Winning over more potential customers is a key target for any branding and marketing strategy. The question is, “What are the most effective methods of winning over new potential customers?”
During an economic downturn, potential customers need to be reached as a priority action.
In a study of U.S. recessions, McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies from 1980-1985. The results demonstrated that businesses that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures to potential customers during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth, both during the recession and for the following three years, than those that eliminated or decreased advertising.
By the end of the recession in 1985, sales of companies that were aggressive recession advertisers had risen 256% over those that didn’t keep up with their advertising. So numerous studies and experts concur: Recessions are the time to maintain and even increase marketing and advertising as an integral part of any revenue and client acquisition expansion strategy.
Understanding Potential Customers
The key to attracting more potential customers is to master the “Branding Triangle.” In my book, Power Branding Secrets, I define what this triangle is and how it is leveraged to help brands attract and keep more potential customers. In short, there are three key elements to this triangle:
1. A unique “brand identity”
2. Creating & distributing engaging branded content
3. Rendering excellent, concierge level customer service
When any brand understand their potential customers needs, desires and ambitions, and then can tailor the 3 points above to those customer requirements, then they will succeed in attracting anf retaining more potential customers.
7 Marketing Tips to Attract More Potential Customers
1. Online Reviews. From the potential customers’ point of view, online reviews are the single most trusted online content there is. Yelp and Amazon can make or break a business with the amount of and quality of reviews. Per a 2014 survey from BrightLocal.com:
- 88% have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business (vs. 85% in 2013)
- 39% read reviews on a regular basis (vs. 32% in 2013)
- Only 12% do not read reviews (vs. 15% in 2013)
A great company that can help any small business master the online review marketing game is LimeLightSpark.com
2. Email marketing is still extremely powerful. Email marketing still outshines social media as a marketing method to reach potential customers. Here are some compelling stats:
- For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25. (Source: emailexpert)
- When marketed through email, consumers spend 138% more than people who don’t receive email offers. (Source: Convince and Convert)
- 91% of potential customers will use email at least once a day. (Source:ExactTarget)
- A recent study concluded that email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter. (Source: McKinsey & Company)
- 44% of consumers made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email they received. (Source: Convince and Convert)
- When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook. (Source:Nielsen Norman Group)
- 60% of marketers say that email marketing is producing an ROI for their organization. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
- Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion. (Source: McKinsey & Company)
- 48% of consumers say that they prefer to communicate with brands via email. (Source: Direct Marketing News)
3. Video marketing is the future. Video marketing is not only highly effective, but it is where online marketing is going. With the explosion of mobile devices, potential customers are watching more branded videos. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, so being discovered by potential customers through video marketing represents a real opportunity. Here are some interesting stats on video marketing:
- According to Forbes, 59% of executives would rather watch video than read text.
- Enjoyment of video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139% according to Unruly.
- Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source: SEOmoz)
- According to Retail Touchpoints, the Step2 Company found that shoppers who viewed video were 174% more likely to purchase than viewers who did not.
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)
- 52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Invodo)
- Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. (Source:MarketingSherpa)
- Visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not. (Internet Retailer)
4. Allow your customers to contribute to the message. When your customers become part of the brand’s messaging effort, you’re telling them that they are an important and appreciated aspect of your brand. GoPro is a well-known brand under the extreme sports fans. The company produces camera equipment for the adrenaline junkies and invite its customers to submit their photos or videos that they have taken with the GoPro products.
Many marketers think the recommendation of a friend or family member is the ultimate green light for consumers, but it turns out that Gen Y cares about recommendations from strangers more. More than 8 in 10 say user-generated content from people they don’t know influences what they buy and indicates brand quality, while 51% say it is actually more important than the opinions of their friends and family, and far more trustworthy than website content.
5. Employee training creates a better experience. Well-trained employees are efficient and more competent. Moreover, well-trained employees learn the finer aspect of their jobs and thus render more detailed service. You can deploy extremely effective marketing campaigns that will initial attract more potential customers, but it is great customer service that will keep them coming back and telling their friends. Word-of-mouth marketing is built upon service, good or bad.
6. Social media should be about engagement. Social media is about offering real value and engaging with your audience. The best way to do that is to attract a potential customer from social media is to ask for an email address in exchange for a desired item, like a free PDF download or coupon code. Try using a status update on social media to explain your giveaway and encourage fans to head over to your website. Once there, viewers have the option to opt-in to an email list. After they sign up you can give them access to the coupon code or downloadable content.
Social media can help amplify your public content and help you reach new audiences. Create a blog for your business and promote it with a small blurb or link on social channels to drive traffic. By establishing a blog on your website, you are giving your fans more information about your business.
7. Interact and be seen in person. While I have listed many online methods to attracting potential customers, there is no more effective marketing than live, personal contact with real people. Not all successful small business marketing has to take place behind a computer screen – that does get a little lonely after a while, right? Sometimes how to get new customers is as simple as getting out of the office or out from behind the computer screen and meeting people face-to-face.
Consider hosting your own workshops, lectures, or classes in your community. Whether your target audience is consumers or other businesses, hosting an event can be a great way to start networking. It also gives you and your business credibility and helps establish you as an expert in your field, which can lead to other business owners seeking you out for networking opportunities in the future.