Digital & Traditional Customer Outreach That Works!
In a perfect world, customers would always come to you based on your quality of work. However, in a competitive environment across a short-attention-span world, it’s necessary to really work and get your word out there. The following six methods offer diverse methods, but all are part of a common goal: engaging your customer.
Email newsletters continue to lead conversion rates for small business marketing. This may seem odd in the age of social media, but consider this: people often hop from social media platform to social media platform, but their email address can stay with them for years, even decades. Because of that, along with easy access via mobile devices, email remains a top form of engagement. Of course, your email content has to be relevant and enticing, but as a method of engagement, email should be one of your biggest tools for driving site traffic and promotions. Tip: Tie your email content into blog articles to maximize visibility for both.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram…all of those social media platforms offer unique ways to engage your customers. In its simplest form, the social media allows you to post news and respond to public comments, creating a sense for customers that you’ve got an ear open for feedback. However, social media can provide more opportunities for promotion and visibility. Videos, photos, and infographics can grab the public’s attention and go viral. Flash promotions and contests can encourage followers to keep a sharp eye on accounts. It’s even possible to recruit talent through social media. Tip: Research your customer demographics and find their preferred social media platform.
The phone still works. In fact, many people prefer getting in touch over the phone compared to email or websites. Of course, no one likes junk calls, so use this option sparingly. However, smart usage of phone call follow-ups provide a human touch to transactions. Just don’t randomly cold call without purpose — people still hate that. Tip: Use phone time as an opportunity to ask what you can do better. People love to feel like they’re contributing and it builds stronger customer relationships.
Despite living in the digital age, everyone still gets mail. And you’ve probably received a postcard or two that doubled as a coupon and thought, “Wow, I could really use this.” While physical mail usage is certainly on the downslide, it’s still effective — why else would it ramp up during election seasons? The trick is to find a message that connects with your customer base. For most purposes, a simple coupon helps to stay engaged, but you can add other branding or messaging on top of that, such as offers to receive even more discounts by following social media. Tip: Use the mailer to send multiple strategic message and a means of promoting other avenues.
Pay-per-click ads exist on a number of platforms, from traditional web searches to specialized demographic drill-downs courtesy of social media. Because it’s easy to zero in on a target with pay-per-click, it’s more important to consider creative ways to address those targets and what your intended landing page/call to action should be. By carefully building a strategy around those goals, you can maximize your PPC budget and keep your message out there. Tip: Examine the different PPC opportunities presented by social media platforms. Each one reaches a different audience through slightly different means.
Sometimes, there’s still no better way of connecting with your audience than meeting and greeting in person. These types of events can be wide-ranging, from traditional business mixers to sponsoring unique opportunities. For example, the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce recently joined up with Gainer Financial on a local ribbon-cutting event. The event was attended by around 100 people that enjoyed food, beverages, and logoed goodies. With attendees signing a guest book, it was easy to follow-up and thank everyone, thus opening the door for further dialogue. Tip: Create a follow-up list with a guest book or other means of obtaining contact info. When you follow up, use it as an opportunity to engage as well as thank.
All of these ideas work in today’s marketing environment, but remember that every situation is different. Before committing all of your time and energy into one strategy, be sure to research your demographic’s particular needs and wants. Next to your actual message, that’s the most important aspect of engaging your customer.
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