The 5 most powerful tips to build customer loyalty
December 2, 2014
By Matthew Tukaki
Just when you thought Amazon could not disrupt a model it, well, disrupted – along they have come and done just that. Fresh from missing analysts forecasts by a cool $250 million (I mean come on, what’s $250 million between analysts anyway right?) Amazon had decided it needs to take another look at itself because unless they do something they are at risk of losing momentum at a time when that other Asian giant, Alibaba, is breathing down its neck in some key markets with competing products.
To draw clients back into a buying frenzy the business is using old loyalty techniques to ensure they don’t lose what has become a substantial customer base. The reality is that when you are the largest incumbent you run the risk of losing market share to those who can undercut you or moving faster than you can when putting new products and services to market. In doing so Amazon has been offering heavily discounted products from eBooks and movie downloads to ensure customer loyalty.
The real challenge for Amazon is not to enter a pricing war with its much smaller and more agile competitors it’s more a case of leveraging what its already got – a massive customer base – which begs the question how do you ensure that when a customer log’s on you don’t just get them to part with their money once, they walk away having bought two or three things. The magic is ensuring they come back for a second and third look.
It’s taken 20 years for Amazon to get to this point and with mounting losses it may just be a case of going back tom the fundamentals of its foundation in terms of audience engagement. That’s right folks, the lesson a lot of its smaller competitors have learnt (Alibaba) included is that audience engagement and keeping content relevant in the minds of the consumer is as important today as when the business first came to life.
What could Amazon do more of across its platforms (other than more tightly integrate them) and therefore what could you also do? Take a look:
There is no point building an audience unless you retain them: the best thing you can do to retain an audience whether you are a start-up or a large corporate is to involve them. LinkedIn has attempted to do that recently by releasing its new blog feature that enables people to post content, like and share content in a much more formal and experiential way than the old status updates. In doing so LinkedIn are probably arresting a slide in page numbers when it comes to engagement. Always find ways of INVOLVING your audience.
Use inclusive framing to build and retain an audience: Ok, you have a platform and you have allowed people to upload and share content – what next? Ensure you provide the tools that allow discussion and conversation. Often you need to do this by framing questions (always go with open ended questions) that enable the audience to pause, think and then respond. Engagement is about the ability of an audience to make a contribution.
Plan content release: There are two types of content you should consider – content that is responding to an issue of the day such as a major political, business or community issue that is tending across traditional and social media and content that is planned. Planned content is about running a series or a theme over a given time period that enables you to prepare the content, frame engagement questions and then cycle it out to maximise audience volume. In other words, you get to set the agenda when you know the maximum number of people will be hanging out on your site. Why is this important? Because you want to ensure that the audience converts to another part of the website that enables them to buy something from you!
Product placement in content: The great thing about planned content releases is you are able to align a product or service sale alongside. Drake International, the recruitment company, do this exceptionally well through the Drake Business Review. The articles enable readers to learn, share and respond while the advertisements on the corresponding pages or embedded as anecdotal solutions in the body of the content align with the article itself. Experiment but don’t be overtly blatant by selling something that means the reader doesn’t receive at least a learning benefit.
Acknowledge contributions: we all want to feel loved right? Well – take some time and say “thanks” to those who have contributed to a discussion. If you upload your content onto a social media site like Facebook then make sure you at least “Like” their comment or on Twitter if they follow you then follow them back. Those simple things say “I care, keep on coming back now ya hear?”
These are things we can all do whether small or large business, start-ups or just one person bands. Yes its relevant to Amazon because let’s face it content is king just like the two clicks principle applies to a web experience. Follow those golden rules and you’ll slowly but surely build your audience, audience engagement and, the most important, audience loyalty.
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