How to find new customers online?
This is probably a question that has monopolized your days if you have the arduous task of dealing with marketing for your company.
After all, you can’t blame yourself: the web has the potential to offer a huge number of customers, and while the ability to keep the relationship with existing customers alive is important, nothing is as vital to a company’s business as the ability to attract new customers.
So, you’re ready to hit the web.
Yet between SEO, newsletters, website development, PPC campaigns and social media marketing you already feel a sense of confusion, and you have no idea where to start.
Let’s face it: you’re afraid of making a mistake.
This is more than justified, because never as in these times of total uncertainty is it better to avoid risky moves that involve the waste of precious resources.
For this reason, it becomes vitally important to master all the topics that allow us to create a truly successful campaign. I’m not only talking about the more technical aspects (such as SEO or PPC campaigns) but also and above all about marketing and direct sales techniques at a higher level, which are fundamental to increase your visibility.
So if you want to find out how to get new customers online, keep reading our guide written with Lucas Head of SEO at Optim-Referencement and discover the 5 secrets to create a successful strategy…
The answer can be found in the following guide…
How a potential customer looks for services and products online
The first step when trying to figure out how to find new customers online is certainly to ask yourself this simple question:
“how does a potential customer look for services or products online?”
That’s right, because by using all our resources or involving external staff we can also create the most beautiful broadcast of the entire radio landscape, but if we are not able to tune in to the right frequency our message will remain unheard, customers will only listen to the competition and our sales will go up in smoke.
This is basically what happens when, for example, we invest our budget in a Facebook campaign without even asking ourselves if our typical customer actually uses social.
Finding out where (and how) our customers are browsing becomes a fundamental step in acquiring the ability to find new customers online, and although there are no magic formulas to complete this step in a short time and with absolute certainty, we can certainly draw some guidelines that will make our lives easier.
Do you deal with B2C and want to sell to a general audience? Then social networks could be a really good way. Facebook, for example, but also and above all Instagram: virtual squares where people spend entire days and products, thanks also to the excellent impact of carousels and stories, acquire great visibility.
So, should we avoid social networks if we are dealing with B2B? Not at all.
The great thing about social networks is that they are very varied, and if channels like Instagram and Pinterest seem to be born for B2C, on the other hand, platforms like Linkedin have a very strong vocation towards B2B.
For this reason, on this channel it is very easy to meet professionals, managers and companies from very different companies. A well-kept channel and a good content marketing plan in this case will make you feel not only up-to-date, but also and above all an authoritative source able to set the course for your sector, an aspect that will guarantee an excellent return on your image.
I could go on for hours and hours, for example analyzing the web and observing that users interested in B2B do their research still and largely from desktop computers, while only the B2C sector is now largely dominated by mobile.
What’s certain is that if you’re going to find new customers online, don’t start asking questions about the campaign: start asking yourself where users are browsing and where you can intercept them.
Create your model of ideal customer (to know where to find him)
Your customer, then, should have no more secrets from you.
Find out what his favorite channels are, sure, but don’t limit yourself to that.
Investigate his interests as well, define his field of work and his professional occupation. Even give him a first name, last name and a face.
Of course, gathering information about buyer personas is not an easy or immediate process.
But over time you will need to know everything about your typical customer.
Discovering this information in fact will allow you not only to approach his privileged communication channel, but also and above all to adapt, for example, the tone of voice that will govern your entire campaign.
Are there any market trends that concern your buyer persona? Well, then consider them.
Because it’s basically based on the customer type that you’re going to designate every move of your marketing campaign.
An interesting feature of B2B customers, in particular, is that since they are part of a company they almost never deal with purchases directly.
Instead, they are often and willingly placed within teams and hierarchical structures that involve multiple levels of approval before approving a purchase.
For this reason, it is essential to include in the description of the buyer persona also colleagues or managers at a higher level who complete the chain of buyers, those who decide which products or services to purchase for the company and which not.
Ok, but how is the description of a buyer person made up?
Next to elements such as name and surname, we’ll find age and job title, but above all aims and objectives within the company.
In this way we will define our value proposition, that is the added value we will be able to offer to that specific buyer.
