Marketing – it’s growing a brand; it’s spreading word of mouth; it’s capturing leads; it’s conversion; it’s retention – it’s a lot of pressure.
Unless you work for HubSpot – who has 200 people on their marketing department and a team dedicated to just doing webinars – you’re probably wearing lots of marketing hats at the same time.
Between writing blog posts, growing your social media channels, and creating your next lead magnet, it’s easy to lose sight of your main goal: customer acquisition.
You may be watching your Instagram followers and tracking your email open rates, but all you really need are customers, and customers that stay.
But setting your priorities straight doesn’t make the work easier.
Not to mention how best practices change every six months with algorithm updates and new “we’re the Uber of X!” apps.
To help you get by, I’ve compiled a list of trusted resources that cover the whole customer acquisition journey. From reaching new customers to converting them and keeping them happy, I’ve got you covered.
Don’t thank me just yet – you’re doing all the hard work – there’ll be a lot of reading to do.
No time to waste – let’s get to it.
Customer acquisition step 1: growing your brand to reach a bigger audience
It’s difficult to buy from a brand you’ve never heard of.
That’s why everybody talks about “growing your brand” and “engaging your audience.” You can find a million blog posts and ebooks on this topic. But not everybody knows what they’re talking about.
Our first five resources are from people who know more than a thing or two about growing their brands:
As the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, QuickSprout, and Hello Bar, Neil Patel has been named one of the top 10 online marketers by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.
In this exclusive webinar with Mention, he shared with us his best marketing and growth hacking tricks, including:
- Best practices for growing your audience online
- Little-known social media marketing strategies
- Critical analytics to track KPIs for your brand growth
When researching a product or a service, your customers go to social media instead of salespeople.
In fact, for Americans buying a car, more than half say they’d rather go to the dentist than talk to a salesperson. It’s that bad.
So if you want to reach your potential customers, you need to be on social. Everybody knows that, and everybody’s doing it. But few see great results.
To see real ROI from your social media efforts, you need a strategy. This ebook helps marketers who want to get more out of social media than a few retweets.
You’ll learn how to measure success on social media and how to achieve it with easy-to-adopt strategies.
With visual content being all the rage in social media marketing, Instagram is a great place to reach new audiences and tell your brand story visually.
Instagrammers also connect with brands more than users of other channels. 70% of Instagram users have looked up a brand on the platform, and brands enjoy regular engagement with 4% of their total followers, compared to less than 0.1% on Facebook and Twitter.
In this in-depth guide by Buffer, you’ll learn everything you need to know about:
- How to create an Instagram marketing strategy
- How to create a content plan
- The best frequency and timing on Instagram
- How to measure your Instagram results
The one thing that everybody takes with them wherever they go is their phone.
So it should come as no surprise that 65% of content consumed today is on mobile.
If your blog or lead gen forms are still not “responsive” or mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a big channel to reach your customers.
In Bitly’s ultimate mobile marketing guide, you will learn:
- The current state of mobile content
- How to create mobile content for web, lead gen, engagement, social media, and SMS campaigns
- How brands are effectively leveraging mobile content
The most loyal communities online stem from a strong, unified brand.
But what makes up a brand?
Your target audience. Your role in the marketplace. How you’re actually perceived. What people are saying about you. Your brand is a network of associations around your company, products, and services. Brand monitoring helps you keep track of those associations.
With this ebook, you’ll learn how to build your brand identity and reach by keeping an eye on your brand and surrounding ecosystem.
Customer acquisition step 2: nurturing and converting customers
Okay. So you’ve expanded your brand’s reach. People now know you exist.
They might have engaged with you on Twitter or watched your videos. But how do you convert them? How do you turn vanity metrics – retweets or YouTube views – into sales?
Don’t panic. The following pieces will help you with that.
After you pull new audiences in through social media, emailing is one of the best ways to convert them into customers.
In this Better Than Ultimate guide, Aaron Orendorff breaks down a clear, step-by-step strategy to help you build an email list.
From social media, to content offers, to pleasure and painful buttons (read to find out!) – you’ll learn all the ways in the world to capture email addresses.
Because despite what everyone says, email is still. not. dead.
It didn’t die when Facebook advertising was launched, it didn’t die when Slack took over the business communication world, and it certainly isn’t dying in 2017.
