When most people think of marketing, brand awareness comes to mind. But grabbing the attention of potential customers and funneling traffic to websites is only half the battle. Even if someone becomes aware of a brand and has shown some level of interest to purchase, it can be very easy for them not to follow through. According to a study from Episerver, 92% of shoppers visiting a website for the first time aren’t ready to purchase yet. No website optimization or magic pill can change the fact that most consumers won’t purchase after just a few touchpoints.
The only real way to turn these vaguely-interested shoppers into paying and loyal customers is good ol’ fashion elbow grease (i.e., hard work). Any relationship worth its weight in gold is earned. So, how do direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands and marketers forge and strengthen relationships with these potential customers? That can only really be accomplished by adopting strategies and tactics that address the touchpoints after the awareness stage. So, what’s that called? Two words: acquisition marketing.
What is Acquisition Marketing?
Acquisition marketing differs from brand awareness since the main idea behind this strategy is to target those specific audiences that are in the consideration stage of the customer journey. It’s less about the “who” and more about the “why.” Acquisition marketing is unique in that it requires stakeholders in other departments, like customer success and customer service, to execute effectively.
Sure, marketing and sales are typically the first teams that potential customers interact with, but it’s really these other teams that engage more frequently and directly with them. Unilateral alignment within an organization is required to properly implement acquisition marketing.
Customer Acquisition Tactics
D2C brands and marketers are beginning to focus more on acquisition marketing. According to Retail TouchPoint’s 2019 Benchmark Report: Customer Acquisition and Retention, more than 50% of marketers are increasing their budgets that are dedicated to acquisition marketing. It’s safe to say that marketers are spending more time thinking about it, but what does this form of marketing actually entail? Let’s go over some tactics that D2C brands are doing to move potential customers past the consideration stage of the customer journey.
Everyone and their mother knows the importance of content marketing. When appropriately executed and positioned, content can be used to engender trust and to build rapport with audiences. It’s important to note that content shouldn’t be pitchy and should always provide value, whether that’s through knowledge, tips, insights, and so on. Here are some suggestions for producing quality content:
- Settle on a goal. Identifying the purpose (e.g., generating sales, boosting brand awareness, building relationships with customers, or adding SEO value) will make it easier to create more focused content.
- Establish the main idea. Make sure to identify what you’re trying to communicate. What’s the main idea that you want people to walk away with?
- Conduct research. Researching the subject at hand will help you uncover little nuggets of information that would have otherwise been missed and help you avoid writing content that’s too “fluffy” and general.
- Build out the structure. Knowing how to frame an idea is as essential as having an idea in the first place.
- Have someone review your work. Getting a second pair of eyes that you trust to review your work will always make your content better.
Social media marketing
Building engagement with potential customers shouldn’t end on your website. On average, people spend 136 minutes a day scrolling through, liking, and sharing posts on social media. Social platforms are a great place to reach and engage audiences that already have shown interest; however, businesses should choose the right social channel to invest in. Here are recommendations for some of the most popular social platforms:
- Facebook is ideal for D2C brands that have some budget allocated for social media ad spend. While Facebook has 2.37 billion monthly active users, its algorithm heavily favors paid business content over organic, making driving an organic strategy on this channel tough.
- In a study released by Twitter, the social platform stated that they reward accounts that are responsive and share high-quality content. This can mean demonstrating top-notch customer support to having playful conversations with followers.
- Instagram works well for D2C brands in the retail, beauty, fitness, and culinary spaces that want to tap into influencer marketing. The visual nature of Instagram lends itself to playful brands that know how to leverage video and photography well.
With a low bar of entry, email marketing is one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to keep audiences engaged. According to eMarketer, 64% of advertisers use email marketing during the middle stages of the customer journey — making it the top choice for marketers. Let’s go over a couple of ways to ensure the quality of your emails are high, regardless if they’re open on a laptop or phone:
- Write short, snappy subject lines. On a desktop and laptop screen, a brand has up to 60 characters at their disposal, but only about 30 characters on phones.
- Simple email designs. It’s recommended to keep an email width below 500 pixels (so that it works for both mobile devices and computers) and size under 60kb (for optimal loading time).
Since joining AdRoll in 2017, Giulianno has regularly produced content that explores how professionals can improve their digital marketing strategies and emerging industry trends. When he's not working, you can find him at Golden Gate Park training for his next marathon.