Finally, there is a non-trivial aspect of buyer personas that we must necessarily emphasize.
If it’s true that different types of people could be interested in our product, then it’s obvious that we’ll have to create many buyer personas, each by type.
This concept might seem exclusive to the B2C sector, where the product is aimed at numerous users.
But if you think about it, it’s not so.
Even in B2B, for example, a product (such as software to manage 3D printers) might appeal to employees who are very different from one another, such as the operator who gets the job done in less time and the manager who sees increased productivity throughout the chain.
In short, roll up your sleeves and segment your audience by defining as many customer types as you can.
Try to understand how your target customer thinks
If you want to catch a lot of fish, you won’t have to think like the best fisherman.
You will have to think like a fish.
It sounds like a platitude, but the most common basic mistake marketers make is to think of web marketing campaigns from their own point of view and thus forget the fundamental aspect of any sales operation: the customer’s point of view.
Think about it: people are not looking for products or services, because they are already bombarded with advertising campaigns and information of all kinds.
People, on the contrary, are looking for solutions to their problems. And you won’t really be able to provide them with them if you don’t first look at the issue from their point of view.
In this way you risk losing the first step in the buying process, which is identifying the problem.
In fact, by identifying yourself as a typical customer, you will need to fully understand their problems and identify the strengths of your product/service that will make you, in effect, a solution.
By remaining immersed in the customer’s point of view, then, you will need to understand how they seek information and alternatives to your product.
What criticalities might they present to your offering?
It is important to understand that by thinking in this way, we won’t have to chase down the issues that customers will raise from time to time. On the contrary, we will simply be able to anticipate them and have the answer ready before the question is even asked, thus laying the foundations for truly effective communication.
Find customers online, let’s look at the numbers
Theories, concepts, are the essential bases on which to take the first steps in finding customers online.
But if you don’t want to proceed blindly, there is only one step left to complete before the technical phase: checking the numbers.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a NASA engineer or have the tools of 007 to do this.
All it takes is a simple online search to observe, quite simply, what works and what doesn’t and, above all, what the trends of our time are.
I did it and discovered some very interesting things.
For example, speaking of organic search (on the SEO side, then) it’s good to know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search on the major search engines.
Among these, Google holds 90.1% of the market, and is in continuous expansion in Western markets (less so in China and Russia, where Baidoo and Yandex are the masters).
More interestingly for B2B, more than 57% of marketers in this sector say that SEO generates more leads than any other sales channel.
Fact indirectly confirmed by users, 47% of whom say they have visited a company’s site several times before actually making contact to request more information.
Finally, 75% of internet users never go beyond the first page of search results.
A fact that alone will convince you to invest in a good SEO agency…
But let’s move on to Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns.
In this case, for every dollar spent we have an average revenue of 2 dollars, an aspect that is confirmed by the fact that 65% of all clicks from users who are really intent on making an online purchase are made on advertisements.
Only one out of five users, among other things, now seems to be able to distinguish a paid search result from an organic one, and users who land on a site from an advertisement have a 50% greater chance of making a purchase.
Ad campaigns, finally, if well structured can get you on the first page in a day and have easier to read metrics than SEO, which makes it easier for marketers to calculate ROI.
Five winning strategies to find new B2B customers
Having done the theory and seen the numbers, let’s move on to the technique and see 5 winning strategies to find new customers online.
Don’t worry, to be successful on the web you don’t necessarily need to invest huge amounts of money, but it is vital to have a good understanding of the dynamics at play and the tools in use.
Last but not least, you will have to resist the temptation to do everything yourself. Believe me, it’s a thought that sooner or later grips the mind of any marketer looking for new customers online because, you might think, the real integrated strategy is the one that takes place in the head of one person.
In reality, we’ve already seen it and we’ll see it even better, looking for customers online is an expensive activity in terms of time and energy and above all that requires diversified skills.
Unless you’re some sort of web marketing superman, then it’s best to surround yourself with a team or turn to qualified professionals.
1. Create your own website
Especially if you’re in the B2B business, don’t make the mistake of neglecting your website.
The website is the real online image of your company, but not only.
In fact, it is precisely on this platform that people will find more detailed information about your products or services, they will be able to consult your service policies and, of course, contact you for a quote or make a purchase (if you plan to start an ecommerce).
