How to Expand Your Customer Base Without Breaking the Bank
A strong customer base is the bread and butter of most businesses. Your customers bring in the revenue needed to continue operating. However, whether your audience is individuals, organizations, or other businesses, it costs money to acquire new customers for continued growth, in a process called “customer acquisition.” Here’s how to earn new customers, while still earning a profit:
- How do I calculate acquisition costs?
- Paid advertising
- Traditional advertising
- Influencer partnerships
- Referral program
- Email marketing
- Customer retention
How Do I Calculate Acquisition Costs?
Before settling on a strategy for growing your business’ base, you need to breakdown the cost it takes to earn each new audience member. There’s a simple formula for doing so. First, take the amount of money you spend on marketing costs. You may choose to calculate with the amount spent on all marketing efforts, or you can calculate costs for specific channels (ex. social media, broadcast ads, etc.). Once you have this amount, divide it by the number of new customers you have earned since implementing your marketing strategy.
For example, if you spent $100 on marketing and earned 10 new customers, your customer acquisition cost is $10 per person.
Use Paid Advertising
Almost every social media platform, and most websites in general, allow businesses to pay for advertising space on their pages. Why? Because paid online advertising is one of the most efficient methods of growing your customer base. Each website offers a variety of advertising methods and payment options such as paid sponsored posts, and pay-per-click banners. They also allow you to target your ads to specific audiences, increasing the chances of your ads being seen by the right people. Currently, Facebook and Google are the top providers of paid online advertising, partially because they also have excellent tracking tools for seeing exactly how successful your ads are. However, you should research your audience to find the right websites for you, where your potential customers will actually see your content.
Grow Your Customer Base with Traditional Advertising
Digital ads are undoubtedly one of the fastest growing and most successful forms of advertising. However, traditional ads haven’t entirely fallen by the wayside either. These ads include older methods such as print, broadcast, and direct mail. In a world inundated with digital content, we have learned to block it out, but traditional methods may still break through the clutter to catch attention. In addition, breakthroughs in digital marketing have also made the once-prohibitively expensive traditional advertising into a more accessible method for smaller businesses. Traditional ads are especially effective at targeting niche audiences for your customer base.
Try Influencer Sponsorships
You can say a lot about human society. We’ll just mention two of those things. First: human beings are generally social creatures, interested in and influenced by the thoughts and feelings of our peers. Second: in the consumer sphere, we have a lot of choices when it comes to the products we buy. As a result, when choosing what to buy, we often rely on the opinions of others. That’s where influencers come in. These people are typically public figures with large online followings. Businesses can partner with them by having them promote a product in exchange for a price. To be successful, find the right influencer that already appeals to your desired audience.
Use a Referral Program
Influencers have the potential to grow your audience. However, some of your potential customer base might need a more personal touch. In this case, a friend or family member recommending your product can be more successful than a public figure doing the same thing. Increase the success of personal recommendations by creating a referral program. With this tactic, you reward an existing customer for bringing a new client aboard, while also rewarding the new customer.
Work on Email Marketing
It’s often difficult to convince a person to buy from you the first time, especially if you only have one shot at it. However, if you convince them to sign up for your emails, you have repeat opportunities to engage your audience and persuade them to buy. Since signing up for an email list is relatively low-risk for the customer, it’s also sometimes easier to get them to do that before buying. That’s why devoting resources to developing a well-designed, persuasive email funnel is a great method of expanding your customer base.
Polish Your SEO
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In essence, it refers to the act of making your website as friendly as possible for search engines. The better your SEO, the higher your site will appear in the search results for a variety of search terms. For many marketers, it’s a dreaded and tedious task. However, SEO is incredibly important for any business relying on search engines to be found by audiences. A few things you can do to improve your SEO include adding more written content to your website, ensuring each page has a meta-description (the short bit of text search engines display along with a result), and optimizing your pages for keywords that you want search engines to rank you for. If SEO is mystifying to you, you can also hire businesses that specialize in just that.
Focus on Customer Retention
This may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to grow your customer base is to keep the customers you already have. Because it’s ten times cheaper to keep a customer, you can split resources between maintaining your current number of customers and gaining new ones. This helps you consistently grow your numbers, versus gaining a customer, then losing them, then spending more money earning them back.
It’s hugely important to continuously grow your audience as your business grows. But it doesn’t have to break the bank at the same time. These advertising methods are effective options for any business, with a return that tends to outweigh the initial cost. Try them out today.
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