According to Gallup, customers who are more engaged earn brands 23% more revenue. But the marketer-customer relationship is also highly symbiotic. We talk a lot about how engaging and inspiring your audience is essential to creating a loyal, long lasting customer, but there is much more to inspiring brand loyalty than meeting sales goals.
Here are 5 tips to help you create collaborative marketing campaigns with, not just for, your audience.
1. Customers Can Be Publishers, Too
Just because you get a paycheck for producing content doesn’t mean you have to be the only one producing. Loyal, inspired customers operate in a unique space. Empower these enthusiasts to take part in your content creation.
Whether it be in comments on blogs, social shares, or simply word of mouth, let your audience loose to do some of your marketing for you. These customers are unbiased champions who will influence people not directly touched by your marketing.
2. Customer Collaboration
No matter how good your data is, or how robust your analytics are, no one understands the customer better than the customer themself; listen and learn. Give them every opportunity to inform your next marketing decision.
Make your customer a part of your brands story, not just a passive consumer.
3. Create Rapport
Be as open and as transparent as possible with your audience. As I said above: listen and learn, but also engage in meaningful and direct dialogue. Allow your customers to ‘get it all out,’ especially criticism.
An honest customer’s opinion is a very versatile and powerful tool.
4. Accept Criticism
As Bill Gates says, “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” If you show that you are truly internalizing your audiences’ praises as well as their critiques you’ll go a long way to creating a harmonious relationship with effective and open dialogue.
Critiques are often a litmus test for brands; being mature and thoughtful will go a long way to fostering brand loyalty. Don’t be afraid of criticism, use it!
5. Tell Stories
Interactive digital content is here to stay. Embrace how effectively it engages your audience. This is all a part of empowering your customers to take an active roll in your brand’s story.
Enabling your audience to take a direct role in your brand creates huge excitement, but also has the ability to continually optimize your marketing output.
Your audience is a sounding board for your published content. They’ll tell you how they feel, positive or negative. Engage the positive feedback and try to extrapolate trends and patterns. Negative feedback can be even more illuminating: don’t take it personally, take it constructively.
Enlist your audience as partners in your marketing and they’ll reward you with loyalty and, of course, with buying your product.