Bucking the Recession? Focus on Customer Acquisition Online
DECEMBER 15, 2010:
Jen Joly, Director of Marketing and Communications
Social Media Blogging Search Engine Optimization
The jobs are plentiful and the cost of living affords a comfortable lifestyle in Newsweek's Top 10 Places in America Poised for Recovery. The three groups outlined in the article: the 'Texaplex' (Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston), the 'New Silicon Valleys' (Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Salt Lake City and urban northern Virginia) and 'the Heartland Honeys' (Oklahoma City, Indianapolis and Des Moines, Iowa) made the Newsweek list thanks to a mix of low unemployment, various sector-specific success and low housing prices for starters.
Surely they aren't the only ones poised for recovery, which got me thinking... what does this mean if you're a marketer in one of these lucky locales? If a low unemployment rate combined with a low cost of living means there might be some new residents and extra money in your area, then it's time to focus on customer acquisition.
While 'it costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a good one,' I think there are some great cost-effective tactics to target customer acquisition today especially thanks to social media, which is making word-of-mouth marketing more popular than ever. Creating more customers (particularly satisfied ones) means creating more evangelists who may help promote your brand if given the chance.
So, let's assume that you're already doing all of the things you can do to retain your current audience and optimize sales to that group - and that you have a very satisfied, loyal base. Now, let's consider some ways you could actually take customer acquisition to the next level by taking advantage of what's available to you online: use those evangelists in social media and add some SEO.
Optimizing Social Media for Customer Acquisition
A recent HubSpot report claims that more than four in 10 companies overall have acquired a customer from the four major social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and company blogs). I'd definitely recommend reading the post, but here are four quick takeaways.
"Social Media Especially Helps B2C" - that four in 10 stat gets even better.
"Blog Post Frequency Makes a Difference" - more posts, more leads.
"Most Business Blogs Post Weekly" - most business blogs are leaving leads on the table.
"Bigger Business Blogs Better Lead Bringers" - having a wealth of posts for visitors to browse means more leads, too.
A blog post from July stresses the need for financial institutions to target profitable customer acquisition in contrast to simply acquiring anyone in a geographic area. That's particularly important these days as Joe Public struggles to keep his credit off the floor while banks and credit unions struggle to remain profitable themselves. One of the tips was to target current profitable customers for word-of-mouth marketing. What if you created a social media group (Facebook page, Twitter handle, etc.) that just focused on something your most profitable customers were interested in: golf, wine and travel all come to mind here. This could be and probably should be done in healthcare as well. How about a tennis tips social media group for your orthopedic service line?
SEO = Customer Acquisition Engine
A recent survey of 2,194 B2B and B2C marketers conducted by MarketingSherpa for the 2011 Search Marketing Benchmark Report - SEO Edition reported that 26% of business/consumer services respondents and 20% of education/healthcare respondents said 51% or more of their company's total leads were generated by SEO.
Here are some great SEO tips from our own blog you can use as a resource to build your SEO customer acquisition engine in 2011.
How Important Is Local Search to Your Organization?
3 Goals of SEO for Hospitals
Why Your Bank or Credit Union Doesn’t Rank #1 on Google
Starting a Business Blog? Step One: Developing a Blog
Webinar Takeaways: MarketingSherpa’s Top 5 SEO Practices for 2011
Are you approaching customer acquisition in 2011? What other ways are you trying to engage your prospects?
This blog post was originally published on the Priority Blog at priorityresults.com/blog. Priority Integrated Marketing is now BlueSpire Strategic Marketing.