When it comes to digital marketing, the best strategy sometimes seems almost too easy or too good to believe. Your customers will tell you what they need to know. They’ll share what they need to buy your product or service. Are you listening to your customers? They will tell you what they need. All you need to do is ask them and then really listen to what they say. Pay attention and your business will reap the rewards of loyal customers. And loyal customers are the best customers. They’re what helps business thrive.
If you haven’t tried this before it’s time to start right now. If you’re not sure what to do, that’s OK. Let’s figure it out. The good news is there are quite a few ways to actively listen to your customers to find out what they need. When you’re creating content or any marketing strategy, this should be one of your first steps.
I don’t mean go visit your customers’ homes or offices because that might seem weird and stalker-like. Rather, figure out where they hang out online and visit those places. You’ll likely find customers (yours or your competition’s) on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and maybe even LinkedIn. If you have brick and mortar locations, check review sites like Yelp and Google Maps for more customer insights.
Moving beyond your immediate customer base, visit sites such as Quora and Answer the Public which both have question databases.
Begin the process by reading through everything you see about your business. If there are things there you don’t like, remember they’re your customer’s reality. Sometimes, we must listen to things we don’t want to hear to improve. Maybe it’s all rave reviews and glowing comments…. Maybe not. What’s important is that you read what’s being said and take note. If there are issues, how can they be addressed? What would help resolve them? If you see patterns or similar questions being asked, jot those down. The questions that arise are likely content topics you should address on your website.
While you’re doing your social sleuthing check on the competition too. What are their customers asking? Are there negative comments? Does your business offer a product or service that would resolve these issues? If so, that could be a future content topic too. Take note. You want to learn as much as possible here. Pay attention to both the positive and the negative interactions. You can learn from both.
If you run a small business whether it’s online or brick and mortar, you probably interact with your customers regularly. What questions do they have? Do you get the same 5-10 questions from lots of customers? If so, that’s information that should be included on your website (if possible). If something is too complicated to explain online, that’s OK also. In that situation, I’d recommend you create the essential information you can in a blog post or on a web page and then include a call-to-action that encourages them to call you for their situation. You could offer a free consultation, if applicable, to help them to complete the final step and reach out. Acknowledge that you can’t cover everything in a blog post.
If you have issues with returns or canceled contracts – examine closely why these issues happen. There may be opportunities to learn from this data. It’s possible you need to explain something better on your website, or maybe there’s a different product your customers want from you.
If you’re active on social media for your business, ask your customers questions about what they need, want, what issues they’re facing, etc. Move on from just listening to social media and now initiate conversations with them. Many customers will share feedback when you ask their opinion.
Actively listening to both the good and bad feedback is key to success here. You can learn what’s working and more importantly, what’s not working for your customers (or your competition’s customers). By listening and then, addressing their needs, you create happier, loyal customers.
Don’t just assume you know what your customers want because you are the marketing director or business owner. Listen to your sales team, customer service, and most importantly, your customers themselves. The more insights you get from them, the better.
If you need help with an active listening campaign and corresponding strategy, contact us. We’d love to help you with this.