Acquiring new customers is a constant topic for most entrepreneurs who want to build up their business and scale it predictably.
The question repeatedly arises: How do I acquire new customers regularly? And this is often associated with the fear of actively addressing potential clients (e.g., at industry events) or catching them over the phone. In particular, the term telephone or “cold calling” quickly causes discomfort because it is associated with intrusiveness and arouses memories of “columns of pushers.”
But, of course, the offline world offers other options, such as distributing flyers, brochures, and business cards or “networking” at events.
But that’s precisely what introverted entrepreneurs struggle with. Fortunately, there are efficient methods for acquiring new customers on the web for these people in particular.
The Brave New World Of Online Marketing
Since almost everyone has a smartphone these days and can be reached via it, it is hardly surprising that new customer acquisition is carried out on a massive scale via the Internet.
Thanks to social networks and global platforms, it is possible to reach people from all over the world for customer acquisition from the comfort of their own homes.
Therefore, the question that arises for entrepreneurs is not whether they can win new customers online but how and, above all, where.
Do Not Rely On Word Of Mouth
It is said that the best customers are those to whom you have been recommended.
No question about it: A good reputation and referrals are great, but shouldn’t be the only source of new customers. Because a well-meaning reputation is difficult to scale, service providers who offer an exceptional service in the B2B area, for example, may only have existing customers who do not know anyone who, in turn, could also be interested in their offer.
Or even worse: You’re so good that the customer doesn’t recommend you to their competitors for precisely that reason.
A digital system for customer acquisition is better, which ideally can be easily scaled and even automated.
The goal: to win customers by yourself
The ideal scenario for digital new customer acquisition looks like this:
Every day, fresh, qualified inquiries come from customers who can afford the offer without investing time (e.g., for posting on social networks) or money (for advertisements).
In practice, this can be done via a landing page that ranks on Google for a suitable keyword and on which new people register for a coaching/workshop or consultation every day.
In this way, the contact details of potential customers ( leads ) can be accessed almost automatically. But there are also other ways of acquiring new customers via the website.
In addition, “freebies” (free content) in the form of eBooks or webinars, which in turn are advertised in blog articles or on social networks, are offered on the website in exchange for email addresses. These email addresses can then be managed and written to via newsletter services (this also applies to existing customers).
The Target Group
Defining your target group and reaching them with relevant messages is essential to winning customers over to your product or service. Because depending on the type of customer, the choice of the communication channel can be decisive.
While the business network LinkedIn is ideal for B2B offers, the streaming platform Twitch is more suitable for gaming and eSport products.
But let’s take another step back:
Instead of broadly and vaguely defining your target group, creating a buyer persona and aligning communication with it is advisable.
A buyer persona is a fictional person who represents your typical customer. It has demographic, sociological, or psychological characteristics and formulates goals, challenges, and identifiers.
The better you can identify the needs and characteristics of your potential customers, the easier it is to choose the right approach and the right channel.
The following questions should be carefully analyzed and answered when developing an online marketing strategy to win new customers:
- Who is the target group?
- Where is the target audience?
- Which target group problem am I solving?
Active New Customer Acquisition
Anyone who opts for active acquisition must address their target group directly via at least one channel. Most of them already know the situation from the other side. Whether emails in the inbox or voice messages on Instagram, direct contact requires courage and is often associated with rejection, mainly because it distracts you from your work.
A better solution is networking on the B2B portal LinkedIn, mainly used by the self-employed and companies. There is a search and filter function to find users from specific industries, companies, or regions. The profiles are often meaningful enough to quickly assess whether the person in question is a potential new customer.
It is essential to ensure that the profile is still being used actively. The first contact can then come about directly through a networking request, which the person asked either accepts or rejects. For this reason, it is essential to have a meaningful profile yourself and to supplement your networking request with a personal message.
In this way, both parties can sniff each other without having to give or experience a direct rejection.
What you shouldn’t do, however, is to randomly send numerous inquiries with the exact text every day to acquire new customers. Because whoever “spams” can at some point only be networked if he also knows the respective person’s email address.
This does not, however, exhaust the potential of customer acquisition. Because now and then, services or products are searched explicitly for there. There are even groups on Facebook for this purpose, in which you can register and be present. Of course, it is even better if you are recommended by others there.
