The Bitter Truth About Customer Loyalty -- with a silver lining.
Only 28% of consumers are loyal to the brands that they use. This means that 72% of consumers in a given industry are "up for grabs". This is bad news for you if you are a business who is struggling to gain customer loyalty for your brand. But it's fantastic news if you are working on that competitive edge that defies the stats and makes your customers part of the 28%.
This signifies a great opportunity for new businesses and those who've never really "left the launchpad" to succeed if they can simply unlock what makes loyal customers.
What is your brand?
The term "brand" simply means who you are and how people see you. It is the experience that you create for customers. Everyone has a brand. A doctor in a solo practice has a brand. Doctors in a multi-physician practice have a collective brand. A gym has a brand. A nutritional supplement Company has a brand. A non-profit has a brand. The way that you brand yourself determines how people see you. Are you reliable, trustworthy, friendly, competent, skilled, etc? Maybe in your industry, customers want trendy and fashion forward. Do your actions match the brand that you want to portray?
Connection between Brand and Loyalty
Customers are not loyal to products and services. They are loyal to the brand that provides them those services and a certain customer experience. This is great because if you have a loyal customer base, when you offer a new product or service, you immediately have an audience to buy and help get the word out. This is what makes loyalty so important.
Acquiring 1 new customer costs a business 5X the cost of retaining 1 existing customer. If you have not developed a brand that is retaining customers through nurturing loyalty, then you probably just spent all of your profits from that sale to the new customer on acquiring him/her. If, as a business, you are wondering why you just can't seem to get ahead, this could be it. The likelihood of selling a good or service to a repeat customer is 60-70%. You have about a 5% chance of trying to sell to someone new.
Customer retention is key to having a successful business and yet only 18% of businesses make customer retention their number one focus. This gives those who develop that brand a tremendous competitive advantage.
All businesses say their customers are important. And most honestly try to show it. But many are at a loss when it comes to what the customers really want and how they can make their customers feel that they are an important part of their business and that they really are your number 1 priority. They lack that branding that makes a customer feel like they are a part of something. And feeling a part of something is what loyalty is all about. It becomes a part of their identity.
How to earn Customer Loyalty by developing the right brand
The business world agrees at a rate of 89% that customer experience is the key to loyalty. So your brand should be all about the experience. But this does't mean trying to be something that you are not. It means taking what you are and have to offer as an experience and sharing it with both existing and potential customers. The customer's experience is everything involved in dealing with your brand like
How easy it is to get someone on the phone
How responsive and friendly those on the phone are
How they are treated by professionals and experts in your organization
The service that they receive when they come into your physical or online business
How easy it is to find things on your website
How easy it is to use your website
The extras that you provide on your website or in your physical store to really make a great customer experience.
Your focus on making these things all they can be is sending the right message and promoting the right brand that customers will feel loyal to.
How Content Marketing Promotes Your Brand
Content Creation is about taking the online customer experience to the next level. By going beyond the typical services pages and adding content that your customers will find engaging, inspiring and helpful, they feel a greater connection to your business.
Content is the way we foster loyalty in a day when consumers have so many options. Research has shown that customers feel more positive about businesses who provide them with content and this positivity is what births a sense of loyalty, good reviews and sharing. Content grows loyalty and helps turn customers into your partners in promoting your brand.
Through content marketing strategies:
Build a brand that customers love
Be an expert voice in your industry
Provide helpful information in an engaging way
Reduce customer support costs
Attract new customers who will find your website naturally at just the right time through search engines.
Retain customers who will feel more connected to you through your content and want to share with others
Turn customers into promoters.
How to acquire content
The best content is custom content. This is content that you have someone who knows your industry and understands your business create for your customers. Because this content is part of a marketing strategy, it should be engaging, helpful and optimized so that search engines can easily find it. This means that when a customer is looking a new doctor, personal injury lawyer, deck builder, HVAC company or clothing company to love, your company appears in their Google searches. The best custom content is sharing information that is not readily available elsewhere and is therefore original. Your custom content could include blogs, email campaigns, newsletters, etc.
Although custom content should be your # 1 Priority because studies show that custom is what drives action, you can supplement your custom content with curated content (relevant content that you collected-blogs, videos, etc). This content is shared through social media to engage your existing customers regularly in between custom content which takes more time to produce. Because you are sharing someone else's work you're showing that you value the customer and their experience and you don't think it's all about you.
Utilizing both content types helps you maximize your exposure for less money. That's a higher ROI.
Find the right content marketer
The right content marketer is, first, a writer who can speak to your audience in your desired voice and persona to gain loyalty to your brand. This writer should understand your industry. They know how to find out what will engage and inspire your customer base and produce it in both custom and curated form. This person knows how to make content work for you, promoting your business. If you are interested in learning more about how our custom content marketing strategies can give you the competitive advantage,