In this detailed sumo-sized guide by SumoMe, Sarah Peterson lays out all the key trends for email marketing in 2017 and how you should best prepare for them.
In case you haven’t caught on the hype, paid ads are pretty amazing.
You can instantly appear on page one and be in front of people who are searching for your solution to their problem. You can target customers by demographics, interests – even life events – to laser-target the exact audience at the perfect time. You can retarget ads to readers of your blog, fans of your Facebook page, or your competitor’s’ customers – it’s mind-blowing.
In Wordstream’s advanced PPC course, you’ll learn how to master paid ads with remarketing, mobile optimization, and more to convert your leads into customers.
Retargeting is one of the most powerful ways to reach and engage customers.
Retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert than those who aren’t.
Some people also call it remarketing, but they’re the same thing. It’s all about finding people who’ve already engaged with your brand – be it reading your blog, downloading an ebook or checking out your pricing page – and converting them into customers through targeted ads.
Customer acquisition step 3: keeping customers happy and loyal
We know that customer retention is important. We know that!
But it’s easy to get caught up in “lead generation and conversion land” which is all glitz, glamor, and bling bling, and leaving all the retention work to your overburdened support team.
But retention is part of a marketer’s job. At the very least, it should be a joint effort with your support team. You brought those leads in, you gotta see them through, right?
So here are six resources to help make sure all that sweat and tears spent on acquiring customers are not wasted.
So no, our work is not done after customers convert. How many of them stay?
This checklist – with six easy, actionable tips to keep your customers happy and loyal – is a perfect reminder you can stick on your wall.
Like in all relationships, it’s important to show appreciation. Your customers like to feel special and valued.
And while “thanks” has a nice ring to it, words just don’t carry the gravity of actions.
If you’re in the customer service business – and every business is – you should show your gratitude to customers in fun and memorable ways.
This resource from HelpScout features 25 outstanding ways to show your appreciation to customers. Beware, they get very creative!
Customers are expensive to acquire, and gaining loyalty is hard. They would switch brands for a coupon or an ignored complaint on Twitter. To win over customers, you need an amazing customer experience that exceeds their expectations.
And you’ll learn the best way to do that in our joint ebook with Bitly, where we share how to:
- “Wow” customers with an extraordinary user experience
- Nurture loyalty and trust
- Turn a customer complaint into an opportunity
- Provide fast support on every channel
- Use influencers to strengthen customer relationships
As customers share buying experiences on social media platforms more often, brands need to increase their support presence on these sites as well.
Bad customer service hurts your business. With up to 88% of customers influenced by customer service reviews when making buying decisions, it’s no exaggeration to say that customer support is the new marketing.
You can’t stop customers from complaining online. But you can learn how to deal with them better. In this blog post, you’ll learn how to provide social support more efficiently and win back dissatisfied customers.
So we’ve already talked about how keeping customers happy isn’t just up to your support team.
To be a great brand that customers love, you need to offer a consistently remarkable experience at every touch point. Brand monitoring helps you stay in touch with your customers on social media. Learn what they like and don’t like, so you can keep them happy.
More specifically, this ebook will show you how to:
- Keep track of customers’ conversations about your brand
- Provide faster customer support
- Surprise and delight your customers on social media
- Identify at-risk customers early and prevent churn
Your marketing and sales teams are working day and night to bring in more customers and business. But it’s never really enough. You always want more leads, more sales, and more customers. So what if you could hand some of the hard work over to your existing customers?
In Web Profit’s Customer Advocacy Playbook, Sujan Patel explains the importance of empowering your loyal customers to become brand advocates.
You’ll learn the A-Z of customer advocacy, including how to:
- Develop an advocacy marketing plan
- Turn customers into advocates
- Design your advocacy program
- Scale your campaign
By the end, you’ll learn everything you need to turn your customers into your best sales team.
Apply what you learn
Of course, you won’t get customers just by reading a dozen ebooks. You need to actually apply the strategies. And chances are, you won’t get it right the first time. You’ve got to try, test, try again, until you find the sweet spot that works for your brand and your audience.
But learning from other people’s mistakes and victories will save you a ton of time. That’s why these resources are essential for marketers. So read them, use them, and go win those customers.