Social Media Marketing
One can like LinkedIn and the other social networks
But also use it differently to conduct acquisitions. It is essential to post current and relevant content regularly to do this. These can be pictures, texts, and videos that describe solutions to acute problems. This works best when the communication is adapted to the target group and the channel.
A great advantage that arises from direct communication is that you also get a lot of knowledge about your desired customers if you ask about them.
But it is also worthwhile to interact with other users’ accounts. You won’t attract any attention if you post your content without looking at other people’s posts.
The big sticking point, however, is the range. Because the content first has to get through to the potential customers, which is not accessible due to the great competition. Building reach is a process that requires a good strategy and perseverance.
Organic Or Paid
However, it should not be concealed that reach in social networks can also be bought. If you want to achieve more there faster, you can use paid campaigns. However, the budgets for this should not be too small. Although Facebook advertising suggests that you can achieve great success with small contributions, the reality is usually sobering.
In addition to the budget, other factors, such as the target group’s definition or the advertisement’s design, also determine the success of paid advertising.
A great advantage is consistently controlling costs and playing different variants against each other in the split testing process.
Visibility On Google
What applies to social networks is also applicable to search engines. Instead of drawing attention to yourself on Facebook and Co, it is possible. To be found via Google or another provider. Here, too, you can get organic or paid visibility.
It is first essential to know which search terms you should be found to do this. Fortunately, there is an opportunity to find out exactly what times and word combinations users search for on Google each month. So-called keyword research is carried out for this purpose. This often reveals surprising results for service providers and product manufacturers.
An ideal keyword is:
- often searched
- has little competition
- shows a willingness to buy
The search intention behind the term is pretty straightforward. The user needs a tax advisor, which means that the likelihood of turning the searcher into a customer is very high.
The user is already at the point in their customer journey to recognize their problem and is now ready to pay for the solution. For him, the question is not so much whether he needs a tax advisor, but rather who is the most suitable. In this context, people like to speak of the pull marketing approach, in which the customer only has to be attracted. The opposite is the case with push marketing, where you first have to point out the real problem.
The website that takes first place gets the most clicks. But that’s not the only factor. The headline in the search results can also attract attention.
In addition, it is essential to be convincing with the website itself. After all, the user is still in the phase he decides between different providers.
A website should be conversion-optimized, i.e., convert as many visitors as possible into new customers. It is essential to deliver a clean user experience (UX), work with convincing texts, and appear professional and modern overall.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is necessary in most cases so that a website can not only be found in Google for one or more search terms but also rank high. This consists of several factors.
Broken down to the most important things you need:
- Keyword-optimized texts
- a clean technique
- good links to and from relevant websites.
The result can be precisely measured and understood in the rankings themselves. A good and accessible tool for manageable projects is the Google search console.
If carried out correctly and strategically, search engine optimization will have a long-term effect and can regularly win new customers.
Current figures also show that this is worthwhile. 68% of online experiences start with a search engine, and 53.3% of all website traffic is generated from organic search. And SEO leads have a 14.6% completion rate.
Try, Stick With It And Optimize
Whether B2B or B2C – in all efforts to acquire new customers on the web, you need a strategy and methods and implement them reliably. In the beginning, digital sales are not a sure-fire success.
Who z. B. uses LinkedIn only sporadically and without a fundamental concept to find interested parties for its offer, will not see any great success. It is better to stick with it continuously, measure your results and adapt and optimize the procedure. It is advisable to work with checklists and possibly even editorial plans.
In this way, your visibility can also grow organically. Those who also rely on paid ads accelerate this process. It would help if you reacted flexibly to changes on the platform side, such as new content formats.
An excellent example of this is Instagram, which supports video formats and calendar postings in addition to images. And the new designs in particular usually have an extensive reach. You can also currently z. B. see the YouTube shorts.
Whether on social media, with mailings or via Google – it is essential to have at least one reliable channel through which regular acquisition takes place. Then you can try out more for yourself to not be too dependent on one platform. Because that also happens regularly. Whether Twitch, YouTube, or currently OnlyFans – everywhere, the reach is closely tied to the whims of the platform and the rules of the algorithm.
Those who have a good email newsletter and generate traffic for their website through different channels are particularly independent.
The “neglectful care” of social networks is not recommended. Anyone who has an orphaned YouTube channel or only exists as a file on Xing and Co should rather delete the account instead of giving the impression that they are no longer in business.