How To Build Awareness And Grow Your Customer Base
Every business, especially one just starting out, needs to get on its audience’s radar. And in order to grow, it must attract new customers and keep existing ones. In fact, 31% of small-business owners cited one of their key business priorities as identifying opportunities to target new customers and markets. With plenty of transactions taking place online, it makes sense to leverage some new tools that can help you efficiently let prospects know you exist, are thriving, and are ready to take on new business opportunities.
There are several ways to build awareness and to grow your customer base and here are a few that can help you gain exposure:
1. Claim Your Business Listings, Including Your D&B® Business Listing
There are over 50 business listing opportunities on the internet including Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Places for Business and the D&B Business Directory. Additionally, depending on the type of business you own, you might consider platforms such as Angie’s List, Merchant Circle, or LinkedIn in order to reach prospective customers searching for a particular service or product. Some of these business listing opportunities are free, however there are pay-for-placement options as well.
Whether you choose to participate in all of the options that fit your business profile or you opt to select a few, it is a good idea to claim your business page where possible, and complete your listing so potential customers can get your most up-to-date information.
The Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory is viewed by more than 14 million unique visitors per month and growing. Every day, businesses use Dun & Bradstreet to vet the existence and creditworthiness of a business, no matter how small or new the business might be. In fact, ninety percent of Fortune 500 businesses utilize Dun & Bradstreet data to make business decisions.
How To Use D&B® Business Listing
· If you’re just starting out, you can request your Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number so other businesses seeking your service or product can find your company in the most utilized business data cloud across the globe. With a D-U-N-S Number, you receive a basic profile.
· You can then enhance your profile by using the free version of D&B Business Listing to create a more complete picture of your company. With D&B Business Listing Free, you can add business hours, social media URLs, payment methods accepted, and languages spoken. Adding these details will make it easier for customers to contact you and provides the information needed to effectively engage with your company.
· Since 78%1 of consumers use search engines to find information on brands, you might want to consider syncing your business information across 60+ websites and apps with D&B® Business Listing Plus [jump to Plus]. This paid version can improve your company’s visibility not only within the D&B Business Directory, but also across the internet and on some mobile apps. With D&B Business Listing Plus, you can also add a more robust company description and a tagline, along with the additional information included in the free version.
One in three2 consumers will choose another brand if they can’t find all the information they need about your business. However, updating your information in multiple places can be time-consuming. With D&B Business Listing Plus, you know that your business profile will be consistent across 60+ websites and apps, reducing the amount of time you would need to update it.
2. Advertise Through Simple-To-Use Platforms To Reach Your Ideal Customer
Depending on whether you are trying to reach consumers or other business owners, some online platforms naturally reach the particular audience you are trying to target with your advertisements. It’s becoming more common to see ads that are helpful, relevant and contextual, especially within our social media feeds. Have you ever clicked on an image to find that it was actually an ad?
Most social media platforms offer straightforward interfaces that allow you to build your own ads with images and copy that you create. Depending on what appeals to your customers and potential clients, you can assemble static, carousel (where three images rotate), or video ads, just to name a few. To find more information on advertising on popular social media platforms, you can look for a link in the menu, or in the footer on their website (you’ll usually need to be logged out of your account to find the link this way so that you don’t end up just scrolling through your feed). Click on the link and follow instructions and guidelines pertaining to that specific platform.
There’s also the opportunity to leverage native advertising in other publishers’ content, such as BuzzFeed or The Dodo. This is a pay-for-placement option that gives you the chance to tell the publisher what type of post you would like to share, and the publisher will create videos and posts as sponsored content to their audience through various social media sites and their own website.
Display advertising can be done through major networks such as Google, Bing, or YouTube. These platforms offer automated targeting and bidding features that you can adjust and manage to maintain your budget.
D&B Rev.Up Now (powered by Zeta) provides a platform where you no longer need to fret about learning how to properly leverage digital marketing in order to promote your business. And if you were worried about your budget, Rev.Up Now can help you implement a digital advertising campaign without the overspending that can come with testing and trying to navigate all the available choices.
Rev.Up Now can save you time, money, and resources by helping you create your ads in effective templates, serving your ads on appropriate sites to reach your target audience during a targeted 3-month campaign, and allowing you to evaluate your ad performance with easy-to-understand metrics. Using Rev.Up Now eliminates the need to learn multiple platforms, can reduce time and resources spent waiting to see how effective each platform might be, and simplifies the process for you with regard to contracts, metrics, and ongoing maintenance.
You will receive insights on the type of customers that are looking for your products and their intent that you can use to retain your current customer base and attract new customers. Reach your customers whether they are on mobile devices or desktops and let the power of AI (machine learning) drive your campaign so it can perform better over time without requiring constant adjustments from you, the business owner.
