Based on your own experience, what worked the best for you in terms of advertising, email marketing, growth strategy, SEO, PR, blogging, etc. methods that really had the most impact on increasing your website customer base?
I hate to be "that guy," but I'm gonna say, "it depends." What I mean by this is it is highly subjective to the market you are in and the target you're going after.
However, with that being said, let me share a few of my favorite growth-hacky-type ideas that you might want to consider using to grow your customer base:
#1 - Produce a TON of content. Make it valuable, and don't cut corners. Then, promote it to your existing tribes. If you don't already have a tribe, see the bullet #2.
#2 - Build a tribe. Get started at a place like triberr.com where you can connect your social profiles and your blog and share with likeminded folks. It takes time to get going, but you'll thank me for it later.
#3 - Test every aspect of your landing pages. Use something like Unbounce (my favorite) to strip down every element of your pages and split test constantly. Get used to the fact that your landing pages are NEVER complete. They can always be improved.
#4 - Build an email list from your blog traffic by using "content upgrades" or "lead magnets." Search Google for the specifics, but basically, you create free content that is related to each post on your blog that the reader can download in return for subscribing to your newsletter. It works like a charm!
Let me know if you want me to go into further detail on any of this stuff.
We did paid advertising and email, and they worked hand in hand.
The paid advertising (Google Adwords and Ads on targeted websites) brought in the traffic. Building our email list and then using email as a marketing tool was extremely cost effective.
The key with any of these strategies is measurement. You have to measure everything to be successful. Keep the stuff that works and throw out the stuff that isn't working. Then keep optimizing and testing.
The answer here changes dramatically based on your target customer.
If your company is b2b, then SEO and Adwords is most likely not going to achieve the best results. Most businesses are not actively searching for products or services at a high rate. You'd be much better off spending your resources on outbound email marketing, PR, and increasing the conversion rate of your traffic and customers.
If you are b2c, in a market where consumers are searching for you product/service then SEO is most likely your best long term strategy. The reason is because you can think of SEO as investing into your website as an asset. When you spend money on advertising, the money is gone after the ad runs. But with SEO, you are building into a website that will stay valuable for the long haul, especially if it is producing leads/sales.
You would then be wise to make the most of your traffic and it's increased rankings through a sales funnel. Make sure you give them a hook once they hit your site. The action you want them to take should be very clear, even in a fraction of a second.
For visitors who leave your site without taking the desired action, you can bring them back using a combination of retargeting and email marketing for low cost customer acquisition.
Put it all together and you'll have a customer acquisition machine that runs on autopilot! Now you can focus on the other 1000 tasks involved with scaling a business :)
Reach out to me to hear how to specifically implement customer growing techniques. Would be happy to help.
Well its tough to answer this as it really depends on the type of business you're in, because certain marketing strategies only work for specific businesses.
In terms of immediate impact to your business, then PPC or Social Media marketing are by far the quickest way to get your business up and running. The key to launching a successful PPC/SMM campaign is the following:
1.) Have an expert who knows/understands the customer funnel
2.) Focus on bringing your CPC down as much as possible, which will allow your budget to last longer.
3.) Do an in depth research of upward and downward keyword trends and try to nail down key areas that you can maximize
I own a digital agency called Noticed based in Philadelphia, PA. Our agency has had extremely successful results with our clients seeing an increase of traffic and sales of 40%-300%. within the first year.
I hope this helps.
As the others said, the answer is not black or white. There is no silver bullet and something that worked in one industry might not work in another one.
As an example, I ran PPC for a wide range of company. I acquired free trials for less than $1. In another company, we acquired emails for $15.
In order to discover what can work for your business, you need to run experiment on each channel and discover by yourself. You'll be able to compute the CAC (Cost of Acquiring Customer) of each channel and to discover what is truly effective for your business.
If you want more information on the overall process, I'd advise you to read this article: http://www.coelevate.com/essays/growth-process-first-tactics-second
Nothing is better at attracting tons of customers as having a remarkable product or service. Here's why:
1) Remarkable companies get PR. PR is virtually free and can get you exposure in major media outlets if done correctly. I've generated tens of millions of dollars worth of direct sales over the years through carefully executed PR strategies. PR can really help build your SEO / page rank by building tons of valuable links to your site organically.
2) remarkable products get SHARED. People love to share amazing products with their friends and family via word of mouth and social channels. Again this is free and WOM (word of mouth) is one of the most effective forms of marketing imaginable.
3) remarkable customer SERVICE keeps customers around, reduces churn and increases CLV (customer lifetime value). Just look at Zappos. We make sure to keep our NPS score at 80-90 percent. At CanvasPop our "love guarantee" pays for itself many times over. Make sure you have well trained customer service staff, super fair and easy satisfaction guarantees and return policies and use this to stand out from the crowd.
None of this is easy and it takes time and effort but if done correctly you will eventually not even need to advertise at all! We have build a 10M+ business and do virtually no paid advertising.
Good luck and remember to be remarkable in everything you do.