By Bryce Young
In content marketing, having a loyal following is absolutely critical. Your following will drive results for you, year after year. In many ways, building and maintaining a loyal following is the ultimate purpose of content marketing. In this post, we’ll discuss some key strategies Intuitive Websites has put in place to secure a local following for their clients.
Everybody’s Got Choices
In today’s world, people often have too many choices. So every year, your following becomes more important. The Internet has given people endless varieties of products. There are countless types of electronics, chewing gum, playing cards, and even doorknobs that can be found online. So marketing is faced with the task of driving people to be loyal to something that they can trust. Once people can trust something, and they can be loyal to it, their lives become easier because they no longer have to go through all the choices again.
Brand loyalty is more important than ever, and your digital marketing process can be used to grow and expand brand loyalty. Digital marketing can also be used to attract the right people to you, and once they are drawn to your company, they can easily become loyal customers.
The Importance of Branding
Because there are so many products and services out there, people cannot possibly know all of their options. They will choose the options that are available to them. So people tend to rely on a brand that provides what they are looking for in an accessible way. They often discover these brands through understanding how others perceive your company. The concept of reviews, testimonials, and content from influencers (market leaders) is very important in building a loyalty to your brand. People want to read and learn about the decisions they are making in order to be sure that they are making the right decision.
Keep in mind that branding is about building loyalty. Young emphasizes that customer loyalty arises from customer perception of your company. Your website, your presence on social media, and your other online content can serve as the focal point of that perception. So if you want to build upon and expand loyalty, you have to have an excellent digital marketing approach.
Many companies do not understand what they are doing with their branding because they haven’t put the effort into their digital marketing. They have slacked on their website, they don’t have a presence on social media, and so their branding is not on track. There is a story that Young likes to tell to elaborate on this point. Let’s say that you are getting on to an airplane, and you’re going to fly somewhere. You sit down on the seat and you realize “My seat is loose! The tray in front of me is about to fall over! And wow, this carpet is really dirty!” What state is the engine going to be in? What state are the wings in? This story should show you the importance of branding. If you have a poor-quality website that doesn’t meet the needs of the visitors, then your potential customers are not going to be as pleased as they could be, and your business will be affected.
Brand-Filtering Sites & Search Engines
As people are filtering through all the options in the pursuit of a brand they can be loyal to, they will often find websites that will help to present them with the brands they find to be most important. In fact, it can be said that most websites out there today are basically brand filters. They exist to help people find others that they want to connect with, or products that they want to buy. Google, as the massive filter of the world, is a perfect example of this.
Google is the number one search engine that introduces people to products and services. Google is does not have the market share that is used to, however, as other sites have risen to fill the role of the middleman between customers and businesses. These websites include Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Fandango, and many others. They can be product specific sites, such as sites for fountain pens, or for books.
Understand Your Products!
When you start thinking about building a loyal following in the digital universe, you must have an excellent understanding of your products and services. Your understanding will be directly conveyed through digital marketing, so it’s very important to truly know what you are selling, and why you are selling it. How do your products and services relate to your target market? Your digital marketing strategy can answer this question. You, as a business, are in a position to help your customers. It’s very important that you know what this looks like.
Your online content can include photos, videos, testimonials, and even stories. What matters, however, is that your online content will help you to connect with your customers. Look at your online presence through the eyes of your costumers, and imagine what they want to see. If you understand what your products or services can do for your customers, it will be easy to know what they want. So focus on building a loyal following, and remember that people want to be loyal to your brand.
These are Thomas Young’s action items for building your company’s loyal following:
- Research & Segment Market Segments: You should understand the key types of demographics, psychographics, and geographics that you’d like to appeal to. The content you write has to be made for the right people. This is always the starting point for building a loyal following. Don’t make the mistake of creating content from an assumed perceptive. Think about the customer’s perspective.
- Develop A Content Plan for each Market Segment: You can call these segments personas, or you can call them your target markets. Then you can create and schedule a digital marketing plan that deals with the needs of each of these segments.
- Track & Get Feedback on Content: Track and get feedback on your content! It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t. Google analytics can be very helpful as it allows you to measure the efficiency of your digital marketing plan.
- Have A Stay-In-Touch Program: Working with your customers makes sense! Their feedback is authentic and provides you with first-hand accounts of what working with your business is like. Even if they have left your company for a competitor, the opinion of your customers is priceless. These opinions can be gathered through email marketing, social media, and even through blogs. A stay-in-touch program will nurture loyalty.
The most successful companies on the planet have always had a tremendous amount of loyal followers. These follows are repeat buyers, and they recommend products and services to others. Follows are always at the core of your business growth. Your company needs them, and they need your company!