To begin with, therefore, study extremely well the navigation path, which must always be easy, quick and direct. People must be able to navigate smoothly, and quickly find what they need. Therefore also the graphics must be functional to this purpose: make it attractive, but always check that the aesthetics does not generate contrasts with the navigability.
Speaking of navigability, check that the site is well visible from both devices (desktop and mobile).
In fact, a site that is not very optimized for mobile would be immediately abandoned by the average user, while one with a poor desktop view would be penalizing for B2B users who are still moving largely from desktop computers.
2. Contact the best SEO agency and optimize your website
If you’ve made it this far you’ll already have figured it out: the good old days of “make a website and people will find you” are long gone.
The very moment you go to create the website, contact a professional SEO optimization agency. Be very careful at this stage, because SEO is a very complex science that includes technical, communication and marketing aspects, which is why it must be done by experienced professionals (the cousin, in this case, could indirectly cost you dearly).
A good SEO specialist will not only observe the general habits of the audience, but through the use of professional tools such as SEMrush or SEOzoom will be able to find the exact keywords with which people will search for you on the web.
Having established a set of keywords, then optimize the texts with a dual purpose: increase readability for users and at the same time for search engines, which then understand what your site is about bringing you higher and higher in search results.
Finally, it will also give you some tactical suggestions for the provision of Call To Action (CTA) catchy, able to give the final push to the undecided user and convince him to contact you or make a purchase.
3. Don’t forget the Google My Business tab
And here we talk about local SEO.
Yes, because even before visiting your site users on the web will find that nice tab at the top right of the search results that shows the main information of your company at a glance.
Photos, schedules, reviews (we’ll come back later on the value of the latter) and featured services: you can see the Google My Business tab as a sort of business card always available to anyone who surfs the web.
Its importance, consequently, is fundamental on a strategic plan, because putting in the foreground your services and your contacts such as email, phone number, address and website, users will be more likely to interact with you and call you, visit your site or even better come directly to visit you in person.
Last but not the least, a well structured Google My Business is also well seen by search engines and helps to get a good ranking to the whole website.
4. Convince old and new customers to leave you Google reviews
Do you have long-standing customers who have been following you for ages because they are satisfied with your service?
Then put them front and center and let users see it.
Take it from me, it’s not a simple self-promotion or ego enhancement, but on the contrary a much more refined mechanism (and valuable).
Let’s consider for a moment the theater where our entire strategy takes place: the web.
In an immaterial world, populated by fake profiles and not very credible reviews, users tend to be rather wary.
And let’s face it, we can’t blame them too much either….
But if on your website you find a photo or even a short video of a real person, the owner of a company who says he is happy and satisfied with the multi-year collaboration with your company, you will have done bingo.
In fact, you will have built a very strong element to gain the trust of users and build what, in technical terms, is called a good “social proof”.
Don’t be afraid: if you have done well over the years, your customers will be more than happy to leave short interviews and become your brand ambassadors.
5. Search engine and social advertising
Advertising is the soul of commerce, and believe me when I say that this law is still very valid in digital marketing.
Especially for short-term goals, in fact, Google ADS campaigns or Facebook and Instagram will be a real lethal weapon that will allow your company to achieve excellent sales results in a very short time.
Don’t think that all this will necessarily cost you a lot of money: both Google and Facebook, in fact, take into consideration not only the daily budget invested, but also the quality of the ad and its relevance to users’ requests.
If you have done a good job, you can get great results without a huge investment, overcoming competitors who have invested much more but at the same time made an ad of lower quality.
So what does it take to create a quality ad?
Well, first of all a very good text. Often overlooked, in fact, the text is the element that all users will read once they notice the ad and that will determine the success or failure of your ad.
Essentially it must achieve brevity, clarity and, above all, the user’s click (in other words, it must be captivating).
That said, don’t underestimate the power of images.
If, in fact, the text is the element that will determine the click (or not) of the user, it is primarily the image that attracts the eye and allows our ad to be noticed.
What to do to get more customers
However, there are other techniques to get more customers and find more and more prospects online.
