When it comes to customer acquisition, digital marketing can seem to move at a glacial pace. Unlike traditional, more direct forms of marketing, customers drive the conversation with businesses online. The result is often a protracted courting process, and at the end of the day, success depends almost entirely on one thing: trust.
Most of us don’t hang out with friends who we can’t trust; the same goes for businesses online. Unless users have a strong need for your particular product or service, you have to create a desire and convince them to buy from you, and you have to do it without seeming too sales-y. Sound difficult? Maybe. But it’s definitely not impossible.
Check out these tips for building and reinforcing customer relationships online. (And for more in-depth lead building and digital marketing strategy, contact SPINX Digital).
Your content marketing should aim to build trust
Arguably the whole point of content marketing is to build trust with your audience. As most of us know, content isn’t always about sales pitches or special promotions. It’s about sharing useful information with people. In order for browsers and leads to become more invested in your brand, you have to provide them with entertaining or insightful information first.
Recent statistics provide some compelling insight into trust building through content:
- 58% of consumers trust editorial content
- 61% of consumerssay they feel better about a company that delivers custom content.
- Interesting content is a top 3reason people follow brands on social media.
Whether you’re using content to publish insights and establish yourself as a trusted thought leader in your industry, send entertaining tweets, or provide some other form of engaging material, great content will build trust between you and your followers.
Keep a well-maintained blog
Both B2B and B2C brands can benefit from keeping a regular blog. Unlike social media posts, which are mostly meant to be scanned, company blogs allow you to expound on relevant topics, and ultimately generate more in-depth content (unless of course we’re talking about Tumblr).
But it’s not enough to simply cover the basics of blogging. Dumping a bunch of text on the page and letting your users sort it out won’t win you much of a readership. You have to show signs that you care.
Make sure that the blog design is clean and the content is easy to read. Use high-quality images, update the page often, and double check your spelling and grammar! Sloppy copy shows people that you’re not very thorough.
Don’t come on too strong
As in life, aggressive courtship can be a big turn off. With marketing this rule is even more important because rather pursuing love, you’re trying to sell something.
Typically, the process of reaching out to people begins with branding through social media, or SEO that can guide users to your website. But these initial steps shouldn’t be overlooked. You have to demonstrate that you’re interested in building relationships by being active in social media, posting useful content and engaging with people.
Once a customer expresses behavior indicating that he wants to learn more about your site, then you can ask for an email address.
This is where the customer acquisition process becomes more meaningful.
Hook them through a drip email campaign
Once you’ve acquired that email address, you can begin addressing your new lead through a more personal source: their inbox.
Drip email campaigns derive their name from the steady pace of digital marketing. Emails can be incredibly effective (44% of email recipients from a recent study made a purchase based on an brand’s email campaign). But just like other facets of reaching customers online, don’t be too aggressive. Perhaps plot out a quarterly campaign, providing valuable or entertaining messages as well as the occasional promotional email when you’re plotting a special sale.
Emails should be concise with copy, employ enticing images, and include a call to action every time. The more exceptional your messaging, the more likely they’ll be to trust you, click to your site, and even make a purchase.
Transition to a face-to-face or face-to-business relationship
Although the success of online marketing only continues to grow, you still can’t beat the effectiveness of building relationships in person. Much like the way certain music lovers prefer vinyl for its tactile experience and undeniably analog, one-of-a-kind sound, marketers can almost always benefit from meeting leads and customers in person.
Human interaction goes a long way, so tie it in to your digital marketing. If you belong to a marketing group online, attend networking events to meet the members in person. The meeting will likely enhance your digital relationships.
Similarly, if you run both an online and brick and mortar store, encourage people to come in to meet you and your employees. Offer special coupons online that are only redeemable in store. For online-only entrepreneurs, consider running live workshops to provide info and network.
Customers are always more likely to trust marketers who are willing to step out from behind their online persona.