquiring customers for your business. With a consistent increase in user growth, major social media channels have remained a major source of customer acquisition for businesses online.
74% of consumers cite social media as an influence in making purchasing decisions. Businesses that are actively using social media to acquire customers are experiencing growth. Its effectiveness in acquiring customers is further affirmed by report that IBM turned its sales team social media savvy.
Fashion and beauty store, ASOS is at the center of a case study on how it used social media to attract new customers from the internet. Attracting over 29 million users monthly, the company serves 234 countries.
Social media offers several advantages for any business looking to acquire customers online, which include the following:
- Direct customer interaction: a major share of internet users spend most of their time on social media sites. In 2014 Facebook, which has a monthly user base of over 1.5 billion reports its users spend an average of 20 minutes daily on the site. Using social media gives you direct access to these users.
- Showcase your brand: Social media can be used to showcase your brand and generate exposure for your business on the internet. Acquiring customers online will require that you showcase your brand before prospects, and social media has proven, over time, to be highly effective in this aspect.
#3. Influencer Marketing
Ever heard of influencer marketing? This marketing technique that encourages top influencers in your industry to promote your products and services to their audience is still very strong and effective today. While there are a lot of ways to make influencer marketing help you grow your business and acquire customers, it’s important that your product/service aligns with the wants of their audience.
Getting influencer marketing right will often take a lot of studying and testing, but the underlying goal is eventually achieved.
Influencer marketing can help your business to:
- Earn media publicity: journalists and bloggers follow influencers on Twitter and are more willing to cover what they tweet or blog about on the media.
- Boost brand credibility: influencer marketing with the right authority will earn your brand extra credibility as your brand shares in the trust followers have invested in the influencer.
- Connect with the right customer: influencer marketing will put your products directly in front of customers who will be willing to buy from you.
#4. Forum Marketing
Forums help website owners and online business owners share their views with other users. This platform has become an hotbed of link acquisition for webmasters, but beyond the link building opportunities many seek from online forums, it is also a great avenue for customer acquisition.
You need to position your business as a solution provider when using forums to promote yourself. This will immediately separate you from others.
#5. Email Marketing
Image credit: Sean MacEntee Flickr
Almost every online marketing forms involves email marketing. From cold pitching to guest blogging. But email marketing on its own is an essential way to attract online customers on a repeat level. The effectiveness of email marketing means it still remains prevalent as a customer acquisition method of choice for many internet marketers today.
With email marketing, you have the opportunity to attract leads, grow and nurture them into consistent paying customers. Email is one of the very few marketing channels that gives you complete and autonomous access to customers.
Some of the benefits that make email marketing still effective:
- Narrow customer target: unlike social media where the views and interests of the audience is diverse, email gives you a targeted audience who has more interest in your offering.
- Unlimited access to your base: with email, you have unconstrained access to your leads and can continuously tap into them anytime.
#6. Cold Pitching (Email)
Picking up the phone and calling prospects is a marketing and customer acquisition form that has been in existence for long. Its online equivalent, cold pitching via email is just as effective.
Bamidele Onibalusi, freelance writer, explains how he used cold pitching to earn $5,025 worth of writing gigs in a case study on his blog.
Cold pitching might not give you 100% results from your efforts instantly, but from studies, the results you’ll get from this method can help you cover for the cost of the efforts that did not yield.
Here are some benefits you get from using cold pitching:
- It’s totally free: you do not have to spend a dime to acquire customers through cold pitching.
- No experience needed: getting social media marketing, or guest blogging right might require years of experience that most do not have. With cold pitching, anybody can get started right away.
#7. Case Studies
Case studies are stories of how you helped your customers’ business become successful. Sharing these stories with the world on your website can help you attract more customers to your business.
Case studies are often used by B2B companies to attract more customers, but it’s also as effective for B2C companies.
Using case studies will help potential clients to understand the benefits of using your products. Case studies also help to promote your brand as a success-focused business, making it easy for new customers to trust and patronize your business.
Case studies have helped businesses to:
- Easily convert readers to customers
- Convince skeptical prospects
- Bolster customer confidence
Webinars are one of the ways to generate new customers from the internet. And this form of customer generation is not only going to help you acquire new leads to your business, but it will help you generate highly qualified customer base. The commitment required from attendees ensures that unqualified leads are filtered out.
Converting leads generated from webinars to paying customers is a lot easier as the webinar already prepares them towards your premium offers.
#9. Affiliates and Partnerships
Using affiliates to boost sales is a proven customer acquisition tactic that is still very effective today. Not only does this marketing method reduce the cost of customer acquisition on your part, but it leaves all the marketing and follow-up aspect to the affiliate marketer.
When you use affiliate and strategic partnership, all you do is just create the product, and they bring in the customers.
Successful companies like Hostgator and Bluehost all rely on affiliates and other online marketing methods to bring in customers.
#10. PPC Advertising
Pay per click is effective when you have the cash to spend in order to keep the customers coming in. But it’s also very effective in acquiring customers from the internet. Some forms of PPC that are prevalent are Google Adwords, Facebook paid ads and display ads.
While ads cost you money to run, it also requires the involvement of an expert. One company you can rely on to handle your PPC campaign with confidence is Wordstream. The company has handled millions of dollars in PPC ads and have nearly a decade of experience on the job.
Why should you consider PPC?
- Guaranteed to bring in sales
- Doesn’t require as much efforts as the other forms of marketing
- Keeps bringing in customers so far you keep funding
That’s it. While there are several customer acquisition methods on the internet, not all of them are still as relevant. However, the 10 methods I listed are NOT the ONLY online customer acquisition methods that are still effective. If you’re willing to look deeper, you’ll find that there are still several more. If you have others that are different from the ones I mentioned in this post, I’ll be happy to know about them too.