A business without customers is nothing but ‘a pipe dream’. Customers are the bloodline of any business. That’s why a business plan never goes well without a customer acquisition strategy.
India has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, still, 80-90% of startups can’t even make it past the first five years. In 2019, the failure rate of startups was around 90%. The research concludes that 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year, and 70% in their 10th year.
The issue is that many companies lack a clear customer acquisition strategy. It’s easy to keep doing what you’re doing because you think it’s working; however, this might lead to you investing too little in high-performing channels or, on the other side, losing out on channels where potential customers hang out.
If you are the founder of a startup or want to start one in the near future, it is critical that you learn about customer acquisition as much as possible. The vast majority of startups struggle to attract clients in the early stages. This is due to the fact that your products, services, and brand are unfamiliar to a large number of individuals. Accordingly, in order to achieve even a sliver of success, business owners must deploy the best customer acquisition tactics.
In fact, our journey with Savage & Palmer began with similar indecision over what strategies to employ. However, we gradually learned how to mix, match and optimise our marketing investments to achieve success.
Wondering which is the road that goes to success? Well, there are three lanes, and, to win, you need to choose the right one.
So, how do you identify the most effective customer acquisition channels?
Before you begin, you must have clear business goals that you want to achieve. Setting precise KPIs will help you understand what’s working and what’s not. After testing out different channels, you can compare the success of each one against the other, in relation to those goals. Now, you will have a better idea of what channel will work better for your startup. Wondering how to measure customer acquisition and return on your investment?
In this case, the Google Analytics Acquisition Report offers valuable data, providing you with an evaluation of the channels you are using: identifying those that are performing well, and those that generate decent traffic but result in low conversion rates. It helps you invest in the most efficient channels, decrease spending and enhance results. The Google Analytics Frequency and Recency report shows how many people come to your website once, twice, etc., over a certain period of time.
Our experience has taught us that customer acquisition is the foundation of every successful new business. In the initial stage, when struggling with a limited budget, it becomes crucial for startups to find a way to reach their marketing goals. But how do you do this?
The secret to keeping customer acquisition costs (CAC) low
With your CACs looming large over your young business, it’s crucial for you to keep budgeting your expenditure strategically.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) has taken centre stage as a CA channel over the last decades. Most businesses use SEO because it lowers the cost of acquiring new customers.
“SEO generates 1000 times the amount of traffic as organic social media.” (BrightEdge)
It offers long-term results and is just as successful as other online marketing platforms in the hands of a master digital marketer. People use search engines to look for answers, products, and services, regardless of their demographic, and that is where SEO places your website.
What is SEO exactly?
What if we say that you just made our SEO efforts a success by coming upon this blog? Don’t know what we’re talking about? No worries, we will simplify this.
So, you must have made a query on the search engine to reach us. You would probably have searched for the difference between SEO, SEM, or SMM. Right?
When you made a query, Google showed multiple results, and we were on the top. Why so? Because our web page and content are optimised to rank higher on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
Let’s cut to the chase. Search Engine Optimisation is an essential process in digital marketing. It focuses on optimising the website’s technical configuration, content, and link as part of ‘On’ and ‘Off-page’ SEO. It makes your website easy to find, relevant, and compliant with search engine guidelines.
While SEO will drive organic traffic to your website and build a strong online presence, you might also need inorganic results to help your business generate leads. Fortunately, the next technique is exclusively designed for this.
Here’s how search engine marketing complements your search engine optimization.
People often get confused between SEO and SEM. Though they are closely connected, they are still totally distinct from each other. Have you ever noticed the highlighted sections at the top of a search engine results page? These are paid ads also known as Pay Per Click (PPC, i.e., Google Ads, Bing Ads, Yahoo, etc.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is perhaps the fastest way to get on top of SERPs and increase traffic & conversions. This process typically involves creating an Ad campaign, setting up a budget, executing, and monitoring. Apart from this, many things go in and out of paid advertising.
