The average person sees over 5,000 ads each day across more traditional platforms on billboards and commercials to advertisements on social media and websites. It’s easy for customers to feel inundated by business ads, so it’s become just as easy for those same customers to ignore ads as much as possible.
It’s not enough for a business to throw around generic advertising and marketing techniques anymore.
Instead, it’s important for your business to understand its customers. That includes knowing your current customer base as well as who you should be trying to attract in the future. Businesses that keep the customer experience in mind as a priority make 80% more revenue from those customers than businesses who don’t.
You can’t create an ideal customer experience if you don’t understand what your customers and potential customers truly want. Thankfully, there are ways to make that happen. Those techniques include funnel marketing. This will turn potential customers into loyal followers and connect you with your community as a local business.
The More You Know, the More You’ll Grow
Understanding your customers means getting to know them from start to finish. Constant growth is essential for any business, which means many marketing efforts need to be directed toward new customers. That’s where funnel marketing can be a huge asset to your business.
A conversion funnel, or sales funnel, starts with a customer learning the basics of your business and ends with them becoming a loyal customer. It’s what you do throughout the steps of their journey that will make a difference. The steps of the conversion process include the following:
- Attracting Customers: This can be done with traditional advertising means on social media. You can often accelerate customer acquisition by using powerful, on-brand messages via social media to let people know who you are and what you’re about.
- Collecting Data: Using surveys or looking at analytics are both great ways to learn more about those who might be interested in your products or services. Go behind the scenes to see who is viewing your website and the pages they’re looking at. What do people seem interested in? Include a survey on your site that is unbiased, concrete, and focused on customer service so you can receive clear data.
- Encourage action: Once you have enough information, you can encourage action by offering discounts, deals, and coupons and by sending out campaigns that are fully on-brand with what you now know people want to see.
- Convert: Conversion means getting a potential customer to actually purchase or use your products or services. It’s one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, but it shouldn’t be your end goal.
Your ultimate goal after converting potential customers into actual customers should be to remain connected. That’s how one-time buyers become loyal to your brand.
Learning Creates Loyalty
When you take the time to understand your customers, you’ll also learn how to keep them on board. Customers who return to your business aren’t just spending more money. They become brand ambassadors for you. According to a Nielsen report, 92% of consumers trust the business suggestions of family and friends over advertising. Word-of-mouth marketing is huge, which is why creating loyal customers is so important.
Engagement is the key. Because people are so inundated with advertisements, most of them want to connect with a business that is willing to step outside of the box and be more personable. Does your business have a face? A specific personality or persona that can connect with different types of people? It might feel a bit overwhelming to let your customers in on the personal side of your business, but it’s a successful marketing technique that can make them feel more comfortable buying your brand.
Take the time to engage on social media. Answer questions. Respond to reviews. Publish live-stream Q&A videos so people can see the face(s) behind the business.
You can also utilize technology and the right tools to engage with your customers. According to a report by IBM and Econsultancy, 33% of successful marketers believe that having the right data collection programs in place can help make understanding your customers easier. Some of the most useful digital marketing tools include Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Hootsuite.
Engaging Your Local Audience
You don’t have to be a big corporation or a nationwide business to encourage a positive customer experience for everyone. In fact, small businesses that are focused on a specific area should attempt to understand their customers more than anyone. If you have a smaller audience to draw from, you’ll want to connect with as many people in your community as possible. You might also have stiffer competition if two or three similar businesses are fighting for the same loyal customers.
What can you do to attract more local customers? For starters, use your location as the basis for your targeting techniques. Start by focusing on local SEO. When nearby customers are searching for a business that has what you offer, you want your name to number one in the search engine rankings. That will require you to hone in on specific things:
- Google My Business
- On-site and Off-site SEO
- Social media targeted ads
You can also attract new customers by getting your brand name out there as much as possible. Create initiatives to get people to come into your business or to buy from you online. Encourage customers to leave feedback and reviews. Word-of-mouth advertising works online too, especially in a small town when locals are looking to support small businesses. If you stay competitive and don’t assume that your “small town business” has to remain small, you can continue to attract new customers and quickly become a local staple within your community.
Engaging customers throughout their journey with your business is the key to keeping them loyal to your brand. Think about who you’re really targeting as you work on your marketing efforts, and how you can better connect with the people who are interested in your brand. By doing so, you can attract new customers while creating a loyal fanbase that will stick with you as your business continues to grow and thrive.
Also published on Medium.