New customers

When you’ve been around for a long time in business a rather frightening thing starts to happen. Your customers start to vanish. They leave – gone, without so much as a wave goodbye or courtesy ‘thank you’ for your service.

The often unpalatable truth behind customer churn for well-established businesses is that clients simply reach the end of their life, whether it be a business shutting its doors in a B2B relationship or a B2C customer who has unfortunately passed away.

If customer churn isn’t identified within an older business and acted upon, the ability to attract new customers becomes increasingly difficult.

What’s more, if you find that your business typically attracts the baby boomer generation and fails to secure a younger clientele, you’ll no doubt be worried about its ability to survive as the millennials and generation X gradually take over.

The good news is that many industries have successfully overcome this issue and, in this post, I’ve got 5 incredibly simple methods that older businesses can use to attract younger customers.

1. Rethink your website design

Ask a member of the millennial generation to have a play with your website. Leave them alone with it for ten minutes before returning and asking their honest opinion. If they frown and say ‘it’s a bit wordy’ or ‘I couldn’t work out how to contact you’, some remedial work is needed.

The face of web design has changed considerably in recent times and the younger generation expect to see beautiful imagery over reams of text and site navigation that is almost video game-like. Any modern web designer will know how to engage them.

2. Open up

Are you overly cautious about how much information you provide on your website and within marketing campaigns? Do you hide the brilliant features that make your product a dream to use because you’re afraid competitors will steal your best ideas?

Of all the tips in this list, this one might be the hardest to adopt. Unless you’re Apple, secrecy and preciousness about one’s products doesn’t win you new customers. The new generations expect instant gratification online; they want to see exactly what it is that makes you special. Don’t hide it away.

3. Make your website the salesperson

Youngsters aren’t particularly keen on picking up the phone. In fact, most of them regard the one that nestles in their pocket as purely a way to access SnapChat and Facebook.

If your website’s main call to action (CTA) is a telephone number, you won’t capture new, younger customers. Turn it into a salesperson in its own right – add a video introducing the company, offer an online demo of your product and, as in tip 2, provide as much information as possible. A simple form that requests the email address and name of interested parties is all you need as the CTA.

4. Start a social media marketing campaign

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are just three of the social media platforms that should feature prominently in every marketing plan. It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in – your new customers will be using these services to communicate and learn.

Thankfully, there are tips abound to help you get started in social media marketing.

5. Align yourself with a YouTube star

Forget reality TV – the new method for getting noticed is to build your own YouTube channel. There are now a huge number of YouTube stars, most of whom are making a tidy living from presenting themselves as experts within their chosen field.

Most of these people are ‘ordinary’ souls like you and I, and are usually very approachable as a result. Try and find someone who regularly films themselves talking about a topic that relates to your business and who has a large following on YouTube. Make contact and tell them about your company – it’s pedigree and how you think your story could be of value to them will usually elicit a response.

Aligning yourself with the new generation of superstars is a brilliant way to spread the word about your business online.

Summary

I’m not for one minute suggesting that any of the above are easy tactics for which you’ll be able to instantly drop everything and begin tackling, but they should feature in your future plans.

Choose just one and get to work. You’ll need to play the long game and wait for results with these new forms of promotion, but once they start working, the domino effect will ensure a younger clientele starts knocking on your door.

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