Over the last couple of years as digital marketing continues to increase, there has been a lot of talk around whether brand loyalty matters. However, in today’s environment that has changed the way we do business overnight, we believe it matters more than ever and those that have built brand loyalty will come out stronger and better as a result. And for those that don’t have strong brand loyalty yet, it also presents an opportunity to build it.
Let’s face it, the digital world is constantly changing, so as marketers we need to change with it. Brand Loyalty is getting harder to achieve because technology is continually raising customer expectations about what constitutes a great experience. With the increase of digital has come the increase of competitors and a wider variety of products customers can choose from. Your customers might prefer your product or brand, but in today’s market they are likely to try alternatives to satisfy their curiosity and ensure they have the best product. Also there is a trend with people wanting to be early adopters, so if there is a whiff of a new product or service out there you can guarantee that your customers are bound to try it at some stage!
So how do you build brand loyalty in a digital world? We believe there are two components to building brand loyalty; one is developed online and the other is just going back to good old 101 basics. There is a saying that ‘chivalry is not dead’, putting that in the context of the basic building blocks of brand loyalty – customers still want good old-fashioned customer service. So, every brand, service and company should prioritise good customer service, as customers want to feel heard and listened to, as after all connection is still one of human’s basic needs. So, while customers shop more digitally, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk to anyone. In fact it’s quite the opposite, going over and above connecting with customers makes all the difference for building brand loyalty and even a step further in building brand advocacy!
When it comes to building brand loyalty in the digital realm it is the same concept – ensuring you connect with your customers, and you are now just doing it online. Here is what we believe is important to ensure you build brand loyalty through your digital marketing:
Make Content A Priority
As mentioned, today’s consumer is much more discerning and open to shopping around, you will not win them over with a simple promotional pitch – while this might work in the short term, it doesn’t build that long-term brand loyalty. Harvard Business Review stated, “it is not the number of interactions a buyer has with your brand, but the quality and relatability of the interaction”. So, make it count. Instead of telling your consumers why your product is the best – develop relevant, interesting and thought leadership content through blogs, producing videos and sharing trends, helpful hints over and above what your product/service does. This helps show consumers you care and that you want to assist them whether they buy from you or not.
Use Social Media Smartly
When you make content a priority, it makes it easier to build your social media accounts and most importantly drives customer engagement. Posting high quality content regularly is important to ensure you develop a unique brand voice that your consumers resonate with. Engage with your consumers by responding to their comments in a personal way and encourage employees to partake in conversations with their customers online by sharing content with their customers. This helps to build online community, while promoting your content, all which will help build your brand loyalty.
Align with Influencers that align to your brand values and build credibility
Influencers are the PR most organisations once could not afford but they come with a guaranteed engaged fan base and are much more cost-effective now! Using established influencers that have credibility, relate to their customers, but also align to your brand values and consumer target market can add more value than some other forms of traditional media. Using the right influencers can help build your brand loyalty and reach new audiences too.
Ensure your branding is consistent
Do not confuse consumers with different brand looks, feel or tone and don’t change your branding often. While it is important to update your brand, doing it too often or changing it radically can ultimately do more harm than good. Ultimately your brand should have the same look and feel every time someone interacts with it, whether it be on your website, in an email or when they purchase a product and see the packaging in person. So that also means your social media platforms, blogs and all other marketing collateral need to make sense together.
With the current lock down caused by Covid-19 around the world, more businesses are turning to digital and contact-free business models. Use this shift wisely to ensure you stay connected with your consumers to ultimately build brand loyalty and brand advocacy to ensure a long-term sustainable business.