Whether you are actively growing a personal brand or a company brand, maintaining close relationships with your loyal fans is always an essential aspect of your work. A lot of content creators focus on growing their brand’s following and acquiring new customers and fans. However, we believe it is of greater importance to focus on your most loyal fans. These fans are much more valuable, provided you approach them the right way.
In their research, covering multiple businesses, Harvard Business School reported that a 5% increase in retention rates (% of returning customers) increased profits by 25% to 95%. Besides that, acquiring new customers and reaching your fans is getting harder and more expensive every year. According to ProfitWell, the overall customer acquisition cost for both B2B and B2C companies has increased by a staggering 50% over the past five years.
For these reasons, we found it essential to research fan loyalty and how businesses should approach loyal fans to benefit from them in the long term. We determined the crucial focal points and made a list of 5 steps for brands to focus on when building and maintaining a loyal fanbase.
1. Get to know your audience
Because you are going to focus on nurturing relationships with your existing followers to turn them into loyal fans, you must start with getting to know your audience. You need to look for similarities in your fanbase. Who are they? What are their interests? And especially, what needs do they have?
Based on these questions, you need to create a target audience persona. This is a description of a typical member of your target audience. Include everything you can think of, their age, location, lifestyle, needs, personal background, educational background, favorite social media platforms, and more.
You should back up your results by analyzing your fans’ data in the insights of your active social media channels. These insights offer you limited but valuable data about your followers, such as gender, location, activity, and what content they engage with most. Once you have a clear image of who your audience is, it opens up new opportunities to build up a closer relationship.
2. Deliver value
Fans don’t develop loyalty to your brand in one day. First, you will need to prove over time why your brand is so cool by delivering value to your current fans. They need to have a solid reason to come back to your brand and, in addition to that, develop brand loyalty.
You can do this by providing valuable content to your audience. Test different types of content and find out what you’re good at doing. Through the process, you will find out what your fans love to see from you, and you can create more valuable content for them.
You have to make sure whatever you offer makes your fans want to come back to your brand on a regular basis. You can’t expect followers to become loyal fans if you’re not consistently offering what they need.
3. Cultivate a community
After you start offering what your fans need and recognize the value they are receiving from your brand, you must try to cultivate these individual fans into a community. This is the most exciting part!
To cultivate a community, fans must have a platform to interact on. You need to bring all your fans to one place where they can share experiences with each other and chat about their common interests. We think you can do this beautifully on Instagram and Discord. By doing this, your fans will constantly be in touch with your brand, making them more likely to return again and again, finally making them loyal fans.
Being able to reach your following all the time is critical when building a community. Still, it’s getting harder to organically reach your close fans with every post on Instagram or Facebook. This is why it’s getting more common for creators to send emails and text messages to connect with their fans whenever they want.
Give Fangage a try to send out bulk emails and text messages to your fanbase in a few clicks. Fans leave their email addresses and phone numbers with you in exchange for access to your exclusive content. You give them something of value, and in return, they provide you with access to their data, creating opportunities for you to reach them all the time. This way, you can nurture relationships with your close fans and turn them into true fans. And your true fanbase is where the most money comes from.
4. Personalize your messages
Now that you are delivering value through engaging content, it’s time to make your fans feel special. According to Segment, 44% of consumers say they are likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized experience with a particular company. For this reason, personalizing your message is of great importance in the process of getting closer to your fans.
Suppose you acquire the data of your fans like their names, birthdays, or locations (Facebook and Instagram withhold this data from you, so you spend money on their advertising programs). You can send out personalized messages through text message or email. An example could be to send a personalized ‘50% Birthday discount’ offer via text message. This makes your fans feel like they are receiving special treatment from your brand, which will give them all the more reason to return and become loyal fans of your brand.
Try Fangage for free and start sending text messages to your fans to personalize their experience with your brand.
5. Reward loyalty
Last but not least, you must reward fan loyalty. If customers are rewarded for returning, they are more likely to return again. Besides, this approach will increase your brand’s word-of-mouth marketing.
Examples of doing this is through offering discounts to returning fans or offer exclusive opportunities. For instance: you can notify a group of loyal customers that they are allowed access to your new product 24 hours before the rest of the world gets to access it.
You will retain your biggest fans by giving them an opportunity to access your new product first, while you also encourage people from outside this group to reach the same fan status and get offered such deals.
We can’t stress the importance of having a loyal fanbase enough, as its importance is getting more and more significant — especially for your income. Acquiring new fans is getting more expensive and maintaining a fanbase of true fans is getting more valuable, so I guess we shouldn’t have to tell you where you should put your focus.