What Is a Customer Acquisition Strategy for Startups?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published January 3, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A strong customer acquisition strategy can be helpful for any business, especially startups. Developing a customer acquisition strategy may allow startups to create a comprehensive outreach plan for additional demographics and determine their ideal clients. Learning how to implement a strong customer acquisition strategy might lead to additional conversions and engagement with your site. In this article, we explore what a customer acquisition strategy is, explain why it's important to develop one and share different benefits and implementation strategies to use in a startup.

Related: Customer Acquisition vs. Retention: Definitions and Differences

What is a customer acquisition strategy for startups?

A customer acquisition strategy for startups is a plan that businesses can use to procure and maintain a client base. This strategy is usually dynamic and meant to serve the needs of a business throughout different phases of the startup's lifetime. For example, an acquisition strategy you use at the beginning of the business may be more general so that it's relevant to a wider customer base. As time goes on, a business may choose to appeal to a narrower demographic or audience to gain higher-quality or longer-lasting leads.

Some elements found in a customer acquisition plan for startups include:

  • Defined preferred audiences

  • Defined ideal channels through which to find audience members

  • Development of content pillars

  • Optimization of business presentation on chosen channels

Many businesses incorporate some or all of these elements into their customer acquisition plan. These elements can apply to businesses, including startups, at all phases of development.

Related: 7 Effective Customer Acquisition Strategies

Why is a customer acquisition strategy for startups important?

A customer acquisition strategy is an essential tool for startups to use because it can help them establish themselves and earn enough business to be functional. While it may take some time to optimize the strategy for the industry that the startup serves, many elements of planning can assist in customer procurement. When you take the opportunity of cost minimization that can occur with a strong acquisition strategy, you may enjoy a heightened return on investment for yourself and your stakeholders.

Investing time in creating an effective customer acquisition strategy is vital to introduce your brand to a larger audience. Even if only a few customers become loyal clients at first, you may still be able to reach many potential consumers in the long term. With consistency, time and quality content, you might even elevate yourself as an industry leader, which may mean that other businesses use your case studies and information or pillar content as inspiration for their own.

Related: 10-Step Customer Acquisition Process

Benefits of having a customer acquisition strategy for startups

There are several benefits of having a preplanned and strong customer acquisition strategy. In addition to the possibility of additional sales, your client acquisition strategy might also provide the following benefits:

  • Increased brand presence and awareness

  • Organization and workflow improvements for team members

  • Better clarity for marketing and sales processes

  • Enhanced lead acquisition and more quality lead generation

  • Potentially higher conversion rates

  • Unified marketing and messaging initiatives

Investing time and effort into creating a customer acquisition strategy can also lead to a greater understanding of broader marketing goals for a startup. Team members might also enjoy higher levels of job satisfaction because of the team's collaboration throughout the process.

How to implement a customer acquisition strategy as a startup

There are several steps that you can take to implement a predetermined customer acquisition strategy successfully in a startup. Creating a plan for implementation can depend on the nature of a business and the different variables that exist. Making the plan flexible and comprehensive may help a business be resilient and resolve any potential issues that arise. Below is a list of four steps you may consider following to help you make your customer acquisition strategy as effective as possible:

1. Create a unified messaging plan

You may enhance quality content production for a startup when you help it invest time into making a unified messaging plan. This plan may outline topics that your team of content creators can focus on, including relevant topics to your industry, such as headlines in the field, general information about services or the industry and promotional content. You may then consider taking the contents of this plan and reviewing it with your team members for additional insights. Being organized is one way that you can streamline the implementation process for a startup.

Related: How To Create Brand Messaging Framework in 8 Steps

2. Review platform optimization preferences

Different social channels and other places where you can find your audience might require different techniques and optimization steps. These platforms are often dynamic and can change rapidly, especially social media. You may consider making time on a quarterly or semiannual basis to review any applicable changes and revise your current approaches to ensure that you're maximizing your investment.

3. Define and market to your ideal customer

You may also enhance implementation when there's a clear vision about what defines your ideal customer. This may involve team collaboration and definition. Your perspective of what makes an ideal customer may change over time, which you may normalize in the life stages during and after the startup stage. This step can help you plan and implement your strategy well, as it might lead you directly to your ideal demographic.

Related: 10 Best Customer Loyalty Programs That Work (With Examples)

4. Communicate regularly with your team

Customer acquisition encompasses every step between a business' introduction to a lead and the process of a prospect signing up to learn more about or continue with a company. There are many steps before that lead becomes a conversion, so to implement your strategy well, consider various innovative ways that you can support the team. A supported team may find it much easier to attract and maintain leads throughout the conversion process.

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