Today's market is fiercely competitive, shaped by globalization, rapid technological advancements, heightened consumer expectations, and the relentless need for businesses to adapt and grab fleeting consumer attention. This dynamic landscape makes capturing and retaining the focus of potential customers a multifaceted challenge—and a strategic necessity.
Effective customer acquisition strategies are crucial for business growth, making the difference between surviving and thriving. They impact market share, adoption rates, and overall influence. In this post, we'll explore five examples of gold-standard digital customer acquisition, dissecting tactics used by industry leaders across various industries, sizes, and regions.
1. Elevating acquisition through influencer marketing
Influencer marketing, a game-changer in contemporary business dynamics, transforms audience connections in the digital realm. It involves a strategic partnership between brands and influencers—individuals with dedicated social media followings.
Influencers have the clout to influence their followers' purchase choices through recommendations and endorsements. The approach leverages influencers to seamlessly promote brand messages, products, or services, fostering authentic connections with their audience.
Influencer acquisition in the real world: Rakuten
Influencer program strategy
Rakuten's influencer program stands out by simplifying brand promotion and income generation. Influencers become Rakuten partners, earning a flat bonus for each new sign-up—a departure from traditional commission-based models. They also receive a $50 bonus after 10 successful referrals, providing extra motivation. Rakuten actively supports influencers by sharing best practices, maximizing their success, and boosting brand recognition.
The program also collaborates with a diverse range of influencers who resonate with Rakuten's ethos. Influencers from various niches are encouraged to partner with Rakuten, expanding the brand's reach to different audiences.
Impact on brand recognition
Rakuten's influencer program delivers impressive outcomes. Influencers significantly boost brand recognition, leveraging their endorsement to enhance visibility and credibility among their followers. The enticing flat bonus and referral incentives drive active advocacy, resulting in a surge of new members. Moreover, the program improves customer acquisition by capitalizing on influencers' trust and sway over their audience, solidifying Rakuten's position in the ecommerce domain.
2. Leveraging content marketing for customer acquisition
Content marketing plays a central role in customer acquisition and is the primary driver of information for new and existing customers. A strategic approach involves consistently creating and sharing relevant content and reshaping how businesses speak to and source new customers.
Content marketing in the real world: Hubspot
HubSpot, a trailblazer in digital marketing, showcases the immense power of content marketing in attracting and engaging customers effectively. Through the strategic use of high-quality content, HubSpot transformed its blog infrastructure, embracing the pillar-cluster model. This shift involved grouping related blog posts under specific topics, steering away from the traditional long-tail keyword approach.
- Pillar-cluster model: HubSpot's content strategy centers around creating comprehensive pillar pages that cover broad topics such as “Instagram Marketing.” These pillar pages serve as foundational content, interlinked with cluster content diving deeper into the topic, like The Anatomy of a Perfect Instagram Profile or How to Use Instagram Stories: A Simple Guide for Marketers.
- Quality: High-quality content is key to HubSpot’s strategy. Through well-researched, valuable content, it builds trust and authority to attract and engage a wider audience.
- Distribution: HubSpot primarily distributes content through its blog, using features like easy click-to-tweet buttons, video modules, and an intuitive homepage design to foster engagement. Additionally, it shares content across various social media channels, email newsletters, and community forums to amplify its reach.
Impact on customer acquisition
By revamping its content strategy, HubSpot witnessed a notable improvement in search rankings across keywords, including on the first page of Google's SERP. Creating high-quality, organized content ensures enhanced visibility, ultimately contributing to customer acquisition.
3. Email marketing: the power of personalized engagement
Email marketing has proven to be a powerful tool for customer acquisition, offering a direct and personalized way to connect with potential customers. Amid the digital noise, email provides a focused channel to reach out and engage effectively. Tailoring email campaigns to specific audiences enables businesses to strike a chord and establish trust. Whether it's a warm welcome, enticing promotions, or informative updates, email marketing helps acquire customers—and keep them engaged and retained.
