There is lot you can do for your content marketing plan by just using what is in front of you. Hoosiers camped outside a new chicken restaurant during a blustery January night, hoping they’d be one of the 100 customers to get a year’s supply of Joella’s Hot Chicken. News crews also lined up outside, giving Joella’s tons of free press and generating a social media buzz for the company’s grand opening. Talk about great marketing.
Know how they say giving is selfish because it also makes you feel good? Well, the good vibes can also bless your business with positive PR and help build brand loyalty and trust. By showing appreciation to the people who make your small business possible, you can find creative ways to engage your customers.
For example, try organizing a contest or giveaway, highlight happy customers in your blog, or support a local charity by donating your services and invite customers to get involved. Or maybe it’s as simple as delivering exclusive coupons to your current customers as part of your next email marketing campaign.
Here are some more ideas for incorporating customer appreciation into your content marketing plans this year:
Create Video Testimonials
A big part of content marketing is engaging with your customers. You should always ask happy customers if they’re willing to give a referral or testimonial about your product or services. Take it one step further and highlight a few of your favorites in a short video you can post on your blog and promote on social media. Most people feel honored to be asked, even if they decline to do it.
Visual media tops the list of 2017 content marketing trends. Testimonials are one easy way to add video to your site. Take advantage of the free video streaming services on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube to create the referrals in real time, especially if you stumble upon the perfect personality or want to reveal your work to the customer and record their reaction (get permission first).
No matter which format you use, pick customers who are interesting or have an entertaining anecdote about your business for more impactful video storytelling. Maybe the customer’s cute kid gives the testimonial on their parent’s behalf. Be creative and have fun with it. Most importantly, don’t forget to say thanks to those clients who participate by sending a note of gratitude and perhaps a gift card or certificate for a free service.
Connect with Customers Online
Social media gives businesses the perfect platform to interact with clients. Beyond responding to customer service issues, use your Facebook and Twitter feeds to acknowledge clients who say something positive about your services.
Befriend your customers online, and actively share and promote their own content. It’s a nice way to show you care about people, and not just about promoting your business. The more you interact with customers online, the more likely they are to be loyal to your brand.
User Generated Content Marketing
You can engage customers and potential clients by asking questions online, such as including a callout for blog topics they’d like to see addressed on your website. This is just one of many ways you can get clients involved in the content marketing you’re producing.
Hold a contest to see which client can write the best guest blog for your website, or ask customers to send in pictures of themselves using your product and promote the winner on your site and social networking accounts. User generated content is a big trend for larger corporations, like LEGO, but small businesses can also use this marketing technique to make a big impact with customers.
Planning is important
While all of these appreciation projects take time and forethought, if you do something newsworthy and memorable for your customers — like give away a year’s worth of free chicken — you’ll likely get a return on your investment that not only makes you feel good inside, but also inspires longtime customer loyalty.