The Full Guide To User Acquisition In 2021
Whether you’re a website owner, an app developer, or a marketer working for a large company, user acquisition is an important element of advertisement strategy. User acquisition represents the literal acquisition of new users, which are to be converted following their initial customer engagement.
For example, offering a free trial to someone will make them a “user,” while a post-trial subscription will turn them into a “customer.” The broad strokes of user acquisition vary depending on the type of product or service you want to market and monetize.
Acquiring new users inevitably comes down to the same – making sure that more and more people know about your brand and want to use it.
That being said, let’s take a deep dive into user acquisition and explore the ways in which you can monetize your brand going into 2021.
Acquisition Marketing 🤝
Let’s start by defining what acquisition marketing is and how it relates to user acquisition. As we’ve mentioned, user acquisition is different from customer acquisition in the fact that it predates it. In order to convert someone into a customer, they first need to be made aware of your brand and services.
For example, if you incentivize a person to create an account on your website, they become a “user,” not a customer.
However, this opens the door for them to make a purchase, subscribe to your service, or otherwise engage with your content, making them a “customer.” Now that we know the difference between them let’s learn how to identify the best users and customers for our brand.
Identify the User 🕵🏻♀️
First off, you should take good care to define who your target audience really is. Start by auditing your own business portfolio and creating a list of your products/services. What type of service can you provide to users around the world? What makes your brand different from others on the market?
Learning to identify who is and isn’t a potential user for your brand will save you a lot of time and resources during acquisition marketing. Some of the questions you can use as references when identifying your users are:
- What are the gender, age, and social status of your ideal user? (Example: female, 18-15, college student)
- What everyday issues do they struggle with? (Example: time management, communication, etc.)
- What benefits do they gain from using your brand? (Example: better organization, less social anxiety, etc.)
- What communication channels do they use frequently? (Example: Facebook, Instagram, email)
Develop The Marketing Strategy 📝
Once you settle on your ideal user profile, you should aim to cater to their content expectations as best as possible.
Different users will prefer different content types depending on the communication channels they frequent.
Ideally, you should cover as many channels as possible, depending on your budget (more on that soon).
Samantha Riley, Content Writing Expert and Editor, spoke on the topic recently: “In truth, all digital content starts with writing. Written content can be retrofitted into different content types based on the delivery mechanism you choose to pursue for your target audience. Whether you provide SAAS or outsource various creative services, make sure that your writing is at the level expected from your brand.”
Some of the content marketing types you can create with the goal of user acquisition include:
- Blog posts (News articles, opinion pieces, tutorials)
- Video content (Tutorials, demonstrations, interviews)
- Audio (Podcasts, interviews)
- Images (Infographic content, photos, graphic design pieces)
- Downloadable PDFs (Tutorials, eBooks, presentations, reports)
- Surveys (User feedback, user experience, brand development suggestions)
Once you settle on the content types you will create for your user acquisition strategy, you should define your publishing approach. It’s best to adopt a strategic, periodic publishing approach to avoid confusion with your potential users.
For example, you can publish written content on Tuesdays and Fridays and then post visual social media posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Organize your marketing around a strict schedule to condition users to expect new content your user acquisition effort will take off. But, where should you publish content?
Acquisition Channels 📲
An important element of success in your user acquisition strategy lies in its delivery channels. Which communication channels should you use to reach your target audience in the most convenient manner?
In this regard, budgeting plays a large role since you will rarely have enough resources to market your product/service everywhere on the web. Thus, some of the choices you should consider pursuing in order to acquire users include:
Social media channels 👩🏿🦱🧑🏽🦱
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a great source of new users. These platforms allow you to share content quickly and present it directly to potential users.
Some of the content types you can incorporate into social media marketing include written posts, live video, multimedia, and giveaways. The benefit of using social media is in the fact that users have autonomy in whether or not to commit to your content.
SEO content 💻
Writing blog posts, opinion pieces, and articles about trending topics in your industry is an amazing way to humanize your brand and acquire users. To start, make sure that your website has a dedicated blog section and that you have a content writer on board.
You can write about a plethora of topics, create how-to guides, and generally express your opinions on pressing industry matters. Each piece of content you write should be optimized for SEO with proper keywords and formatting to fit into Google’s algorithm.
Once users “Google” anything related to your niche, your content is likely to show up in recommended search results and add to your user acquisition.
