Turn Customers Into Advocates For Your Small Business: A Simple Guide For Business Owners

A small business owner shaking hands across the table with one of their customers who is a strong advocate for the business both with a cup of coffee each

The Holy Grail of marketing isn’t just to drive traffic to your website, or even to make first-time sales (although these are essential starting points!) but to help cultivate more value from your existing customers and convert them into advocates for your brand.Book A FREE Inbound Marketing Audit

The Power Of Inbound Marketing For Strengthening Customer Loyalty And Advocacy

Inbound marketing strategies not only help businesses acquire new leads but also strengthen customer relationships and encourage brand loyalty, keeping your customers engaged, maximising their lifetime value, and encouraging them to become referral sources.

In this article, we look at how a marketing strategy can go beyond awareness to convert existing customers into long-term advocates for your small business.

Implement Incentives For Reviews And Referrals

Brand advocacy begins with good reviews on Google and social media, and extends to direct referrals. You can encourage this by implementing a referral marketing strategy that incentivises customers to share your content, leave good reviews, and generally spread the word about your brand to their networks. This could include offering personalised discounts, gated incentive content, or rewards for customers who refer others. Make sure you make it easy for customers to leave reviews and promote your business by including links to your business social profiles and website on popular review sites – and don’t forget to proactively ask for good reviews and referrals if you think you’ve done a good job!

Invest In Excellent Customer Service

It goes without saying that customers are more likely to spend more, stick around for longer, and refer others if they are satisfied with their experiences, so excellent customer service is the absolute bedrock of building customer loyalty. Marketing plays a crucial role in publicly demonstrating this commitment to customer service. When customers have a problem or issue or pose a question on social media, they expect a quick resolution from their service providers. 

By responsively engaging with customers through your social channels you build public trust with not only these customers but also other people who are exposed to this content. In a digital economy where negative reviews can severely impact a brand’s reputation, investing in this public-facing engagement can pay dividends long term.

Engage Your Current Customers Through Social Media

Social media marketing is an integral part of the lifetime customer journey, from the early awareness stages right through to encouraging retention and lifetime value. Engaging your customers on social media by providing a forum for them to connect with you, leave feedback, and ask questions, can help create a sense of community and belonging, showing your customers that you value your business relationships and are invested in delivering long-term value. In this way, your social platforms can become a powerful tool for encouraging customer advocacy and referrals, as satisfied customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with their social networks.

Create Customer-Centric Content For Your Existing Customers

Content marketing forms the foundation for all digital inbound marketing. Don’t ignore your existing customers when creating content – put a budget aside specifically for creating relevant, educational, and valuable content to address your current customer’s pain points. This enables you to nurture and build your relationship long-term and cultivates lifetime value by encouraging repeat purchases, up-sells and cross-sells. Through customer-centric content, you can establish your brand reputation as a company that listens and responds to market and industry changes with innovative solutions, progressively developing loyalty and advocacy.

Personalise Your Customer Experience

The key to successful relationship building is personalisation in marketing. Whether you personalise your business relationships through tailored email content, bespoke service recommendations, or one-to-one messaging, personalisation is a proven way of increasing customer retention and lifetime value. 

Ask for regular feedback through email marketing to find out what your current customers want from their buyer experience and help them feel valued and understood. By leveraging this feedback, alongside customer data and analytics, you can create more successful content campaigns that directly feed into increased retention.

Next Steps

To find out more about the power of digital marketing to cultivate stronger customer relationships at each stage of the buyer journey, please get in touch with one of our content specialists today by calling 01332 343281.

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