Assuming you’ve got your online marketing infrastructure in place – your CRM, your task management, your email marketing, your social media dashboard – it might be time to think of what’s next; what more can I do to refine the process of customer acquisition?
Thinking about it conceptually, customer acquisition is the process of understanding what your audience wants and building strong, relevant messages that answer those wants. Obviously, you need to have a killer product(s) as well, but there’s not a tool in the world that can help you with that.
In order to better understand your audience, you need to build an infrastructure that collects information about them, various pieces of data from different points of contact, and analyzes this data into actionable insights.
In the noisy online universe where users are bombarded with countless marketing messages, the path to breaking through the noise goes through crafting focused messages that resonate with small, interested groups. The era of carpet-marketing is well behind us.
This is exactly what we’ll explain how to do in this article, and point out three specialty, noise-breaking digital marketing tools to help you take your customer acquisition to the next level. We’ll look at:
1. A social listening tool that lets you understand what your audience at-large is interested in;
2. An audience segmentation tool for grouping together smaller audiences based on various attributes;
3. A user behavior analysis tool for your website so once you managed to bring in users, you’ll know how to optimize their experience to drive conversions.
SentiOne – The Social Listening Tool
The one thing we always hear from communication and relationship experts is to listen, listen, listen. It’s also the one thing we fail to implement in our online marketing strategy. We are talking plenty – in our blogs, social accounts, and paid and earned media – but we very rarely listen to what our audience is saying.
The listening part only kicks in once a lead becomes a customer, which is a shame. There’s a lot to be learned from listening – collecting information – from our market’s audience-at-large. Enter SentiOne.
SentiOne, a social listening platform, realized the value in collecting relevant information from relevant audiences and put together a nifty tool for this purpose, and then some.
With SentiOne you can track social interactions and conversations that interest you by monitoring relevant words and phrases. You can track phrases that define the need that your product is fulfilling, you can track words that are triggers to your products, you can even track your competitors’ names. The last one is especially powerful.
By being aware of how your market audience is perceiving your competitors, for better or worse, there’s a lot you can understand about the benefits and flaws of your own offering.
The way to go with the ‘general’ phrases is to come up with the needs your audience has usually phrased in question form. Tracking those questions is a sure way to getting to the bottom of what drives your audience’s purchase decisions. Once you understand that, the path to crafting effective messaging – and even making changes to your own offering based on these wants – is cleared out for you.
SentiOne also allows you to track your own brand’s mentions, across social media, online forums, review sites, and publications. This is another great method for gaining insights into how your company and offering are perceived by your customers and potential audience. It takes out the guesswork out of product marketing; you know what your audience thinks, allowing you to align your offering with what the market wants.
More than that, it is a powerful public relations tool. If you track unfavorable mentions or complaints about your brand, you can immediately jump into the conversation and attempt to solve it right then and there. On the other hand, positive brand mentions can be instantly replied to, positioning your brand as engaged and appreciative. On both ends of the spectrum, having the ability to be a part of the conversation is valuable for your brand image.
So, on the one hand, a powerful market research tool, on the other an effective brand image enhancer – SentiOne gives you the power to control the conversation around your brand online, in real-time.
Audeinse – The Audience Segmentation Tool
After you get your intel from your audience-at-large, it’s time to start thinking how to deliver back to the relevant messages about your offering. As we’ve mentioned at the opening of this article, the days of mass-marketing are over; a testament to that is the growing popularity of ABM (Account-Based Marketing) in the B2B space.
Similar to ABM, where you craft specific messages for highly segmented audiences, even down to the single-company level, the effectiveness of targeted messaging far suppresses that of generic marketing. But in order to do that you need to break down your audience into small groups with common attributes. Enter Audiense.
Audiense, an identification, and segmentation tool enables you to break down your audience into sub-audiences, segmented by attributes like demographics, interests, jobs, and more. You can create as many sub-audiences as you wish by cross-referencing attributes. The more granular you get with your segmentation, the more relevant your messages can be.
Audiense goes far beyond the basic segmentation attributes of age, location, and job. They provide more than a hundred different attributes by which you can create targeted audiences.
Audiense collects valuable information about your audience, their media consumption, purchase behavior, and general online habits (like websites visited regularly) to build very detailed and revealing audience profiles.
Think about it – if you combine the intel you’ve collected using SentiOne, specific needs and wants of your audience with Audiense’s ability to segment your audience, you are in a position to deliver real messages that will resonate very strongly with your audience.
Utilizing these two tools together effectively ‘takes care’ of how you communicate with your audience in social networks. The next tool is all about what’s happening once they reach your own website.
CrazyEgg – The Website Optimization Tool
So the three things we said were, listen to your audience, segment your audience, understand your audience. When you finally manage to bring them into your website, there’s so much you can learn about your audience – and your offering – from how users interact with your website.
And yes, you can see in Google Analytics what are your most popular pages, you can track conversions and you can see where your audience is coming from; all of which valuable, important thing to understand. But Google Analytics stops short of user behavior – they provide you the what but not the how. Enter CrazyEgg.
Why CrazyEgg is called CrazyEgg is anyone’s guess. What you should know: CrazyEgg is a tool for optimizing the user experience on your website by learning exactly how your visitors are behaving. It uses visual tools – Heatmaps and Scrollmaps – to collect and deliver this information to you.
Heatmaps show you where your visitors are spending their time on each of your website pages. You can immediately see what elements of the page your visitors find interesting, where they stop to read or watch a video, and where they skip.
Scrollmaps let you see how far down the page your visitors are getting, letting you better arrange your page. You cross-reference this with the source of the traffic and the message delivered, and you’ve got a really potent mechanism in place for refining your messages. Let’s break this down.
You gathered information about what your audience is looking for (SentiOne) and then segmented it to sub-audiences based on shared attributes (Audiense). You set up an email campaign or an ad campaign for a specific audience.
You track that audience, and when it gets to your website use CrazyEgg’s Heatmaps to see exactly how they interact with the content on your website. CrazyEgg also lets you A/B test, so you can further refine your messages by testing variations on the same audience.
Using these three audience intelligence tools, allow you to close the loop on your customer acquisition. You know what your audience is talking about and based on that you craft your messaging. You deliver highly relevant messages to segmented groups of your audience.
When they get to your website they get messages that are perfectly aligned with your marketing, and you can quickly see how they react to various content pieces on your website that drive conversions and optimize your website accordingly.
It’s a great mechanism that goes beyond your basic customer acquisition cycle. It might require some learning on your part, but once you got the handle of it, the combination of these three tools can make a difference in your marketing and deliver more customers to your business.