Over the years, I have heard plenty of advice or opinions from small business owners and marketers on what marketing activity they should do, and why. Statements such as ‘I need to be on Instagram because that’s where everyone is heading to’ and ‘I should build up an email list to several thousand that I can market to’. A lot of this is great advice but there is one small challenge that we all face… time and resources.
There are only so many hours in a day, and any business serious about growing profitably must work off a limited budget so, if you want to make your sales and marketing as effective as possible and get the best results for your business, here are 3 marketing facts to consider:
It’s cheaper (and easier) to service existing customers than to find new ones
Research shows that it’s cheaper to build a loyal customer base who make repeat purchases than to try to acquire new customers. Existing customers know your brand, have already purchased from you and trust you. New customers are less trusting and in many instances, the relationship with them needs to be built up before they will make their first purchase - and you start to build trust until you have spent money reaching out to your audience!
According to Forbes*, “It’s 7 Times Less Expensive To Keep A Customer Than To Acquire One” while it’s “FIVE TIMES more profitable to spend marketing and advertising on retaining current customers than it is to acquire new customers”.
Whether you have a loyalty scheme with bonus points and stamps or you simply re-establish contact with previous customers to build up your relationship, these marketing activities may provide you with much greater sales - and profits than spending money finding new customers.
Posting on social media isn’t the most effective way to find new customers
Of course, we still need to focus on finding new customers for long-term growth, but many businesses are disappointed when they don’t find enough customers from directly posting on social media. There are many advantages to posting on social media such as building trust, providing social proof and turning potential customers into brand advocates who are fanatical about what you do - but there are more effective ways to get more sales.
Let’s look at some quick facts…
1. It can take weeks, if not months to grow your followers or contacts on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
2. For many small businesses, the majority of fans and followers are people that are established. They are either existing customers, friends or contacts. Not potential new customers.
3. Only a small percentage of ‘fans’ see your posts**
The figures linked to the above facts vary for each platform and on how successful certain campaigns are, but let’s look at some realistic numbers…
Imagine that after 3 months, you grow your Facebook business page to 500 fans organically (without using ads) and that 20% (100) of them are potential customers who are likely to buy within the next 60 days.
When you post on Facebook, it’s likely that only 5% of your fans will see your post. That’s 25 of your 500 fans. If your post is to reach a potential new customer then the 25 people that see that post need to be among the 100 out of 500 that are customers.
The chances that a potential customer who is ready to buy from you will see the post is very low. The chances that they will also take action and click on a link in the post is even lower.
On the other hand, creating a Facebook Ads campaign can help you to reach thousands of potential customers very quickly, and for a relatively small fee. This is much more effective than spending months growing followers and posting on social media, hoping that you will get steady sales as a result.
Another way to reach more people effectively is by reaching out to an established audience that someone else has. I talk about this in my book ‘17 ways to grow your business at zero cost!’.
Goldfish have a longer attention span than humans
Ok, so this title is a little bit attention-grabbing but research shows that we now have an attention span of less than 8 seconds (which is about a second less than a goldfish). This isn’t to say that goldfish are more intelligent, but it does highlight how quickly we are distracted in the modern era by the enormous amount of information that’s ‘thrown’ at us, whether that’s adverts, the phone with sound notifications, a status update on Facebook or something else.
With such a short attention span, it’s absolutely critical that your titles or headlines grab the attention of a potential customer as quickly as possible. If the headline in a marketing campaign doesn’t make the customer stop to see what you are saying, then you have lost them already.
Here’s an interesting question - if you write an email campaign or blog post, how much time do you spend on the heading or subject line? Do you spend any time looking at the best possible headline or do you just stick in a headline at the last minute in an attempt to get your campaign running?
If the headline doesn’t grab the attention of your audience then the rest of the content is wasted, as they might never read it.
Above are just a few marketing facts worth considering when designing marketing campaigns. For more insights into the way the customer thinks, check out my book Psychology in Marketing and Sales.
Need help planning your marketing campaigns and getting better results? Get in touch for a free marketing review.
**Figures show anything from 5-10%. This article provides further evidence: https://www.causely.com/blog/why-only-ten-percent-of-your-facebook-followers-see-your-posts#:~:text=It%20stands%20to%20reason%20that,or%20less)%20of%20your%20followers.
The opinions in these blog posts are those of marketing professional and book author Darren Hignett.