1. Build a Connection
Brands, businesses and companies struggle with this as it’s not something that they can falsify. Consumers nowadays have never been more switched on when it comes to branding, marketing, what they purchase and who they purchase from. Therefore, your business needs to build a legitimate connection with the consumers through more personal, meaningful and most importantly, relevant content.
To become more personal, your business needs to really hone in on your target demographic and instead of focusing heavily on the age and the gender of yesteryears demographics, you should be looking into their personal likes and interests.
Ask yourself what drives them and use those inroads to not only grow your own audience through these methods but to also become more relatable to your already invested consumers.
The above methods do not alter whether you’re a hipster new apparel brand or a professional Real Estate Agent.
You will have several primary demographics that will be your main demographic/consumer which will be identified by the data you receive from your previous marketing efforts. Focus on these demographics even more so & create ‘look-a-like audiences to not only create lifelong loyal customers but you also gain more by targeting those look-a-like interest groups.
2. Give Give GIVE (for FREE?!?!)
In today’s social-driven marketing world, the consumer has more power than they know as they are educated now more than ever before. Roughly 80 billion business-related emails get sent out every week and approximately 200 million hours are spent on YouTube. On top of this is an ungodly amount of time spent on Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms.
The key to gaining email and phone leads in today’s market when consumers are already being harassed by every business that they maybe glanced at once is to give them content and information for free. This may seem like an insane idea at first, but instead of a lead form or a sign-up box just give them what they came there for because if they realise they can’t get it for free from you, they will go somewhere else and you’ve lost them.
This builds the relationship of trust between the consumer and your business as they trust that even though they may not have gotten life-altering information out of you, they trust you that it will be genuine and to something of their interests. This turns these people into long-time customers which is what you want for growth.
3. Make Promises and Stick to Them
A promise, in business terms, isn’t just what you would expect any more of a service or product being delivered to the standard that you expect. It’s what your business stands for and is this something that your clientele stands for as well and/or could get on board with.
For example: if a brand is lucky enough to get your subscription on Facebook and Instagram and then they either A) don’t post anything or B) post content that isn’t relevant to anything that their brand represents; then you as a consumer will wonder why you even bothered following them in the first place and BOOM you’ve unsubscribed and they have lost a customer.
This is the result of a business not delivering on a promise, and you will be spending money and time only to drive people away. That’s why it’s so important for a business to establish who they are early on and stick to those actions as there are people in the world that will be interested in what you have to offer, but just like in life, promise something and stick to it.
Unsurprisingly, consumers who have had a bad experience with a brand, be it bad customer service, bad content and or the most common, just pure spam like harassment, 49% of people have said that if genuinely affects their trust in the brand and the will look for alternative options in the future.
4. It’s Ok To Make Mistakes, But Listen and Respond
This brings us to the last point, it’s perfectly ok to provide the consumers and supporters of your brand the opportunity to give feedback and voice their opinions, and it should be encouraged! In the end, are the ones that are driving your business. When you truly listen to someone, you gain their trust, and more importantly, their respect, and this in turn gains you a relationship and customer for life.
For example: the Facebook Security debacle (that may potentially date this article a little) where Facebook lost massive amounts of support worldwide. Even though you may not think it affected them, for the first time in a long time we saw vulnerability in the titan of social media platforms as all these smaller platforms, like VSCO, came up out of nowhere and gained massive support and traction which wouldn’t generally affect Facebook.
Besides the utterly cringeworthy Zuckerberg/Congress meeting, that caused more memes and more content than Congress would have liked, Zuckerberg did everything in his power to control those mistakes and even though it was a mistake, he owned it and outline the plan to move forward to regain trust.
When it comes to your business, you may not have a global effect like Facebook and Zuckerberg but your business still matters to all the people invested. If you post something that people don’t agree with or realise you have been delivering on those promises stated above, it’s ok to make mistakes. But it is key to come out and publicly apologise and that will give you the best chance to regain some of the customers you may have lost and even potentially gain more of their trust because it makes your business seem more personable and real.