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Many marketing strategies rely on continual interactions – drip emails, transactional emails, social media updates – but it can be a challenge to connect with clients in ways that feel friendly rather than forced. Read on for our tips on staying in touch with clients!
Working on a direct-email campaign? Read our tips for writing subject lines that will boost open rates!
Set Up Alerts for All Customers
Luckily, digital communications includes a host of digital communication management tools, and there are dozens of apps you can use to keep track of customers (and competitors). Google Alerts is a power player for obvious reasons, but Mention and Talkwalker are popular and highly serviceable alternatives. Set up an alert for each person’s name, company name, industry or field, and any topics of personal interest. That way, it’ll be easy to reconnect with something to offer them: congratulations on business success, industry trends, and so on. These topical communiques don’t have to be exhaustive – just a quick note to point out something of interest, and your customer will understand that you care.
Want to boost your social media marketing performance? Check out our post on social media trends!
Set Up Alerts for YOU
Email marketing materials have to strike a difficult balance: professional, but not salesy; business-oriented but not boring. One great way to strike a balance is to reframe info about your business activities and specialization as current events and market trends. Set up some alerts for news on topics related to your industry – a digital marketing company like yours truly might choose “digital marketing technology” – and use these to generate direct-email themes, blog posts, and social-media updates. Use these news articles as guides to your own content formats. How do they grab attention? What details does a mainstream outlet like The Washington Post think are captivating to a broad range of readers?
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Offer to Recommend and Refer
It’s always a bit awkward asking for recommendations on sites like LinkedIn – even a simple “Like this post on Facebook!” can feel stilted and needy. Your customers probably feel the same way about their own attempts to generate professional credibility online, and you can establish your professional value and friendliness by offering to help out. A simple skill recommendation on LinkedIn, a testimonial on a company website, an interview segment: the possibilities are diverse. Best of all, you’re ideally positioned to ask for a reciprocal assist in future, and customers will be more motivated to direct their own referrals to you.
Customer-Focused Content Marketing
You’re already trying to generate content for your website, blog, and social media accounts, right? Well, why not ask if your clients can participate? Profile a customer, or ask them to share their own tips, advice, and strategies. Ask for a testimonial or a short Q&A segment on video. If they’re local business owners themselves, you can offer them a chance to speak about the services they offer to your community. People love it when you ask for their opinion – don’t you think so? – and most customers will be happy to give you some PR plaudits.
Ask for Input
On that note, another way to increase customer interaction is to ask for their feedback on your business. Start by asking customers how you can improve your products and services. (Remember, in order for this strategy to work in your favor, you have to commit to responding to these critiques with constructive action.) Take this strategy a step further by asking customers to share their on knowledge and expertise. Ask them if they’d be willing to beta test a new product. Offer the chance to try a product or service for free in exchange for a review or recommendation. Keep in mind that this strategy works much better with existing clients – new leads will probably (and, okay, correctly) assume that you’re trying to sell them something. You can also seek out professional bloggers and social media marketers whose area of interest relates to your field, and ask them to test or demo your product. Then you can link to their blog or YouTube video.
Want to learn how to connect with millions of leads at a time? Check out our post on Twitter!
When you do get feedback or public comment about your business – whether it’s a Facebook comment, a blog post, a Tweet, or a Yelp review – do your best to respond. Remember, these critiques help you improve, and a positive and tangible effort will impress even the most disgruntled of customers. You can also use these responses to generate some content of your own – for example, if someone posts a blog review of a product, use it to develop an on-blog response. If someone posts a demo video, throw it up on your website. If a blogger writes about your business, comment to tell them how much you appreciate their words and ask them questions so that you can spark a dialogue.
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If you want customers to feel like you connect with them on a personal level, collect some basic info about their lives and interests. Professions, family stats, home neighborhood, hobbies – all of these details will help you personalize your future communications with them. They’ll be impressed, and they’ll be more likely to respond. A notes file, online database, or even a simple Excel spreadsheet will help you record these individual details for future reference. You’ll also want to keep some basic information related to their interactions with you content – comment-management software like Disqus allows you to glance at any given user’s online commenting history, so you can refresh your awareness of their interests.
Interested in more media marketing options? Check out our post about channel strategy!
Are you interested in learning more ways to connect with customers online? Square 1 Group is a boutique web development team based in Los Angeles, California. Our design and digital marketing expertise makes us an ideal fit for real estate agencies looking to expand their business online. We provide all our clients with individualized support and maintenance, online marketing services, and content creation, and we are passionate about delivering premium quality at an affordable price.