Before the beginning,
Let’s agree that Digital Marketing is way more than a paid ad.
If attracting the customers’ attention and gaining their loyalty is as easy as creating a paid ad, then brands and companies wouldn’t have needed marketing researchers, analysts, strategies and content creators, phycologists, or sociologists.
What about Content Marketing?
Content marketing is one of the most used vital marketing tactics by brands to stay active, engaged, and relevant to the audience and customers on social media channels. However, when the brand’s organic content is compared to a customer’s organic content for the same brands in terms of outreach and influence, the bar rises for the second type of content. This finding doesn’t neglect the importance of brands’ organic content rather suggests the inclusion of both types in the marketing strategy.
Loyal Customers are the Best Brand’s Content Creators
Imagine having a customer who believes in your brand with passion like it’s part of themselves or routine; buys its products or subscribe to its services, and talks about it everywhere either offline or on social media and pushes others to try it. Imagine having an army of those and think of how that could elevate your brand outreach, reputation, growth, and sales in the long term.
“A Hint of Psychology”
Simply, if you want to influence someone, aim at their psychological triggers and motives related to the desired influence. in this blog, the desired influence is the Customer’s loyalty and advocacy.
Naturally, people experience positive emotional engagement with the thing or person they get connected within a certain way and for a certain reason. The cause of this connection creates the emotional engagement between the two parties, whether if this invested cause was tangible or intangible, such as a precious gift, some amount of money, an opinion or a piece of advice, time or genuine care, or a principle or personal trait reflected, possessed, expressed and cultivated by the other party… etc.
What if this connection was nurtured by the other part, was it a person, a thing, or a Brand? Only then loyalty can emerge.
Some tactics to help you acquire your golden customer
Before jumping to apply those tactics in your strategy or campaign, you have to make sure that your ideal target audience was fairly identified; their persona and identity, and their channels, given that those tactics -we’re about to discuss- can only be directed to the right target audience and no one else. You also must remember that unlike bubble results, sustainable results take time to be built and shown, so be thorough and patient.
1. Review the brand’s image, value, and principles
The reflection and similarity between the brands and customers’ personalities have an undeniable power in gaining their loyalty.
Brands are part of an individual’s life, whether it was represented in a product or service. As it was evident in many pieces of research, that customers, especially males, who feel that a certain brand is a good presenter or reflector of their identity, tend to have it connected with their appearance or personal image, and enjoy having it connected with them in the minds of their societies. That’s how the loyalty bond is created.
For example, the advocates of vegan leather and their connection with the brands that use vegan leather for their clothes. Also, the users of Apple’s products -especially those who care to have all their electronic devices from Apple- mostly they are designers or artists, and that’s reflecting one of Apple’s principles, which is taking maximum care of the UI/UX.
Encourage your customers to share their feedback on social media
This tactic is mostly used by newly launched ventures, or with new users.
Be a good listener and observer to your target audience behavior, pay attention to their initial interest in your brand, and utilize it in making your first move. Moreover, contribute to motivating your target audience to talk about your brands, show off their goodies, and always share their opinions and feedback digitally, either directly or indirectly through creative ways and messages such as loyalty points, giveaways for every feedback, or a given space -online or offline- for them to talk a selfie and post it.
Show interest and genuine care in your target audience and the content they post of your brand
This tactic is mostly used with recurring customers, who started to come back again and post more often about your brand.
Show your interest in them and emphasize the value of their visits, feedback, subscription, and content through the following examples:
- Reach out and thank them, and if the feedback was negative, deal with it with diplomacy.
- Re-post their content of your brand on social media or talk about it (whether it was just a photo, written positive feedback, a tutorial, a vlog, or else.)
- Re-share their feedback on social media channels.
- Collaborate with them for an event or a marketing campaign.
- Implement what’s suitable from their opinion in improving a product or service of your brand.
- Provide them with early access to limited edition products either as part of the service they’re already subscribed to or with a competitive price, especially if they have had previous purchases or shown interest in similar products before. For example, this was one of the things that Spotify (the music streaming service) offers annually to its subscribers. It became one of the retention tactics that strengthen the bond between the brand and its users. Every December, and with the bliss of AI, Spotify provides its subscribers with an individualized playlist and a report that summarizes the story of their year musically.
- Give them the chance to try a new product or service for the sake of testing and development before it’s available to everyone else. This is what Apple did with its 14 iOS Beta, that it got to be available only for Apple’s inner circle of beta subscribers so they can provide the necessary feedback before the official launch.
These are only some examples of what a brand can do to reciprocate the relationship with their loyal customers, gain their loyalty, and thus retain them. As it was evident by researches, customers, mostly females, care about the reciprocated relationship between them and the brand, and they put their loyalty into these brands that keep the engagement active with them every now and then.
Your frontline, (Customer Success Service)
Let’s assume that you did work on a great strategy to acquire, gain the loyalty of, and retain your target audience. Now, all it needs from you is to insert the magic coin, so it starts working. Your magic coin is your customer service specialist. The right execution of your strategy depends on them, so it must be planted in the spirit of the brand and in their daily work.
- Jamal, Ahmad & Goode, Mark. (2001). Consumers and brands: A study of the impact of self-image congruence on brand preference and satisfaction. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 19. 482–492. 10.1108/02634500110408286.
- Magnus Söderlund (2019) Can the label ‘member’ in a loyalty program context boost customer satisfaction?, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 29:3, 340–357, DOI: 1080/09593969.2019.1598469.
- Loureiro, Sandra & Kaufmann, Hans & Vrontis, Demetris. (2012). Brand Emotional Connection and Loyalty. Journal of Brand Management. 20. 13. 10.1057/bm.2012.3.
- Team, C., 2020. User Generated Content 101: How To Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates. [online] Crowdanalyzer.com. Available at: <https://www.crowdanalyzer.com/blog/how-to-turn-customers-into-brand-advocates> [Accessed 18 August 2020].
- 2020. 10 Ideas For Getting More User-Generated Content. [online] Available at: <https://insights.newscred.com/10-ideas-for-getting-more-user-generated-content/> [Accessed 18 August 2020].
- 2020. App Store — Principles And Practices. [online] Available at: <https://www.apple.com/ios/app-store/principles-practices/> [Accessed 18 August 2020].