It’s Valentine’s Day!
Time to enjoy the sweet, sweet flavor of chocolate-covered strawberries, write a perfume-scented note to the person you love (if you’re the type that handwrites, like me), and/or receive an abundance of chocolates, roses, and maybe a special date. If you’re single, you might be basking in a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s, a chocolate bar, and a tad of Netflix binge-ing.
Whatever the scenario, love is the name of the game today—if that’s loving on yourself, or your special someone.
We’re taking this opportunity to talk about a topic that’s crucial to your brand this Valentine’s Day (and far beyond):
Building real, authentic customer love for your brand.
Here’s the problem, and why many customers still feel “un-dated” or, worse yet, “broken up with” after they engage with a brand.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Brands still think that it’s okay to stay in a ho-hum relationship with their customers. #valentinesday @JuliaEMcCoy” quote=”Brands still think that it’s okay to stay in a ho-hum relationship with their customers. It’s okay to stick with average, and not try any harder. #valentinesday @JuliaEMcCoy”]
The hard truth? Those lackluster exchanges eventually find their rock bottom, and your readers will eventually move on to more vibrant and exciting brand experiences.
To avoid this now is the time to use all the tools in your tool belt to create a brand that your customers can’t help but love for years to come.
Fortunately, it’s easier than you might thing. Heck – you don’t even need a pair of wings!
7 Cupid-Worthy Methods for Making People Fall in Love With Your Brand
Whether you’re a new brand or an established company looking to deepen your relationship with your customers, these seven tips are your Valentine’s Day holiday go-tos.
1. Go Beyond Posting to Social Media, and Engage with Your Fans
It’s not enough to just be present on social media.
After all, anyone can have a profile.
Instead, you have to engage.
What are you giving your customers to fall in love with if you’re not engaging with them? How do you engage? Why should you matter to them? What are you giving them in return?
Now is the time to think outside of the box. Instead of just tweeting once or twice a week, use Twitter to start a Twitter Chat that answers questions around a hot topic in your industry! I did this exact thing when I set out to create a Twitter Chat in January 2016, and #ContentWritingChat was born. It’s been an incredible journey of user engagement, brand awareness, and community growth since then. To learn more about our Twitter Chat and get some ideas for your own, check out our hand-curated roundups of each live tweet hour in weekly recaps on our site.
Our Twitter Chat has worked wonders for us, especially when it comes to creating brand loyalty. In December of 2016, we asked our participants how long they’d been joining us – the average was “eight months!” That’s some serious longevity—the relationships your brand can build through Twitter with real engagement can last forever.
2. Blog to Win Customer Love
Blogging is a critical component of creating a lovable brand. By developing relevant, in-depth blog content, you can show your clients that you care about them and that the feeling is mutual.
Blogging to win a customer’s eternal love, though, requires that you take it a step further.
Instead of just writing or creating average content (we call that the floating-by blogger syndrome), this type of blogging demands that you focus on answering the biggest questions in your industry with seriously in-depth, long-form content (check out our recent long-form content guide for more information on this topic).
Here’s what you need to do to go a step further with your blogging this Valentine’s Day holiday.
– Find The Top Questions In Your Industry.
There are a few great tools for this. Quora is one of them:
The amazing answerthepublic.com is another great tool for this:
Both platforms are designed to allow you to access customer questions according to industry, keyword, or category, and they can be fantastic resources for finding the top inquires in your industry.
– Look at the Top Posts And Recreate Material Based On The Inspiration You Gain From Them.
The best way to be a blogger your readers fall in love with is to give them what they need. When it comes to their questions, this means being the one who provides insightful, long-form answers that go deeper than the average writer. Take a look at what’s performing well on these top question sites and adjust your content accordingly.
3. Find Content That’s Ranking #1, Create Yours to Rise Above
Using KWFinder, it’s easy to locate the content that’s ranking #1 for a phrase when you do a keyword search. Here’s an example of what a search looks like in the dashboard:
On the right, you can see a list of results. For this search, “content marketing,” the top result is Content Marketing Institute’s “What is Content Marketing?”
Using KWFinder or a tool like BuzzSumo, you can find the content that’s ranking #1, and then find a way to create content that is better than the competition.
Look for gaps or weak areas in the material. What did the first author miss? How did he or she fail to meet the needs of customers? Did the readers walk away wanting something? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you’ve got an avenue to blow that post out of the water.
