Let’s just say it: a significant part of your online marketing efforts should be focused on keeping your customers happy. Sure, we use other terms to describe the concept—customer satisfaction, enhancing their digital experience, customer service, etc.—but really the crux of your online marketing strategy should be focused on your customers and how you can keep them happy with you now, and interested enough to come back. The truth of online marketing is that there is no magic recipe, no standard road map for that goal. And with the advent of new online marketing tools, social media platforms, and search engine optimization strategies, the “magic recipe” for customer satisfaction is continually evolving. Yet even in the midst of all the digital evolution, there are some hard and fast guides you can use in your pursuit of customer happiness.
Know who your customers are
Take the number one rule of marketing to heart when writing optimized content for your website or blog, or emails to send out: know your audience. You’re not going to keep your customers happy if you don’t know the type of customer you are trying to satisfy. Create a buyer persona of your “typical” customer, and create content and emails for that customer type.
If you’re an outdoor gear store with a younger audience, create marketing pieces with information and tips for your customers’ next adventure. Are you a bridal store who caterers to younger brides? Answer the questions you hear in the story on your website, in emails, on your blog, on social media—wherever you have a social media presence.
Know where your online customers are
Once you identify your key audience, don’t randomly dive into online marketing without being strategic about your efforts. Target your efforts where you know your customers are. If you are considering using social media to connect with your customers, do your research. Choose a social media channel where your target audience spends a great deal of their time. Don’t feel you have to be everywhere online; be realistic and strategic about your online marketing efforts.
Engage with them
We often talk about using engagement to measure our social media and online marketing tactics; what about measuring how we engage with them online? Do you just throw social media posts and content out there and see what happens? Do you respond to emails that come in through your website, social media comments and questions quickly? Remember that one of the unique elements of online marketing is that it’s a two-way street; take advantage of that to the fullest. Engage with them, deliver excellent customer service and don’t be afraid to say thank you. It’s refreshing—and too infrequently done, by our standards.
Give them what they want
Is your content relatable to your audience? Can they relate to the problem you are writing about or choosing content about? Does your content relate to the age group of your audience? One way to choose relatable content is to listen to your customers, or talk to the people that do, and write content that answers their questions. You can also put your content marketing in the hands of professionals that can. Remember social media is not about JUST selling to your customer (though you can certainly do that some of the time)—that goal is met by posting and sharing relatable content that helps them, and about listening.
Being relatable can be especially challenging if you feel your industry is “boring,” but that’s where it pays to be creative—and to know your voice. Don’t try to be humorous in an industry where it’s not appropriate (such as for a funeral home). However, we’ve seen heating and cooling businesses, pest control companies, tire shops, many “boring” shops create relatable, entertaining online marketing pieces.
Online marketing is not a feast or famine exercise; successful online marketing is regular and consistent. Allocate your time accordingly; create a strategic plan that uses all the elements of a successful online marketing plan and execute accordingly. If you need assistance in drafting a plan, or executing regular and relatable content, enlist the help of an online marketing firm. It’s a move that makes you and your customers happy; a bonus in your efforts to keep your customers happy.