Whether you are actively growing a company brand or your personal brand, managing relationships with your customers (or fans) is an essential aspect of your work.
Although it is also very important to grow your brand and acquire new customers and fans, it is of greater importance to focus on your loyal customers, as they are more valuable. 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 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, our team of experts at Fangage researched and developed a list of 6 steps to build a loyal customer base to increase profits in the long-term!
1. Get to know your audience
Because you are going to focus on nurturing relationships with your existing customers to turn them into loyal customers, you must start with getting to know your audience.
You need to look for similarities in your customers.
Who are they? What are their interests? What needs do they have?
Based on these questions, 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, etc.
You should back up your results by analyzing your customers’ data with analytical tools which most channels like Facebook or Instagram offer to business accounts. These tools offer you limited, but valuable data about your followers, such as gender or location.
If you have a clear image of who your audience is, it opens up new opportunities to connect with them on a deeper level.
2. Deliver value
Customer loyalty is not developed in a day. Therefore, you will need to deliver value to your audience; you need to give them a strong reason to come back to your brand.
You can do this by providing valuable content to your audience. Upload video content or relatable posts for your fans to engage with. For instance, show them something new or captivate them with storytelling.
Another way of delivering value is by offering freebies for your customers.
You have to make sure whatever you offer makes people want to come back to your brand on a regular basis. You can’t expect customers to become loyal customers if you’re not offering what they need.
3. Cultivate a community
After you start offering what your customers need, and they recognize the value they are receiving from your efforts, you must try to transform these individual customers into a community. We at Fangage think that this is the most exciting part.
You can't build a community if you don’t give your audience a platform to interact on. You have to bring your customers or fans together so they can share experiences with each other and chat about their interests.
The community you create does not even have to be based around what you offer, but you will always be remembered for the sense of community you helped cultivate. You can build a community in many ways, but our favorites are organizing fan contests or giveaways through your social channels.
4. Personalize your messages
Now that you are delivering value through engaging content and your community, it’s time to make your customers 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 messages is of great importance in the process of improving customer relationships.
If, you possess the data of your customers like their first names, birthdays or locations (Facebook and Instagram withhold this data from you, so you spend money on their advertising programs), you could send out personalized messages through Email or SMS. An example could be to send a personalized ‘10% Birthday Discount’ offer via SMS. This makes your customers feel like they are receiving special treatment from your company, which will give them all the more reason to return to your brand.
5. Reward loyalty
Last but not least, you must reward customer 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. Pro Tip: you can use Fangage for organizing fan contests or giveaways and combine them with a follow-to-unlock gate to simultaneously boost your social media following.
Examples of doing this is through offering discounts to returning customers or offer exclusive opportunities. For instance: you could 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 customer status and get offered such deals.
We can’t stress the importance of having a loyal customer- or fanbase enough, as its importance is getting more and more significant. Acquiring new customers is getting more expensive and maintaining a customer base is getting more valuable. There are endless ways of building a loyal customer- or fanbase in 2021, but we hope we were able to inspire you with our ideas.
If you are looking for an all-in-one tool to manage your customer- or fan relationships, including countless other valuable features, check out Fangage and get started with your own fan platform in 1 minute, completely for free, today.