Attracting new customers to a small business is always a challenging task. If you don’t plan a proper strategy, there’s a high possibility that it will eat up a lot of your capital.
When you start a new business, you might be tight on funds because office space, taxes & production require a lot of investment. During this time, throwing large sums of money at advertising might not really be an option.
Spending on conventional marketing like TV commercials & newspaper ads can cost you a considerable sum. Even low-cost awareness campaigns can gobble up around $15,000 to $75,000 of your annual budget. That’s a significant total for a small business.
So, what should you do to attract customers to your new business? You can’t totally give up on advertising & marketing, but yes, you can find cost-effective marketing solutions! And guess what? These marketing strategies can yield better results than traditional marketing.
Here Are 10 Clever Ways to Attract New Customers Towards Your Small Businesses
Become friends with Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is a process of ranking your website on Google search results organically. SEO is a magic tool that can help with the crawling and indexing of your new website. It is a free method to attract new customers and enhance your business’s online visibility.
While focusing on SEO, be smart and creative. Think like an audience and optimize your site according to it. As Phil Frost says, “Successful SEO is not about tricking Google; it’s about partnering with Google to provide the best search result for google users.”
How to get started with SEO
Include keywords in multiple areas on your website, i.e. in the Meta title, header tags, content (blog posts or articles), and image alt tags.
Make sure your website is well-optimized so it will show up high in the organic (non-paid) results that a search engine returns for a relevant string of keywords.
Optimize for mobile. Google loves pages that are optimized for mobile. So do users.
Focus on internal and external links.
Add NAP citations to Google. NAP (Name, address, phone) citations are the online mentions of your business. It’s an essential off-page SEO factor used to rank high.
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals
Referrals are always an effective way to attract new customers to a business. It can be a great thing for small businesses as it helps you draw in new customers in less time.
You can’t rely on a limited or existing customer base, you need to expand your reach, and your existing customers can help you with this.
First, satisfy your customers and earn their trust. Ask them to refer your business to someone else in their connections. Entice them with a referral bonus or a reward for referring your company to other people. This way, you can enhance your customer base even with a limited budget.
Offer discounts for new customers
People these days are continuously looking for offers or deals. Attract people towards your business by offering deals and discounts. Once they buy products/services from your business & you satisfy their needs, they will continue buying from you again and again.
You can do this by providing offers like “Buy one get one free”, “Spend $100 and get a discount of $20”. These kinds of offers help attract customers and spread the word about your business. When people get a decent discount from you they will surely spread the message.
Even if people do buy from you just once, you can ask them to provide you with their contact information. Once you get their contact information, you can send them promotional messages.
Reconnect with old customers
There are always some customers who only purchase from you a couple of times, and then they stop. To persuade them to start doing business with you again, you need to make lists of the customers who haven’t ordered anything for 3 months or 6 months (Whatever makes most sense for you).
Reach out to them with messages like “We miss you” or “We are looking forward to your next visit”. You can also attract them to start buying again by offering certain custom deals and offers specifically for them.
Participate in community events
If you want to get in front of your potential customers, then participate in events that you think your targeted customers are attending. You can take part in charity events or events for the wellbeing of society to show your care about the community.
It’s been proven that if customers have a positive image of a brand in their mind, they are more likely to be attracted and buy their products. We can use Coke as an example; they are often seen participating in charity events, and other community events. It’s one of the reasons people trust Coke, and their buying patterns are inclined towards them.
If you start taking interest in community events even if you are a small business, people will most likely have at least a basic-level of trust in you & be excited about working with your company.
Use online reviews to your advantage
Many websites on Google ask people to give reviews on a product. Many people strongly consider online reviews before making buying decisions. If you have satisfied customers, ask them to give positive reviews about your product or service.
People really trust word of mouth, and when they read the reviews and hear about good customer experiences, they will feel more comfortable working with your company. A positive review is one of the most important things you can receive.
You can share all the positive reviews on your social media platforms and your website. This will increase the trust level of your current customers; and your chances of enticing new ones.
Show existence on social media platforms
Further building your brand by posting on different social media platforms. Social media helps a great deal in communication and building trusted relationships with your customers. If you continuously post updates on different platforms, you are making sure you stay relevant & provide up-to-date information people appreciate.
If you reply to the queries of customers on time, customer trust obviously increases. You can also use social media platforms to share the positive reviews your company has received.
If you post promotions and discounts on different social media platforms, it will also increase the engagement, and new customers will be attracted to your business.
You can also get noticed by potential customers if they see you partnering up with an industry leader. Cross-promotion helps you tap into your existing customer base as well. Just make sure to choose a company whose customers are in your target market.
We have recently seen more and more big brands partnering up with others. How this works is, the larger business agrees to promote your business to their customers, recommending you to their existing customer base or offering them an exclusive deal if they buy your service or product. In return, you agree to promote their product to your customers at the same time, so that it benefits both of your companies.
Show your customers that you care
Customers are much more attracted to a brand if they see you actually care about them. If you want to really impress your customers, then you have to give them more than what they usually get from other businesses.
It’s not necessarily grand gestures that will get their attention; the little things that prove to them that you’re devoted to taking care of them usually make much more of an impression.
Of course you are in business to make money, and even though your customers are aware of that, they still want to believe that you see them as a person, and not just a sale. While you are considering the dollar amount associated with a customer, it’s important that you treat them like a human being at the same time.
Your employees are the face of your company so it’s crucial you treat them well. If you satisfy them & keep them happy, it means that you will get a positive word of mouth in the market.
There are some organizations that even their own employees do not trust them, and would not buy their product. If a company cannot convince their own employees to buy from them, how can they persuade other people to buy?
“Happy employees ensure happy customers, and vice versa for unhappy ones” – Anee Hodkin
That’s why the most important thing you need to do is show appreciation and educate your employees about your products first.
To wrap it up..
Reaching out to customers doesn’t necessarily need capital. Just show you care, engage more, offer discounts, and manage your website in the best way to appear in the search results. By following these tips and tricks, it will not only help your business to flourish but it also helps to build strong and trustful relationships with your customers.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.