In fact, all the strategies listed above are essentially web-side techniques for lead generation, but we must not in any way forget the power of social networks.
One of the most common questions from our clients, not surprisingly, is always, “to find new customers online is it better to focus on the web or social media marketing?”
The correct answer is…on both!
Yes, because in order to achieve a really high effectiveness in lead generation, website and social media must now work in parallel, in particular using social media as “bait” to attract users to our site, where we are going to show our content in all its form and substance so as to generate new conversions.
So, how to make the most of social networks to find new customers online?
Let’s take a look at some tips and discover what we need to make our strategy complete.
1. A corporate social page
Your company can in no way be left without a corporate social page.
On which channel? This is certainly a good question, and the help of a professional could easily provide you with an answer. However, there are a few considerations you can start with on your own.
If your company essentially belongs to the B2B sector, a Linkedin page is now a must.
A nice profile with updated contents will give a perfect corporate soul to your image, and in the medium-long term it could even make you perceived as a leading company in your sector.
A fundamental aspect in this case is not to forget the profiles of the employees (at least of the most important managers). Characteristic of this social network, in fact, is the tendency of users to observe not only the company page, but also those of the employees who are part of it.
In this way, in fact, we will be able to offer a more internal and humanized look at the company, thus increasing the transparency and credibility of our company in the eyes of visitors.
Even if you don’t deal with B2B, however, don’t exclude a priori other social networks such as Instagram and Facebook.
The former you can exploit the enormous visual potential, while in the latter you can establish relationships with managers and executives within a more informal context (yes, before high-level employees even managers are simple Facebook users).
Overall, I could end this section with a couple of extra tips:
Whatever channel you choose, always offer up-to-date, quality content.
In a word, take care of it, because having a social business page just for the sake of having it (and therefore empty or with poorly updated content) will only serve to make you be perceived as a third-rate company.
For the same reason as above, only open as many pages as you can curate.
A mistake I often see marketers of many companies make is to apply the technique “better to abound it never hurts”. So we find companies with … even 5 official social channels, of which, however, none is managed well and adequately.
Result: the contents are poor, often sporadic or even completely absent. And the corporate web image is compromised.
2. A Youtube channel if it fits with your business
Special mention for Youtube.
This channel is essentially different from all the others for a reason: it deals with video content.
Why point out something obvious, you say? Because not as obvious are the implications related to the type of content of this social network …
In fact, video content is the real frontier of recent years. Their conversion rate is extremely high and the ability to attract the attention of users is much higher than any photo, text or image.
Think of Instagram, which with stories has made a real leap forward in quality, think of the social network of the moment, TikTok, which is basically based on short videos.
Investing on this format could undoubtedly lead to huge benefits for your business: we’ve seen it also in the case of user reviews talking about social proof.
But…there’s a but.
Everything has a price, and those of you who have ever edited video content or simply commissioned one are aware of a great truth: video content is expensive.
It’s not a matter of greed or unscrupulous video makers: shooting video is a costly activity both in terms of timing and in terms of equipment used.
You need good cameras, lights, a cameraman of course and then post production experts, who with the right software will be able to correct errors and enrich everything with brilliant animations.
True, modern technology has made part of the operations simpler than in the past and therefore cheaper. But don’t doubt, a good video still costs a lot of time and effort, and one made in a hurry and badly will hit the company like a boomerang for the reasons already mentioned several times.
3. A blog with quality content
Up-to-date content means only one thing: blogging.
Ok, actually even Social could easily have an editorial calendar referring to posts and without references to their own site.
Yet think about it: it’s the blog that allows us to develop at length and in depth topics and themes we care about, in any direction.
In fact, there are virtually unlimited purposes that we can pursue with this tool: from the presentation of a product to the spread of our corporate values, and if it is true that almost never the articles generate direct conversions, it is equally true that they (if well written and of quality) are an excellent source to attract returning and therefore loyal users.
In fact, a blog is a bit like a magazine: if it focuses on our tastes and interests with quality articles, we always get great benefits and the next time we’ll be looking for it at the newsstand, maybe recommending it to friends and acquaintances.
