Many articles about 'how to find customers online' are repeating hollow unactionable tips like pet parrots. They all say ‘be yourself’, ‘don’t quit’ and ‘have a proper customer acquisition plan’. But, these are not actionable, nor are they SMART (Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timespecific). We will provide you with actual examples of successful campaigns and give you actionable tips to create your own campaigns.
Finding new customers online falls in the awareness and acquisition stage of the pirate funnel. It can be referred to as tofu or top of the funnel. This is the stage where you show your prospects that you can solve their problems.
If any of the concepts are not clear, feel free to check out our complete Growth Marketing Dictionary
In order to reach prospective customers online, you need to directly address the pain-points they are facing in their lives. Not only that, you also need to know where to find them.
In this article, you will learn about :
- Understanding your target customer
- Different platforms where you can find your potential customers
- Strategies you can implement today to target your customers on each different platforms
- Real-life examples of successful marketing campaigns
Before we dive into these topics, let's first get to know your target audience. This is the most crucial step that will provide some direction for getting clients online.
Know your target customer (Build your buyer persona)
Consider this first step as a first date with your potential customers. For the first date to be successful, you need to build a conversation and get to know them better. We don’t want to know what you would ask the person on an actual date. But, here's a list of questions you can consider:
- Age: What is the age group that your ideal customer would belong to?
- Gender: Which gender is your product or service targeting?
- Location: Where do your customers live?
- Interests: What topics/ hobbies are your customers interested in?
- Education: What is the highest level of education that your customers have?
- Disposable income: How much do your customers earn and how much are they willing to spend on your products?
- Social media preference: Which social media do your existing customers use?
If you answer these questions, you already have a buyer persona or an ideal customer profile (ICP).
Once you have all this information, it will become much easier for you to design the right campaigns to target your online customers. The more personalised you can make, the better you can find new customers online.
It is not only important to have a buyer persona, but also to understand how you can use all that information to find new customers online.
You can take the following steps, for example:
- If your ICP belongs to an age group between 18-24, it is likely that these people are very active on Instagram.
- Knowing their location and interests, you can identify the instagram specific pages related to those hobbies/ topics that are popular in that location.
- You can scan these pages and learn what kind of content your target customers are looking for.
- Use this data to design your campaigns that follow their content preferences.
Platforms to target
There are dozens of platforms on the internet where you can find new customers online. You can share your campaigns on all of these platforms or you can be smart and only target the ones that matter. For example, if you are a clothing brand and you invest heavily to build campaigns on LinkedIn, your conversions will not be as high as you might expect.
Here are some of the platforms that you can use:
Facebook is a great social media platform for small business that are selling local products and also services for individuals. The demographics of active facebook users consist of the baby boomer generation and gen Xers.
Posting an ad on this social media platform is very simple and would fit any business’ budget with prices of as low as $1 per day. Facebook also offers their own marketplace where you can sell your products directly to your customers. Try to identify active facebook groups where people demand your products.
For example if you are into bike repairs, look for a local bike enthusiast group. Join these groups and start engaging in discussions about how to repair bikes. Here, you will find the right audience for your business, leading to higher conversion rates.
Facebook marketing can greatly vary based on the business. Different business owners have different focus for their advertisements. Try to stand out of the other facebook posts and advertisements and catch your audience off guard.
For example, we worked together with Crimibox, they sell unsolved murder cases as detective games. We created a ‘Discover your inner detective’ quiz. These are the results:
You can also leverage the power of facebook messengers and send them a personalised message. This should be done to create engagement and awareness. It is not always smart to send direct advertisements. To give an example, here’s how we used messenger to get our target audience interested in taking the quiz:
Here are 4 actionable tips from the success of our campaign with Crimibox:
- Make your message personalised
- Everyone loves stories; tell them an engaging story
- Retarget people who are already interested in your business offerings
- Trigger emotions by using emojis and other visuals
For a complete case study of how we used facebook advertising for Crimibox and other tips to get started with facebook advertising, checkout our other articles:
51% of B2C and 93% B2B marketers consider LinkedIn as the most effective site for reaching customers online. If your audience consists of corporate professionals, other businesses in your industry or you are a professional services business, then LinkedIn would be ideal for you to find customers online.
Most LinkedIn users are looking for opportunities to grow, to solve problems, to learn something new or finding businesses. Your new business needs to use this to your advantage and create content that provides them with these opportunities.
Some people try to create lead magnets and start posting on LinkedIn. The outcome is often somewhere between 1-5 likes and 2 comments (from colleagues), it’s heartbreaking.
We wrote an eBook and posted it on LinkedIn like everyone else. As you can see in the picture below, it ended up with more than 18.5K views and 400+ comments.
It’s not because everybody was waiting for our eBook, we worked for it.
What is the difference between the first guy who got 5 comments, and our post with 412 comments? This is the action plan we used and you can inspire from:
- Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
- Find your target audience via LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
- Send automated personalized messages and connection requests to your target audience. Get ready to generate leads.
- Create a valuable lead magnet for your target audience
- Find or create a LinkedIn Pod.
- Post your lead magnet with a twist and respect the LinkedIn algorithm.
- Scrape your hot hot hot quality leads
- Send them your eBook and add them to your nurture flow
For a more detailed action plan, read our free eBook: We generated 700+ leads on LinkedIn in one day with zero budget.
Don’t stop there, check out how we generated 5000+ leads in 6 months using these 7 LinkedIn Automation Tools.
To find out more about how we use LinkedIn to find customers online, you might want to check out these articles:
- LinkedIn social selling, marketing automation and lead generation
- 7 Compelling LinkedIn connection request message templates (+infographic, do’s and don’ts)
- Linkedin Content Marketing: How to plan a year’s worth of content in an hour
- 7 LinkedIn Automation Tools For B2B Lead Generation + Use Cases
- How to Create LinkedIn ads: 5 Tips for Higher Conversions
Influencer Marketing (Instagram and Tiktok)
Seeing a lot of teens posting their dance videos on Instagram and Tiktok? Social media platforms like these are gold mines to find young customers online.
