You know the feeling you get when you have a steady stream of new customers? Life is good. The opposite can also be true. If you notice your stream of new customers slows to a trickle, anxiety can build quickly. That’s why it’s important to find the right balance of loyal, repeat customers and new customers if you want to grow your business. If that sounds easier said than done, don’t worry, we got you!
Know your audience to get new customers
First, to keep new customers flowing in you need to work smarter not harder, especially when it comes to marketing. This means being thoughtful about your marketing touch points and knowing the intent level of customers when those touch points reach them. To get started, put yourself in their shoes.
For example, a pipe bursts under your kitchen sink. Are you thinking, “I better check social media to find the nearest plumber!”? Probably not. Or, let’s say you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix, you’re starving, and you want to order something to eat. Do you go to a search engine or instead use an app that offers food delivery?
Whether you’re a plumber, a restaurant owner, or any other type of local business, if you know your audience, and know when they’ll need you, you’ll be able to market to them more effectively.
92% of consumers make a purchase after using which app?
Now, imagine this: each month, thousands of people in your area, who are looking for a business like yours, use a specific app to find what they need. This audience has extremely high intent to purchase and they’re using this app to narrow down their choices. You could be missing out on a huge opportunity to get new customers by not being on this app, right? It may sound too good to be true, but this app exists. It’s Yelp. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers using Yelp make a purchase after visiting the platform.
To make this easy, visualize the path your customers take to purchase as a three step process. The three steps are: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Now let’s take a look at some common digital marketing tactics along this path to see how Yelp can be a powerful customer acquisition tool for you.
How each marketing touchpoint can help you get new customers
Your marketing touch points can be broken down into the categories—awareness, consideration, and conversion. Awareness is just what it sounds like, consumers becoming aware of your business and brand. Consideration is the point when a consumer is deciding whether or not to buy your product. Conversion is the point when people choose to buy and who to buy from.
This is the beginning of your customer’s path to purchase. This is when your audience’s intent to purchase is lowest and a common marketing tool used here is social media.
Social media can help you build awareness about your business’ products and services, but it might not be a big driver of immediate sales.
Think about what people are doing when they’re on social media. They’re connecting with friends, checking out vacation photos from their favorite blogger, sharing memes… the list goes on. This translates to a lot of noise. Maybe they’re the right audience, but they won’t necessarily be thinking about needing your business in that moment. So give people bits of information they can file away for later.
If your business has a longer sales cycle, you can use social media to point people to webinars, events, or landing pages to learn more about you, which can eventually translate to more customers.
The audience’s intent to purchase is higher than the awareness stage and a common marketing tool used here is search engine optimization.
A person searching for “pizza” on a search engine could be hungry now or just as likely to be looking for a video tutorial to DIY some snacks at home later. So optimizing your website, blog, and any other content you create with specific, targeted keywords will increase the odds of people finding you when they need something you offer.
It’s also worth noting that on platforms like Google, Yahoo, and Apple Maps, Yelp reviews are highly indexed and will often appear above your own optimized content. This can be a great opportunity to move customers from consideration to conversion if you’re actively managing your page on Yelp.
People have the highest intent to purchase at this stage and search advertising is a common tool used here to gain new customers.
The same Nielsen study referenced earlier also found that 42% of people researching businesses on Yelp make their purchase within a day.
Investing in an ad campaign on a site like Yelp increases your visibility to an audience of people who will very likely spend money. A person searching for “pizza” on Yelp is hungry now. Whether the search is for “plumber”, “hair salon”, or “professional balloon animal maker” a person on Yelp is at the point of purchase and just needs to know you exist.
Like all investments of value, successful marketing efforts take time. When it comes to advertising on Yelp, expect it to take several months to see consistently successful results. If you want proof that advertising on Yelp can really help you get new customers the only way to find out is to get started at biz.yelp.com/ads.