PPC to attract and bring new customers to your website
These are paid ads that display at the top of search results pages. To identify paid material, they’re labelled with the word “ad.”
Impressions aren’t something you have to pay for. You won’t have to pay anything until someone clicks on your PPC ad and goes to your website. You have control over your ad spend since you choose the amount you’re ready to pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
As a result, PPC is a cost-effective alternative for every company, because they allow you complete control over your budget and targeting, PPC ads are popular among businesses of all sizes. You reach out to the appropriate people at the right time and persuade them to purchase your goods.
This customer acquisition method is popular with businesses because it allows them to start attracting traffic and leads as soon as they launch their campaign. This means that you could start generating leads as soon as you create an ad. As a result, PPC is one of the most cost-effective and efficient customer acquisition marketing techniques.
Difference between SEO and SEM
SEO is often used as an umbrella term that includes SEM, but since SEM is strictly limited to paid advertising, they are actually different. The primary difference between Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing, as the terms signify, is that SEO is free and depends on organic results. On the other hand, SEM is paid and relies on paid advertising only.
Now that you know the difference between SEO and SEM, can you guess which is the best bet for your business?
If your budget is constrained, SEO is the best bet. It is a tested approach that increases conversion and focuses on making your website user and mobile-friendly. Additionally, it offers long-term results and that too, organically.
If you do have a free hand with the budget and don’t want to wait, Search Engine Marketing is undoubtedly the best strategy. You just need to turn on the ads, and leads will start coming to you. Furthermore, it targets specific audience demographics to give qualified leads and increase ROI.
Though SEO has a higher return on investment, Social Media Marketing clubbed with SEO can boost your efforts and result in exceptional benefits. But, adding social media to this strategy can also do wonders.
Leverage Social Media To Enable Interactive Connections
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the most popular social media networks. In fact, 77 percent of adults in the United States have a social media account. These platforms began as a terrific method for consumers to stay in touch with family and friends, but they’ve evolved into important marketing tools.
Other platforms, such as LinkedIn and Pinterest, have increased in popularity as a result of the success of these other social media sites. These platforms provide a fantastic opportunity for your company to provide material that relates to the interests of your target audience, and engage with them in order to create a relationship.
You’re probably used to targeting your audience based on age, gender, and geography while running online advertising. The options on social networking platforms are far more advanced.
You can target leads based on their interests on Facebook, for example. You can advertise to Twitter users depending on the keywords they mention in their tweets. You can target people on LinkedIn based on their industry, job title, and skills.
These options allow you to connect with users who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. Because you are reaching the correct leads, you may get more bang for your buck with your advertising expenditure.
For your business, social media marketing is an excellent customer acquisition approach. You’ll assist your company in generating new leads and converting sales.
SEO, SEM, or Social media: Which is the best bet?
Now that you know the key difference between SEO, SEM, and SMM, we hope it will become slightly easier to make a choice. But, we would like to offer some more assistance. Every business owner has a budget, and most of us will be limited by this budget for every expense we would like to make on our business.
All right then, if your search narrows down to SEO and SMM, which are the most inexpensive options, we would recommend a mix of Search Engine and Social Media Marketing for the best results.
Why so? Because, as a business gets started with their online marketing, you will need a solid marketing plan, and having an SEO optimised website will help strengthen the marketing potential of your business, whatever marketing course it chooses in the future. Also, you cannot miss out on social media if you want to stay relevant. So, both social media optimisation and marketing will help streamline your website content and social media strategy. However, if you manage to augment results, accomplish goals and meet profit goals, we would recommend investing a portion of your returns in Search Engine Marketing. In the event that budget is not a constraint, you can embark on your digital marketing journey with Search Engine Marketing to build credibility and get instant revenue for your future marketing needs.
Need a digital marketing geek? Savage and Palmer can Help
At Savage And Palmer, we have an experienced digital marketing team that will understand your goals, budget, and take into account other factors to come up with a solid plan. Whether you go with SEO, SEM, or SMM, we will make sure you reap all the benefits of your efforts. Request a free consultation or audit report now!