Email marketing in the real world: Blue Apron
Blue Apron, which offers original recipes for easy-to-make meals, illustrates the impact of personalized email marketing on driving higher conversion rates. By analyzing user behavior with Amplitude Analytics and employing targeted content, Blue Apron witnessed a 7% increase in conversions through personalized email campaigns.
Email targeting strategy
Blue Apron uses Amplitude to understand user behaviors and preferences, then personalizes its email content to align with individual tastes and interests. It strategically targets consumers who show intent to purchase, tailoring emails to reintroduce the Blue Apron experience and entice them to try the product.
Impact on conversion
By tailoring content to behaviors and preferences, BlueApron establishes a deeper connection with potential customers and moves them toward conversion. Moreover, segmenting users based on their engagement and purchase intent ensures its emails hit the mark—resulting in a remarkable 5.5% increase in conversions on recipe pages.
4. Social media marketing: engaging audiences and acquiring customers
Social media is a pivotal tool for customer acquisition, offering a vibrant space to connect and engage with potential customers. Businesses can establish a compelling brand presence through thoughtfully curated content, strategic ad campaigns, and meaningful interactions. The massive user base and precise targeting options on social platforms enable companies to reach their desired audience effectively.
Social media marketing in the real world: Duolingo
Duolingo, the renowned language-learning app, showcases how social media can be a game-changer to brand growth. The company creates engaging content that drives new user growth, elevates its brand, and deepens audience connections, ultimately impacting user loyalty and downloads.
Social media strategy
- Platform: Duolingo seized the opportunity presented by TikTok in a calculated shift away from traditional TV advertisements. This transition reflects a keen understanding of evolving consumer behavior, favoring organic interactions over conventional ad spots. Duolingo integrated into TikTok's dynamic landscape, aligning with audience preferences for more engaging and immediate content.
- Content: Duolingo employs an “unhinged” marketing approach, presenting a more chaotic yet conversational tone and a humorous mascot its audience can relate to. The brand quickly capitalizes on trending sounds and current topics, ensuring its content remains fresh and appealing. It also maintains consistent storylines, like its playful rivalry with Google Translate, creating an ongoing narrative that engages its audience and fosters a sense of belonging.
Impact on customer base
Duolingo’s content prioritizes entertainment over a hard sell, but this relaxed and relatable approach yields substantial results, propelling Duolingo's daily active users by 62%. Beyond the numbers, it establishes a genuine connection between the brand and its audience, demonstrating social media’s role in building a loyal and engaged customer base.
5. Building bonds, acquiring advocates: the art of community-centric customer acquisition
Communities are an effective channel to establish genuine connections with potential customers. Businesses can create dedicated communities by fostering a sense of belonging and interactivity among individuals who share common interests or goals. Communities are invaluable for humanizing a brand, facilitating meaningful interactions, and organically amplifying its reach and influence.
Community marketing in the real world: Atlassian
Atlassian has a robust Community with an impressive 3.8 million+ members. This network is a testament to the power of authentic engagement and idea sharing. It has evolved into a dynamic hub where users seek solutions, participate in discussions, contribute valuable insights, and share their experiences.
Atlassian's approach to community engagement moves beyond conventional interactions; it creates a space where like-minded professionals freely exchange insights and expertise. With an extensive network of over 196 community groups tailored to diverse topics, languages, and areas of specialization, the Atlassian Community ensures that individuals can immerse themselves in discussions that align with their interests. These conversations become an avenue to discover solutions, acquire new knowledge, and establish genuine connections.
Impact on acquisition
The Atlassian Community transforms users into brand advocates, generously sharing their knowledge and endorsement of Atlassian’s products. Atlassian has built a committed customer community and consistently draws in new users seeking engagement.
Unlocking growth through customer acquisition
Businesses can adapt these success stories—whether by embracing influencers, content marketing, email marketing, social media, or community building—to reach a broader customer base and drive revenue growth.
Explore more strategies to boost customer acquisition with our Acquisition Playbook: Mastering Customer Acquisition Strategy. Learn how to:
- Pinpoint your ideal customers and channels
- Improve activation and long-term value
- Experiment with key acquisition drivers
- Craft a winning acquisition strategy