From global brands to small businesses, there is an alarming trend happening in marketing. Instead of building a campaign around the customer experience, most marketing messages are focused on promotions.
While many marketers like to say how much the customer experience matters to them, their campaigns do little to tell a story or build a relationship with the consumer. Somewhere along the line, marketers stopped treating people like people in favor of making sales.
But it’s not an “either-or” deal. In fact, if you build your campaigns around the customer experience and treat people like people, your message is more likely to stand out, resonate with consumers, and result in sales.
You don’t want to fall into the trap of only promoting your products and services. If your goal is to cultivate a brand with influence and staying power, it’s time to put the customer experience at the center of your marketing and public relations campaigns.
Using Social Media to Attract and Interact With Customers
Whether your business has a brick-and-mortar location or exists purely in the online space, you must use social media to engage your target audience and maintain relationships with current customers. Regardless of what generation or demographic you cater to, you need to acknowledge that technology in some form or another plays a major role in consumers’ lives. If you’re not using social media to market your brand and connect with customers, you’re no longer just missing out on a marketing opportunity. In today’s increasingly digital world, you’re rendering yourself obsolete.
While many businesses use social media for promotion and customer service, those applications are just the tip of the iceberg. Via its personal nature, social media is a chance to increase the “know, like, and trust” factor with customers. In order for the customer to trust your brand, they need to first get to know you and decide they like what you’re about.
One of the best ways to increase the “know, like, and trust” factor with customers is to produce content for them. YouTube tutorials, Instagram infographics, and TikTok videos to name just a few. When you show up with valuable and entertaining content for your customers on platforms where they spend their time, you’re demonstrating that you are an expert in both your niche and what matters to your audience.
As you share content on social media, strive to make your messaging authentic. Know how industry leaders are leveraging various social media platforms to target different audiences. Use the same language that your customers do, respond to every comment, and spin trends to fit your brand. The objective is to create content that makes your customer want to continue engaging with you.
Embracing Earned Media
Social media vanity metrics like follower counts and “likes” make it easy to get caught up in wanting to attract new customers. However, one of the best ways to attract new customers and grow your reach is to serve the customers you already have.
Brands and businesses that commit to building campaigns around the customer experience are positioning themselves to reap the benefits of earned media. “Earned media” is when people mention your products or services, not because they’re getting paid but because they genuinely enjoy them.
Many brands don’t make earned media a central part of their marketing strategy, thinking it’s largely out of their control, but if you put the customer experience at the center of your campaign, earned media will happen organically. Because you can’t pay for a word-of-mouth recommendation, consumers see them as more genuine.
When every aspect of your business serves the customer, it breeds loyalty and encourages recommendations. Other consumers will see the effort you’re making to fulfill customers’ needs, heed the advice of people they trust, and want to be a part of what you’ve built. In the long run, being devoted to the customer will bring you more business.
So, what does this “devotion” look like? Listen to your customers’ feedback. Make changes to better fit your products and services to their needs. Engage with your customers on social media. Before launching a campaign, set your bottom line aside and ask how it will benefit the customer.
Showcasing How Your Business Fits Into Your Customer’s Life
In an oversaturated market, consumers have the power and can be picky when it comes to choosing where to spend their money. That’s why you must make an effort to show how your business fits into your customers’ lives. With so many options available to them, consumers aren’t going to spend money on products or services from a brand whose values don’t align with theirs. You need to dig deep to understand what your customer values so that you can showcase how what you’re selling fits into their lifestyles.
For example, if your business targets millennials as its primary customer, you should know that this generation values sustainability. You would do well to embrace eco-friendly practices and communicate your socially responsible actions as part of your messaging. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, consider providing digital signature options and e-receipts to show you’re easy to work with and environmentally-conscious.
While this specific tactic might not necessarily apply to every single business and brand that targets millennials, this frame of mind is good for building your campaigns around customer experience. At the end of the day, you want to ensure that your products and services align with the values of your customers. This type of personalized approach will pay off when executed in an authentic fashion.
Today, consumers are smarter than ever. Your target customers will be able to see an insincere marketing campaign from a mile away. In order to set yourself apart and earn their business, you must put the customer experience at the center of your campaigns.