One of the biggest struggles in the business world is attracting new customers. Here are some smart strategies to help retain clients, generate leads, and increase sales by attracting new customers to your business.
Create a Game Plan
The very first step to generating a new customer base is to create a strategic game plan. This plan will help guide decisions and assist with narrowing down the focus to target potential customers. A quarterly plan is a good starting point. The timeline needs to be built so necessary adjustments can be made along the way, but also long enough to determine if it is actually working before changing course.
The strategic plan must include actions to promote the company’s service, product, or brand. It also must include short and long term goals that are measurable and attainable. When creating these goals, the buyers profile should be taken into consideration. In order to narrow down the marketing strategies to the target audience, businesses need to really understand who their customers are and how to reach them. They must research where these customers come from and how they get their information, such as through online searches, social media, or even direct mail.
Target Your Customers
Businesses will need to consider multi-channel marketing strategies to reach large audiences. Initially, businesses need to evaluate and update their own websites. Busy graphics and difficult to navigate websites turn off potential clients and customers. Be sure the website is mobile-friendly as customers are relying heavily on their cell phones instead of computers to search for information. Include online ratings and positive customer reviews to entice new customers to search no further. Review current website search engine optimization techniques and tactics to measure how effective the website is and what changes can be made to attract new customers.
Utilizing and understanding the power of social media marketing and influence should be a key part of any new target marketing strategy. In this ever-changing and growing social media world, it is important to seek out social media consultants who understand these tools to fully integrate this tactic into their strategic marketing plan. Use metrics to determine what customers are searching for, most interested in, or how they are interacting with the business online, and then create informative, sharable content that relates to those trends. For example, Insurance Office of America (IOA) Chairman and CEO Heath Ritenour started personal and professional blogs for both himself and his father, IOA co-founder John Ritenour, in an effort to provide insurance industry insight and company transparency.
A variety of mass marketing tools are available to reach potential customers, including out-of-home digital media marketing such as large stationary billboards, LED panels, and even benches and moving billboards. Advertising can be integrated into podcasts, blogs, and webinars. Mass media and print media campaigns can be considered such as radio, TV, magazines, and newspapers. Direct response marketing can be very effective to attract new customers. Offer free or discounted items, services, templates, e-books, or subscriptions in exchange for contact information.
When considering any mass marketing campaign, consult the strategic plan and review the buyer profile. Think about the best way to reach the target audience. Consider all of the expenses and choose the marketing strategy that reaches the target audience at the most reasonable cost.
The next step is to measure the success of the marketing efforts to make necessary adjustments and get the most out of the advertising. The plan should include regularly scheduled reviews of the metrics to drive the marketing decisions and measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
Network, Network, Network
One of the most effective ways to attract new customers is by utilizing happy and loyal current customers. A strong referral program can really help by providing current customers with an avenue to talk about the benefits of the business. Dual-sided reward programs provide existing customers with a reward for the new business and first time customers can receive an incentive or discounts.
Plan events to generate referrals and create opportunities to promote the company. Offer to speak at industry events, participate in webinars, or get involved in local charity events. Drum up community support and business name recognition by sponsoring local youth or adult sport leagues. Reach out to past customers with new programs, products, or services. Attempt to re-engage the client with the business by offering incentives, discounts, or trial programs. Partnering with local complementary businesses that have a similar customer base but are not directly competitive is also a useful strategy. Team up to save on marketing and event costs.
A strategic plan that is regularly reviewed and adjusted is the most effective way to attract new customers and to monitor the success of marketing efforts.