New approaches to finding customers

With so many advances in marketing, are you taking all the opportunities to find new customers? The rise of content marketing and lookalike targeting means you can be smarter with your marketing, reaching out to the right people and increasing your chances of success. Here’s an overview of these methods and how they could help your business.

Why it matters

Lookalike targeting

Getting qualified leads can be a challenge for businesses. It’s costly to keep calling prospects and, according to figures, fewer than 1% of cold calls lead to a sale. That’s where lookalike targeting comes in.

If you use programmatic modelling for your media buying, then you’ll probably be familiar with lookalike targeting. It’s the way ad exchanges define the users to show the ads to. But did you know that you can also use it for your wider marketing?

At its most basic, lookalike targeting maps your current customers’ demographics and behaviours to find other similar businesses who you could approach. It’s a great way to find people who not only are more likely to buy, but who also fit well with your current business model.

It can be applied when buying in email lists, when targeting people on social media (Facebook and Twitter both have this functionality) and for retargeting in advertising. So while you may be using it for your clients, are you making the most of it to bring in new business for yourself?

Content marketing

You might have heard about this, as it’s currently all the rage with businesses hoping to engage with prospects and win new customers. It’s all about providing useful and valuable content to help your audience and ultimately win new business.

It’s a great option that can have big returns. Here are just some of the benefits:

• Lower costs: research shows that the average cost to generate a lead through inbound marketing, such as content, is about half the cost of for outbound marketing, like brochures and cold calling.
• More leads: according to Social Media B2B, blogging can generate 67% more leads per month.

If you’re interested in doing this, there’s a couple of stages you’ll need to go through:

The first stage is to get an understanding of your audience. If you’re trying to get small businesses on board with advertising, then you need to understand what makes them tick. Are they worried about costs? Do they understand what they’ll need to do? Do they want advice about deciding the best place to promote their business?

All of these questions can help you decide what content to create and in what format. Remember, the information doesn’t have to be written. You could do a video, an infographic or even a Slideshare deck to offer advice.

The next step is to create the content. Keep focusing on your customers and what they need and try to answer their questions. This is a great way to show your expertise and how your business can help. Include a call to action so they can take the next steps once they’ve read the information. That might be directing them to other information or to ways to get in touch.

Think about where to put the information. Your website and social media are obvious places but think about where your prospects go. Maybe approach a business blog to ask for a guest post or promote your article in a business forum. Just make sure you’re following the posting guidelines for any site you use and ensure the piece is informative, rather than promotional. If people find it useful, the leads will follow.

Don’t forget to check to see how your content is working. Tag any online pieces with custom links (like those generated by Googles URL Builder) so you can see how much traffic it drives to your website and what those prospects do. Do measure all interactions, such as completing a contact form or downloading other content.

Both these methods are great for reaching new prospects, reduce your acquisition costs and improve your conversion levels. Maybe it’s time to give them a try.

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