Finders keepers… attracting the right customers

Attracting customers needn’t be hard, yet so often, businesses go about it in the wrong way. Whatever your product or service, there are customers out there who need it and are willing to pay for it. Primarily, it’s just a case of finding them – and more importantly, helping them to find you.

Knowing Your Customer    

Whether your business is B2C or B2B, when it comes to finding customers, there is one key step that people often miss. That is to identify who your ideal customers are. Missing this can lead to a watered down message and less impactful marketing.  It can be tempting to try to reach as large an audience as possible but this isn’t always the best way.

Imagine for example, that you are a photographer who particularly enjoys and excels at working on outside shoots with children. Your ideal customer will probably be a parent looking to capture some great memories of their children in an outdoor setting.  You will be much more successful in attracting these customers if you target them directly and are specific about what you do in your messaging. Advertising yourself as simply ‘a photographer’ will most likely reach more people but those ideal customers are much less likely to notice you or buy from you. Think about the type of people or businesses who are most in need of your product or service, and who are most likely to be attracted to your brand.

Creating a Strong Brand 

Once you’ve created your target market, you can create a strong brand to attract them. Make sure that the characteristics and ideals that your brand stands for will resonate with your target audience. Your brand tone of voice, the way you talk, should be created as if to speak directly to them and your logo and design should reflect their tastes. A strong and consistent brand will help you to stand out in a busy market place and ensure that you are easily recognisable.

Memorable Marketing – Print Advertising

Most traditional form of marketing, print advertising has largely been overshadowed by the world of digital marketing. However, it is by no means dead and can still be a highly effective way of finding new customers for your small business.  Always keep your ideal customers in mind when deciding where to invest.

If you are a local business looking locally for customers, then a door-to-door leaflet drop or advert in a local paper can be the perfect way to find your customers. Taking out an expensive advert in a national newspaper would likely be much less successful and much more costly to you!

Online Advertising

In the digital age, the different forms of online advertising are plentiful. The most common is Paid Search or pay-per-click (PPC) – and in the main this is focused on Google.  This allows you to bid on certain keywords and terms that would be relevant to your business and in so doing, to rank more highly for those terms in search. This means that customers are more likely to find your business when looking online for a solution to their need.

As always, a good understanding of who your ideal customers are will help you choose the keywords and terms that they are most likely to use to find you. Online marketing also includes Display Advertising – where you can pay for more visual ads such as banners which will be displayed to prospective customers as they browse. However, arguably the most relevant today is social media advertising. With social media, ads can be targeted to specific audiences, in order to create a community of people who love and interact with your brand.

Content marketing has grown hugely in popularity over the last ten years.  The idea behind it is to use valuable free content to build a relationship with prospective customers so that when the time comes to sell to them, they already feel that they like and trust you and so are much more likely to buy.  There are many different forms of content marketing and usually a combination of them will give the best results.

Blogging – or its video alternative, Vlogging – can be a hugely successful strategy.  Research by Hubspot showed that companies which blog receive 97% more inbound links to their website. A great way to get more organic search traffic – new customers – to your site.

Additionally, email marketing can be an effective way of finding new customers. It allows you to communicate with people on a much more personal level and those communications aren’t floating somewhere on the internet, they’re going directly to people’s inboxes. Even if you don’t have a huge pool of prospect or lead data yourself, you can easily purchase data on businesses or consumers who match your customer profile, and begin emailing them straight away.

Finding new customers is a key focus for businesses with a profit focussed mind-set, and effective advertising and content marketing strategies, whether they are email, podcasts, social media campaigns, or OOH advertising, are the first step towards success.

By Ben Buckton, Experian

This article appeared on BDaily

If you’d like to know more about how Experian Business Assist can help you find new customers, speak to our B2B Prospector team today.