The setup of Rev.Up Now requires little or no marketing expertise. The program offers fully automated audience targeting and highly targeted marketing solutions specifically designed for small to medium-size B2C businesses looking to acquire new customers and raise awareness around their brand.
3. Curate Customized B2B Lists
Nearly 40% of B2B sales teams feel they don’t have the right account intelligence to engage with prospects in a meaningful way. Without the right information, it can be extremely difficult to develop trust and rapport with a potential client, making the transition to a sales conversation less than ideal.
In many cases, you could use public profile information available on social platforms built for B2B interaction. Some business owners will find a user profile on LinkedIn, for example, that seems like a good match to their ideal client. If the user profile makes their company, title, and contact information public, they will create a list based on their search by industry or title. Then, they create a spreadsheet, copy the public details and assemble a calling list.
There are also professional list curators and some that are relatively inexpensive for small business owners in particular.
For B2B businesses that are looking to grow, D&B Hoovers™ utilizes Dun & Bradstreet’s world-class data to deliver the details on millions of business records, empowering you and your team to target more strategically with dynamic search capabilities and easy-to-use list-building functionality.
Simply identify your target audience and D&B Hoovers will deliver company profiles to match your needs. View the company, news about the company, competitive intelligence, contact information, and much more for each of the businesses meeting your criteria. Since the records are updated 5,000 times a day, the accuracy is unparalleled, and you can be more confident that you are asking to speak to the appropriate contact and that the facts delivered from D&B Hoovers will be a solid foundation from which to have an informed and intelligent conversation with your prospective customer.
Gain trust and credibility at the beginning of your conversations by being informed about their business. And, if you have a CRM or marketing automation tool, D&B Hoovers can be easily configured to provide a seamless connection, keeping the conversation and relationship-building effort consistent from the beginning and through retention and advocacy. When everyone is working from the same quality data, it creates a more integrated and high-quality customer experience that will help to build your customer base and sales pipeline faster.
4. Lean On An Account Manager To Be Your Lead Concierge
If you have a smaller team, you might need a one-time list customized for your business rather than a larger tool, like Hoovers. Whether you are too busy to research and build targeted lead lists, or you find it challenging or difficult, a good solution may be to have an account manager help you with research, segmenting, and building highly targeted lead lists for your next campaign.
Based on your specified criteria, Lead Concierge will identify and secure leads that are most relevant to your business and share those high-quality leads with you and your team. With precise targeting, your sales team is more likely to generate a higher ROI.
Leveraging D&B Hoovers and Dun & Bradstreet’s industry-leading data cloud of 150+ million businesses, an account manager can help you quickly find the businesses and decision-makers that match your criteria, effectively helping you build awareness with the right companies and find the right prospects.
5. Develop Email Lists And Use An Email Plugin
Email continues to be one of the top channels for grabbing a prospect’s attention. In fact, 41% of business owners said that they responded to email campaigns at a higher rate than to social media advertisements.
Just like with any other digital form of communication and awareness-building efforts, the more targeted your email audience and the better the information appended to your list, the more effective you can be at identifying opportunities for personalizing an email.
When developing your advertisement campaigns consider creating an email opt-in for a newsletter or special promotional offers. Create an excel spreadsheet or use an email management platform for small businesses such as Mail Chimp or Constant Contact which generally have reasonable pricing plans.
With the free D&B Email IQ plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, you gain access to over 420 million business profile records. The records include contacts and current business information that enables you to have a more meaningful conversation with a prospect. In addition, D&B Email IQ enables you to be more efficient by delivering updates directly to your inbox. Firmographic company data on over 170+ million global companies will be ready for you to work with every day, and contact recommendations will be made based on data you enter along the way. And, D&B Email IQ can provide dashboard analytics so you can optimize campaigns as needed.
6. Need To Connect With Educators And Schools?
Many businesses have products or services that are a good fit for educators and schools, as well as consumers or other businesses. It can be difficult to find or curate lists for school personnel and many are not as active on traditional B2B social platforms such as LinkedIn.
It can be time-consuming to search for district contacts and often, the contacts at the district may not be the person you are actually interested in connecting with in regard to your service or products.
If that describes your business, ConnectED Cloud can help you:
· build targeted lists for your teams to reach out to and engage with educators and schools
· find new customers by giving you the ability to search profiles for K-12 schools, districts, and colleges, daycares, and libraries
· stay informed by helping you size your market and receive alerts when your list has updated data
This niche audience might be the perfect fit for your business.
There are numerous ways to gain exposure for your business, but finding the most efficient way is key when you are a small-business owner, as there often isn’t enough time to use multiple platforms, many of which are not equipped with the power of Dun & Bradstreet data. With over 420 million business records that are updated multiple times a day to ensure the most accurate data is being supplied, it would be difficult to find any other system that can be as robust as the tools Dun & Bradstreet created and tailored to the needs of small-business owners who seek to build awareness and grow their customer base.
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