Since you have only a few seconds to introduce your product, it is difficult to convince a youngster to become your new customers. These are the actionable steps you can take to make sure your message is preserved for longer:
- Immediately introduce your brand logo and product
- Tease your product or service. Make them curious
- Add “swipe up to learn more”. This will allow the viewer to get more time to learn about the product
- Show a ‘day in the life’. The viewers need to know what are the benefits of your product
- Address a common problem that your product solves
Instagram offers possibilities for advertisements between posts and between different stories. This is great for a quick introduction to your product or service. You can also connect with some of the accounts with high followers and let them promote your product for you. This kind of marketing is known as affiliate marketing.
Again, the key is to target the right audience. For example, I am a smart watch user and I follow tech centered instagram accounts. This is an ad I got on my instagram feed while I was looking for pictures of apple watch:
See why this would work? They are targeting someone who is looking for a similar product and sending advertisements about their product. They are focusing on their unique selling proposition (USP) which is an EDA sensor. As the name implies, USPs are the features that differentiates your product from your competitors.
It doesn’t stop here. One does not simply buy something because they see it once. Retargeting is the key here. This is a possible action plan you can take:
- Do livestreams
- Try celebrity endorsements
- Promote an ad on their timeline
- Make use of hashtags to get viral
- Target your ad towards a specific audience
- Host free giveaways to create engagement
- Find affiliates to review your products/ services
- Ask instagram celebrities/ influencers to post a picture using your product
- Post a sponsored story with a short ‘day-in-life’ of using the product/ service
- Capitalise on user generated content. Ask your customers to take pictures of your products and share them with you to be featured on your instagram page.
Seeing something repeatedly at different places has a subconscious psychological effect. It adds onto your credibility and also entices curiosity that makes the reader want to know more about it. This also works for existing customers.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of micro influencers. These are influencers who have a very niche audience. Identify a micro influencer who shares the same audience as your brand and collaborate with them. For example, If you are creating lightroom filters. Then a photographer who gives lightroom tips such as this one, would be perfect for your business:
If your business’ offering is about a specific hobby, then youtube marketing would be a wonderful option for you. This is because people of all generations use youtube to watch videos on different hobbies.
You can advertise your product or service before or during videos on certain topics or locations. Another option would be to connect with youtubers who cover content related to your business. If you share the same audience, it is always great to collaborate with them and reach a much larger audience.
For example, if your business is about cookware, then you can post an ad before videos about cooking, or you can affiliate with youtubers that share cooking recipes. You can also upload your ads before a complementary or supplementary product. Like here you see an ad for ice tea before a burritos recipe video, saying that burritos taste great with ice tea:
When you are advertising before some videos, it is crucial to have an attention grabber in the first 5-6 seconds. In the first few seconds of the advertisement, you can:
- Add a cliffhanger
- Create a WOW moment
- Start narrating a story
You can use either one or a combination of multiple. If you lose your first few seconds, then the viewer will skip your ad. Try considering doing something different from other advertisers in your location. Don’t forget to add your company’s logo, tagline and your USP at the very beginning, so even if they skip your ad, they will subconsciously remember your brand name.
Check out this video by Gordon Ramsey. It was used as an advertisement before youtube videos about cooking. In this video, he invites homechefs to join his cooking masterclass.
He uses the following tricks to make you desire his cooking masterclass:
- WOW moment at the beginning: Delicious meals with sounds of passionate cooking
- Use of a cliffhanger “Watch carefully”, making the viewers feel the need to continue watching.
- Beautiful imagery and sounds throughout the video
- Intermediate text breaks, to make the viewers want more
- Information about his cooking masterclass.
A research shows that 72.1% of search engine users only click on the top 5 results. To rank higher on search engines, it is important to make sure that you adopt search engine optimization (SEO) and/or search engine marketing (SEM).
Search engine optimization is the process of adapting web pages, content and the distribution of the content to optimize it for ranking higher on search engines. Aka increasing the visibility of your website. SEO helps a website get more traffic from organic (unpaid) search engine results.
To optimize your webpages for search engines, here are 8 initial steps you can take:
- Create a complete structure of your website (site map).
- Assign a keyword to each page on your website.
- Do keyword research by and add the right keywords to your pages.
- Add images that are relevant to your content and add alt tags to them. Alt tags help you give description to the images. This helps search engines to understand what an image is about.
- Write blog posts on relatable topics
- Link to other reputable websites on similar topics.
- Improve your backlinks. Backlinks, in short, are other websites linking to your website.
- Write an SEO title that includes the target keyword.
- Add relevant metadata for your web pages. Metadata consists of the two lines under the title, as they appear on search engines.
The difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is the process of optimizing your visibility on search engines by adopting certain changes to your website. This is an effort to make your website more reputable. This ensures that the algorithms of search engines know that your website can be trusted.
SEM on the other hand is the process of advertising on search engines, so that every time someone searches for a specific keyword, your web site is visible on the top. Like every advertisement, you will have to pay for SEM on a pay per click (PPC) model. So, your business would pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on your link.
SEO should be adopted by every business. SEM can be considered by companies that are operating in highly competitive industries.
As you read, there are many possible platforms that you can use to your advantage if you need customers. We hope you learnt about how to find customers online. It is just a matter of selecting the right platform for your business and targeting the right people. You can bookmark this link for future reference so that you can come back for the tips and tricks for these 5 platforms.
If you are struggling with creating your own campaigns, or want to talk with an expert growth marketer? Schedule your free call with David!