Building your brand is all about increasing your outreach and engaging more customers. As we always say at TopRight, you have to give customers a reason to care, listen and engage before they will buy. It’s worth noting, though, that attracting new customers to your business today has become quite challenging given the proliferation of communication channels and the increasing competition for customer attention across most industries. With that said, here are 8 proven ways to tell your brand story to engage new customers and retain the ones that you have:
1. Activate Content Marketing
The best content marketing delivers valuable information to current and potential customers instead of selling the features, functions and benefits a particular product or service. Great content marketing strategies employ an omni-channel approach – presenting this valuable information to customers in many different formats including: videos, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, diagrams and photos. The primary focused is on engaging your target audience in a bid to build a network of leads, which are likely to convert into loyal customers. Your method of communicating content needs to be guided by your customers’ interests and needs….as well as, a deep respect for their time. No one likes to be interrupted or ambushed, so don’t do it with your ads either. Make the customer the hero, and design your approach to be personalized and aligned with their interests. This article explains the essential things you need to know about content marketing so you can entice new and existing customers to your brand.
2. Create Promotional Campaigns
Price promotions have proven to be quite effective in luring customers, whether new or existing. Customers today are always trying to find value, and such deals may go a long way in enticing them to your brand. The best practice is to use these types of promotions to encourage trial of your products and services. Always make sure that whatever item you have on offer is compelling and will motivate someone who has never tried it. Abuse of price promotions can lead to a downward spiral of margin erosion if you are not careful. Only talking about price can signal to the audience that you are a commodity, or worse, an irrelevant product or service.
Instead of focusing only on price, you can try other promotional techniques, like free gift wrapping for every first purchase or offer one free item for every two bought. These bargains may not seem much, but they can attract any new people who have always considered trying your brand. Unfortunately, many brands, end their campaigns when they close a deal. If you want to get the most from your promotional program, you need to follow up and see exactly which offers every customer redeemed. This will show you what they’re likely to buy again in the future. Using this information, you can easily curate other offers to target your audience, trigger purchase intent and cement customer loyalty.
3. Ask for Referrals
It’s crucial that you build, strengthen and deepen your relationship with your customers. Remember, loyal consumers will oftentimes become your advocates and brand ambassadors. As such, it makes sense to treat them with the utmost professionalism and ensure they enjoy their experience with your products and services.
Your brand story and how customers experience it is what people will remember, and it’ll either make or break your brand. After the delivery of a successful customer experience don’t be afraid to ask for a referral. It’s not a good idea to be passive and just expect that customers will invite friends, family, and colleagues to your business. You need a systemized and formal approach to ask for and thanks customers for their referrals. For more details on the power of customer referrals, check out this article in Forbes: “10 Great Ways To Attract New Customers To Your Small Business”.
4. Partner with Complimentary Businesses
Enticing existing customers is simple enough because you already know where to get them, but where will you find new ones? Again, it’s all about your go-to-market strategy and scaling your connections in the market. This is why brands often create partnerships with other complementary businesses within their category or industry – and you can do the same.
For example, if you’re in the events management business where you lead the event planning process for your clients, you have visibility to a wide ranges of products and services that events require. To deliver a successful event, you need unique venues, decorations, audio-visual systems, entertainment, food and beverage, etc. In this case, partnering with a catering business might be ideal for you. You can offer to bring them in to serve at your events and in return, they can give you access to their clientele who are looking for event managers who can put together an entire production. You can offer your partner incentives – like exclusives for certain size events to deepen the partnership. This, in turn, will make it more attractive for them to recommend your business to their accounts.
Again, don’t stop there; make sure you follow up. After attracting customers through the newly-built partnership, it’s important that you find a way to convert these first-time buyers to loyal clients. Loyalty programs, referral programs and price promotions are some of the features you might want to consider.
5. Offer Exclusive Deals to Loyalists
Focusing too much on new customers may lead you to forget about your current loyal customer base, and that could come back to bite you. So, it’s important that you incentivize existing customers periodically to keep them satisfied, delighted and most importantly, returning for more. This will help you build barriers and higher perceived switching costs to prevent your competition from stealing your customers.
