Whether you’re running a Fortune 500 company or managing a one-person startup, finding new customers is always top of mind. Long-term success requires continuously obtaining and retaining customers to keep revenue on an upward trajectory. While a global enterprise may have a bigger marketing budget than a solo entrepreneur, some of the most successful strategies for gaining customers are the same. The following are 12 customer-winning strategies for businesses of all sizes.
1. Build a Rock-Solid Brand
Successful marketers will tell you that your business is only as strong as your brand. To build that strength, your brand’s voice and message must be clear, consistent, and compelling. Everything from logos to brand colors and images, to voice and call-to-actions, must work together to create a clear and understandable brand image. Newsletters, direct mail, web pages, and social media channels should all drive a single message that resonates with potential, current, and former clients.
2. Tell an Ongoing Story
While it’s essential to have a compelling “about us” section on your website, your business’s story should be ongoing. Transparency and openness give customers confidence in making a purchase, and the anecdotes and stories you share can provide the needed connection that builds brand loyalty and generates referrals. A consistently published blog or newsletter is an excellent forum for this marketing content, as are social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
3. Reconsider Print
Many businesses have ditched their print collateral to go exclusively digital. Yet there is something about reading a printed brochure, datasheet, or flyer that strengthens credibility. With the benefits of variable data printing, marketing materials can be personalized for each lead or customer. When used in conjunction with digital marketing efforts, print marketing pieces can be particularly effective. Leverage multichannel marketing power by creating digital sign-up forms to receive printed pieces or by adding URLs to print pieces.
4. Write Bylined Articles
There are countless media outlets that accept and publish bylined articles from experts in their industries. Writing articles for outside publications is one of the most effective tools for establishing credibility with a specific audience and creating attention for your business. Consider what publications you and your customers read. Call or email editors to obtain details on potential writing opportunities and article specifications, such as word count, style, and format.
5. Use Every Door Direct Mail
Want to reach out to a new target audience? Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) is a cost-effective way to spread the word about your business. Consider creating a postcard mailer, newsletter, or other printed piece that is distributed to a specific neighborhood or geographic area. By evaluating demographics by zip code, you can determine which areas have the highest number of customers who would be interested in your message.
6. Create a Content Calendar
It’s likely you’re creating marketing-related content for various channels, including social media or newsletters. If there is no clear plan or direction with the content, it can be more challenging to manage and maintain. To increase your content’s purpose and consistency, it’s crucial to create a content marketing editorial calendar to stay organized and on schedule. A good editorial calendar will detail the dates of content to be published, the channels where it will be published, the target audience, the content type, and metrics. This calendar can be kept on a simple spreadsheet or on one of the many online tools available for creating content calendars. By maintaining this dynamic document and following it, you can not only stay current on what will be published, but you can also look back at your results.
7. Create Videos
The popularity of video marketing continues to grow because of its effectiveness and high return on investment. According to a report from Forrester, video placed in an email can increase the click-through rate by 200 to 300 percent. Click-through rates on landing pages are also substantially higher when they include video. While a professionally produced video can help any business attract new customers, even an amateur video made by a phone camera can be successful if it contains informative or interesting information to the customer. And videos are also highly versatile — they can be shared widely across social media, blogs, websites, and emails.
8. Create a Marketing Partnership
Consider what other businesses you know that may have complementary products or services. Bundling your specific offerings and marketing them together can be a win-win for partnering companies and customers. Cross-marketing provides a significant opportunity to share costs on advertising and customer lists to reach new audiences. Businesses of all sizes can take advantage of building this type of alliance that can strengthen a brand and generate new opportunities for marketing and promotions.
9. Use the Power of the Media
The value of a third-party mention, such as by a media outlet, cannot be underestimated. Even the smallest business can publish a press release or call up a reporter to pitch a potential story. A frenzy of interest can be generated with the right mention, which will make you stand out from your competitors.
10. Speak at Industry Events
Are there trade shows, forums, conferences, or other events in your industry? If so, there are potential speaking opportunities for experts who are willing to speak to attendees. This is a great way to showcase your expertise and gain valuable brand recognition – even if the event is virtual. To be a successful speaker, you will want to choose a topic that you are highly confident in and find the right opportunities to share it. Some specifics you’ll want to know before you apply to be a speaker include:
- Deadline for applying to be a speaker
- Dates and location of the event
- If the event is in-person or virtual
- Payment for travel
- Payment for speaking
- Marketing opportunities for speakers
If the event details check out and meet your needs, you’ll want to create a compelling application to beat out the competition in order to get on the roster of speakers.
11. Consider a Marketing Platform
As your business grows, it can become more challenging to keep track of all the different aspects of your marketing efforts. A marketing platform that enables you to create direct mail pieces, integrate cross-channel marketing campaigns and manage social media can help you stay organized and in control. It can also allow you to see the big picture in terms of your overall success.
12. Measure Your Results
Many marketers focus on strategy and implementation and neglect the vitally important task of measuring results. Thanks to an explosion of metrics and analytics tools that have been introduced over the last several years, metrics-focused marketing has become much more manageable. Google Analytics and data available on social media channels, email marketing tools, and other digital marketing channels can help you measure your success.
When it comes to generating more customers, it almost always requires a multi-pronged approach that includes various strategies to attract new business and increase sales. The most successful companies are willing to experiment and modify their approaches based on the success of campaigns. This includes being willing to stay current with changes in customer preferences, working with experts to generate a consistent quality message, and always investing wisely in proven solutions.