Heart to heart

Now more than ever, a successful branding strategy involves finding new ways to reach and engage your target community—but that’s only half the challenge. Let’s suppose you’ve implemented an effective campaign; you’ve made real inroads into a community and you’ve built ties. Now, what do you do to keep the momentum going? Building connections and generating interest was only “phase one”. For lasting success, you now need to move to “phase two”: converting that immediate excitement for your product or service into long-term brand loyalty.

What can you do to continue the momentum you’ve built through your marketing efforts? The following tips may help.

 

#1 – Remain Involved in Community Causes

 

The public’s collective memory is quite short especially with the bombardment of advertising we all see each day. If you build brand awareness with a generous sponsorship of a one-time event, you may build rapport—but without any further involvement, all your effort (and dollars donated) will be forgotten in six months’ time, if not soon. To build long-term engagement, you need a long-term strategy for long-term involvement. Consumers need to know you care. Find local or regional causes that resonate with your company’s core values and support them regularly. Be on the lookout for additional ways to give back to the community you’re trying to reach. This piece, for instance, catalogs how 100 different companies are giving back during coronavirus. One example of this altruism—a business called RepairSmith is donating $100,000 of “contact-free” auto repair services to people who lost their jobs as a result of the 2020 pandemic.

 

#2 – Always Look for Ways to Add Value

 

One of the best ways to build loyalty is by adding value for consumers without adding cost—and without being asked to do so. When you make a sweet deal even sweeter just because you can, you turn satisfied customers into raving fans. When you extend a one-year subscription for an additional three months for no apparent reason (and for no extra money), you have just eliminated their need to even consider going elsewhere. Always look for ways to make customers feel they’re getting more value from you than they’d ever get from your competitors, and you’ll have them for life. This Inc article details 9 real-world examples of companies going above and beyond to delight customers. For instance, Kleenex used Facebook to coordinate with friends and family members of sick people and then arranged to give away free “Kleenex Kits” to those who needed them.

 

#3 – Stay in the Conversation

 

Social media serves more purpose for brands than just marketing. By its very nature, it’s a “social” platform with many opportunities for organic engagement. If you only use your Instagram to advertise or for influencer marketing, you’re missing a huge opportunity for long-term connection with an online community of potential customers. Pay attention to what people are posting, like and follow, and leave shout-outs, comments, and questions where appropriate. Likewise, if someone goes to the trouble to comment on something you’ve shared, a thoughtful response will go a long way toward building rapport and loyalty. Irreverence can work as well, as with Wendy’s famously spicy Twitter campaign.

 

Your long-term success as a brand depends not just on making the public aware of you, but also on earning their trust. Think of engaging your community like a marathon, not a sprint. Wicked Bionic can help you develop powerful strategies to find your desired audience and engage them both effectively and consistently.

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