In this section regarding the acquisition strategy, we take a look at different ways to draw customers into your place of business or website. It doesn’t mean because your website or business exists that people will find you. You need a tailored plan to attract new clients. This tailored plan we refer to as your acquisition strategy and it ties in closely with your other strategies.
In the previous blog post, we looked at the first of five (5) strategies, the proposition strategy. The proposition strategy deals with adding value to your products or services. In short, that means, how to plan what you will be showing, promising, and selling to potential customers. If you followed the tips in the article you should have everything you are going to have on offer ready. What’s next?
Some parts available to custom make your acquisition strategy are as follows:
- Optimizing for search engines.
- Email marketing.
- Social Media.
- Online Public Relationships.
- Paid Advertising.
Acquisition Strategy – Optimizing for search engines.
When looking at your website, you can point out two parts in terms of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. The two sections are On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
One part of your website is developed by your website developer. The other part is new content that you regularly add to the website. Both parts must be optimized for better search engine performance.
To ensure performance, you need to keep two things in mind:
1. Your website core/foundation/theme must be optimized.
2. New content are optimized when you publish.
1. Points to consider while building your website:
- Page load times: Image sizes, scripts, and plug-ins can have an effect on page speed.
- Browser Caching: By setting up your website to leverage cache on various parts, improves performance drastically.
- URL structure: By using better-structured permalinks on your website you not only make it easier to manage content. But at the same time improve the way search engines crawl your website.
- Minify HTML: The code to content ratio on your website does have an effect on performance. It is better to have less code and more content. Minifying your HTML helps with that.
- Sitemaps: Search engines use sitemaps to discover and index content on your website. not having sitemaps negatively impacts your website performance.
- keywords: Find and use keywords relevant to your business on your site, this helps to better index your website. Respond to trending keywords that relate to your business on social media including links to your site.
- Hosting service: Make sure that your website host has the ability to run all the services your website will be using.
WordPress and Templates
WordPress is a popular content management system or CMS, and one of the best platforms to use. Be careful when using free templates, they often look nice but regularly perform poorly. When you use free templates, you still need to experiment with various templates to find the better-performing templates.
When you find a suitable template with fair performance, you still need to further optimize for performance. In most cases, it is required to not only improve responsiveness. Websites are not only about how they look but also about loading time/speed on all the pages.
Optimizing your site and content for search engines is the first step to a good acquisition strategy. The better your site compares to others, the more people in the right places will get to see it.
Email marketing as part of the Acquisition Strategy.
Forget the idea that email marketing is about sending adverts to whoever you can. That is a bad idea in many ways. So, What do we email, to who, and how often?
As part of your acquisition strategy, it is advised to focus on collecting email addresses. You can do the collection by using multiple sign-up forms on your website. By using your website to collect visitor’s email addresses you know the addresses collected are from people who want to hear what you have to say and consent. An old saying goes quality is better than quantity. Why waste resources on buying a following and then advertising stuff they do not want to see?
What do you email?
While setting up your proposition strategy you created various triggers to evoke anticipated reactions. Some visitors will sign-up to get notifications on posts. Others will ask for more information on your products, and so on. The content of the emails you send out depends on your goals. It is always a good idea to put various goals in place.
A practical acquisition strategy example.
your website must be designed to evoke certain reactions. Each reaction evoked by the website is part of the acquisition strategy. Let’s say, we want to attract people interested in servicing their car at your service station.
The first step is to do research. As a result of the research, you will most likely find that most people only want their vehicle to run. And that they are not planning on paying for a complete service as it may be required.
We started by attracting people who are interested in adoption. As part of this process, the website allowed visitors to register as members. In the next step, you educate the members according to the category they qualify for via email.
The objective, in this example, will be to convince them to have the full service done. Even though it may cost a little bit more, their vehicles will last longer. Saving them money in the long run. Effectively they will trust you more and return. In the long run, you build a higher quality customer base.
How often do you send an email?
The answer is at different times for different strategies. Email notifications can be sent out every time you post new content. In this example it was twice a week, that proved to work best. There is no magic number to how often you must send out an email. But always make sure that visitors know what they are signing up for. Furthermore, if the members need information 10 times a day, make sure you can provide information 10 times a day.
Consistency is important, if you promise a weekly newsletter, you must stick with it, not more not less. This is only a short overview and there are more to email campaigns, that will be discussed later in a different blog post.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing method. This type of marketing offers rewards or incentives to people who perform a certain task that directly advertises your business and makes the next sale.
Affiliate.co.za offers a service that you can integrate into your website to facilitate this type of marketing, but you can also implement it yourself.
A very basic example will be. If you are selling a product for R100 and offer an R10 discount voucher for each referral that signs-up or buys a product from you. So when the affiliated person brings 10 people, he gets his product for free.
You need to look at your proposition strategy and then work out how much a referral is worth. Then you can go ahead and implement the tracking and vouchers, and convince the first people to sign up.
Although smaller companies often forget about affiliate marketing, bigger internet companies, like Google, Amazon, and more uses affiliate marketing to its fullest potential.
The internet makes it possible to form “Micro” partnerships that can help to give you an audience you may not have right away. Something most businesses have are suppliers, start with them, your suppliers want to see you flourish, because that means sales for them.
Make agreements that will put your brand in front of their audience. By forming partnerships you build credibility and create the possibility to be seen by a bigger audience.
Partnerships does not explicitly mean business partners, mentioning and acknowledging legit partners is a sure way to generate credibility. No person will buy from you if they aren’t convinced that your business is credible.
In the situation of a walk-in store, clients can see you and where you are located, plus running away with their money is not likely to happen. Whereas online the opposite applies. Online scams come from the start of the internet and people became very aware and careful about everything, even giving away an email address.
Apart from some of the social networks clamping down on advertising, social media is just that, a place to be social, instead of selling you rather go for showcasing what you are doing and establish authority.
Let’s take a look at Twitter.
Twitter is extremely noisy and super busy, exactly what your online marketing strategy needs. Where Facebook pivots on your input, twitter works better with the watch and learn approach. Apart from staying in touch with trends in your niche, you can easily hook up with people. Once you hooked up, your objective becomes moving them to your quiet place.
By doing this you automatically qualify persons, if they do not fall within the group you target they will most likely not join in on your quit place. That can be a Facebook page, or a Pinterest account, or even email correspondence.
Online Public Relationships
It comes down to one major change in marketing when comparing the internet to conventional marketing channels. This change is “The Hard Sale”. When thinking about TV or Newspaper adverts you notice that there is no choice to see an advert or not. That is a disruptive type advert, and it’s telling you to buy something.
With the internet, people have a choice. They can choose if they want to see your advert or not. Almost every time people avoid the hard sale, and will not like, +1, or follow you if you only give them sales talk.
Paid Advertising and acquisition strategy.
Many options exist with pay per click advertising. Adwords is an excellent paid advertising platform that yields high returns if your site is optimized and your Adwords campaigns are well managed.
Facebook offers very easy to use and audience targeting advertising, on their business pages. They offer a host of options to choose from. Some examples will be to get likes for your page, boost a post to a selected audience or promote your website.
Paid advertising offers you flexibility in who you want to target, and how much you want to spend.
Acquisition Strategy Conclusion
This article arms you with some points to consider when making up your Acquisition Strategy. In the next post we take a look at the parts that makes up a Conversion Strategy.