One of the best ways to do this is by having special loyalty club ‘member only’ deals. For instance, you could offer free shipping or special bundled prices for various products and services. This will ensure that existing customers come back to your brand, provided whatever you sell is of good quality. Ask your customers to provide you with reviews or respond to net promoter score surveys. Reward them with club points or gift cards to thank them for their support and loyalty.
Furthermore, sending birthday or holiday cards, with special offers tailored for each member, will also go a long way in strengthening customer loyalty. Apart from enticing existing customers, this could also be a great way to attract new customers. Part of the terms and conditions of these deals is that one must become a member of a loyalty club for them to enjoy incremental benefits. You can also include a friend’s gift card when sending holiday or birthday cards to encourage referrals. Ideally, the friend should be someone who isn’t already part of your existing customer base.
6. Enable User-Generated Campaigns
Social media has grown over the years, and today, it has become integral to almost every online marketing campaign. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to think about any successful brand that doesn’t leverage the benefits of social media.
So, what are campaigns that feature user-generated content (UGC)? As the name suggests, these are marketing programs that are based entirely on the customers’ input and action. For example, you could run a contest where social media users compete to see who gets more likes or engagements on their posts about how they use your product or service. You can then reward the winner with awards, special discounts or freebies. For more ideas on how to enable UGC check out: “User-Generated Content Marketing Guide For Marketers” on Medium.
You might be wondering how UGC helps boost your chances of gaining new customers. The more engagements you get on social media, the higher your chances of reaching more potential clients. Therefore, when one posts their photo and attaches a brand hashtag, it’s actually your brand that’ll be exposed to the online customer base. That’s why it’s important that you consider using influencers whose followers are interested in your products and services. UGC is highly costs effective since the media is free and the only hard costs incurred will be the winner’s prize.
7. Be Charitable
Charity is all about helping those who are in need––either through fundraisers or delivering basic needs to orphanages, hospitals, and rehab centers. Your team can attend these events and offer your support and help, especially if they’re within your local community. Better yet, you could offer to sponsor the event and use the opportunity to build your brand through affiliation with a worthwhile and meaningful cause.
So, how exactly does this help attract new customers? Again, it’s all about the exposure you get. Of course, in this case, you won’t exactly go out there and campaign for your brand because that would be unseemly in the context of a charity event. Instead, as a sponsor, you could feature your brand as part of the event communications using banners to affiliate your products and services with support for the cause or philanthropy.
To achieve the highest impact with your target market, you might offer free products or services during the event, and leverage this as an opportunity to build awareness and encourage trial. Keep in mind that such a strategy isn’t limited to charity; you can do the same for any other type of event in your community or on a national stage.
8. Share your Knowledge and Skills
We’re not suggesting that you need to give away your “secret sauce” or reveal the intricacies of your patent – sometimes just sharing the basics is enough to get someone hooked on your brand. Conveniently, there are many platforms upon which you can share your knowledge and skills without having to worry about the cost of production. YouTube, for example, has become a very dependable and efficient solution for brands looking to run knowledge-sharing campaigns. Apart from increasing brand awareness, you can also use this platform to generate more revenue through lead generation and ad sales. Who knows, you’re brilliant ‘how-to” video may just go viral and make you Insta-famous! To learn how to build your brand on YouTube, this piece from Forbes is particularly insightful: “Eight Steps To Building A Successful YouTube Brand”.
With the right brand story and the right strategy in place, you can consistently win customers in the markets where you compete. Try using promotional campaigns, business partnerships, loyalty club member-only deals, and sponsoring charity events to authentically differentiate your brand. You can also leverage the power of social media channels through user-generated content or by sharing unique and valuable knowledge and skills with your audience. If you want to discover how to improve your branding, customer satisfaction with your business, and profits, consider these eight tips and transform and deepen your relationships with customers.