by Sharon Jones

No business can function without a solid and secure customer base. No matter what kind of business you're running, if you don't have customers to work with, then you're never going to be able to succeed. Of course, that raises the all-important question: how do you reach out to customers in the first place. There are a lot of different tried and tested methods of reaching out to customers, and many businesses have been able to use them to great effect. However, it's important to understand that as the times change, so does your business's relationship with its customers. You need to make sure that you're always trying to stay on the cutting edge of customers engagement. Otherwise, you're just going to end up getting left in the dust by your competition. With that in mind, here are some ways that you might want to change up the way you reach out to new customers.

Cold emails

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Let's face it, most traditional forms of marketing just aren't going to work on a lot of potential customers in the modern age. People spend their lives online and engage with both each other and many businesses on their computer. Because of that, where you might once have contacted customers through things like cold calls, instead you may want to contact them through the use of cold emails. Finding a cold email software that works for you and your business isn't always easy since every business has different needs. However, with the right software, you're going to be able to increase your lead generation and connect with far more customers than before.

Social media

There are far too many businesses in the modern day who are still labouring under the assumption that social media is some kind of pointless fad that is going to disappear. Well, we are now more than a decade past the launch of both Facebook and Twitter, and both of those sites have more members than ever. The truth is that social media has become a part of everyday life for the vast majority of people in the developed world. You simply can't afford to ignore it as a crucial part of both bringing in new customers and engaging with the ones that you already have. Not only can you use it to promote your business in traditional ways but you can also connect with customers one-on-one in ways that simply weren't possible a decade ago.

Viral content

There are a lot of ways in which the modern world have changed the relationship between customers and the marketing of the businesses that they interact with. One of the most significant is the increased suspicion with which a lot of customers tend to regard marketing. In fact, it's often been shown that the millennial generation is much less likely to engage with traditional advertising than their parents or grandparents. Because of that, it's crucial that you're able to shift your marketing in a direction that's more tailored towards their sensibilities. The use of viral content is one of the very best ways to achieve this. By creating content that potential customers will be entertained by and will want to share, you're able to get them engaged with your business without feeling as though they're being directly marketed to. Rather than trying to throw your marketing at them, taking a more subtle approach and creating shareable content is a much better way to engage with a younger demographic.

Improved SEO

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There was a time when marketing was entirely built around your business's ability to get in touch with your customers. However, in the internet age, it's just as important to be able to make sure that your customers can actually find your business as well. The best way to do this is through search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO. SEO is the way in which you make sure that your business is always going to be right at the top of the results on sites like Google when someone searches the correct keywords. Of course, that's something of a serious oversimplification of the process of creating effective SEO, and it often takes a long time and a lot of hard work to bring your SEO up to a decent standard. Because of this, a lot of businesses prefer to connect with dedicated SEO agencies who are able to do it for them.

Blog posts

One of the most important things about interacting with customers in the modern era is that customers are just more likely to engage with a business when they feel an emotional connection to it. You could have the best business in the world, but if customers don't feel connected to it, you're always going to fall behind. One of the best ways to achieve this is to give them a peek behind the curtain with blog posts about your business. Allowing them to see past your business to the people who actually make it a success. Let them know about the human stories that make up your business. If your business just looks like a faceless company, then customers are never going to be able to create the kind of emotional connection that produces the level of loyalty that you really need from them.

Of course, one very important thing that you can't ignore is that new customers are only half of the equation. If you spend so much time focusing on bringing in new customers that you completely neglect the ones that you already have then you're setting yourself up for failure. You need to make sure that your existing customers feel appreciated and acknowledged. It's often not that much of a challenge to do this. Things like loyalty rewards or special offers exclusively for existing customers are a great way to remind them that you care about them. If you don't do that, then they're going to be easily tempted away by the offers that other businesses are providing to their new customers.