by Matt Weik
These days, I see a common theme, and it revolves around supplement brands throwing money into Google ads, Instagram ads, and Facebook ads. While running these ads can absolutely help build sales and attention for a brand, for many, all they see happening on a monthly basis is money being set on fire without any return on their investment (ROI). If you’ve seen or experienced this, you’re not alone, it happens to more brands than you’d think. Now, if instead of throwing their money away, they leveraged customer relationships and built a community, they wouldn’t need to spend nearly as much on marketing.
The Power of Customer Relationships
All businesses should know how much money it costs to acquire a new customer – especially if you are running ads and can look at the data. However, the pitfall that all brands fall into is the constant fighting for attention. Trust me, if you’re running ads on the platforms I mentioned, so are your competitors. Everyone is throwing money out there and hoping customers will return to make a repeat purchase. Again, this can work, but there’s a much better play that seems to get forgotten about.
Customer relationships are as good as gold. In fact, their value outperforms gold. The brands that have been leveraging customer relationships are the ones that we always hear about and the ones who are growing.
How do you build strong customer relationships? It’s easier than you’d imagine. You can accomplish this by leveraging social media as well as your website. Let’s dive a little deeper into things.
Below are some ways that customer relationships can help build your sales and turn customers into a loyal sales team that you don’t even need to pay to promote your brand and products.
1. Strong Customer Relationships Build Trust
I want you to think about someone with who you have a strong relationship. Someone who has gone to bat for you, helped you when you needed help, pointed you in the right direction when you were feeling lost. You trust that person, right? They haven’t done wrong by you or done anything damaging to you. If that person gave you advice to use or try a product, you’d probably do it, no? That’s what customer relationships can do for your brand.
When you go out of your way to bring people into your world and community, it can build trust. People want to feel like they belong to something. Like they have a purpose that drives them to do something. If you utilize your social media and website to build a community where everyone is out there helping one another and constantly talking about your brand, it shows trust.
Ultimately, people don’t buy from people they know, they buy from people they trust. It’s important to understand that difference.
2. You Add Value, They Build Sales
Value… value… value. If you follow Gary Vaynerchuk, you know his jab, jab, jab, right hook bit that he always talks about. Essentially, what he’s saying is that you should provide value, provide value, provide value, and then unveil your “ask” (or what you’d like someone to do for you). If you go straight out of the gate asking people to do something or buy from you, your conversions will be extremely low, and you won’t build solid customer relationships.
I live in the content writing space. I live and breathe it. When I go to sleep, I dream about it. I know it better than anyone in this industry. When working with clients, my goal is to provide value that they can leverage to help build their business. I write content (like this piece) that will be published online, be free for people (like you) to read, and that the readers will enjoy, get value from, and know the source where they are getting the information from is a place of compassion.
What happens next occurs without you even throwing the “right hook” or the “ask,” and that is, readers will share and talk about the value you provided. For instance, if you love this article, you may share it on Facebook or the social media platform of your choice. You may tag people in the comment section if you found it on social media so that other people will read it. You then bring all of your friends and family into the brand’s ecosystem and community, which can build even more customer relationships.
People are essentially building the brand’s awareness and sales for you, and far too many companies take that for granted. Know why? Because I write for majority of the brands out there, and I know who wants to bring customers value and who is only doing it because they like what I had to say about content and why they should leverage it. Content is only a piece of the customer relationships pie. Add true value that shows you want your customers to win, and people become a walking, talking billboards for your brand – but in an authentic way, not a sleazy “use my affiliate code” kind of way.
3. Loyalty Goes a Long Way (Even More So These Days)
Loyalty? What the heck is that? Seriously, though, I’ve written about this topic before, and I’m sad to say that there is no loyalty in the industry these days. That said, if you can build brand loyalty, it can go a long way, and it starts with forging customer relationships.
If you can build a community like what some of these big direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have done, you have the ability to build solid customer relationships where your customers will follow all of your social platforms, share all of your content and posts, visit your website to read new articles you posted, buy a new product the first day it launches, and tell all of their friends in the gym and online what products they are taking.
The bottom line here is that none of this is possible without customer relationships. Build them. Nurture them. And don’t take them for granted.