It’s no surprise that the global pandemic has shifted the way businesses get their products and services to their customers. Most places still have capacity-limits. There’s an increasing number of stores and restaurants shutting down due to lack of business. As much as you need to acknowledge these fears and hardships, a better use of your time is to carefully consider what you can feasibly do to add incentives into your marketing strategy. In other words, how do you keep your doors open and grow your audience?
Marketing experts have always said that it’s better to put your resources into maintaining strong relationships with current customers. For small business in need of growing customers, it isn’t always easy to know where to start. In this article, we provide a collection of the tips, tricks, and tools for effectively growing your audience.
Take care of your existing customers
Sometimes before growing your audience, you need to make sure you value the clients you already have. Taking care of your customers, whether they are brand new or long-time patrons, is a sure-fire way to maintain a positive relationship. It will result in a more positive reputation for you and your business.
A great method of letting your existing customers know that you value their patronage is by showing them through your actions. In past years, it may have been more common to provide your loyal customers with a gift basket. Or you could have provided another in-person offering. In today’s socially distant world, the gifting process is not as simple.
Try using an online delivery service to have the items you’re looking for sent directly to your customers. Pull out your list of valued customers and select the gifts that best align with their wants and needs. The ease and relatively low cost of a kind gesture to your most valued customers makes this a no-brainer. It will help you grow your audience.
Plus, it gives you the ability to personalize each and every client’s gifts, something a flower arrangement can never do. For instance, you could send your loyal customers a nice bottle of wine or a curated selection of candy for those with families. Your customers will likely take notice of your attention and personalization. This is an old school move, particularly favored by small businesses, but it tends to show results. By putting in this extra effort, you may find yourself remembered more favorably. Your customers will be more likely to spread the word about your loyalty and customer appreciation, leading to an increase in new customers.
You can use the same strategy you used to show appreciation to your existing patrons to your new customers by sharing gratuity and other incentives once they’ve signed on with you. Make sure any products you do provide align with your business and the needs of your clientele. Of course, there’s more than one way to provide incentives to gather new customers.
Offering promotions is a great way to get people thinking about buying something from your business when they’re feeling stuck on a purchase. Sometimes that “Claim Your $5 Off” notification in an email is enough. The individual may also not yet be signed up for updates from your business, so only offering the coupon or promotion to customers who sign up for rewards memberships or weekly promotional emails is a successful strategy to build out your email list.
Understand your customer
Taking time to understand who your target audience is will help you save time and resources. It will help you create a successful marketing strategy. One of the largest faux-pas in marketing is making broad assumptions about who you think is going to buy your products and services. It doesn’t matter if you’re an established business or a new one, keeping up-to-date with audience trends will make sure your marketing efforts are successful.
A great way to do this is to use a web analysis service to do some fresh audience research. These platforms provide you with information on the visitors actually checking out your website. Features like the audience section allow you to analyze data from whatever time period you’re interested in. It will even let you segment by specific demographics, geo-location, behaviors, interests, and more.
By integrating an omnichannel marketing into your strategy, you open up the opportunity to connect your individual customers’ preferences across multiple channels. This streamlines their customers’ journey. According to a recent study, campaigns with three or more channels have a 90% higher retention rate than single-channel efforts. Services like small business marketing automation software are great for sending out email notifications to your customers. They may be interested in being notified about sales or new product releases. Plus, you can integrate different channels into this messaging. For example, you can include in your email a note about signing up for text-notifications “to stay on top of future deals and re-stocks.”
Solidify your brand socially
Let’s face it. The world more or less runs on social media. Your business shouldn’t be any different. Social media channels are a great way to connect with your target audience. They can help you monitor market trends, and potentially stay ahead of the competition. It’s an excellent way to grow your audience.
One study on social media marketing highlights that 66% of consumers who use Facebook follow a brand on the platform. It’s definitely worth your efforts to stay connected with your customers and prospects by staying active on social media. The secret to success is not a viral video on TikTok. The key is to integrate social media into your marketing efforts. It’s essential that you post to your social media channels at least three times per week.
Stuck on content ideas? It can be as simple as letting your customers know of holiday deals and special offers. You can also update your followers on your new business hours. Get your customers engaged and ask them to tag your product and services on the social pages you’re active on. This acts as free promotion. In fact, 77% of people read customer reviews before committing to a purchase. A collection of positive online reviews help build a sense of trust and authenticity.
Some additional ways your business can benefit from a well-maintained social media presence:
- Holding contests for audience engagement and exposure.
- Including visuals with posts: much like search engine optimization (SEO) for your website, you can boost SEO for Facebook. The Facebook algorithm actually places posts with images higher than regular text posts. Consider this, the next time you go to post.
- Encouraging online dialogue with customers regarding questions and concerns they may have. Utilize hashtags and key terms that can link back to your business.
Be consistent with your messaging
Make sure that what you’re posting on one platform, aligns with what you’re posting on others. It can be easy to get caught up in posting as you feel like. If you fail to keep it consistent, then your followers may lose interest or become confused over time.
Setting up a content schedule through a program like Hootsuite will keep you organized and will save you time. Hootsuite lets you set posts throughout a given time period, and then will auto-post for you. Connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts for ease of management all from one platform. Additionally, you can track the success of your individual posts over time, and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
Share your insights
Create an email newsletter, an eBook, or a helpful guide for your customers. Offering these helpful tools for “free” works well as an incentive for growing your audience. Have you lost any valuable customers in the past that may not be familiar with the evolution of your operations? Reconnect with them. Address the issues that may have caused them to leave initially, and show them why you value their patronage.
A customer whose voice is heard is a happy customer. After providing your resourceful eBooks, include a questionnaire or survey in subsequent emails. See what is working for your audience and what needs some work. Your customers will appreciate the attention to their concerns and their responses will help you grow your business.
Growing your audience
Growing an audience for your business is no small task. SEO-driven services can help you start you down the right path. It is up to you to take those crucial first steps. Try implementing these tools and best practices as you continue to expand your operations. Be consistent and intentional in your messaging. Utilize and maintain your social media accounts. Understand who your audience is and what their needs are. Provide incentives to fill those needs, and always take care of your customers, both new and existing.
Great content is crucial for successful SEO. Now that you have a better understanding of how to connect with and increase your audience, it is time to apply these skills and practices to your content marketing.