By Jordan Kasteler

Growth needs to be a part of your success plan. Learn how to get new customers with competitive marketing strategy.

Every small business operating today needs a stellar customer acquisition strategy. Without a definitive blueprint, minimal growth and potential failure are the most likely outcomes.

One of the main reasons entrepreneurs end up neglecting this pivotal component, however, is because figuring out the most effective and sustainable channels to creating new customers is challenging, to say the least.

Since researching powerful acquisition strategies can be an extremely time-consuming and tedious task, resources like Growbots’ new eBook, The Art of Customer Acquisition, are priceless for entrepreneurs with minimal manpower.

This 175-page tome features nearly everything small business owners need to know about creating an effective automated sales channel.

Inspired by some of the eBook’s wisdom, this article explores 3 powerful customer acquisition methods that every entrepreneur should be using.

#1: Utilize Automated Outreach Tools

Marketing automation has become a necessity for small businesses seeking a competitive edge. These tools save time and money, provide in-depth data, and help move consumers through sales funnels.

As for nurturing leads and turning them into customers, outreach automation platforms are powerful allies as prospects can be entered into campaigns without human intervention. When folks are ready to convert, systems automatically alert sales reps.

To acquire customers from cold leads, however, entrepreneurs need an intimate understanding of their audience and what makes for a qualified lead. This enables SMBs to identify consumer needs and craft resonant messages that will pull them into the sales cycle.

Before you start sending out cold email blasts by the hundreds, take some time to develop a targeting framework that will connect your business with only the most qualified prospects.

This starts with figuring out the problem your product solves.

Your company likely created it’s offering with a specific solution in mind. That, however, does not mean that’s what consumers are using it for.

To uncover this information, Growbots suggests utilizing the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) method. Through this technique, businesses conduct in-depth research to uncover situations their product best serves and the potential outcomes customers are seeking.

The next step in developing a highly-targeted email campaign is to create job stories. These focus on “. . . the triggering event or situation, the motivation and goal, and the intended outcome,” and are structured like so:

When (situation), I want to (motivation), so I can (expected outcome)

These benchmarks can then be entered into an automated prospecting tool to identify the highest-quality leads.

#2: Create Effective Content

Content marketing is a must for customer acquisition as consumers are more self-sufficient than ever; they expect brands to develop highly-informative content that can help them reach a decision independently.

Considering consumer’s autonomy, your brand needs to put forth content that is more compelling that the competition’s. Here are a few powerful options:

· Webinars: Webinars are impressive drivers of customer acquisition as these sessions often provide viewers with immense amounts of valuable information (often for free). The key to acquiring new customers from webinars is to position yourself as an authority on the topic by sharing your knowledge, and then highlighting a compelling call-to-action at the end of the webinar which promises to provide further value to viewers.

· eBooks: EBooks highlight your expertise and provide consumers with a free resource that will likely drive them back to your site for more information.

· Video: Video content is far and away the most popular form of content today. Utilizing services like Periscope or Facebook Live is a powerful method for luring in potential customers, which you can then convert by offering a “limited time” promotion. Additionally, 64 percent of consumers who watched branded product videos made purchases afterward, which makes influencer partnerships especially powerful in the content space.

While content marketing is certainly an evolving practice, it’s still an absolute necessity for customer acquisition.

#3: Adopt an Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing is a long-standing and effective customer acquisition technique.

Novice brands can develop affiliate relationships with bloggers or similar individuals to drive traffic via referral links that earns them money each time someone makes a purchase through that portal.

The idea here is that affiliates need to talk about your business and earn customers for your brand to earn their own revenue. Quite often, this technique can positively impact your company’s other acquisition channels as a byproduct.

Getting started with this tactic is simple with the variety of affiliate platforms like Post Affiliate Pro and OmniStar. Alternatively, you can leverage pre-built platforms like ShareASale and leverage their affiliate network.

Reaching and acquiring customers in an effective manner is an evolving process. The key is to intimately know your audience’s interests and needs, deliver succinct and resonant messaging, and provide value to those who need real solutions.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of
Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

By Jordan Kasteler

Jordan Kasteler is the VP of marketing at Hennessey Consulting. His work experience ranges from freelance and startup entrepreneurship, in-house brands, and agency-level marketing positions. Full bio

Sourced from Inc.