Your best support, and often your best marketing ideas, come from the audience you already have. But turning ordinary, everyday customers into vocal ambassadors takes some marketing savvy. Customer retention and fan engagement campaigns can build brand loyalty and energize your consumer base. Read on to learn how to convert customers into not-very-secret admirers–those who are loud and proud about how much they love your brand.
Customer Retention Campaigns
Businesses are finding ingenious ways to entertain and engage fans. For businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence, in-store promotions and loyalty programs can be very effective, especially with online social media apps. Leveraging apps like Foursquare or Perka takes the location online while continuing to promote the real-world business.
Online businesses and brick-and-mortar alike also use email as a reliable way of communicating with customers and leads. Maintaining an email list of people who have already purchased from you allows you to reach right into their morning inbox with special offers, customer exclusives, and engagement campaigns.
The focus of an engagement campaign is to get people talking to you. Getting feedback from your audience can take the form of surveys or may involve contests. In either case, these campaigns generally offer some form of reward–either contest prizes or merely a coupon for completing the requested task.
Viral social media campaigns are another way businesses try to engage their customers. Hashtag campaigns encourage fans to share thoughts and images of themselves and your product organized with a common hashtag. This may reach people on Facebook and Twitter, but also Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Vine. Interacting directly with customers in a public sphere such as social media can sometimes be challenging. These campaigns are difficult to maintain control of once the public takes over, but the opportunity for positive interactions–especially with an attentively managed campaign–often exceeds the risks.
Mining for Marketing Gold
Turning customers into vocal supporters might simply require getting them to speak up, but often it also requires getting them heard. Social media has revolutionized how we interact with brands. Contests are a fantastic way to encourage your audience to share their stories, provide images and video of themselves interacting with your product, or just to get them talking. Through contest terms, you are able to gather this content gold for future marketing campaign material and increase your ROI in the process.
To turn your everyday ho-hum customer into a powerhouse of brand loyalty and vocal support, you must first get their attention, entertain them, and engage them directly. Entertaining and engaging your audience builds loyalty and opens a door to get your target market talking to you. Brand interaction translates into real-world results through incentives to the customer and also provides the opportunity to use those interactions as the basis of future marketing campaigns. Get them talking, and then make sure the message gets heard by pumping it back out through marketing channels.