6 Ways to Grow Your Customer Base.

how-to-grow-your-customer-base

Customers are the lifeline brands cling to, so they must continue to generate and nurture leads while also retaining existing customers, as we all know, its easier to keep existing customer rather than find new ones! A research piece conducted by McKinsey & Company revealed that 87% of respondents said they shop around, and 58% have recently switched to a new brand, so it's no wonder that generating new business leads is one of the biggest concerns for businesses.

With this in mind, I sat down with our resident Sagittarius experts to find out what top tips they have for business looking to grow their customer base and how to keep the customers you already have coming back again and again.

Get to know your customers

There are so many tools available to brands for collecting customer feedback, from the likes of HotJar and Delight through to receiving recommendations via Facebook and Google reviews or NPS ratings.

"To grow your customer base, you must first know your customer: who they are; what they care about; where they spend their time; why they need your product...

"Ask your existing customers for their feedback on your product or service and, once you've done that, ask again! Never stop asking for feedback; you'll want to act on this to continue to evolve alongside your customers in a modern world where all things (including your brand!) are disposable. Use this feedback to nail your product and make sure you understand what is special about it in your customer's eyes, then shout about it! If you've done #1 right, you'll know exactly where and how to do this in a way that generates more of the customers you need to grow." Julia Tyler, Account Manager

Divide your time

As exciting as a new client can be for businesses, customer retention is just as critical.

"Increasing your customer base isn't just achieved by drawing in swathes of new customers from the ether. Sure, acquisition is key, but retention can also deliver substantial growth. And if you focus on retention, when your new customers come in, they hit a process primed to keep them as a customer for the long haul. Put simply, if your customers like you they'll spread that warm and fuzzy feeling to others. We, as a society, value peer opinion over and above even the most elaborate marketing.

"Easily said on paper (or screen), but if you put the effort in to really understand your customers' needs and wants, and be objective about where you are delivering, or failing to deliver, while constantly working to improve, growth will follow." Kier Humphreys, Head of Customer Experience

Offer a great customer service

Customer experience should already be at the heart of your business, but are your customer services teams primed for every scenario?

"It can be more cost-effective to retain customers compared with the effort required in finding new ones and developing relationships. However, both new and existing customers are essential, and there should be a strategy in place for both to build your customer base.

"Find a way to communicate with your customers; there are lots of different digital channels available to do this as well as more traditional methods. Remember that one approach may not work for everyone, so try and segment your customers into key groups and communicate with them in the most appropriate way to make their lives easier.

"Once you've found the right channel(s) for your business; invest time in mastering the processes and tools to empower your front-line staff and create long-lasting brand advocates." Lucie Beer, Experience Manager

Make the most out of your network

Platforms such as LinkedIn are a great way to interact with your network and to keep your brand top-of-mind when it comes to referrals. It's also a great way to stay on-top-of industry affairs and ahead of your competitors!

"Keeping in the loop with your customers, partners, competitors, suppliers and related industry experts through events, social media, networking dinners and more is paramount for keeping your brand name and values alive. The more you engage, the more you'll be seen as an expert in your field, and before you know it, you'll be handed recommendations. If using LinkedIn, make sure you keep the content relevant and interesting. It's a great forum to spark debate and start conversations with people you want to engage with. Attending exhibitions and events is also a great way to catch up with people you're already working with, reconnect with ones you've lost contact with and make new connections." Lynsey Bienati, Account Manager

Invest in a content strategy

Your website is the shop window to your brand and keeping its content up-to-date, and relevant is essential.

"A blog is the perfect way to open up a dialogue with your customers. Think about the types of content they would want to digest and its purpose... are you advising, making a comment or inspiring?

"Timing is also critical. Create a content plan and be sure to align your posts with current affairs, the seasons or relevant industry activity. Be sure to align this with your business strategy and consider how you can explore different themes and penetrate different industry audiences.

"A content-rich website will lure in potential customers while giving existing ones a reason to re-engage, and most importantly, it's one of the metrics Google uses to decide where your site ranks in search results!" Imogen Lassen, Account Manager

Play to your strengths

In business, it's easy to get carried away, especially when things are going well and start investing in new ideas, products or services. However, doing just one thing really well is often better than doing lots of things mediocre.

"In this day and age, a brand's proposition is more key than ever. We are overwhelmed with choice, and as a consumer, we all want to buy products and services from a company that we respect and have an affinity with. Trying to be 'all things to all people' as a way of reaching a larger audience is a common mistake. Brands need to choose their target audience, truly understand them and make sure they speak to them in a language and channel that is best for that audience. If you have multiple audiences, you need multiple strategies - and sometimes separate brands." Paul Stephen, CEO

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
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Naomi Harper
Head of Marketing & Communications
Naomi is the agency's Head of Marketing & Communications with a strong background in Public Relations, events, Marketing and Brand campaigns.

Naomi joined Sagittarius in January 2021 to deliver exceptional external brand experiences, engaging internal communications and to assist with the driving of sales and the developing of relationships with key strategic suppliers.
 

Thumbnail-Naomi-Harper

Naomi Harper

19 Sep 2019 - 6 minute read
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