When a consumer and brand sincerely connect, it’s magic. It’s more than just about consumer loyalty. That connection can form the foundation for long-term advocacy as well as a sustainable bottom line.
The Amount Of Ad Exposure Is Numbing
Did you know the average consumer is currently exposed to more than 5,000 advertising messages per day? That’s more computing power than it took for a man to land on the moon. It also means a potential customer can make a decision about your website in about 1/20 of a second. It’s no wonder that consumers are confused and overwhelmed. Their desire for a real connection to a brand is stronger than ever. Those brands that invest in making the connection have a real advantage. Therefore, making and nourishing that connection with consumers should be of paramount importance.
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[CASE STUDY] Attracting a customer online is requiring many different digital channels. But, once you have the audience what are you doing to keep them on your website?
You’re Just Not Actually Having A Conversation With Consumers
Are you really listening to your customers? Do you give relevant feedback? Remember, action speaks louder than words.
Look at Seamly. This company’s unique sales proposing includes using their extra fabric to create unique, limited edition clothing. Using crowdsourcing, they design the next pieces in their line by aligning customer feedback with production. But, that’s not all. As challenges arise in the production process, they often turn to their customers for suggestions. This builds respect and brand loyalty. In a practical sense, they start talking about you, writing about you. In short, they do the marketing for you!
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When You Do Respond You Sound Like A Corporate Robot
As a business owner, you can’t fake being genuine. Consumers are savvy and expectations are high in return for brand loyalty. The secret to building a connection between you and your customer is found deep within your company. Or rather, deep within the people in your company. It’s their passion and cause that is reflected throughout your business; and it’s revealed in every phone call, message or piece of content. Always does a really great job of reflecting this in their #LikeaGirlcampaign.
You’re Not Building An Authentic Emotional Connection With Your Consumers
As a business owner, you can’t fake being genuine. Consumers are savvy and expectations are high in return for brand loyalty. The secret to building a connection between you and your customer is found deep within your company. Or rather, deep within the people in your company. It’s their passion and cause that is reflected throughout your business; and it’s revealed in every phone call, message or piece of content. Always does a really great job of reflecting this in their #LikeaGirl campaign.
Central to this video is a topic that both girls and women can relate to everywhere. That is, that confidence that girls possess dramatically declines while going through puberty.
You’re Not Creating Real Meaningful Connections With Personality
Not every business will have a universal audience. In these cases, you can build trust, and subsequent brand loyalty by building an authentic connection by doing simple acts like asking for opinions via surveys.
For example, Wistia, a video hosting business, created a great “Take A Survey” video. They enlisted their entire company performing “Do The Hustle.” Here, Wistia showed their personality, attached faces to their company and ensured people would remember the survey. It was a great way to help create a long-term bond with their current and potential customers.
The nature of Wistia is one of creativity. Not all businesses are. If this is the case, you may need to determine another way to create that emotional bond. What are your common interests with your customers? For example, as Wistia works with videos, it was natural for them to ask for input or educate them.
If you still can’t find a way to connect to your customer base, Ian Lurie’s Random Affinities can help you identify the possible interests of your customers. All you require is two random ideas that don’t appear to have any connection, other than a shared interest with your audience.
The result is that you show your customers that you have a broader personality, a critical building block in establishing the emotional connection between you and your customers.
You can also create a connection by showing involvement in things outside your niche: both online and offline. Showcase your involvement in sponsoring community causes or events. However, your interest must be genuine. Consumers can spot a fake in an instant. But, real passion will be both attractive and contagious to your potential customers.
Every digital transaction has an undercurrent: either positive or negative. Every communication, through text, conversation or photo, about your brand is a promise. In the same manner, every conversion, download, subscribe, or buy is an agreement. In short, you promise to provide something of value and they promise to engage you.
But, it doesn’t end there. Each of these interactions (promise and delivery) is an agreement for further interactions. It’s essential you continue to build these interactions into long-term brand loyalty.
There are over 500 million tweets per day and over 150 million online blogs. Don’t lose out these potential revenue streams. Give these people a reason to engage you. Never take your customers for granted, because they’ll remember if you do. They can easily find the relationship they are looking for elsewhere. In fact, 49% of consumers who have a bad experience with content stated that it had a serious effect on their trust of that brand.
Another thing about building customer loyalty, never deprive your audience of choice. Don’t automatically add people to email lists. You can easily drive people away from your brand. That’s not to say you can’t utilize email lists. Here’s an example of how Mack Web contacted a potential customer without automatically alienating them.
The above email was sent to nine hundred people. Of those, sixty-six responded positively. That may not sound like a lot. But, for every little work, this company got sixty-six people who showed a real interest.
Additionally, you may get great feedback.
That’s a lot better than this!
No one likes to be spammed. It’s a sure way not to build a long-term, trusting relationship. That’s why giving readers the choice to engage you is imperative. By constantly delivering a positive experience you’ll build brand loyalty.
You’re Asking Too Much Without Nurturing The Relationships With Your Consumers
Seth Godin, pioneered the idea of content marketing. In his book, Permission Marketing, Godin advises to create something of value that will motivate people to provide you with an email address. The problem is that consumers are bombarded with content every day. There are over eighty billion business emails sent over the course of a week. YouTube documents more than two hundred million hours recorded on their site.
The key to creating content that will convert is to concentrate on your relationship with the consumer, rather than the conversion. Your relationship should be built on transparency, honesty and empathy. Conversions are a result of great relationships.
Here’s a great example. Mack Web launched a community building guide. It took about eight months and was their first “big” product. They gave it away for free: no financial charge and no email address.
In less than 12 months, they earned nearly 6,000 guide downloads and 373 inbound links. Organic email subscriptions increased by 50%. People wrote Mack Web stating they could not believe they were giving it away for free.
In summary, you don’t need tricks to get brand loyalty. Lead with sincerity. Put your customers ahead of your bottom line. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
From The Desk Of Denise O’Connor
Director of Business Development of Criteek
153 W 27th Street | NY NY 10001