A key reason for the existence of your business is to serve its customers.  It therefore follows that your new business must have a target audience before it starts, and also court it as it strives to grow. But how would your business acquire customers? Here are six low-budget channels your business can use to reach its target audience of potential customers:

  1. Media Relations: Relationships with the media are key. Build relationships with relevant bloggers and journalists. Reach out to bloggers. Get them to review your product or service. Submit guest posts to their blogs. Comment on industry blogs and Forums.
  2. Content Marketing: One way to acquire new customers is to leverage the power of content marketing. People are always seeking information relevant to their lines of work. They search for how-to guides and articles that address issues of interest to them. Creating and giving away information that is not generally available will help drive traffic (and customers) to your business.
  3.  Email Marketing: This involves sending marketing messages via emails. Do you have an email list? If you don’t, create one. An easy way to do this is to offer a free newsletter, which your target audience can sign up for. In the process, you will collect their personal and contact details, which you can then use to send them information on products or services they can buy from your business.
  4. Work With Partners: Look for businesses that are starting out like yours or are in their early stages of growth, and are providing complementary products or services. Explore ways of marketing each other’s products or services.
  5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): SEO helps your business to show up when your target audience searches keyword(s) in your niche. Use Google keyword tool to identify keywords around which you can create content.

These efforts will help you get in-bound links from blogs, online forums and related digital channels which, in turn, will boost your ranking in search engines.

  1. Social Media Marketing (SMM): SMM helps your business to interact with potential customers and thought leaders in your market. Build your online presence. Leverage Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, YouTube, etc. as you search for new customers in your target audience.

As you experiment with the different customer acquisition channels, you should continuously review your results from each of them. Do more of what is working, and do less, or eliminate, what is not working.