Guest post by Raul Harman:
If buyers only looked for the most affordable offers from the biggest brand names, small to medium size enterprises could never compete against major corporations. Luckily, there is much more to customer acquisition and retention than prices and advertising spend. In fact, sentiment, personal emotion and brand loyalty can play a key part in ensuring your company’s success. The trick for SMEs is how to create and maintain brand loyalty on a comparatively small budget. Here are a few tips on how to use your digital marketing to foster and nourish brand loyalty.
Include Customers in Your Content
Get off to a strong start and include some of your most ardent customers in your content. On your website and blog, use quotes and comments left by your regular customers in order to make your business seem more personal. Building brand loyalty is all about making your every customer feel like a part of your undertaking. This can easily be achieved by asking them for permission to put their name (or face) on your website. While a few may say no, most will be flattered to be asked and more than happy to oblige.
Use Social Media to Improve Customer Experience
Sure, you can advertise your content on social networks, but that is not the only thing you can do. You can gain some valuable feedback through your company’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages. While most people will (hopefully) praise you, there will also be those dissatisfied with the service you provide. How you approach them might play a vital part in the future of your business. For example, you can win over even the most bitter of critics by thanking them personally for their opinion, or giving them credit if you decide to act on the issue they raised.
Sometimes your customers will need your immediate help. If they don’t get the help or information as soon as possible, they might become disappointed in the way you conduct business. Being there for your clients until their problems are solved is just one of the things that make a great customer service, and social media provide an easy way to engage customers and respond to their queries. According to Kissmetrics’ statistic, bad customer service costs companies all over the world almost $338 billion on annual basis.
Run a Competition
When you decide to hold a competition, make sure to consider how to use it to boost brand loyalty. For example, you could post pictures of the winners while they are receiving the reward, or ask the winner for their permission to publish a blog post about their win. Why? Even the largest prize-pool may seem quite abstract in the eyes of your customers. On the other hand, by being able to see the faces of people who have won and who are just like them, they might decide to take part in your next competition or contest.
What you choose as a prize is equally important. Find out what your customers value and consider a prize that’ll increase their interaction with your company: If your organization is in the B2B space, the prize could be an annual subscription to the leading trade magazine where you regularly advertise, or if your website has an element of e-commerce, why not give your customers branded visa gift cards for your store, thereby strongly encouraging them to come back.
Develop a Point System
Another way to ensure your customers keep coming back for more is to use something called a point system. The way this works is quite simple. First, encourage your clients to create their profiles on your e-store or website. Next, by purchasing through this profile, they will be awarded an amount of points depending on the value of the purchase. They will be able to use these points later as a discount, and they may inspire your customers to buy an item in your store (even if it does cost less somewhere else), so that their accumulated points don’t go to waste.
Even if your business model does not include online retail and is oriented toward higher value b2b products and services, you can use the point system to track and measure customers’ digital interactions: Those with a high score in the point system can then be invited to exclusive customer events, product previews and be invited to speak at user groups.
Keep up to date with the best digital marketing channels
Finally, although your message might always be the same – the customer always comes first – the medium through which you deliver it might need reviewing and updating. For example, while it has been true that for several years Facebook has been reigning supreme, the title of the runner-up has been changing. This year, for example, the second most popular social network seems to be Snapchat. With this in mind, approaching your customers through it might result in great ROI.
Even though big budgets are very nice to have, businesses with smaller budgets who are savvy in their use of digital marketing stand the same chance of creating and maintaining brand loyalty among their customer base. By putting enough of your time, resources and thought into your loyalty campaign, your company might just triumph against large corporations, even against all odds. The best thing about most of these programs is not only that they create revenue, but also that they generate repeat business. In other words, focusing on digital marketing to engage your customers and gain their loyalty will fill your company’s coffers today, but also next week, month and year…
About the Author:
Raul Harman is professional copywriter and editor of Technivorz. He has a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. When he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.