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To build a thriving business, you’ll need a loyal community of customers to keep it running. But finding and acquiring those customers often comes at a cost—one that not every new business can afford to focus on when launching a product or hiring the proper staff have to take priority.
If your startup is on a budget but wants to get a head start growing its own community, consider the following expert tips as recommended by the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Below, they explain how to keep customer acquisition costs low while growing a strong community of followers.
Young Entrepreneur Council members discuss building community with a lean budget.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Engage On Social Media
Business leaders need to be more accessible in order to develop followers and keep customer acquisition costs low. I’ve found that people tend to follow leaders who write and post their own social media comments without an assistant involved. People like authenticity. They are tired of feeling manipulated. Someone who talks to them directly is going to win their hearts, and they will tell others. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
2. Ask For Referrals
Referrals are the best way to acquire customers for free. If you’re just starting out, you can ask friends for referrals. If you’re an established company, you can ask your existing customers for referrals and offer some type of incentive as a thank you. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
3. Add Chatbots
One way to reduce your acquisition costs is to add chatbots to your customer service strategy. Chatbots can help visitors who have common questions or need resources already available on your blog. This fast service could lead to more visitors clicking through and becoming customers. Also, your live support team will have more time to help visitors with unique or complicated issues. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
4. Combine Content With Community
You need to combine two major activities to build a community while keeping acquisition costs low. One: Create content that reflects the customer journey, from awareness of a problem to taking action and buying a product. Two: Encourage people to join your Facebook group to get answers fast and connect with other customers. This strategy takes time to work, but it gives solid results. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
5. Try A/B Testing
To keep customer acquisition costs low, you can use A/B testing in which you test two different strategies with two different groups of customers. This tells you which one works better so you can improve future campaigns and increase conversions. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
6. Narrow Down Your Audience
One strategy to keep customer acquisition costs low while still gaining followers is to be direct with your messaging. Don’t go broad with your advertisements. Instead, focus on showing advertisements to your targeted audience. If you show ads to multiple audiences, many of them won’t be qualified for what you have to offer, and you waste time, money and resources on trying to reach them. – Bryan Driscoll, Motivated Leads
7. Optimize Your Content Marketing
Content marketing can help you keep acquisition costs low while building your audience. The key is to create blog posts that resonate with your audience’s goals and pain points. This strategy will keep your existing customers engaged while bringing in new visitors. For the best results, I suggest optimizing every new piece of content for searchability. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
8. Focus On Existing Customers
You can keep customer acquisition costs low by focusing on existing customers and customer retention. Customers who come back are more likely to spend more and engage more with your content, so it’s important to prioritize them. – Jared Atchison, WPForms