One of the most difficult hurdles for startups is customer acquisition. No matter how good your idea or product is, growing your customer base is a challenge. It is important to learn all you can about customer acquisition strategies.

Here are six proven strategies to help you reach your target audience and convert them into customers.

Define your Target Audience

First you need to define your target audience. This is vital for startups. Understanding who your target customers are means you can create better strategies to capture their interest. You can do this by:

  • Defining the problem your business is providing a solution for
  • Understanding the lifestyles of potential customers
  • Recognising your primary market
  • Profiling current customers
  • Assessing who your competitors target
  • Identifying who buys and why.

Finding your Target Market

Once you know who your target audience is you need to find them. As a business owner you need to be customer focused as they are the ones who can make or break your business. Customers are at the heart of your business.

You can find your target market by:

  • Examining your personal networks
  • Checking out your competitors – their customers are also your potential customers
  • Think like a customer to research what customers want
  • Explore all things digital to target audiences across the world

Content Marketing Attracts Attention

Generate leads using content marketing. This is a cost-effective way to engage your target audience. Become a subject matter expert in your field. This builds trust in your business and a personality for your brand.

But, not all content is created equal. Poor content will do more damage than good. Strengthen your content marketing by:

  • Aligning content with your business goals
  • Writing content in-house when you have time
  • Investing in content marketing strategies that pay off
  • Using visual content and videos that engage
  • Making everything mobile friendly.

American Express has a long-term commitment to content marketing spanning 100+ years to build its brand. In the beginning it published travel guides for travellers. This changed with the digital age when it created OPEN Forum in 2007 to engage its audience with key brand messages.

Referral Marketing is Word-of-Mouth Testimonies

Referral or word-of-mouth advertising drives around 19 percent of sales online and offline. People naturally talk about their good and bad experiences with companies and the products they buy. People tend to listen to friends and family and to the reviews they read online.

Dropbox built its $10 billion empire using referral marketing. Their referral program skyrocketed its customer base from 100,000 to 4 million users in just 15 months. They did this by offering more storage space for referring a friend. There is no reason why you cannot create a referral program for your startup.

Website Search Engine Optimisation is Key

Optimising your website for Search Engines helps drive your target audience to your website. SEO helps your brand pop up in search queries when people use the keywords that match your business. It is vital to get your SEO right so you reach people searching for solutions or services like yours. Something to keep in mind is that organic SEO takes time to grow. Do not focus on Search Engine Rankings. Instead focus on traffic and customer engagement that converts.

Use Social Media to Expand Brand Awareness

Expand your brand awareness using Social Media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are a few to consider. This is a cost-effective way to reach target audiences relevant to your demographics. Harness the power of social media to:

  • Get to know your audience
  • Seek feedback from users
  • Engage with customers
  • Post information and stories that engage
  • Drive traffic to your website that converts
  • Talk to your audience using your natural voice.

So there you are, a few proven ways to acquire new customers for your startup.

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