Building a large following of raving fans isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s one thing to get customers to buy from your store, but it’s another to turn them into fanatical lovers of your brand. It won’t happen overnight either – you need to continuously work at it to achieve a loyal fan base, but the benefits are worth it.
It may sound like hard work but the truth is, once you start engaging with your customers, they’ll become a lifelong fan, and tell everyone they know about you. And since 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family ahead of any other form of marketing, this is one type of promotion that money can’t buy.
So we’ve done all the hard work for you and put together 7 steps that you can implement today, and start building raving fans for your Ecommerce store.
1. Get to know your audience
This is the crucial starting point for you to able to build a base of loyal fans. You need to know who you are targeting before you can think about engaging with them. Do you have a buyer persona? If not you need to create one right now. Based on market research, your buyer persona should detail everything there is to know about your existing customers. It should detail information such as:
- Gender, age, demographics
- Profession and income
- Shopping habits
- Buying decisions
Once you’ve got all of this information you’ll be able to understand who your audience is and how to effectively communicate with them. You can speak in their language, share content that they want to read and start to create life long fans of your brand.
2. Create valuable content
As we’ve just mentioned above, once you know who your target audience is, you’ll then be able to create content that they want to read. It’s important to realize that in order to build a set of loyal fans, your content has to add value to their lives. It has to give them a reason to want to read it and then share it on to their followers. What you need to do is learn how to become a thought-leader within your industry, by creating actionable, useful content.
So how do you do this?
Well a great technique that has been proven to work is the ‘skyscraper technique’. Basically you find the best performing content that’s in your niche, and you build upon that to make it better. Check out the current influencers within your industry and see if you can build upon their content in order to create a better piece.
If you’re struggling to find influencers or top performing content then check out Buzzsumo as this platform does it for you.
3. Build a community
Everyone wants to feel part of a community as it makes us feel included in something and that’s what you should try to do with your customers. Not only should you strive to become their community leader, but you should also make them feel like they matter, and that you care about what they have to say. The best place to build a community is on your social platforms as this is where you can really engage with your audience.
Whether they comment on your images, send you a tweet, or Like your Facebook posts, you should engage with them so that they can build a connection with your brand. Try and create posts that ask questions so you can start a discussion amongst your community. Another great idea is to host a ‘Twitter chat’ in which your followers can log in at the same time and all discuss an interesting topic by using the same hash tag. Not only does engage with your fans, but by using the same hash tag, more people are likely to see it and join in the discussion.
Don’t just stop at social either. Make sure you include a comments section on your blog and ask questions in your posts, so your fans can share their opinions with you. This will help continue the discussion after the post has been written and offer feedback on what your customers think.
4. Make them your VIP
So we’ve made it pretty clear that you need to make your customers feel valued, but to really turn them into a raving fan you need to stroke their ego and treat them like a VIP. After all, they are the reason you exist in the first place. To do this, think about sending them exclusive deals and offers. This will show that you appreciate them and it also gives them a reason to shop with you again.
In addition to deals and offers, you should also consider giving away exclusive content just for them. It depends on your audience as to the type of content you create, but it could be a useful e-book, slide share or even a fun video.
When you contact them with your exclusive deal or content, make sure you think carefully about the copy and design that you use in your message. This is the time to really celebrate the fact that you are doing it especially for them, and you really value their custom.
5. Go above and beyond
Providing excellent customer service is always a given when running an online store, but how often do you go above and beyond for the customer? Those are the stories that people remember, and by doing something unexpected for your customer, you will very quickly turn them into your biggest fan. If a customer emails you with a query then provide them with more information than they expect. Strive to be incredibly helpful and responsive at all times.
From sending a simple thank you note, to delivering food to a house-bound grandfather in a snow storm, take a look at some of the best customer service examples for some inspiration. As you can see, It doesn’t always have to be the biggest gestures that get you noticed. We understand that running a Ecommerce store is demanding enough, but if you can provide incredible customer service at all times, then you will soon start to impress the people who shop with you.
6. Share their content
In addition to creating your own content, you can also make your audience feel like they are a part of your brand by sharing their content. Now of course to be clever with your marketing, you should think about ideas that involve your products. For example, if you own an apparel store, ask your customers to send you a picture of them wearing your clothes, so you can then share it back with your followers. Not only will this keep your customer happy, but it promotes the products you sell too.
GoPro is the perfect example of this as they create a sense of excitement with their cameras, and get their customers to send in their best pictures using their GoPro camera. It’s worked so well for the brand that they’ve got millions of followers!
7. Show them you’re passionate
The final point that we want to make is that you need to show your customers how passionate you are about your products. Setting up an Ecommerce store is an inspiring thing to do, so you need to make sure that your customers realise just how passionate and inspiring you really are. This will help your followers respect you as an industry leader, and it will build customer trust and confidence behind your products.
You can show how passionate you are with everything that you do as a brand. Whether it’s a blog post, a marketing email, or an image on social, everything you do should reflect your passion and your brand so that you become instantly recognizable!
We hope these 7 steps have provided you with plenty of inspiration on how you can build a huge fan base for your Ecommerce store. The important points to takeaway are that you need to make your customers feel included, and you need to convince people that you are an industry leader, rather than a follower. If you have any more tips then please let us know in the comments below!