Why Building Authentic Relationships with Your Customers is Essential
In today’s world, it is not enough to simply have a creative marketing strategy. Customers want something relatable and authentic; they want to feel a natural connection with your brand.
In fact, brands who have mastered this concept of building relationships with their buyers’ pre-sale through authentic marketing typically spend far less on advertising while experiencing steady, consistent growth.
The big question is, how do you achieve this on a larger scale?
Building Connections with Interested Consumers
Effectively moving a potential customer through the funnel begins with awareness and interest. Consumers must be aware you exist and interested in what you have to offer. When acquiring new customers, or building a connection with consumers who have shown interest, here are 4 areas to focus on:
- Don’t sell, engage: Whether it be through your brand’s blog, email marketing campaigns, and/or social media posts – engaging with your potential customers and providing value pre-sale will increase both brand loyalty and familiarity. Free tools that are both valuable and shareable offer another impactful way to build consumers’ trust in your product and/or service while spreading awareness.
- Understand how your products and/or service provide value: An essential component of a well-rounded marketing strategy is “meeting your customers where they are.” If you truly understand what drives your target market to buy and how your product and/or service provides value to them, you can cater your messaging to speak directly to their needs or desires. Some of this information can be found through analytics tools, feedback forums, market research, or by looking at it from your target market’s point of view.
- Respond to every concern: According to a Consumer Research Report, 66% of consumers stated reviews make them trust a brand online. When you are receiving reviews and feedback, it is important that you implement an online reputation management protocol alongside a customer service program to ensure your customers feel heard and understood. Take note of both the positive and negative feedback.
- Customize where you can: Showing your customers you care will help set you apart from any competition in your industry. This can be as simple as including a customer’s name on emails or recognizing birthdays. Also, add value at every touch point.
Establishing Connections with Friends and Fans through Authentic Marketing
Once you have established initial trust with your customers, your approach and messaging should evolve. Customers at this point are interested in your brand and likely have made a few purchases, or are even referring friends, which means you should now be focused on what you can do to increase brand loyalty and build long-term relationships.
Here are 4 areas you should consider:
- Implement a customer loyalty program: Get creative with this and try to look beyond simply earning points. Consider items that will help increase your brand’s visibility while driving revenue. A company that does this well is Stitch Fix. They offer a $25 reward to customers who refer a friend that makes a purchase.
- Communicate with your customers: Implementing a reliable two-way communication channel can make all the difference. It allows you to keep customers updated on what’s going on with your brand while offering a safe space where they can share their feedback or concerns. Even your most loyal customers can have a problem and, on average, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
- Keep your customers educated: Ensure your strategy focuses on consistently highlighting your company’s differentiation, value, and appreciation. All of your customers require attention, despite their stage of loyalty. Although acquiring new customers is important – maintaining relationships will help both drive sales while increasing brand awareness through referrals.
- Invest in your employees and keep them informed: If your employees feel supported and cared for, they will exert this same energy toward your customers. Additionally, it is important that everyone in your organization is aware of all procedures and protocols. Miscommunication can become frustrating to a customer and thus hinder a relationship.
If you are interested in elevating your marketing strategy and creating authentic demand to grow your brand, contact the IGNITE ON Purpose team today!