‘People buy people’ is a common cliché, but it’s becoming more and more true. Customers prefer to know they’re being treated as an individual and speaking to a human being, not just a robot (although artificial intelligence does fall into this category – we’ll save that for another blog post).
Email marketing, Facebook and Instagram messaging and live chat are just a few examples of conversational marketing, and also demonstrate how customer support has expanded from traditional call centres and email inboxes, to a plethora of digital platforms.
By utilising conversational marketing, you’re giving your company a voice, and this makes it easier for your customers to engage with you and trust that you are authentic.
Less is more – and user experience is vital
Less is more, more or less, and whilst it’s important to ensure potential and existing customers have all the information they need, it’s even more important to get them to want the information first. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and ask yourself – what would get you interested?
Your website and social media channels all play a part in your user experience – so make it enjoyable and relevant! Ensure information is easy for people to find, in just two or three clicks. Prioritise content and keep it interesting. Finally, make contact details easily accessible – sometimes people just want to go from A to B, without taking a detour through the entire alphabet.
It’s simple – your customer wants to know who you are, what you provide, why it benefits them, how you provide it and when they’ll get it. Tick all these boxes, in as little time as possible, and you’re on to a winner.
Consumer privacy & brand trust
It may only feel like yesterday that it was first announced, but GDPR is now in full flow and this has had a significant impact on the use of consumer data. Naturally, this has affected how companies source data and engage with potential customers. For many, however, this has been seen as a largely positive move – ‘quality over quantity’, as the saying goes.
With consumer trust arguably at an all time low, you now have to work even harder to gain the trust of potential customers. How do you do this? Here are a few simple steps:
- Be upfront! Tell your customers what data you collect and update them if this changes
- Stay secure, get an SSL certificate for your website and add reCAPTCHA to any online forms
- Show that you’re accredited, approved and award-winning (ideally recently too – that 2003 award, still sat at reception gathering dust, doesn’t count)
- Share your customers’ reviews – and give reasoned responses to those less positive ones
User-generated and interactive content
With customer reviews and case studies becoming a bigger and more influential part of the buying process, we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for user-generated content. The consumer doesn’t want to hear Tim Cook tell us that the new iPhone is the best one yet – of course he’s going to say that. It’s the opinion of the end-user that we want to know.
Examples of user-generated content include reviews, social media comments, testimonials, case studies, unboxing videos and influencer content – to name a few! It’s important to encourage user-generated content, and this should play a big part in your digital marketing strategy – try competitions, incentives or keep it simple and just ask!
Encourage customer involvement through digital channels with interactive content, and you’ll often find yourself with even more content at your disposal.
Mentioned above, as part of user-generated content, influencer marketing has taken social media platforms by storm, especially Instagram and YouTube. Consumers are increasingly turning to their trusted social media influencers for tips and tricks for purchasing new products – from make-up tutorials, to unboxing the latest Nike trainers, or testing the new driverless, cordless, silent Dyson vacuum (okay, I made that one up – sounds cool though, right?).
So what’s an influencer? Simply, it’s someone who has influence over others. In this context, it is individuals on social media who have a trusted and engaged audience, which can be influenced by the content provided to it. If these individuals endorse a certain product, their audience is likely to listen.
By utilising influencers, you’re focussing on a specific audience and limiting wastage. It’s often less expensive than traditional media too.