It goes without saying that building a better marketing plan is the key to success – no matter what industry you operate in. However, understanding the world of marketing is challenging, especially for business owners with little marketing experience due to the fact that consumer behaviors constantly change and vary across industries and markets. Finding new customers is a perennial challenge faced by businesses of all sizes, regardless of market or age. Yet, without new customers, you can’t hope to grow your business.
However, with a strong, well-researched, detailed, and flexible marketing plan that’s updated frequently as conditions change, it’s easier than ever to connect with new customers and expand your business accordingly.
With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks that you can use to effortlessly market your business to a wider audience.
Finding new customers
Selling more and retaining existing customers is great for sustaining your business. But growing your business beyond a certain point is impossible unless you have a sustained strategy for finding new customers. And, in some industries, converting new customers is a long-term process that takes months rather than a simple click on a landing page. As you can see in the image below, 44% of marketers reported conversion from leads to customers took more than 6 months while only 17% reported conversion times of less than a month (nearly equalling the number who report conversion times of 12+ months) in a study of B2B sales.
In addition to the time needed to convert a B2B lead, you have a lot of cost since the average cost of a sales call is between $225 and $250 and it takes an average of 8 touches (not all are sales calls) to reach conversion in B2B markets.
The situation is much better in consumer markets, where finding new customers for consumer packaged goods happens with less time and fewer contacts than in B2B markets. Still, the increased competition in these markets makes it much harder to stand out against your competition. Different situation, different problem, same outcome–finding new customers is hard.
How to find new customers
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to finding new customers. A lot depends on your market, such as the consumers making up that market, the intensity of competition in your market, how competitors find new customers, customer loyalty, and external environmental factors. For instance, finding new customers for consumer packaged goods may rely heavily on reviews and recommendations (social proof) from influencers while finding new customers for a professional service, such as legal or medical, relies heavily on building trust with prospective clients/ patients with physical evidence such as plush offices and tons of medical equipment.
That said, the first task in finding new customers is creating awareness, which involves similar tactics regardless of industry or environmental factors. I’d like to focus on this aspect of awareness for the remainder of the post.
With online shopping on the rise, companies without an online presence are selling themselves short. In fact, having both an active social media account and a compelling website are some of the easiest and most effective ways to market your company in 2021.
However, getting online isn’t enough. With almost every serious brand possessing some digital presence, you still face challenges getting found. And, that’s where SEO comes in. Organic traffic coming through search engines (traditionally an SEO or search engine optimization problem) represents the biggest source of the traffic to most websites–accounting for 51% of all traffic across both B2B and B2C as opposed to social, which only represented 5% of traffic. SEO involves careful attention to both onsite and offsite factors indicating the value of your website to users. Among the factors most serious for generating organic traffic are:
- Creating valuable content on a consistent basis to your website
- Matching user intent to the keywords used in creating content
- Building engagement across social platforms
- Measures of social proof such as time on site, growth in the number of visits from organic and social, backlinks from high-quality sites, and bounce rate (negative impact)
- A secure website (ie. HTTPS protocol)
- Measures of a great user experience such as mobile friendliness and site speed
Offline marketing efforts
Try out different marketing techniques to find the right fit. A marketing strategy that works for one business might not work for another – especially if their target markets are vastly different. As a result, you should try a few different marketing techniques, including offline marketing tactics, to see which helps your business grow the most (i.e., which advertisements generate the most sales or traffic). For example, you could look into direct marketing response techniques such as snail mail and response ads in magazines. Direct response marketing works by encouraging the viewer to take action as soon as they see the advertisement – this keeps them engaged and means they are more likely to make a purchase or learn more about your company.
Social media content
Your social media presence is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to promote your brand to a global audience – however, your success in this field is based upon the content you promote (ie. motivating your target market with the right message), building engagement (which spreads your message to new groups of users), gaining mentions from influencers, and ensuring you includes a CTA (call to action) with each post so users know what action to take.
Content is the strategy that drives social media success. After all, the more interesting users find the content you post – the more followers, likes, and engagements you receive. Therefore, you should ensure you focus on creating social media content that rocks instead of simply posting for the sake of filling in something on your content marketing calendar. Remember, mix advertorial content with valuable, non-promotional content using a 20/80 split or you’ll find your posts annoy rather than engage users.
In the old days of traditional advertising, costs drove out many SMEs (small and mid-sized enterprises). In the digital world, costs are much more reasonable and, with highly targeted online advertising campaigns, you can effectively reach your target market for a very low cost. Using search advertising, you selectively reach users when they’re in the market for your products. Shopping ads, like the one below, are particularly effective in reaching consumers in the mood to buy.
Hop onto current trends (quickly) as marketing opportunities shift quickly, especially in the digital world. For instance, TikTok is a great way to reach millennials and GenZ consumers who are particularly hard to reach with even digital marketing methods. If you want your marketing campaigns to succeed, you need to pay close attention to trends and consumer behaviors. This way, you can respond quickly when a new trend emerges and respond to it quickly. For example, if you post a video on your social media – using a trending song or audio in the background means it’s easier for potential customers to relate to your brand, meaning they’re more likely to share your post thus increasing your visibility. However, you must respond quickly to these trends to avoid posting content that is outdated or behind the times.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.