Follow them back on social media
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools for small and medium-sized business owners, but if you’re not using it correctly and truly reaching out to your customers, then there is little point in having a presence on the networks at all. One way that you can increase customer loyalty and get your followers to stick around is to increase engagement and follow them back.
Sure, following all of your customers and leads on social media will take time, and will no doubt clutter up your news feed or timeline, but it’s a price worth paying to get closer to your audience. As well as making customers feel more valued and connected, following can give you valuable intel on the trends and needs of your customers – data you can use to market your business.
Offer a loyalty or referral scheme
Customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty, so what better way to grow your business and keep patrons happy than by launching a referral scheme? WordPress plugins like AffiliateWP are designed to hook your customers and reward them for referring their friends and family.
If you run a cafe or even an online store, you could offer a loyalty card and give stamps for every purchase. Not only will this encourage people to keep coming back, but it will incentivise them to spend more and claim their reward, which will increase their loyalty to your brand.
Get users to download your app
Apps may not be as popular as they once were, but they’re still a great way to give back to customers and encourage them to stay loyal to your brand. Modern apps for small businesses can include online stores, digital loyalty programmes, live chat customer service and even quirky features such as games, exclusive video content and social media integration.
But perhaps one of the biggest benefits of mobile apps is that they can drive sales and increase customer loyalty. After all, if your customer has taken the time to search for and download your app, they’re more likely to remain a regular customer than someone who buys from you once.
Encourage user-generated content
Rather than trying to delve into the psyche of your audience and create content that you think they might enjoy, you should consider the power of user-generated content and utilise it in your marketing campaign. Getting customers to send in selfies and videos using your products can make them more loyal and committed to your business, especially if there’s a chance they’ll win a prize or be featured on your website for their time and contributions.
What’s more, user-generated content is proven to be effective – 82% of consumers say that they would be inspired by a recommendation made by somebody they follow online, and for every dollar a business puts into an influencer marketing campaign, they’ll bring back $6.50 in return.
Lock them in using digital subscriptions
Digital subscription services have exploded in popularity in recent years, and while most of us have a subscription to Netflix and Spotify, it’s the other sectors where subscriptions can be lucrative. Whether you offer products or a service, you can package up your offerings in a monthly subscription box, encouraging satisfied customers to buy month on month.
E-Commerce tools such as WooCommerce and Shopify both offer an option to sell subscriptions, so you can set up your customers with automatic billing and a recurring monthly order. Just be sure to make it easy for your customers to cancel whenever they want – locking users in on a fixed price has its benefits, but freedom and flexibility will increase the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand.
Putting in place some of these marketing techniques should increase customer loyalty and encourage them to spend more with you. Remember that great products, good customer service and a sensible pricing structure is essential for customer satisfaction, so always start there. Whether you’re just starting out in your business journey or you’re looking to grow and expand, good luck, and never underestimate the power of a dedicated and loyal customer base.
Written by Max Greene, Managing Director of Muffin Marketing.
Prepared and edited by Andrew Carroll, Journalism MA in DIT.