Recent global events have created a quandary for many business owners who combine a sticks and bricks location with a website. Making sure that your clients are all satisfied requires a much longer reach than just confirming with the folks who come in the door. You also have to stay on top of your virtual community connections.
What is Community-Based Marketing?
Community-based marketing is a way to grow your client connections organically. It rides on good reviews from customers, on word-of-mouth testimonials, and on positive reviews over time.
Growing a community-based marketing system will take regular monitoring of
- Google reviews
- social media postings
- comments left on your website
If you have a blog or post any YouTube videos about your products and services, you will need monitoring of these offerings to make sure that you have not attracted trolls who will damage your reputation as a means of entertaining themselves.
How Do I Get the Best Results?
If you are not in a position to hire a social media manager, you may want to sign on with a digital marketing agency that can monitor the comments and postings about your business. While these services can be purchased by hiring freelancers, you may well find that AdQuench Pricing options are a much better deal. In addition, you can enjoy the benefits of a deeper bench of staff members who can protect your reputation.
How Do I Connect With My Customers?
Positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals can go a long way toward building your business. Be sure to ask for a positive review every time you offer a service. Track these reviews and be ready to give a small discount or extra loyalty points when this person next makes a purchase. Be sure to offer it as a post-review gift, as opposed to a pre-review payout.
You can also offer coupons and discounts to returning customers for their loyalty. Another great way to organically grow your reach is to offer referral price breaks and free services. For example, you could send a customer a coupon for themselves and a friend. Track these discount offers, and when the friend makes a purchase, send a bigger coupon to the original customer.
Expand Your Marketing Footprint on the Ground
As we come out of the pandemic, it’s also a good idea to expand your footprint in your geographic community. You can
- sponsor a youth sports team and put your logo on a lot of little tee shirts
- participate in a back-to-school drive or a holiday gift drive with a drop-off at your location
- get tote bags and water bottles with your name and logo printed up and sponsor sip and shop events for adults
- donate to “treat” or snack drives in support of hard-working medical professionals
By getting your name out there, you can let your former clients know that you’re still in business. You can also support your fellow local business owners by joining them in community-building activities.
Ask For Expert Promotions
Make sure you connect with your clients to see what they’re actually doing with your products. If you sell craft products, from yarn to fabric to paper, ask your clients for photos of their creations and get permission to post these images.
As this grows, look for bloggers who create with items that you have for sale and send them a sample of something you are featuring seasonally. Find out if they will promote your shop to their community. Ask for a fair review, and if they can’t give you a positive review, find out why not so you can improve your product line or re-target your promotion.
This form of marketing will take a bit of time. However, the connections you make within your digital community can expand exponentially when something takes off. The right blogger can provide you with an army of marketers carrying their yarn in your tote bag.
Community-based marketing is not splashy. It doesn’t take a big campaign or a new logo, so it can cost a lot less. It does take time and it will require you to build solid connections with those who can share the benefits of your products and services.