Have you ever picked up a particular product which happened to be among other products of similar price and value? What made you pick up that particular product?
Was it a conscious decision? Was it a reflex? And more importantly, was it the same brand you usually pick out of all the others among it?
The average customer out there may not realise it, but most of their purchase decisions are predetermined. They may have been affected by previously seen adverts or even the colour of the packaging. There are customers however who don’t randomly pick out products from a selection of brands, but rather select a certain brand, the brand they usually(or always) choose from the vast selection.
Customers are gold diggers
How can a business distinguish its loyal customers from its habitual customers? The truth is, customers are gold diggers. Customers don’t care about you, your business, or even your product. Customers care about their desires and needs and will buy whatever they can to satisfy their desires and needs. But people are lazy and instinctive, so whatever they start to buy from the get-go is probably with what they’ll fall into routine.
Customers like familiarity
Customers who often buy a product from the same company time after time may give the illusion of customer loyalty. But what if your product is unavailable the day that customer is in want or need? How readily and easily will that customer just pick a product from a different brand?
If that customer barely glitches at the unavailability of your product and selects one from another brand with no emotional hardship, then that right there is nothing more than a habitual customer, a customer who will dump you for another this day, that day, any day. The habitual customer gives the illusion of loyalty, but in reality flirts with your competition.
What is a loyal customer?
A loyal customer will be deeply saddened by the unavailability of your product, even if it’s one amongst many other brands. A loyal customer would rather look for your product elsewhere than take the easy option of picking out another on the spot. A loyal customer would follow any news feed you have available, if, of course, you had any available.
How to convert customer loyalty
“You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day.”
~ Jeffrey Gitomer, business trainer
There is a way of gaining customer loyalty but it’s done by the same method in which Rome was built: not in a day! Rome might not have been built in a day, but ALL roads lead to Rome as you may have heard. Just so, there is a way of building a relationship with your customers which will lead them all to you and your business. But it has to be earned.
Have you heard of content marketing?
When I first heard the term, I had no idea what it was: it was all Greek to me. Now I know and here is the best professional definition of it I could find:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
That definition was taken from a website which really, really helped me: the content marketing institute.
Getting audience attention is one thing, but audience retention is another. Catching a fish on a hook doesn’t really mean you’ve caught the fish.
The audience has to be reeled in, and that’s where the struggle takes place. If I could create appealing and inspiring content consistently and regularly over a period of time, I’d be able to draw in customer attention, and in time, earn their trust and respect.
My content has to get better and better each time it’s produced. Each piece of good quality content, published on a consistently regular basis is like each time I turn the fishing reel, drawing in that big resistant fish. That fish, once close enough, becomes my customer, my loyal customer, my friend.
Am I creating good content?
There is a way, a diamond of a way. Analytics. Using analytics, you can see what’s working and what’s not. With such tools, you can analyze trends of your content. You can check which social media platforms your content is being shared the most, and what day of the week it popularises.
When you know what works and what doesn’t, you can make improvements and filter out the waste. Your customers deserve the best you can offer. Creating valuable content means creating valuable customers, loyal customers.
There are some excellent internet tools out there on the web which allow even the humblest of content marketers on very low budgets to analyze the progress of their published content. My loyalty lies with Squidility.