Customers are great — but long-term brand advocates and loyalists are even better. With skyhigh long-term value, meaningful affinity and the potential to drive powerful organic buzz for your brand, building loyalty is a critical step in driving success now and in the future.
The good news? Building brand loyalty is easier than you may think. With these five steps you’ll begin pushing consumers from sometimes-customer to advocate:
#1. Keep things simple
Consumers have infinite options when it comes to digital destinations, ecommerce and content consumption. Keep things simple and clear, with an easy flow from the first touch to conversion. The more complicated and convoluted your site, the more likely consumers will abandon in favor of a platform that’s in line with their desire for a quick, painless and clear cut digital experience.
#2. Get staff buy in
In today’s always-on landscape, everyone’s a marketer — and that means getting buy in from your staff is critical to your business’ success. Anyone who touches the brand and the brand promise has an important role in customer engagement, satisfaction and long-term loyalty. Help your entire team get on board, with the same level of buy in you’d want in a brand ambassador to ensure they’re communicating the right message every time.
#3. Be cross-channel
Your customers aren’t one dimensional when it comes to their digital content consumption — and, likewise, your outreach and optimization efforts shouldn’t be either. Be sure you’re following consumers across all channels — digital, social and mobile, among others — to build a robust profile that enables you to deliver relevant experiences when they land on your site.
#4. Don’t be generic
Be creative, don’t fall into the “this always works” trap and, even, consider leveraging emotional marketing tactics to create a more compelling experience for your consumers. Remember, there’s no “right” way to engage — every customer is different and has different expectations of his/her experience on your site. Be generic and you’ll alienate not just one segment but, likely, many — the opposite of long term loyalty.
#5. Make them feel valuable
Three in five companies say that loyalty is a challenge — but, for many, loyalty programs have been a major boon. More than half of major companies have some level of rewards for returning customers, and virtually 100% of those enrolled say they plan to continue leveraging the benefits. Whether it’s special discounts, gifts with purchase or other exclusive incentives, make sure loyalists know you value them in your words and your actions.
What is brand loyalty worth?
The investment in building long-term loyalists is well worth it for the vast majority of brands. Returning customers spend 67% more than new ones and, because they’re returning, cost a fraction of what it costs to identify, engage and convert unknown audiences. Focus on building these consistent audiences through cohesive, cross-channel experiences, ease of use and personalized experiences that deliver value. These consumers will no doubt be among your most important and influential in every regard, from time and money spent to word of mouth buzz and more. Engaging them today is the first step in building a solid foundation for tomorrow.
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