Customer acquisition can be tricky work. Outbound sales tactics are often outdated and end up frustrating potential buyers rather than converting them. So, how can you use inbound sales tactics to acquire new customers? Where should you be putting emphasis on your business strategy if you’re hoping to build your customer database? Here are 5 sure-fire customer acquisition tactics that can help your business acquire new customers via inbound marketing.
Host FAQ Blogs
FAQ Blogs can be a life-saver when it comes to hitting those keywords or key phrases you’ve identified for your business. FAQ Blogs can also provide genuine support and helpful information to potential customers when it comes to answering questions on your sector of expertise or even more targeted questions about your product. Before you begin to write the blog though, use tools like Google trends to learn more about your demographic, create buyer personas and then answer the questions those personas are looking for. Make sure that your FAQ blog is constantly updated and use this page as the directory for the rest of your site. By making each question a sub-header (specifically, an <h2>) or making the blog searchable you’ll also give your potential customers the smoothest experience possible when doing their research.
When you’re looking to report on your FAQ blog, some of your more traditional KPI’s are no longer relevant as deeming your blog successful or not. You’re not looking for “time on page” as a metric that defines success here. Look at a low bounce rate, a heavy click through and as many views as possible. Track the questions you upload to see if they improve your click through rate and leave ample lead capture opportunities underneath the questions that you deem as most likely to convert. Lastly, if your product is the answer to some of these questions (which it should be!) then provide the opportunity to buy right there and then. If someone is searching for a particular question and you not only provide the answer but the product that can solve the issue in the first place, then their intent and likeliness to buy your product upon first visit to the site is much higher than someone who entered your site through a more passive search term.
Consider Gated Content
There are a few brands that are doing this really well, The Economist and Later Media to name a few. Gated, or locked content can be a fantastic way to capture someone interested in your brand and requires a customer to invest a little more through their interaction with you. If you can create content that is deemed as valuable enough to warrant an email address, then do so! Once you’ve captured this email, make sure you follow up with a soft nurture journey. You must immediately feed the customer the information they requested to their inbox and then be seen as going the extra mile by providing them with value and building on that initial request. Try suggesting more content they may enjoy if they liked that first piece; recommend your product or service as a solution to what they may have been looking for.
For locked content to truly work you need to do two things.
1. Build a brand that builds trust.
Emails are a tricky way to gain trust these days and prospective customers are less likely to give them to a brand they don’t know, respect, or trust. In handing over their email, they are handing over a little bit of trust, so don’t abuse it. Build their trust before and after this exchange and they’ll return the favor by investing in you.
2. Tease them with your content.
Give just enough of a content tease before you ask for a potential customer’s email address. This can be done on page, with enough of the article (and perhaps social reactions to it, if you have them) to make the potential customer want to “download” or gain access to the piece. Don’t reveal so much that you give them everything they were looking for in the first few hundred words.
Value your content and know that if there’s enough trust in the brand and value in your material then you’re well on your way to acquiring new customers via an email exchange or membership subscriptions to your locked content.
Implement a Video & YouTube Strategy
You’ve probably heard it a million times, but video is one of the highest converting forms of content for a reason. Now, combine that with one of the most searched in platforms and you have a recipe for acquiring customers that needs to be explored. We watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day, more than Netflix and Facebook video combined (Youtube) and the channel has searches of “how to” videos growing by 70% year over year. It’s safe to say that if your business doesn’t have a presence there then you’re missing out on a whole world of new customers.
By creating your videos around relevant search terms: “How To’s” or “DIY Tutorials”, then you’re making sure that your video is more likely to be found by potential customers who are actively looking for a solution to their problem. By curating a YouTube channel that delivers valuable information and answers questions, (much like an FAQ blog would) you are giving maximum opportunity to reach and convert new customers via video content. Of course, there’s a common fear that “video” means you need a huge production budget.. Wrong! If you’re looking for affordable video production then there are ways to go about finding your next vendor that’s right for your business.
Lastly, make sure you build on your Youtube strategy so that it not only converts to leads but can be used as a resource to help convert leads into customers. Consider setting up workflows and product onboarding videos, give tutorials on innovative ways your product or service can be used, and not only will you acquire new customers but you’ll retain current ones too.
Build a Chatbot
The future is in the bot! Embrace it. Integrate the bots where you can and reap the rewards. Chatbots are an easy way for you to optimize your conversational processes so your staff can spend time on hot leads while your bot does the rest. The bot can act as an FAQ blog or site directory, it can act as a sales rep or can merely be a playful aspect on the site that helps to build a positive brand affinity with your potential customers. Let your site visitors know that they’re talking to a bot, perhaps even be creative with the idea of "being a bot" (ie- HubSpot calls their chatbot "HubBot") and they’ll not only enjoy the interaction more but will have had a positive experience with your business and you haven’t had to do a thing!
Pros of a chatbot:
- You’re no longer limited to conversations on restrictive timezones
- They can convert the easy wins and introduce your team for the bigger ones
- They can constantly be optimized for best performing sales conversion conversation
- It’s easy to track their ROI
Many brands use bots as a content portal, they can easily direct a customer to a page they’re looking for by picking up on certain keywords or phrases. Bots can also act as a sales funnel, much like this coworking space in Barcelona do with theirs, if you post multiple choice answers that are always closing, you can eventually direct the lead toward a sale and have the process feel as natural as a conversation. Chat bots are conversational sales at their finest, let the bot do the basics and as soon as things get above their head make sure there’s an opportunity for a human rep to join the conversation.
Social Media Management for Customer Acquisition
From SaaS to Subscription, Franchise to Freemium to whatever type of business model you’re running, you’ll need to be on Social Media to maximize your opportunities to reach new customers. Find the channels and social media strategies that are right for your business model. The number of social media users worldwide in 2019 is 3.484 billion, which is up 9% year-on-year (SmartInsights). In today’s world, it is not whether or not a consumer chooses to be on social media, it’s how they chose to be on social media. The same can be said for business. If you’re hoping to up your customer acquisition, then build a content strategy that has social media as a distribution channel and make sure you curate content where possible. Following this, give ample opportunity to build your brand image, collect leads and use the power of the DM to acquire new customers without even leaving the platform.
Customer acquisition can be done in many ways and it’s about finding a way that is right for you and your business. However, no matter what you offer or how you do so, you should be able to learn from the customer acquisition tactics above and apply them to your own inbound marketing strategy.
Jake Stainer is currently Head of Digital Growth at TravelPerk, Founder of Papora, Founder at InflectionGrowth.com and before spent 4 years growing Typeform from $1m -> $25m ARR.