In today’s world, with an ever-increasing amount of information and products readily available at your fingertips, customers are well informed and can easily choose between a variety of companies and providers. The need to stand out is therefore more crucial than ever.
As it is five times more expensive to attract new customers than to retain your existing ones, what can you do to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty? What can you do to prevent them from jumping ship and going to a competitor?
Keep Your Promise
For the majority of shoppers, product quality is the main reason they keep buying from the same brand. In an online business, high quality product images, videos that show products in use, tutorials and infographics are powerful tools that help the customer decide if they would like to order your product. Another predominant factor influencing a customer’s buying decision is online reviews. If you deliver what you promise and meet your customers’ expectation from their first purchase, they will keep on buying from your site.
Make it Personal
Small touches, such as a personalized email thanking them for registering with your business, sending them a discount offer or coupon for purchasing their first product from you or simply having your website address your customers by their name will go a long way in making them feel appreciated.
Show them that you are interested in their individual needs by tracking their preferences based on their current and past search history or purchases. Then you can send them personalised recommendations and tailored product selections.
To make them feel extra special, celebrate their birthdays and their registration anniversary by offering a free product or added discount. How about giving them access to promotional deals, exclusive events, a sneak preview on upcoming products or allowing them to give feedback on a new feature on your website before it goes live?
Make It Easy
A consistent design and layout of your website and/or mobile platform not only helps build your brand awareness, but also makes it easy for your customers to navigate your site. One should not underestimate the value of consistency when making products/services available on multiple devices.
Make critical information such as pricing, shipping and return policies easy to find. Save your customers time by allowing them to narrow down their search with filters. As described above, use visual means such as high quality photos of your products to help them be sure of their choices. You’ll also want to give them all the relevant information they need in order to make an informed decision on their purchase.
Pivotal in the online ordering process is the check out. Make sure it is as smooth as the rest of the online shopping experience. This can be achieved by offering different payment options, allowing customers to store personal and credit card information in your secure site, reminding them of loyalty or promotional discounts they can use during checkout and sending a reminder to customers that did not finish their transaction. You can further entice your customers by offering them an additional discount if they complete the purchase by a set deadline.
To establish a relationship and show your customers that you value them even after they have made their purchase, send them a post-purchase customer satisfaction survey. This gives your customers the opportunity to provide vital information on how you can improve your products and service as you gauge their feedback.
Engage with your customers on social media and use it as a marketing tool. Some people really enjoy tagging friends, sharing their favorite stores, posting about their favorite product or brand including pictures, ratings, reviews, etc. If shoppers make social media updates about your brand or product, make sure to like, retweet and share them to keep the engagement active.
Just as much as speed and efficiency matter, the quality in online customer support is equally important, if not more so. You can do this by answering questions, solving problems, and proactively engaging rather than focusing on metrics such as wait time and turnover rate.
Creating a positive customer experience strengthens the customer-brand relationship. From the first time a potential customer clicks on your website to the post-purchase care and support, make sure that interacting with your business is a satisfying experience because a satisfied customer will always be happy to either come back and/or recommend your brand, products and services.
It’s often said that if Facebook was a country it would be a superpower. An empire even – with 2.2 billion users worldwide, including 70% of all internet users, Facebook is by far the biggest social network in history. The question is, how does that affect you and your business?
The answer lies in Facebook advertising. Like any marketing tool, it has its strengths and weaknesses – but if used properly it can help you engage with any demographic you choose, no matter how specific. Plus, it’s cheap and (relatively) easy to use. How so?
Bang for your buck
It’s true, Facebook advertising used to be basically free; now it is effectively a pay-to-play service. Even if your brand is a fan favorite with plenty of followers, relying on free publicity is no longer a viable strategy. Why did this happen?
Simple: everyone’s Facebook accounts were getting flooded with information and ads that, frankly, no one wanted. So by focusing on paid advertising Facebook has made more room for more creative and well-conceived ads that are (in theory) more tailored to each user. This is good, as when your ad does appear in anyone’s news feed, it will be framed better and have less competition than before – and they will thank you for it.
Big Brother is your friend
As scary as it is to contemplate the amount of information Facebook has tucked away in its server banks, from a business perspective it’s an absolute goldmine. Only Google is as well-informed about your customers’ likes, dislikes, spending habits, location and other information – and you’re already advertising on Google, right?
How specific can you get on Facebook? Really, really specific – you can narrow down your segment by age, gender, marital status, location, interests or purchasing habits. You can choose to target or exclude your existing customers or fans, and you can even target people who resemble these ones. Scary? Yes: but very helpful.
