(This BrandPro article is the second in a series of five articles that discuss the process of “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers.”)
Every loyal customer was once a prospect. There was a time when they did not even know your name. So when you begin to think about turning prospects into lifetime customers, the first question you must ask yourself is “How do I attract my target audience’s attention to my business, products and/or services?” This is your main goal in the Attract phase of the Marketing Funnel, as described in our last blog post on “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers”.
The tactics that take place in the Attract phase are what most people associate with marketing, advertising and public relations. Traditionally, businesses can attract attention through signage, advertisements, sponsorships, trade shows and press coverage.
Today we will focus on online attraction—and the best place to start is with a quality website. Once you create a website, it needs to be found online. Here are a few ways to attract potential customers to your online website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is used to help draw search engines and prospects to your website through the use of quality content, top industry keywords and other website development techniques. It’s what makes your website show up when prospects use a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo in order to find a solution for their needs.
Hosting a blog on your company website is an effective, easy way to provide useful content to your customers and prospects. The purpose of your blog should be to help and/or entertain your target audience. When you’re able to deliver great content, use proper SEO and syndicate your content through other online channels, your blog can be your most powerful online content marketing tool.
YouTube is the second largest search engine (after Google), and it’s the No. 4 Internet destination. In fact, 69% of adult Internet users (which is 52% of all adults) have watched or downloaded an online video. And the average person watches about 54 minutes worth of YouTube videos each month. Plus, businesses that include videos on their website typically see a higher online conversion rate. So whether you’re selling to consumers or other businesses, you should consider video marketing to help you attract the attention of your target customer.
Online ads come in many shapes and sizes. There are text ads that show up at the top and side of search results, and there are display ads (with images or videos) that show up on other websites or within other online videos. Text ads can be effective for both B2C and B2B businesses while display ads are typically more effective for B2C companies.
Believe it or not, many businesses are first discovered through social media. Most social media networks have search functions and advertising options that make it easy for your target audience to discover your business. But most importantly, social media is unique in that it uses word-of-mouth and social influence to draw attention to your company. When a person engages with your company’s content on social media, leaves a review, or shares their experience with your company, their personal networks will see it, and it will increase your social reach. Research shows that consumers are not only more likely to take their business to a company that is recommended by a trusted friend or family member, but online reviews left by strangers also affect whether or not they do business with you.
The next article in our series, “Turning Prospects into Lifetime Customers,” will explain the Engage phase of the Marketing Funnel. Learn ways you can keep your prospects’ attention and entice them to continuously come back to your online channels for more information, news and other value-added services.