Acquisition Marketing: Everything you need to know in 2021

Building awareness and visibility for your brand is great. But to keep your business going you need to get consumers to part with their hard-earned cash. This is a hard feat, but that’s where acquisition marketing comes in.

So what is acquisition marketing? And how can you use it to land new customers? Below, we answer these questions and more.

What is acquisition marketing?

Acquisition marketing promotes products to a new audience and aims to acquire new customers. So it is a key part of every company’s eCommerce marketing.

More specifically, acquisition marketing targets prospects who are in the ‘interest’ or ‘consideration’ phase of the conversion funnel. So acquisition marketing isn’t concerned with brand awareness, it’s about creating tactics and strategies to target consumers who are researching or considering the purchase of a product.

Key channels for acquisition marketing

Certain channels and tactics allow brands to connect with people outside of their current customer base. Many of them also allow you to take new prospects beyond awareness through to the point of consideration and conversion.

The best channel for your business will depend on your target audience, your resources and the products you sell. But here are some effective ones that marketers tend to use most often:

1. Blogging, vlogging and other content creation

Content is an essential part of every marketing plan, but it is particularly impactful for prospects who are in the consideration stage of the customer acquisition funnel.

Quality content takes prospects beyond the awareness phase and educates them about your products or brand. It is also key to building the trust that consumers need to confidently convert.

You can share expert insights, industry knowledge and news through articles, blog posts, videos and downloadable guides. Brands can now even take advantage of shoppable videos and other shoppable media to take consumers straight from interest to conversion.

Creating content is a great first step when building out a customer acquisition strategy. It is more effective at engaging new audiences than advertising and it provides you with something to share on the other channels listed below.

2. SEO

Get more out of the content you create by optimising it for search engines, like Google, YouTube and Bing.

This means your content is more likely to appear at the top of search results and get more clicks. This increases visibility among brand new prospects, as well as those who are already aware of your brand. Whether they search for a generic term like ‘drill’ or a brand name like ‘Black+Decker’, they are probably in the consideration phase of the funnel.

To help them with their research, make sure to optimise your blog content, e-books, case studies and white papers. Be sure to use keywords, subheadings, internal links and alt text. For video content, consider uploading scripts too.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO. But it’s worth the effort because once you start ranking on page one of Google, you’ll enjoy a lot of traffic without any ongoing costs.

Until then, you could consider paying for ad placements in search results. Google Ads is easy to use and its contextual targeting is particularly useful for reaching new prospects. It doesn’t require any behavioural data so you can connect with people who are interested in your products, but haven’t interacted with your brand in the past.

3. Social media

The average person spends 145 minutes scrolling through social media every day. So this is a great place to educate consumers about your brand. And many marketers are already doing this.

For 73% of social media specialists, customer acquisition is their priority for 2021. As a result, most of them have increased their budgets for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Obviously, social media is great for brand awareness. But once you connect with consumers, you can present them with content which builds up interest in your products. Do this by sharing blog posts, images and videos from your website. You can create native content for each platform too.

If you’re looking for a surefire way to get your content in front of consumers who are interested in your products, you can also present paid ads to followers, past visitors and users with specific interests.

4. Email

When it comes to acquisition marketing, email is both effective and cost-effective. Of course, you’ll only be able to reach subscribers through this channel. But some research suggests it is 40 times better at engaging audiences than likes of Twitter or Facebook.

For this reason, email is a great way to take prospects from awareness through to consideration – and, hopefully, on to conversion. Create email flows that begin with helpful content and culminate in product highlights and discount codes.

Email is personal, customisable and can be tweaked based on the behaviour of your prospects. If you invest enough resources in this channel, your customer acquisition strategy is sure to succeed.

5 ways to improve your customer acquisition strategy

Optimisation techniques vary from business to business. But here are some broad tactics that should boost almost any acquisition marketing plan.

1. Know your target audiences

Customer acquisition costs are constantly increasing and, if you’re not targeting the right people, you’re wasting precious resources. So before you bet your budget on a customer acquisition strategy, you need to clearly define your audience.

If there is more than one group to target, you should create personas and a customer acquisition strategy for each of them. This way, you’ll be able to personalise ads, content and messages to suit the interests and needs of each audience. This should result in more acquisitions, as well as a better ROI.

2. Diversify your marketing channels and techniques

Brands that use a variety of acquisition marketing methods are more likely to succeed. They will reach more prospects, attract more leads, gain more insights and safeguard against failure. If one channel doesn’t produce results, it won’t be too impactful.

This approach also takes into account the modern consumer journey, which often takes place across a variety of channels and platforms. So, wherever possible, try to create an integrated customer experience and use a consistent brand voice across all communications – from search to social media.

3. Leverage partnerships

Many brands enlist the help of third parties for their acquisition marketing. You can partner with influencers, celebrities, other businesses and even customers to build interest in your products among a new audience.

eCommerce brands like Bombas, Leesa Mattress and Girlfriend Collective all use referral programs to encourage customers to recommend their products to others. With 81% of consumers trusting the advice of family and friends over advertising, this can be hugely effective.

On the other hand, the likes of Apple, Missguided, Wayfair and Bonmarché use affiliate programs to bulk up their marketing and land new customers.

4. Feature customer stories

As mentioned above, people tend to trust other people more than companies. Brands can use this fact to their advantage by heavily featuring customer stories, case studies, reviews and testimonials across their acquisition marketing content.

At this point in the sales funnel, you shouldn’t present prospects with a sales pitch. But you can allow your customers to talk about your products for you.

Informative blog posts can highlight customers and how they use your products. Web page footers can feature testimonials. And videos can feature fan insights. The possibilities are endless.

5. Consistently monitor key KPIs

To gauge the success of your customer acquisition strategy, it’s important to monitor metrics like: Return on Ad Spend, Cost Per Acquisition and Customer Acquisition Cost. (You can find out how to calculate these metrics in our guide to eCommerce KPIs.)

While there are no ideal targets for each of these metrics, you want your Customer Lifetime Value to be significantly higher than your Customer Acquisition Cost – we’re talking at least three times higher.

By observing these metrics, you can see how your acquisition marketing campaigns are performing and make adjustments as necessary. This feeds into sustainable, long-term strategies.

Final thoughts

Once you have your customer acquisition strategy figured out, you should turn your attention to customer retention.

While you’ll never be done optimising your acquisition tactics, building up loyalty, allegiance and advocacy among newly acquired customers will help you make the most of each acquisition.

ways brands can maximize eCommerce conversions