- Stiff competition from bigger or established companies
- Limited budgets
- Lack of an existing customer base
How do you get past these obstacles?
1. Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is key to attracting customers. The better you know your people, the better you can tailor your offerings and marketing strategies to them.
One way to research audiences is with online community forums like Quora and Reddit. There, you can find discussions surrounding your niche and see what prospective customers want. Take notes on what they like or don’t like, and then provide the value they desire.
For more quantitative data, you can use audience research tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. With these, you can discover users’ demographics, professions, interests, and browsing behaviour as they interact with your marketing assets.
Dig deep and you’ll discover the buying power of your prospects, the advertising channels most likely to reach them, and the kind of services or products they are likely to buy. You can use these details to fine-tune your services to their needs and optimise your marketing efforts.
To learn more about using Facebook’s custom audience and lookalike audience features to get more customers, check out our article on Facebook ads for ecommerce.
2. Optimise Your Website
A huge percentage of business transactions and customer acquisitions have migrated to the internet, and your website is your virtual storefront. Optimise it for lead conversion or product sales to ensure it not only attracts prospects but also turns them into paying customers.
First, make your website mobile-responsive. Over 19.27 million Australians access the internet on their mobile devices, so make it easy for them to navigate your site. They’ll spend more time on your site, increasing their chances of making a purchase.
Second, optimise your site content for search engines. Incorporate relevant keywords that your prospects will likely use when searching for the services you offer. This increases your visibility to prospects looking for offers related to your business.
For example: a good keyword is ‘accident lawyer in Melbourne.’ It’s optimised for the service and location, which is essential for local businesses. It is also likely to bring people who need a lawyer right now to you.
Third, have custom landing pages for your ad campaigns. This increases your chances of converting leads into actual customers. If your leads immediately recognise an offer they saw in an ad on your landing page, they’re more likely to convert.
Additionally, use call-to-action buttons on your blog posts. Adding a CTA button urging people to book your services increases your chances of converting them. Without one, they could leave your site after finding the information they wanted and take their business elsewhere.
Most importantly, add crucial business information to your site – preferably at the bottom of your pages – to make it easy for interested prospects to reach you. Include your contacts, physical address, directions, and operation hours. If your targets can’t reach you easily, they’ll move on.
3. Be Active on Social Media
Over 80% of Australians use social media, and 30.3% of Aussies use social media when looking for information about a brand. This makes social media platforms ideal for reaching out to your target audience.
To start, choose the best platform for your business and target audience.
- Facebook has a good distribution of all age groups and genders
- For younger audiences, focus your attention on TikTok.
- Instagram is a good option for ecommerce and visual products, like clothes.
- LinkedIn is good if you are a B2B product provider
To stay active, post consistently on your social pages. This keeps you on your audience’s radar, increasing brand awareness. The more familiar your audience is with your brand, the higher the chance they’ll seek you out when they need your services.
Boost your posts by adding hashtags, geo-tags, and incorporating applicable keywords. This is a great way to attract prospects and followers organically without using paid ads. Further optimise your social posts for lead generation by sharing links to your website.
Protip – use social media for customer service
It’s convenient for your audience to seek customer care on your social media pages. And fast, personal responses show you care about your clients’ needs. Failure to attend to inquiries or concerns on social media can push your audience toward your competition.
4. Google Ads
Google ads and Social Media advertising both work wonders in Australia. But if your goal is to get more customers, especially as a service business, Google’s ad platform is hard to beat. Its 93.73% search engine market share in Australia is dominant.
Your ad will appear above or below organic search results on Google Search, Google Play, and/or Google Maps. Google will also display your ad on websites that your target audiences visit.
You can choose specific websites to show your ads or target them using keywords indirectly related to your service. For instance, an insurance lawyer can advertise their services on websites consumers get to through the keyword ‘car accident auto repair’.
The basic tactic is to bid on keywords your prospects will likely use when looking for services related to your brand. Use location-sensitive keywords, as consumers often include locations when seeking services near them (learn more here).
Google Ads charges for clicks rather than impressions, meaning you’ll only pay if a prospect clicks on your ad. This often results in a high return on ad spend, with a platform ROAS average of $2 for every $1 spent. There is no minimum budget, making advertising on Google great for small businesses with limited budgets.
Other strategies to attract customers through online advertising include email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and influencer advertising. The goal is the same – to put your services in front of potential customers.
