The success or failure of your business can rely on whether you have an effective digital strategy in place. It is your digital strategy which works to capture the attention of your audience and potential customers, but a good strategy goes beyond this initial step. A successful digital strategy gains you the trust and respect of your audience. What you are building is not simply a buyer base, but a community based on mutual support and loyalty which will be with your business for a lifetime.
Achieving this type of connection with your audience is challenging, particularly in the current digital environment where new brands are emerging every day and trying to win the support of the same audience that you are. The stakes are high, costs are rising, time is short and consumer habits are changing at a faster speed than ever before. In this blog post, we discuss digital strategy, and how to turn a buyer base into a loyal community:
Think of any famous multi-million dollar brand – Disney, Netflix, Apple, Facebook, Amazon – all of these companies began from the same place. They were all unknown, and the audience they hoped to engage with and convert were strangers. The first step towards creating a community around your brand is therefore to introduce yourself, your product or service, and your brand message to the public and then begin to build your audience. A recent 2019 study by Ignite Visibility identified a disruptive shift amongst businesses towards online marketing. Their findings reflected that new companies tend to begin with social media marketing for its low cost and high engagement, and move on to other digital marketing strategies once they have begun to increase revenue and build their audiences.
This is where a compelling and personable social media presence becomes so important. Establishing yourself as approachable, transparent and innovative will begin to attract the interest of potential customers and start your business off on the right foot. For more advice on social media, check out our blog post 5 Steps to Start Your Social Media Marketing on the Right Path. Optimising your SEO is also important to ensure that your business is visible to the right audience, but above all personalised and consistent content is king to begin turning strangers into visitors.
The next step in creating a community around your brand is to make your business a streamlined and user-friendly experience which will keep visitors coming back again and again. Research shows that customers expect more than ever from businesses in the way of personalised customer service, so it is vital that providing an efficient user experience, as well as responding to queries and complaints quickly, is your top priority. Engaging with your audience can be done in various ways, from email marketing campaigns to innovative landing pages and calls to action on social media or blog posts, but your goal should always be to provide a positive visitor experience. It is this positive association with your brand which will turn visitors into customers. For more marketing tips, read our blog post on the Five Pillars of Solid Inbound Marketing Strategy.
Once you begin to generate leads from your audience, customer service becomes even more important for the success of your brand. The reputation of a company can be made and destroyed in a day through the pervasive global reach of social media. Overall trust in brands, particularly if you are targeting a Millennial audience, is also in decline. However, a recent study showed that it is the manipulation and deception associated with marketing campaigns which is fueling this distrust, and that those brands which showed transparency in the intent of their campaigns were more trusted by customers.
The Ignite Visibility study also found that as businesses grow in revenue, they are more likely to diversify their digital marketing strategy, making use of a range of digital channels including search engine optimisation, social media and email marketing. It is important during this process to focus on retaining customer support by responding quickly to enquiries, treating your audience as individuals and humanising your brand. It is this human connection formed between you and your customers that will turn your audience from passive consumers into active promoters of your business.
Turning customers into promoters for your brand can be achieved in several ways. Data – driven marketing through email and other collection methods is an important technique; the more you know about your customers and their wants and needs, the easier it is to satisfy them and encourage them to share their stories through reviews or social media posts. Campaigns which involve sharing your brand with their friends and family, or actively posting about it on their own social channels, will help promote your business to a wider audience. You can also connect with social media influencers, who in exchange for free products or other remuneration will promote your brand to their own established communities. Whichever method you choose, remember that the responsibility for promoting and developing your brand ultimately lies with you. Looking to enhance your brand presence? Here are 7 Great Tips on How to Market Yourself.
The final step in turning your buyer base into a community is to find ways to continually nourish the connection between you and your customers. Whether this is through public events, the creation of useful resources such as webinars, podcasts and whitepapers, the development of online groups for customers to discuss your products and answer questions, or through giveaways and prizes, engaging your community is an ongoing commitment. If you make a mistake, it is up to you to rebuild trust in your brand. If you have customers who return again and again, then you need to reward that loyalty. Businesses that build and continually work on achieving brand intimacy with their customers are the ones that succeed.
As your company grows, you will have more budget to allocate to digital marketing, as well as being able to implement better tracking strategies and develop an understanding of the conversion rates and ROI for each of your digital channels. This data will help you engage with your community as well as prosper as a business. Above all, never forget that each number in your follower count is a person, and a member of your community.
At TWMG, our team can help you develop a successful digital strategy for your business.
To put your business at the forefront of digital innovation, give us a call on 1300 911 772 or Contact Us here.