4. Create a Podcast!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Did you know that 21% of Americans listen to a podcast? That’s an astounding 57 million Americans! – @JuliaEMcCoy” quote=”Did you know that 21% of Americans listen to a podcast? That’s an astounding 57 million Americans! “] (EdisonResearch)
For years, Buffer ran a blog. Eventually, however, they turned it into a podcast called The Science of Social Media. Since they made that decision, they’ve enjoyed massive engagement.
I started my own podcast mid-2016, called The Write Podcast. Designed to echo industry questions and create more in-depth information for our audiences, The Write Podcast has been a fantastic tool for us, and we’ve heard from many listeners how much it’s helped their efforts grow.
Podcasts are working very well today for a few reasons. In addition to the fact that they’re the ultimate on-the-go form of content (you can listen to a podcast at work, at the gym, in the car, etc.), they’re also a very conversational and approachable form of content, which makes it easier for listeners to develop an attachment to your brand.
Worried about how your podcast will do since you’ve never created one? Know the tools you need, and set a goal of doing at least five episodes and then reevaluate. You’ll learn as you go and, while the first few episodes might be a bit rough, it will be, at the very least, a fantastic learning experience that will help put you in closer contact with your customers.
5. Encourage User-Generated Content
User-generated content is hot right now, and it’s only going to get hotter. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, make your love for your customers reciprocal by showing your readers you care about them as much as they care about you. Engage people with your brand by having them add content to your social media profiles or pages.
Run contests, social campaigns, Instagram giveaways, and more. The more you can bring your customers into your online presence, the more lucrative it will be for you! After all, ads based on user-generated content earn a 4x higher click-through rate and a 50% decrease in cost over traditional ads.
What’s more, making user-generated content a central part of your content strategy is a great way to make your brand unique, show off your commitment to your customers, and secure a consistent influx of fresh content for your company.
6. Ask Your Readers What They Think
What do your readers want to see more of? Are they hungry for more tutorials? Do they wish you’d cover content you don’t?
Are they interested in other topics or conversations? You’ll never know until you ask, and reaching out to your customers about these questions is one of the best ways to earn their love and stand out as a customer-centric brand, both now and in the future.
If you’ve never polled your readers before, it’s the first step to creating the type of unique back-and-forth that only the best brands enjoy. To create polls that engage your readers rather than alienating them, follow these tips:
- Keep it short. Don’t overwhelm your readers with dozens of options. Keep it short, sweet, and simple. The more to-the-point your poll is, the more helpful the information you gain from your customers is likely to be.
- Keep it relevant. Every question on your survey should fulfill your end goal, whatever that is. If you add anything that’s even moderately irrelevant, you risk turning your customers off (a serious Valentine’s Day marketing faux pas) and damaging the helpfulness of your survey.
- Keep your rating scales consistent. If you’re asking users to rate certain parts of your site or content, don’t ask them to rate it on a 1-5 basis in one section of the site and a 1-10 basis in another. The more consistent you can be, the more valuable the information your customers will return.
- Don’t Ask Leading Questions. If you ask leading questions, you’re not doing much besides shooting yourself in the foot. Give your customers room to speak their peace, but don’t lead the in the direction of any one response.
- Thank Respondents! Answering a survey or poll takes some time, and your readers deserve to know you appreciate it. To thank them, give them a bonus in the form of an incentive or discount. You’ll strengthen their relationship to your brand and increase the likelihood that they’ll complete your next survey, as well.
7. Reciprocate When Your Customers Reach Out
All good relationships have to be give-take. If your clients keep giving to you, but you never give anything back, you’re going to lose them. With this in mind, reach out to your customers when they share your content, write on your Facebook timeline, like your Instagram posts, or engage with your Pinterest material. The more seen and heard you can make your readers feel, the better chance you’ll have of making them into lifelong evangelists for your brand. Plus, you make them feel special, which is what Valentine’s day is all about.
Customers + Your Brand = A Match Made in Heaven
Great relationships take time, and you can’t force your customers to fall in love with you overnight. You can, however, take a series of proactive steps to make your brand more appealing and memorable to your clients, and encourage them to stick around for the long-term.
While many marketers assume the only benefit of long-term customer relationships is more sales, it goes a lot deeper than that. While loyal customers are more reliable and easier to sell to, brands with a strong batch of long-term customers also look more trustworthy.
By creating a brand that your readers and customers love and feel loves them back, you can simultaneously secure your success as a company and ensure that you’ll get enough adoration from your customers to make even Cupid jealous!