Written by Sam Yadegar on Jul 20 , 2022

Digital marketing gets you in front of potential customers. The right strategy leads them to convert.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How search results affect customer acquisition
  • Organic ways to acquire new leads
  • Effective paid marketing strategies
  • How to set your website up for optimal acquisition

Experienced marketing pros know all about the customer journey. 

It comprises the stages we base our content, campaigns, and plans on: awareness, consideration, and decision. (With delight as the bonus step.) The customer journey is crucial when it comes to acquisition.

Customer acquisition is the process of converting a generated lead into a customer. It’s basically the whole funnel (or journey) combined. 

Marketing is about attracting new customers, and keeping customer acquisition top of mind is how marketers can make that happen.

While there’s no one way to pinpoint and acquire qualified leads that are sure to become customers, there are digitally minded marketing strategies you can implement with customer acquisition in mind. Here, we’ve mapped out six of our favorites.

line of people outside from aerial view

Companies that use paid search for successful customer acquisition know it’s not only about the ad. (Image: Unsplash)

1. Paid search marketing

Also known as pay per click or PPC, paid search is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies when it comes to customer acquisition. That’s because it allows companies to target their specific audience with the right keywords at the right time.

Paid search ads appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) on sites like Google and Bing. If someone’s searching for “women’s black cycling shoes,” for example, and you’re an e-commerce brand selling cycling products (including women’s black cycling shoes), you want your targeted ad to be the one they see. 

The same goes for brands selling other products and services.

The companies that use paid search for successful customer acquisition know it’s not only about the ad. Rather, it’s crucial to pair eye-catching, appealing ad copy with an optimized landing page that boasts consistent verbiage, clean design, and a clear call to action (CTA).

2. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Along with a strategic paid search plan, having a solid SEO strategy helps search engines more easily recognize your website. This helps improve your rankings and, ideally, grow your reach for better customer acquisition.

Proper website SEO means having elements such as:

  • Unique title tags on your pages
  • High-quality content 
  • Internal links and external links (to authoritative sites)
  • A thorough sitemap
  • Thoughtful meta descriptions
  • Images with alt tags

As a reminder, optimizing your site for search engines won’t guarantee that you’ll get in the first position (or even on the first page) of the SERPs. 

After all, the search engine algorithm that determines the best content for each search query is constantly changing, and the details about how each search engine determines the best content to show searchers aren’t always clear.

However, by keeping your site up to date, easy to navigate, and educational for prospects and clients, you can position your brand as a thought leader and your site as a trustworthy information source.

3. Social media

When it comes to social media, you’ve got the option to leverage both organic and paid avenues. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that each path can be leveraged in the same way or achieve the same results.

Let’s start with organic social media. The practice of regularly creating social media posts can help spread the word about new business offerings or updates, increase your exposure, and even help you go viral (in a good way, ideally).

While organic social posts likely won’t directly result in customer acquisition, they can aid in brand awareness, content sharing, and allow you to highlight the fun side of your brand.

Paid social, on the other hand, can be a powerful tool if wielded properly. When choosing which platforms to advertise on, you should first consider your target audience and the platforms they use most.

From there, you can take advantage of the audience targeting tools most of these platforms have in place to get your content delivered straight to those who need to see it most. 

group of millennials on their laptops laughing

While blogging is a great medium for businesses when it comes to customer acquisition, effective content marketing can encompass much more. (Image: Unsplash)

4. Remarketing

As we’ve touched on before, remarketing can benefit your business in numerous ways. 

Not only does it keep you top of mind when someone takes an action like visiting your site, or requesting a consultation or demo, but it allows you to hyper-focus your ads and ups your chances of turning a lead into a conversion.

Remarketing (also called retargeting) works by leveraging display ads to connect your business with people who have already visited your site or mobile app. When done right, it’s one of the best and most cost-effective ways to get past visitors back to your site. 

Of course, the most successful retargeting campaigns aren’t one size fits all. A brand-new site visitor shouldn’t be remarketed the same way as a returning visitor. 

Along with data and online privacy changes, the eventual demise of third-party cookies is going to force some changes in digital marketing, particularly for remarketing ads. But there’s no need to panic.

While more solutions will become apparent as the process unfolds (such as replacement tools like FLEDGE and Topics), focusing on attracting new prospects is one way to keep your lead pipeline flowing. 

Looking for more ways to increase your customer acquisition? Let’s talk.

5. Content marketing

Blogging is a great medium for businesses when it comes to customer acquisition, but effective content marketing can encompass much more.

Examples of valuable content include:

  • Blog articles
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Guides
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Checklists
  • Downloadable templates
  • Product descriptions
  • Case studies

No matter the content you create, you want to make sure it’s accurate, helpful, and keyword targeted. The more deliverables you publish and promote, the more industry topics you can cover. This makes your site more likely to surface in organic search results for people seeking what you have to offer.

Pro tip: You can take things a step further by partnering with another brand (with a similar audience but not a competitor) on something like an infographic, webinar, or guest blog. This expands your reach, helps build your professional network, and boosts your brand’s credibility.

two people working on laptops at a coffeeshop

You’re six times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than from a tweet. (Image: Unsplash)

6. Email newsletters

Email newsletters can be a powerful acquisition channel if you follow a few best practices. 

As Campaign Monitor reports, you’re six times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than from a tweet. 

Experience tells us the most successful newsletters:

  • Include one main CTA
  • Offer a tactical takeaway (like a pro tip, discount, or statistic)
  • Feature an attention-grabbing subject line
  • Have an easy-to-read template
  • Are optimized for mobile

When you’re looking to build your non-client subscriber list, get creative! You can add exit-intent pop-ups to your site or include a subscription box in your site’s footer navigation. 

Pro tip: Let your readers help you spread the word! Encourage forwarding in your email newsletter to make sharing a breeze. Due to the psychology of social proof, peer-recommended content is more likely to be trusted.

The takeaway

Customers are the bread and butter of any business. And digital marketing is one of the most direct ways to connect with your desired prospects.

By knowing your audience, meeting them where they are, and analyzing the data behind your campaigns, you’ll have the tools you need to not only attract more customers, but keep them loyal and happy as well.

This post has been updated and was originally published in December 2019.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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