How to build a loyal following for your brand
Every entrepreneur is looking to find their market share, regardless of their size. Building a customer base is the first step in the process, but methods of attracting customers change over time. E-commerce and the digital market have grown exponentially over the past year, and customer service is more online than ever.
In 2021, a loyal clientele is synonymous with a solid clientele. Consumers rely on social media, blogs, and other internet outlets to determine which brands they want to work with. But building a loyal following is more than social accounts. Entrepreneurs need to understand that followers who will become customers expect brands to offer them more than the product. They want an experience, multiple points of connection, and a sense of pride in the brands they interact with.
Here are four tips from Jake Shaw, Founder of YourownMusic, to create a holistic experience, generate a loyal following, and grow your customer base.
Reach your customers where they are
Defining your target demographic is essential for any business strategy. In the digital age, a critical part of demographic research is finding out how your customers communicate. Typically, we assume that young people prefer social media communication and older generations prefer tangible mail or email, but as digital platforms multiply, our demographic research needs to become more nuanced and specific.
Figure out where your target demographic is going to interact with others and meet them there. You might be surprised by their preferences and how quickly they evolve and adapt to technological advancements. For example, businesses with young target audiences are turning to text-based communication because cell phones are very accessible. If you devote the time to research, you will be able to reach your customers where they really are instead of wasting effort on outdated methods.
Give something of value
Your product or service will always be the primary offering and focus of your business, but consumers expect brands to go the extra mile. YourOwnMusic music industry entrepreneur Jake Shaw transformed the world of music promotion with this strategy. To promote his customers’ music, he creates playlists on popular music streaming sites (like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube) to attract customers and keep them tuned in. It is a free service that shows the customer that they are ready to go beyond just promoting their customers’ content: they will create new content that meets the interests of consumers.
Regardless of the industry, you can create additional value for your customers beyond your product or service. Consider offering educational resources through a blog or creating entertaining social content that subscribers can interact with. You can also use giveaways to engage your followers or provide them with personalized product recommendations.
Share user-generated content
Interacting with followers is the key to growing your business and your brand. User-generated content is an easy way to show your followers and customers that you care about their views. User-generated content can take the form of hashtag-based social campaigns where subscribers share photos of your products, or a customer reviews section on your website that allows customers to share their comments. Giving voice to your followers is an effective way to create a larger conversation about your brand.
Collaborate with the taste makers in your industry
To build an audience, you need to cultivate trust in your brand. One of the best ways to build trust between you and your customers is to collaborate with other leaders in your industry. If you work in retail or sell a specific type of product, reach out to people who have an influence on your target demographic. These people can be social media influencers in fashion, health, fitness, food, or anything else that interests your target demographic. The more your customers see your product in the hands of people they trust, the more likely they are to trust you.
In service or technology based industries, you can reach out to thought leaders or innovators who might mention your product to their networks. Just one recommendation from an industry leader can propel your brand to success. For Jake Shaw, collaboration is essential both for the musicians he represents and for the business relationships he cultivates. The idea is to build a community, not just a clientele.
Building a loyal customer base isn’t about generating thousands of social media visits, it’s about cultivating a lasting relationship with your customer. You can do this by identifying their needs, responding to them where they are, building trust and giving them a voice in the process. Word of mouth, even digital, means everything to modern businesses.