The first step in your work is to attract internet users to a service using different channels: social networks, SEO, SEA, etc.; in other words, the acquisition of traffic.
To successfully attract traffic, the value proposition of the service offered must be sufficiently relevant, and the user spots it very quickly (hence the importance of landing pages).
There are more than a dozen acquisition channels. Your goal is not to take them one by one, but rather to understand which ones are relevant for your target and your business.
Discover the Different Acquisition Channels
As you read about each of the channels, try to make the connection with your personas: your targets use some channels more than others.
Organic Search (SEO – Search Engine Optimization)
Organic search refers to all of the techniques to make your website appear in an optimal position in search engines.
You ensure the promotion of your site in the long term and attract quality traffic. Most of these techniques are reflexes you want to acquire when creating your site, but you also need to make a long-term effort to create content.
For example, Mint and HubSpot have made their mark with SEO by posting massive amounts of blog content.
Paid SEO (SEA - Search Engine Advertising)
Unlike natural referencing, SEA allows you to increase your visibility on a search engine's pages through compensation.
For example, by conducting Google AdWord campaigns, you can buy keywords on which the website positions itself to be more easily found by internet users.
You need to regularly analyze these investments' results to maximize the ROI (return on investment).
TripAdvisor and other comparison sites, such as car rental companies, have made a name for themselves using Google AdWords.
This is the regular production of qualitative content, following your editorial line and audience:
Blog posts: to get results, it's crucial to continuously update your blog with high value-added content in line with your business expertise. It's also necessary to integrate links to your website to increase visibility with search engines and improve your reputation with online readers.
Guest blogging: this lever consists of inviting experts to contribute to your blog. You benefit from the author's expertise and reputation, which attracts new readers. It's a real win-win partnership since everyone will be able to profit from each other's community. It's also necessary to choose the equivalent size or similar branding associations to ensure that everyone is happy.
White papers: they are high value-added content about your market, product, technology, expertise, etc. They must encourage your visitors to take an interest in your services and contact you. The final format is a PDF file to download in exchange for an email address. Special attention here: remember to send the PDF by email, and not as a free download; otherwise, you'll end up in the spam folder that nobody looks at.
Webinars: these are seminars webcast about a specific topic in your industry. You can take the opportunity to show how your solutions meet the challenges of the particular subject and directly answer users' questions.
Videos: they can be used in many ways: for product demonstrations, teasers, company presentations, humor. A video is often more viral than a simple article.
Email Marketing and Newsletters
Emailing consists of sending messages to your contacts using emails with some news. In comparison, a newsletter is an arrangement that you implement to develop your audience's loyalty with content in (almost) always the same format. It differs from email marketing by its regularity.
Email marketing allows you to create traffic on your website with two goals:
To make a customer come back (loyalty, retargeting, promotions, newsletters, etc.).
To acquire new customers.
Customization and segmentation make it a powerful lever.
Social and Display Ads
These are social media ad expenses (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). They attract an increasing percentage of digital investments (+59%) and especially display, with mobile usage growth and the appetite for video.
The advantage of these ads is that you target them according to demographic criteria and centers of interest, which is something you can't do on a search engine. They are also used for retargeting.
The Cell Phone
Since 2016, cell phone usage has exceeded that of desktop computers. In addition to reaching new customers, it allows you to contact your target core in a new way (SMS, push notifications, geolocation, QR code, applications, etc.). By using a mobile-friendly site or even a full-fledged mobile site, you reach a different audience from the usual website traffic.
Affiliate platforms select and put you into contact with their most relevant partners (blogs, couponing sites, etc.) to highlight your products. They receive compensation each time a user is redirected from their sites to yours and has performed a predefined concrete action (display, registration, click, sale, etc.).
Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, and PayPal have based their growth on partnerships. With local representatives to sell their solution, in the case of Salesforce, or one of the world's largest e-merchants in the case of PayPal.
Press relations campaigns offer an acquisition channel with high potential. They allow you to acquire qualified traffic and boost your natural referencing in search engines through quality links.
Viral marketing is a process whereby your current users and customers bring you new users and customers without having to advertise.
Optimize Your Paid Channels
The goal of growth hacking is not just to find free opportunities, but to focus on the lowest possible costs. However, paid acquisition channels are a real face-to-face competition: it's your business model against theirs, and may the best one win!
Remember, you need to attract qualified traffic and not only more people to the site!
Calculate Your Lifetime Value (LTV)
A competitor may want to play this game with you, constantly investing in paid channels. To find out if the investment is worth it, you need to calculate the lifetime value (LTV) of your customer).
To calculate the lifetime value (LTV):
LTV = average revenue per customer over the month x 12 months x average lifespan in years.
or LTV = average revenue per customer over the week x 52 weeks x average lifespan in years.
You can also think in terms of margin using the following formulas:
LTV = average revenue per customer for the month x 12 months x margin rate x average lifespan in years.
or LTV = average revenue per customer for a week x 52 weeks x margin rate x average lifespan in years.
For example, online poker players rarely go to multiple sites simultaneously; once they have one, they stay! It's necessary to invest in paid SEO to attract these loyal users. It's expensive for the company, but this investment will pay off: the poker player has a very high LTV.
Select the Channels Suited to Your Target
To select the most relevant channels, you need to test a few to determine which ones work for you.
Here are three variables to help focus your efforts:
Identify the channel that brings you the highest volume of traffic, namely, the one that attracts the most people.
Then identify among these high-volume channels, which ones provide you with the highest conversion rate: this corresponds to performance.
Finally, assign an average cost.
You can also correlate the results between them. It may be that the reduction of effort on one channel impacts another.
For example, paid advertising brings you a lot of qualified traffic, and a channel in a partnership arrangement provides less of a result. However, some customers may have heard of you for the first time through the partner, but only decided to visit your site and subscribe after seeing your ad.
Acquisition is the first step in your funnel and involves bringing your customers to your site or app.
Different acquisition channels exist, whether fee-based or free.
Take the time to test them, to identify the most strategically and economically relevant.
Optimize your paid channel investments by taking the time to calculate the LTV of your customers.
At this phase, your customers have arrived at your site. Let's go to the next step, activation, in the next chapter.