By regularly reconnecting with customers digitally and through social media channels, it can increase your chances of staying top-of-mind, helping to strengthen existing relationships, build your business’s brand and ultimately, boost sales.
These digital platforms can also give you valuable customer insights and data to help you improve your offering and your retargeting.
Not all the channels outlined below will be appropriate for your business. Each requires varying degrees of effort in both their setup and ongoing management. Some require regular action or updates while others are more intermittent. It’s also worth noting that while most channels are free to use, others will require a small investment in their setup or management.
Choosing which channels to utilise will depend on four things; how you’re wanting to connect, how often, how much you’re willing to spend, and how much ongoing effort you’re prepared to make.
The number of Australians buying online has been increasing steadily for years, and the pandemic has only accelerated that trend. Between March and August 2020, over 8.1 million households shopped online, an increase of 16% when compared to the same period in 2019.1
Having a website is now fundamental for any product sales or service-based business. It means customers - existing and new - can find you more easily and communicate with you.
If you don’t yet have a business website, you’re not alone. In fact, a survey from early 2019 found that 59% of small businesses did not have a website.2
Costs and complexities to create and maintain websites have come right down in recent years, so if they have been the things preventing you from having a website, it might be time to take another look and give your business an online presence.
If you sell products, it’s important to incorporate an ecommerce platform into your website. This allows customers to buy online from you, meaning that you can transverse geographical barriers to make sales and have regular customers who live across town or across the world.
Regardless of where your customers are based, they will often use a search engine (like Google) to find you. So it’s important you implement some form of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on your website. This can be as simple as repeatedly using ‘search terms’ (the words people type into search engines when they search) throughout your website. That way, the search engines start to favour your website and put it closer to the top of the search results page. This will help customers come back to find you in the future.
By going online, you will also be able to gain some rich insights on what your customers are doing, how often they visit your website and what they are purchasing. This will help you understand what to offer them in the future, to keep them coming back.
Sending out emails
Emails are a highly cost-effective way to reconnect with repeat customers and offer the highest return on investment (ROI) of any marketing channel. On average, every dollar spent on emails can generate up to $38 in ROI.3
Emails are a great way to share news, resell or up-sell, highlight special offers, or even just to get feedback about a recent purchase.
To maximise open rates and readership, it’s always a good idea to make your emails as targeted as possible, so that each customer who reads it feels like it’s been written just for them. It should have their name, and be highly relevant to their interests or past purchases. It's also important to not send out emails too often, as you don’t want your customers to feel like you are ‘SPAMing’ them.
How you send out your emails is also important, as you need to be sure that your emails aren’t getting sent directly to ‘Junk’ or “SPAM’ folders. If they end up there, then no one gets to read them.
Using a third-party platform to create and manage your email campaigns is a great way to avoid some of the potential pitfalls of email campaigns. They can simplify the whole process and reduce the time and effort involved in managing and organising your emails and sending them out. It should also assist to ensure emails aren’t sent to Do Not Market customers.
Creating a Facebook page
Facebook is the world’s most popular social media channel and millions of Australians are glued to it every day.4
Creating a Facebook page for your business enables you to ‘show up’ on the platform as a brand and regularly speak directly to your customers.
Once you have a page set up, you can create groups and communities (either open or private) to build a network of loyal customers. You can then use those groups to share news about your business or your products. It also allows customers to share their own tips, ideas and stories with each other. This helps build passionate advocates for your products and brand, helping drive repeat business - and what better way to encourage repeat business than have your customers doing the work for you?
Having a Facebook page may not be right for every business, but if you are considering creating one, Facebook have many free resources available to help you get set up.
Posting on Instagram
Instagram is also a hugely popular social platform and a great way to stay connected to customers. It tends to draw people in through imagery, which is great for product, retail or even hospitality related businesses where you can take photos or videos of what you offer.
By creating an Instagram account for your business, you can encourage customers to follow what you’re up to. You can also use your account to ‘follow’ regular customers thereby reaching out and encouraging them to follow you back - which is a great way to build influence over time.
You can then use your Instagram account to send out ‘posts’ to your followers to keep them informed of what’s happening with your businesses or let them now when new products arrive. You can also use it to let followers know about a special event or sale you’re having.
You can even take photos or videos and ‘tag’ customers who come in, allowing you to connect with their wider social network at the same time.
Whatever channels you choose to connect with customers, a degree of content creation will be involved. It might be taking photos for Instagram posts, or writing blogs for your website. Even the emails you send out. Each of these are forms of content that needs to be regularly created and shared.
Content creation can, however, take on other forms too. You could make videos that you simply record and edit on your phone and upload to YouTube showing customers new and interesting ways to use your product. Or if you’re a professional services business you could write interesting articles for LinkedIn that inspire and educate your customers. You could even create a podcast series to get your thoughts out on the airwaves. The opportunities are endless.
The key point here is that the more engaged a customer is with your brand, product or service, the more inclined they will be to spend their money with you again and again. So, if you can maintain their focus for thirty seconds, five minutes, even fifteen minutes, it can have a real impact on driving repeat sales.
While content creation may seem a little daunting, you shouldn’t feel you have to get it right immediately. Try it out first. Get feedback. And adapt. The most important thing is just you keep regularly making content to share with your repeat customers to get them reconnecting to you and your brand.
These five ways to build your digital presence are just the tip of the iceberg. And regardless of the digital paths you decide you might want to explore for your business, it’s always best to do your research first. That way you can be efficient and effective with how you reconnect with your customers and really boost your repeat business.