Choose your weapon
We’ve seen you can choose from multiple levels of ad campaign – there’s even a nifty little $5 “boost” option, which pushes an existing post out to a wider audience – and you can target very specific audiences. But it doesn’t end there: you can decide whether you want to direct more traffic to your website, go for a drive-thru approach with a conversion (‘Click Here!’) campaign, or simply set up signposts by raising brand awareness – and you can aim them at multiple audiences at once.
You can even have multiple campaigns running simultaneously if you wanted, aimed at different demographics. How might this work? Consider this scenario: you’re opening up a new branch in a different location, so you run a brand awareness campaign aimed at locals to that area; at the same time, you run a conversion campaign advertising a one-off sale/promotion aimed at your existing customers. So long as you avoid overlapping them (so that two campaigns are not competing for one customer) you can quickly expand your reach in several directions.
There are many reasons for making Facebook marketing a key strategy for your business. It’s a cheap, powerful and relatively straightforward way of increasing brand visibility and penetration. Of course, there are things to keep in mind: as with any marketing strategy, it can’t be an off-the-cuff thing – remember, a Facebook news feed has a lot to catch the attention already, and your ads must stand out to stand a chance. Likewise, you must tailor your campaign and content to your audience, your type of business and your stated aims. And, as with all things social media, such campaigns do take time and energy to maintain.
But is this really too much to ask? With a little time and effort – and perhaps a little help from a good social media marketer – you can make Facebook advertising an effective and powerful part of your business.
5 reasons every business
desperately needs a blog
By Stefano Capacchione
Type in any question to your favourite search engine. Skip past the ads. What responses come up on the first page?
Without knowing your question, I can almost guarantee that you will see a mixture of videos and blogs. This isn’t a magic trick; it’s just the way that search engines are programmed.
In this article, I’m going to show you 5 benefits blogging can have for your business.
Increase Search Engine Traffic
Everybody has heard of Google (if you haven’t, you can look it up on Google) but what most people don’t know is how Google’s search engine works. It uses something called an algorithm in order to check websites and decide which ones deserve to be noticed. You may disagree but they have the power. Google is constantly making small alterations to what it deems to be worthy of a high ranking, but occasionally it makes a huge change with drastic effect.
The most recent, “Hummingbird”, has many layers but the important part for us to consider is what it looks for when a search is made.
Since Hummingbird’s introduction, Google looks for the likely meaning of a search. It takes every word into consideration, uses synonyms and then displays a result with a representative answer to the whole question. Therefore typing “How to search for the best flights” would be likely to show a blog explaining the best way to search for flights, or another blog explaining how to book the cheapest flights.
With this in mind, Google is constantly looking at questions, which your business can answer. If Google finds one of your blogs that is relevant to a user’s search, you could achieve a higher ranking. If Google finds many blogs that answer many questions within your website on a particular topic, your whole site could rank higher.
Of course, paying Google can also make you rank higher and there are benefits to this but to get truly worthwhile results using PPC (pay per click) costs a lot of money. With 94.95% of web traffic coming from organic results and just 5.05% for paid results, you can decide for yourself, which option looks better.
Connect on an emotional and personal level with your clients – Build trust & authority
As a consumer, if somebody you had never met said they had the best prices with the best quality, how would you react? Would you believe them? I wouldn’t and I wouldn’t try to find out if they were telling the truth. Every day, someone new says the same thing, they can’t all be right.
It’s the same in business, clients won’t trust you because you tell them to. You have to build a relationship over time. One of the most effective ways is with a blog.
In the U.K., the top result from typing “how to choose the best car is Car Buyer UK
At no point does this blog tell you that they are the best and you should buy from them. They only offer advice. There are links to other guides that keep you on their site and over time, you will start a relationship without realising it. They are there to help, not sell, so most consumers will feel like they are trustworthy.
Makes social media marketing a lot easier
Whether you like it or not, your business now depends on social media to survive.
The problem is, finding enough material for each platform can be extremely difficult. Posting blogs from others in your industry helps you to build trust but it doesn’t send people directly to your website. Your blogs, hosted on your website, will give your readers a lot fewer hurdles to jump through to reach the pages that you want them on. You can also post a version of them on almost every platform to save your time.
Helps Discussion & Interaction
Imagine how great it would be to have leads coming in rather than having to search for them all the time. Well, great blogs can help make this happen. Blogs spark discussion and create an interest. This gives clients an incentive to contact you and if that is the case, your well-trained sales people can take it to the next stage.
Keeps a continuous presence
If you post regular blogs, customers will know that you are alive. Potential clients are not going to remember you just because you will them to. A client is not always ready to buy straight away but if you are always talking to them, when the time is right, you will be at the top of their supplier list.
So… what are you waiting for? Start blogging today!