Whether you’re finding customers online or through your brick and mortar store, local businesses should strive for two big goals: growing a community and gaining repeat customers. While harder to sustain, loyal customers are cheaper to market to, buy more often, and spend more, so it never hurts to focus on maintaining regulars whether you’re a B2C or B2B company. One of the best ways to connect with your customers is by focusing on brand loyalty. Great marketing is a big part of that, but there are also a few ways you can interact with your audience to really support a community of loyal customers.
Engage with them.
One of the best ways to connect with customers is through social media whether they’re following you or commenting on your posts. Customers want to see that you’re more than just a business—include photos of employees to show the faces behind the brand and get personal when you can. Try to post a couple times a week to work with the algorithms and also to continue to put your business on your follower’s feed. When a business stops communicating with their audience, their relevance declines. Be open to communicating with customers on your socials by responding to comments, direct messages, and reviews. Try to respond in a timely manner to show you care about interacting with your audience and to also help your visibility on the feed. Many social media platforms, such as Facebook, use response rates in their algorithm too.
Be consistent in brand and value.
Your brand should have a clear identity to help build trust. Make sure you’re using brand colors and language across all channels, and that will be a big step in the right direction. There should also be consistency in the quality of the products or services you are offering. It can be confusing for customers to see a lot of mixed reviews when looking you up. If they’re already feeling doubtful about their first purchase, it will be harder to build up that trust through an indifferent reputation. Since content makes up a large part of your outreach, your voice across all channels should be the same—website, social media, emails, blogs, etc. That content becomes your personality online, so you want to make sure you make a good impression whether it’s a customer’s first or fifth time interacting with your business.
Partner with other businesses or influencers.
Another perk of being a local business: you probably have done some networking around the area. Depending on the type of business you have, you might partner regularly with other local companies or organizations—be sure to do some shout outs on your social media when you do. It helps show you’re a dependable, local source because you work with other businesses they may already trust. Plus, you may be tagged in the other business’s posts as well for free promotion. If you’re open to it, you can also look for some local influencers. It’s typically best for small businesses to partner with someone who is from the area because it aligns with your goals a little better. Plus, big influencers have expensive rates, which often go above what a small business can budget into their marketing efforts.
Offer a rewards system.
Another way to set yourself apart: have a rewards system set up for returning customers or offer some kind of coupon! If you’re a retail store, you can design and hand out cards that can be stamped at each purchase. Once they’ve completed the stamps, common rewards are 15% off a purchase, a free gift, etc. It encourages them to keep returning to your store, so make sure it’s a goal they’ll want to reach. This could also be a great opportunity to grow your email lists. You should have them set up to send out incentives like monthly deals, one-day only sales, and other specific rewards. Even if you may not be showing up a lot in their feeds due to ever-changing algorithms, you can still get some visibility from their inbox.
All in all, a solid brand and marketing strategy are some of the best ways to kick start your brand loyalty campaign. The experts at That’s My Idea Marketing are here to help if you’re looking to strengthen your brand and get better results from your marketing.