The blog also offers a great advantage on the technical side SEO, because detecting content that is always new and updated and consequently a large number of accesses to the site, Google crawlers will certainly reward our site pushing it higher and higher among the search results.
The cons of this tool? Real negative points in reality don’t exist, but also in this case I would like to warn you.
Although a blogging activity costs much less than the creation of video content, it is not enough to write a text and add two images from the web.
Also in this case in fact the watchword is quality: the web is full of poor content, poorly structured and written worse.
In order not to fall into the same trap, hire a professional copywriter and use an SEO agency. The cost will not be zero, but the results will pay off.
4. Improve the call to action on your website
Clothes don’t make the man, they used to say.
But, at least on the web, this theory can be safely said to be false.
In fact, you can also create well-researched and quality content, perhaps investing significant amounts of money in video content to attract potential customers to your site.
But if once they land on your pages they will find unsightly and above all not very functional interfaces, they will abandon every page on the fly and your efforts will be in vain. You can be sure of that.
Mind you, this isn’t just about having a beautiful dress.
It’s also about having a dress that’s easy to understand in its guidelines and consequently comfortable to use, that will entice the wearer to use it again and again and consequently users to consume more and more content.
In particular, there is an aspect of our dress that we must take care of more than any other: the correct arrangement of the Call To Action.
Without dwelling on academic explanations, Call To Action (CTA) are the elements in evidence within a site designed to capture the attention of the user and consequently entice him to perform an action.
They are extremely important, because it is thanks to them that the visitor will make the final step, that last click that will transform him from a common user to a new customer.
To put few of them could be a losing choice, to put too many could on the other hand generate confusion (a bit like when we are in a shopping mall and in front of a thousand computers we do not know which one to choose).
Studying elegant CTAs would certainly give a touch of class to our site, but at the same time could produce a graphic effect not very recognizable.
Vice versa, focusing on strong contrasts and bright colors could unconsciously be perceived by the user as an aggressive message causing a high rate of abandonment.
An essential aspect, finally, is to carefully choose the right copy to combine with buttons and banners.
In short, you got it: also in this case there is no magic formula and only the involvement of a professional can help you find the right balance.
5. Did you know that colors on a web page play an important role ?
Finally, always keep an eye on the colors.
Believe me, even this is not a simple aesthetic advice. Here we’re not talking about colors according to everyone’s taste but about something much more objective and refined: the psychology of colors in marketing.
Have you ever wondered why Facebook, from the logo to the decorative elements, is completely blue?
You may have guessed that Zuckerberg did not choose this color by chance.
In fact, blue is the color that most of all instills trust, honesty, calm and productivity, values that go great with the corporate world but also with web marketing in general (let’s not forget, Facebook is still a platform where users leave a lot of personal data, creating a real web avatar).
And, moving to a completely opposite chromatic dimension, what about Youtube’s red?
Red is often considered a warning color, of course.
But it’s also able to best represent values such as passion, love, courage, boldness and strength: values that we find 100% in the videos of users hosted precisely on this platform.
So when you have to think about how to find new customers online, don’t forget about the impact of colors under any circumstances.
Whether it’s a video, a blog or a simple Call To Action in a landing page, don’t underestimate the impact that the color choices will have on your visitors: according to recent statistics, it is in fact in the first 5 seconds that we determine whether a web page will be to our liking or not.
And you can be sure, in addition to titles and a few paragraphs, in those 5 seconds our eye will capture the colors.
Finding new customers on the web is not for everyone. Many marketing campaigns and advertisements of amazing software allow us the exact opposite but, quite simply, it is not so.
The reason is soon revealed: the web is no longer what it was twenty years ago and creating a website or opening a newsletter is no longer a revolutionary step.
To be honest, anyone thanks to tools like Wix or the same WordPress could create a website in a few minutes. But this extreme overcrowding has produced a lack of confidence in users and especially in a market that certainly does not lack in quantity, but certainly in quality.
In a nutshell, numerous and varied strategies can be used to find new customers online. All of them, however, will be totally ineffective if you don’t manage to make them stand out above those of the competition, and to do so you’ll need only one attribute: quality.
Put yourself out there, be wary of your cousins, surround yourself with a team and rely on outside professionals.
Trust me, the results will pay off with interest.