5. Run a Referral Program
88% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know over other types of advertising.
Make your existing customers brand ambassadors by having them recommend your business to friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers.
To do so, run a referral program where they enjoy special offers for bringing in new customers to your business. Also, offer rewards to new customers with referral codes. This gives your customers an incentive to promote your business and prospects a push to try your services.
Of course, you’ll need to make your customers want to recommend you – if they have a bad experience, they’ll not be willing to refer you to others. Provide value and great customer service, and your referral program will be the icing on the cake.
6. Use Online Reviews
Many consumers check online reviews when choosing a brand to engage with, with 44% of Australians making purchase decisions based on reviews.
Social proof can be enough to turn skeptic prospects into customers, so you need to use online reviews to your advantage.
Open accounts on online review platforms such as Google, Yelp, and industry-based sites to gather feedback from your customers. Display the reviews on your website and social media so prospects can easily find them.
Like word of mouth, online reviews can create a good impression of your business on prospects and encourage them to try your services.
Potential customers will check both your strengths and weaknesses, so ensure to engage with both positive and negative reviews. How you respond to negative reviews can make a major difference in attracting or turning away prospects.
7. Offer New Customer Discounts
Consumers love saving money on purchases, and a discount can be the motivation they need to give a new business a try.
Lure prospects to your business by offering valuable services at a lower cost. Since there’s less risk in it for them, they’ll be more likely to try your services even if they already use your competitor. Use this chance to make a great impression and turn them into loyal customers.
Types of discounts you can offer include:
- Giving an additional service free – like the buy-one-get-one-free product discount model, you can offer a complementary free service to your new customers.
- Percentage discount – charge them a discounted rate on your services, for instance, 50% of the usual fee.
- Seasonal discounts – if it’s low season for your business, offer your service at a lower price than usual.
- Price bundling – offer several of your services in a bundle at one discounted price. This encourages new customers to try out many of your services at once.
Track customers who redeem the special introductory offers for future marketing purposes. If they were happy with the discounted service, they will likely come back.
8. Reach Out to Old Customers
Retaining existing customers is less costly than acquiring new ones. Reach out to old customers who haven’t used your services for a long time to boost your revenue.
Extend special offers to bring them back into the fold through emails, texts, or direct mail. Make them feel important with personalised messages such as ‘hello, we miss you’. This, coupled with a special discount, will encourage them to re-engage with your brand.
With a good retention rate you can build a loyal customer base, which is good for brand reputation and maintaining consistent sales.
9. Collaborate with Other Businesses
Collaborating with complementary businesses in the same niche is a great tactic to reach a new audience. These are brands that cater to the same target market but provide different products or services from yours, so they are not competitors.
For example, if you are a plumber, collaborate with a builder who can recommend your services to their clients. In return, if your clients need renovation, recommend the builder. If you are an interior designer, collaborate with local furniture stores.
To encourage your customers to engage with your partners, offer referral discount codes they can use at other businesses. Your partner brand should do the same for you; that way, you both benefit from increased reach and revenue.
Another option is to cross-promote with your collaborator on marketing channels such as emails, blogs, and social media posts. This builds brand awareness and increases your chances of attracting new customers.
10. Volunteer in Your Community
Locals are more likely to support businesses that give back to the community. You don’t need to be a huge business to make an impact. You can make donations, enter charity races, or even participate in community cleanup.
Consider giving free services on special community events, holidays, occasions, or fairs. For example, if you run an eye clinic, offer free eye checkups for world sight day. You can also offer your services for free to local non-profit organisations to benefit a particular cause.
Another option is to sponsor local nonprofit children’s sports teams by helping organise events or donating kits and equipment. In return, the team markets your brand on their kits, display banners at games, and more. This builds a positive brand image while increasing brand recognition in your target market.
You can also run mentorship and training programs where you share knowledge, skills, and give guidance to local youth interested in the industry. This can have a long-lasting impression and cement your reputation in the community.
Customer acquisition should be an ongoing process to boost revenue and ensure sustained business growth.
Use the above strategies to keep attracting new customers and retain old ones. As time passes, update your strategies according to your industry, audience, and competitors to maintain your visibility in your target market.
Want more advice on winning more customers for your business? Get a free consultation, worth $1,200, with the marketing experts at Megaphone: Australia’s #1-rated marketing agency.