PPC advertisement 💲
Pay-per-click advertisement correlates with SEO but only to a degree. This acquisition channel represents a paid form of advertisement which takes full advantage of global search engines such as Google or Yahoo. You can write short 1-3 sentence marketing pitches and publish them at the top of search result pages in your target territories.
Subsequently, users who fit into your user profile will be presented with your PPC and gauge whether or not to click on the ad. The value of PPC is that you only ever pay for actual “clicks” toward your website, making it a budget-friendly user acquisition channel.
Influencer marketing 🤩
Reaching out to influencers who are likely to use your product/service will often result in mutually-beneficial marketing strategy creation. Depending on the type of services you offer, explore which social media and industry influencers would be willing to work with you.
In exchange for monetary compensation or free services, these individuals will promote your brand to their followers for a certain period. Judging by their follower base, this can be a great user acquisition strategy as people tend to trust the recommendations of influencers they follow.
Email marketing 📨
Lastly, email marketing is a tried and tested marketing strategy which can always work in your favor. Work on building your mailing list through newsletter subscriptions, polls, and giveaways to gather contact information efficiently.
Avoid purchasing ready-made email lists since this will likely result in your brand being marked as spam by global mailing services. Write email content with the intent to present your product/service to potential users in a professional and transparent manner. Sweeten the proverbial pot by adding a discount coupon or a free trial to the email offer, and your user acquisition efforts will bear fruit.
How is Customer Acquisition Measured? 🧐
You have a content marketing strategy in place, and you’ve chosen which acquisition channels to publish on – now what? While you can go into user acquisition “blind,” it’s much smarter to measure the effectiveness of your strategy.
This will give insight into what works and doesn’t work about your marketing approach, allowing you to adjust the user acquisition strategy on the fly. To get the best picture of how your marketing is performing, you should define two groups of goals to track going forward:
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 👏🏼
Key performance indicators represent the de facto goals which your marketing team can track in regard to content marketing. KPIs are typically used in long-term marketing campaigns and represent very objective indicators of how well content is performing.
You can use SMART to define goals for your user acquisition strategy since it will help make your goals numeric, time-sensitive, and, most importantly – objective. Some of the KPIs you can incorporate into your user acquisition strategy include:
- # Of emails sent
- # Of social media posts created
- # Of content pieces published
- # Of users acquired
- # Of users converted into customers
Customer Acquisition Performance Indicators 💁🏻♀️
Once you create a set of KPIs to track, you can move on to customer acquisition performance indicators. These are more complex measurements which cannot function independently from KPIs. The reason for this is simple – customer acquisition always follows user acquisition, not the other way around.
Customer acquisition performance indicators will give you a good sense of time and resources spent to convert each user into a customer. For example, there is no sense in publishing five pieces of content to acquire two users and convert only one into a customer. The customer acquisition measurements you should consider tracking are thus as follows:
- Cost of customer acquisition (CAC) – money spent on acquiring a single customer
- Lead close rate – percentage of users converted into customers
- Marketing ROI – money spent on content marketing compared to sales
- Social media conversions – social media users converted into customers
- Email conversions – email recipients converted into users and into customers
- Lifetime customer value – recurrent spending of a single customer over month/year
Customer Acquisition Tools To Consider
Tracking the above-mentioned KPIs and performance indicators may be difficult without a proper tool to do so. As such, you should consider investing in a specialized user acquisition tool to help alleviate the tracking process. Each of these tools has a specific niche which they cover better than others.
While some focus on heat map analysis and analytics, others will allow you to engage users and service their needs directly. Make sure to check each of them out before you commit in order to find out which one suits your brand and user acquisition strategy.
5 Ways To Improve Your Strategy ✍🏼
Continually improving your user acquisition strategy will allow you to raise the performance of your content marketing strategy and income generated from sales. With that in mind, we’ve outlined several practical ways in which you can improve your strategy and learn to use your available resources more effectively.
1.Repurpose Old Content with New SEO 👀
Once-published content can easily be repurposed periodically with updated SEO elements. Your blog posts can be updated with new keywords, hyperlinks, and multimedia before being shared on social media and mailing lists.
This will breathe new life into your content at a fraction of the initial price it took to create. Likewise, it will showcase that you are willing to fix/improve old content to users who may be interested in becoming customers.
2.Integrate Products/Services into Content 👨🏾💻
You can integrate your brand’s business portfolio into content intended for marketing. This is what is commonly referred to as a native advertisement, and it can significantly improve your user acquisition efforts. For example, create blog posts about social media marketing if you are a company which can provide users with social media marketing services.
