Finding new customers online is a challenge. You have to first figure out who your customers are, then figure out how to reach them.
But you have to reach them, your brand relies on it to extend its reach online. As a small business it’s impossible to have the reach a larger brand can have, though, so how do you reach new customers?
Be Where They Look
Learning about your customer is the best place to start. Creating a user persona is something every small business needs to do. It helps you figure out who your marketing is talking to and where the best place is to find your customer.
When your ideal customer is looking for your product or service, you need to know where they are likely to start their journey. There are many ways different people will start their journey online when seeking what you have to offer. If you’re a local business then a good place to start is to get your business listed on all the local business directories you can.
You never know where customers are going to find your business. They could find you on:
- Angie’s List
- Google Search (Google Business etc.)
- Social Media
- Or anywhere else online.
Determining your ideal customer and learning as much about them as possible is a great first step to figuring out where they’re likely to find your business. If you know their demographics then you can look at the demographics of the major social platforms to see where your best opportunities are.
Promoting your services on any social media platform you can get your hands on and hoping something sticks isn’t an option, you’ll end up with a lot of failures and may get turned off entirely. This often happens with social media. Trying to go into every social media network and create a presence is a lot of work, and impossible to create meaningful relationships if you’re spread too thin.Be where your customer is likely to be and be ready to create a meaningful relationship. Click To Tweet
If you can have a thoughtful and helpful presence where your customers are, you’ll be in a good place to create a relationship with them.
Hang Out Where They Hang Out
Sometimes it’s not enough to just be somewhere. To create a meaningful relationship, it’s necessary to also hang out there too. Meaningful relationships are created over time with regular participation in the community.
That means your brand community will grow by joining other communities.
There are many places where your customers could be hanging out, and the user persona will help you decide that. Social media is on that list again, but it’s hard to reach people on social media. Well, it’s not really too hard, you just have to know where to look.
Groups are an overlooked resource for reaching people in your target. Facebook LinkedIn, and Google+ all have groups that are great places to build relationships. Don’t visit a promotional group and expect big things though because everyone is there for the same reason. Find groups where people are trying to help each other and sharing great resources.
Twitter has hashtags which sometimes have a great community around. Not only does Twitter have hashtags, but there are also Twitter chats which are often a great place to connect with your customer or people who could help you connect with your customer.
Beyond the major social media networks, there are places like Reddit who have amazing communities around many topics. Don’t go there thinking you’re going to promote your business, though, it won’t work and they will call you out on it.
Go into the communities with a help mindset. Add to the conversation and be helpful, it will be appreciated and will build the lasting relationships you’re looking for.
There are thousands of targeted niche forums around the Internet and they’re great places to find your target audience. Find those websites and join in the conversation! You may find more valuable connections in niche forums than you would on social media which is so broad it’s easy to drown.
Be ready to help people and answer any question you can, it’s also nice to introduce yourself. Being overly promotional is a big no-no, though, even if you’re sharing what you think is a helpful article you wrote.
Let Them Find You
Sometimes your ideal customer is looking for information to help them do something. That’s a great opportunity for them to find you!
Your business blog is an opportunity for your business to become an authority in your industry and be found or linked to. By creating relevant and helpful content, your customers will find you and your website will rank better in search engines. Once they’ve found your great content that has helped them, you have a new connection.
Writing blog posts doesn’t have to be a burden, it just has to be helpful and never have the intent to sell. There’s an old saying for the acronym ABC that is Always Be Closing. That acronym is no longer valid. A more accurate acronym for today’s market is ABH which is Always Be Helping.Forget ABC (Always Be Closing). Today is a world of ABH (Always Be Helping) Click To Tweet
The more valuable content you’re creating, the more likely you are to found in search engines and the more likely people are to share your content, therefore promoting your brand for you.
Target Your Competitors Customers
If you have the budget to do some advertising, there are great opportunities for reaching your target audience. If there’s a specific competitor that will present a good opportunity for you to target, you can target their fans!
On most social media platforms, you can target people who like or follow your competitors. Facebook and Twitter make this extremely easy with the robust targeting capabilities.
This could be somewhat risky, but it could also pay off because you already know most of your target is interested in your type of service.
Bring Them To a Targeted Page
If you’re going to invest money into targeting competitors fans, make sure you’re bringing people to a targeted landing page. A targeted landing page should:
- Match the copy and imagery of the ad.
- Have only one action that can be taken.
- Make that one action a call to action that can’t be refused.
The worst thing you could do is spend money on advertising and drop visitors off on your homepage to find their way. They will leave. Make it easy, helpful, and so simple there’s no room for error.
Make An Impression
By using these ideas in your brand building strategy, you should be well positioned to make connections with potential customers. You’ll inevitably bring them back to your website to help convert them into either a lead or a customer.
When you invite friends over for dinner, you want to make sure your house is clean to make a good impression, your website is the same way.