How brands can break through the noise of internet marketing and improve customer loyalty, writes, Corey Quinn, CMO, Scorpion.
Building a brand starts from the bottom up and can take years. Take TOMS shoes for example; TOMS was relatively unknown, and spread its success story with the help of Instagram while making emotional connections through its products. Once a company successfully builds their name like this in the market, success and growth will almost always follow, and is what many smaller brands strive for.
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With the help of a developed marketing and advertising strategy, a brand has the opportunity to grow and become a household name, but it isn’t a simple task. There is so much competition these days and brands need to break through the noise to become a stand-out name against others in the space.
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Every organization needs to start somewhere, so here are my top four tips for brands looking to make a name for themselves and develop strong customer advocates:
Know Your Niche
Companies often have a myriad of offerings and services, but when it comes to brand recognition, it’s important for them to hone in on what matters the most. Where do they receive the most business value? What products need more attention? Organizations need to decide what their niche is and make strides to own that specific space.
And how can they do that? Know the landscape and speak the lingo. Not only will this help increase brand recognition, but it will also help build customer loyalty. Customers want to feel like they’re understood and recognized for their specific problems, issues, wants, needs, etc. so addressing those specifically as a brand can only inspire positive outcomes.
Make and Retain Personal Connections
Customer loyalty ultimately comes from trust, which we all know needs to be earned. In order to gain the trust of customers, smart brands will need to start building that rapport from the first interaction, striking when the iron is hot. Whether this is through targeted ads, personalized coupon codes or a friendly customized email around a holiday, brands should do whatever they can to make their customers feel valued. These small gestures go a long way in making a connection with consumers.
Smart brands will create these connections (that act like friendships!) by sticking to their values and dedicating themselves to what they believe helps consumers. Whether it’s through humor and playfulness or just an awesome product, maintaining relationships and showing people you’re invested in them as people versus just as customers is incredibly important.
Meet Customers Where They Are At
Be open to giving a little in order to get something in return while also standing out. For example, online giveaway contests and offering other tangible incentives give customers something in exchange for their commitment, and these are rewarding as such.
Make people want to engage on social media by posting things that relate closely to them. This could mean asking questions or putting out an online poll, which is a great way to utilize digital tools that offer opportunities to be active with a brand. Providing relatable content on social and on a company blog and encouraging customers to share these with their readers is an easy way to not only engage with them, but also encourage them to help share your brand name further. Additionally, offer advice and tips, and ask for input into the content they are interested in so they can truly see the benefit you provide and how it is tailored to them specifically.
Creating online groups or discussions, whether they are public or private, is another way to build an engaged community. This is where fans of the brand, old or new, can come together to give feedback and challenge each other. Facebook is an excellent example of an online community, and organizations can take to this forum to bring customers together and provide answers to their questions to build up trust and brand loyalty.
Be Accessible and Available
On the journey of showing your customers you care, it’s important to be accessible to them and available when they need you. Don’t be a dark corporation that people never hear from other than purchasing their product.
One way to do this is to offer a chat option online. Personally, I believe this is a productive way to quickly engage and answer questions. Getting on the phone and talking it through is something awesome to offer up, but in a pinch, a quick online chat with a company representative can go a long way. This is also a way to save conversations for future reference and be accessible at all times. Having people respond to inquiries via social channels allows brands to quickly and easily connect with customers as well.
And, be the subject matter expert and industry leader that they know you are. Elevate people in the community, no matter what it is, to make them feel recognized and showcase them alongside your brand. Hearing from the people itself goes a long way, as a personal connection makes a different impact in the long run. This human connection creates trust and is a way to engage directly with the people using your brand.
Whether it’s offering new ways to connect with customers on social media, asking for their input when it comes to content, or being available for them when they are looking for you, show your customers you care and they will aid in the growth of your brand name. Using digital tools to engage with your consumers is a great way to break through the noise and rise above the competition, so start thinking about what you can be doing to up level these relationships and let them know how much you care.