Mention your own services and products in a carefree manner as a great solution to the contemporary issues plaguing the industry. Remember to “pull” users into using your products, not “push” your product onto them.
3.Collaborate on Guest Posts & Social Proof 👥
Inviting reputable industry professionals to write blog posts on your website can be a great boost to your brand’s image. Interviews with prolific industry representatives or satisfied clients can also add to your brand’s value in the eyes of potential users.
Reach out to your B2B and B2C networks and see if you can gather content volunteers for user acquisition marketing. Social proof, as well as guest posts written by other professionals in your field, can significantly improve your user acquisition efforts due to newly-established trust.
4.Set up an Affiliate Program 🥰
Users will be more inclined to convert into customers if there are certain long-term benefits they can look forward to. One such example is the creation of an affiliate program which will encourage customer loyalty. Users who choose to purchase products/services can gather points toward certain rewards if they refer your brand to their social circles.
These rewards can range from branded goods and apparel, free products, discount codes, and other mutually-beneficial perks. Give your users practical reasons to stick with your brand, and they will be more inclined to spread positive word of mouth about your company.
5.Periodic Discounts & Sales 🏷
As a general rule of thumb, you should lower the entry price for your products/services periodically to incentivize conversion. Users who may be short on cash will be more inclined to make a purchase if the price of entry is momentarily lower than usual.
You can also post discount codes on your social media or share them with your followers so they can give them to friends or family. Themed sales centered on holidays, seasons, and other time periods in which people feel more generous with spending can work well in your favor.
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, lowering your prices for brief periods will help your user acquisition efforts tremendously.
Great Customer Acquisition Examples 🙌🏽
To cap things off, let’s take a quick look at several brands which handle user acquisition in creative manners. Challenge yourself and try to spot which brands fit into what user acquisition strategy based on what we’ve discussed so far. Without further ado, what are some great user and customer acquisition examples out there?
Amazon – Email-Based Acquisition 💌
As the world’s greatest eCommerce platform, Amazon has learned to take advantage of their users’ behavioral patterns. Instead of using cold emails which may or may not target the right needs of an individual, they rely on website-based user interactions for data.
Users who search for certain queries on Amazon will sooner or later be met with recommendations about those particular goods at a bargain price. The same strategy extends to cart abandonment and other interactions with goods, which didn’t result in sealed purchases. This level of personalization in email marketing has helped Amazon retain their place at the top of the eCommerce industry.
Dropbox – Referral-Based Acquisition 🗣
Cloud-based storage platforms have become the new norm in recent years. Dropbox has decided that they would differentiate their platform from competitors such as Google Drive by giving away free storage space as referral gifts.
While other contemporary platforms only allow for a mandatory subscription when it comes to storage space improvement, Dropbox is more pro-consumer. This has resulted in successful user acquisition with a very low barrier for entry for cloud storage users across the world.
Mail Chimp – Social Proof-Based Acquisition 🐵
Mail Chimp started as a simple email marketing platform and evolved into a centralized omnichannel marketing service over the years. With the shift in services came a change in marketing approach and user acquisition.
Mail Chimp has transformed its “About Us” page to include social proof content, which is about “You, not us.” This is a genius move, which is so obvious that it’s shocking that it took this long for a brand to adopt such an approach. Mail Chimp has centered its user acquisition on the notion of “it’s all about our customers,” and it has proven successful for them so far.
H&M – Influencer-Based Acquisition 🌟
As a world-renown apparel retailer, H&M doesn’t have to put that much effort into user acquisition to generate revenue. However, they do so regardless in order to maintain a positive brand image and to engage with their loyal followers around the world.
The brand is known for its social media marketing, which revolves around influencers and their use of H&M products. Users trust influencers, and influencers get free goods from promoting H&M to their followers. This simple but effective strategy has allowed them to market its products at minimum cost and reach a wide range of demographics via social media.
To Summarize 💁🏻♂️
No matter the scale at which you operate or the industry you belong to, adopting a user acquisition strategy makes complete sense. Find the best content types and channels by which to reach your ideal customers before moving on to full production.
Make sure to give users enough incentives to convert into leads and provide you with their email addresses before you move onto customer acquisition. While not every user will convert, those that do will make your acquisition strategy worthwhile for the continued growth and revenue generation of your company.
This post was written by Dorian Martin. Dorian is a professional writer working with top dissertation writing services. He helps students around the world with their theses, essays and dissertations. In his free time, Dorian writes web content and participates in Quora discussions.