3 Reasons why you Should Cast a Wide Net with Paid Customer Acquisition

As the founder of a growing retail brand, you’ve put the blood, sweat, and tears into your e-commerce business, and you know your customer better than anyone. Or do you? At Hawke Media we help dozens of clients manage and grow all aspects of their digital marketing strategy each month; with new customer acquisition being one of the most important focuses.

One of the most consistent observations I’ve had is, very often, companies who have grown up with a very narrow customer base find themselves failing to drive strong (or any) returns from paid marketing and then give up on the whole process. This is the wrong approach.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you should start broad with your targeting on any paid media channel:

  • Competition on paid media is at a fever pitch
    • The number of businesses utilizing paid display advertising on Facebook has increased by over 30% since the beginning of 2015, ultimately making it much harder and more competitive to make your ads stand out and get the clickthroughs needed to make it a profitable endeavor.
    • Focusing solely on segments that you think overlap with your existing customer base may seem like a smart move, especially for a cash-strapped startup. But in reality, you’re putting a lot of eggs into one basket. Which segues into point #2…
  • You never know which fish will bite…
    • Say you’re a business that sells artisanal, handmade suspenders online. You’ve achieved some decent traction due to pop-up shops in your local area and assume that your target customer MUST be exactly like the people you’ve seen come to those events. Thus, that’s the niche you should go after on Facebook.
    • What if there’s an unmet demand for handmade suspenders amongst software developers in San Francisco making over $150k annually? Or young pastors between 25-34 in Dallas? Or current male students at Princeton University? These are potentially valuable customers who would never be reached if you pigeonhole yourself to the limited niche that’s worked in the past.
    • Having a diverse customer base hedges you against the risk of any one group falling out of love with your product. Moreover, it allows you to have more segment-specific messaging through less risky marketing channels like email.
    • Platforms like SimilarWeb are terrific analytics tools to help you uncover these hidden gems within your site visitors and customer base.
  • “Those ceilings are awfully low”
    • On a more practical note, it can take months to gather these learnings about the exact makeup of who you should be going after, with what messaging and with which asset types. Targeting your paid media on an audience that’s too small and too narrow will put a ceiling on how high you can take those learnings.
    • Think about it: If you’ve spent thousands of dollars and many months figuring out the perfect formula for engaging an audience cap of 30k people nationwide, then how high do you expect your business to grow?

Starting from scratch to find new audiences for your product after an old one is tapped out can be extremely daunting and financially draining — not to mention it’ll slow down your plans for world domination. Avoid falling into this trap by starting broad with audience segments and letting the data dictate who your core audience actually is.

Or better yet, let us here at Hawke Media do what we do best — take all of this off of your plate so you can focus on the fun stuff. Check out Hawke Media today for a free strategy consultation.

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