Maintaining a strong base of existing clients is essential for every business, but acquiring new customers is equally important. Without an influx of new and prospective customers, a business may come to rely too heavily on its current client base, which is always subject to change in our ever-shifting marketplace. Therefore, CEOs and business leaders should strongly endorse innovative customer-acquisition strategies wherever possible, and throughout the organization.
Here are five strategies to keep in mind:
1. Share your expertise.
Whatever your field, you are an expert in the products you sell or the services you provide. What better way to demonstrate that expertise than by offering a time-limited consultation free of charge? As FiveStars suggests, give customers “access to an expert for a day.” Invite individuals from among your social media followers to enjoy this perk and “consider giving attendees a special deal, like 25 percent off their first purchase.”
Of course, this must be tailored to your specific offering (and could be adapted for online purposes), but you can potentially reach many prospective customers and prove why your business is worth their time and money.
2. Leverage the power of video.
Have you tried using video to market your products or services? Think about all the times you click on a short video (be it a how-to video, a tradeshow presentation or, yes, a compilation of dancing cats). Your customers all do the same. This could be the right time to post a how-to video of your own, or a video that shares valuable business content.
The key is targeting users who follow you on social media so they “end up exploring your entire website out of interest,” as The Startup notes. “The more you strive to connect all your online platforms, the better off you will be.”
3. Reach out to former customers.
You may write off lost customers, but they’re still out there and of potential “re-acquisition” value. Your challenge is to “reach out and re-establish a connection,” preferably through personalized messaging (phone call, email, even a handwritten letter). This might be all that’s needed to get former customers to respond to your new inquiry.
4. Build relationships through renewed networking efforts.
When was the last time you or someone high up in your organization attended a tradeshow or industry event? These venues are great places to “forge new partnerships, attract prospective customers and just generally get more people aware of your brand.” Contact trade association publications and offer to write a short article about industry trends—yet another strategy for sharing your expertise, building brand awareness and drawing new customers into the fold.
5. Ask for testimonials and endorsements.
Online reviews have become a key motivating factor for many prospective customers. Long before they ask for more information from your company, they will check out reviews of former and existing customers of your products or services. You can adopt a passive approach and just let the online reviews sort themselves out. Or you can reach out to your most loyal and enthusiastic customers and ask them to provide a written testimonial, video endorsement or some other personalized recommendation.
In many cases, they will be thrilled to share their perspective—perhaps even more so, with the right incentive. Consider giving them a discount on their next purchase in exchange for the testimonial, or put them on a “VIP list” where they are notified of new product launches or product upgrades that interest them. Social proof—"in the form of reviews, ratings, social media mentions, and buzz”—attract attention to your offerings and spur customer interest.
Want to learn more about how social media can aid in your customer-acquisition efforts? Register for the free TAB Boss webinar, “Social Media for Business Owners,” and learn new ways to generate sales.