Let’s face it: attracting new customers is hard. It’s the lifeblood of all businesses, so it’s no wonder many companies pay millions each year in advertising to try to build their customer base. And how are you expected to compete with these huge brands? The only way to do it is to know your customer and try to be smarter, more tactical and more agile than big companies who appeal to large demographics. By staying true to your customer you can talk to them in a way that will resonate with them.

So, how do you actually find them? We’ll take a look at 5 ways you can reach and engage with new customers.

  1. Run a competition

Everyone loves a freebie! Offering your product or service for free (or at least a taster), is a great way to get your brand noticed. By asking people to give you something in return, such as their email address, a share or like on social media, or to fill out a survey, you can get your product in front of thousands of eyes while building your audience very quickly.

There are some people who enter any competition they see, but you’ll also have plenty of potential customers who will stay with your brand for the long term.

A competition for Brecon Beacons holidays generated 4,400 competition entries, 3,500 email subscribers and reach of 260,000 on Facebook, without any paid promotion.

  1. Keep them warm and convert them into email marketing

A competition is a great way to spread the word – and as we’ve seen in the example above – build your email database. Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising and can help you turn initial interest into real business. Once you’ve got an email list you can keep them warm by sending regular emails advertising your company. As with all your marketing, segment your list based on user activity and what they display a preference for.

In this GDPR-governed world, make sure your sign-up process is completely transparent and you tell people you only send emails to people who have opted in for marketing.

  1. Start an Instagram page

This is particularly useful (and more straightforward) for companies whose offering is visually appealing – think restaurants, holiday providers, experiences, and so on. Instagram can be used to show off the personality of your business on your page, but you should also encourage customers to take photos and tag themselves with your business.

It’s not just for showing off your latest look; people actively seek out new products and places to try out the medium – 60% of users (more than 600+ million people) say that they look for and discover new products on Instagram.

If yours isn’t obviously photo-friendly, get creative!

  1. Create great content to improve SEO

Google is obviously the place most web journeys start – there are more than 3.5 billion searches every day – so being seen there is important. Great content should be useful to your audience and shareable, and will in turn improve your search rankings.

Using the help of a travel SEO agency, companies like Tenon Tours were able to boost revenue by 129%. They harnessed content marketing to increase visitors to the site and using content to better visitors to drive more leads and sales.

  1. Invest in retargeting

You may not have a huge media budget to build a big prospecting display campaign, but your should definitely advertise to the people who’ve visited your site. While they may not have bought anything yet, people who have already have found and visited your site have demonstrated a level of interest in your product.

Retargeting ads ensures your brand is kept at the front of their mind, and they may take the leap and convert on their next payday or when they really find a need for your product. Facebook and Google Display Network are great places to get started, and don’t require a big budget.

Driving new business without lots of marketing dollars is definitely more challenging, but don’t let that put you off. By thinking creatively with your business and customers in mind there are many ways to get your business noticed, and the internet has only increased this potential. As well as these methods, there are lots of small companies that have gone viral and captured the imagination of millions of internet users. Think about what makes your business unique and how you can get this across to the world.

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Barry likes to write about science and technology. If you've got an idea for a story, please visit the submit content page.


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