Hi there! In case you missed our inaugural Instagram Live interview session, we have compiled the best parts into this article.
On Thursday, our guest, Feranmi Ajetomobi who is the Lead Content and Engagement officer at Cowrywise, had a chat with our host, Tallulah, on how to build a sustainable customer base, now that many businesses are struggling to get on with affairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Nodging People to Refer Your Product/Service: As a small business or startup, running adverts every now and then might be a little too costly, so an effective and organic way to improve your customer base is by employing little, inexpensive Call to Action (CTA) measures through physical touchpoints with existing customers to help refer your business. We call this referrals. It could be as little as a short note attached to the product delivery. Such emotional connections go far in the hearts of customers.
- Managing Concentration Risk: It is imperative to pay attention to where your customers come from or who they are and this has to do with researching your customer data and segmenting them into tiers. Managing your concentration risk simply means you’re staying on top of your game by ensuring your customers don’t all come from the same demographic environment or social class. One way to acquire good concentration spread is by increasing your product/service line such that each customer segment has a unique solution to their problems. That way, in time of crisis, the risk of getting affected by trickling income is reduced considerably. For businesses that draw strength from having a strict niche, managing concentration risk would mean a constant tailored engagement strategy is employed so that if you have a customer base of 1000, and 400 are regular customers, you will need to maintain close contacts with all 1000 to ensure an average of 400 are still patronizing. Keeping a locked engagement could also increase your customer reach.
- Social Media and Online tools: For small businesses, Instagram remains one of the best and most effective social medium to maintain proper engagement with customers, it also grants you real opportunity to upscale as a business because potential customers are likely to see your offering based on recommendation and will only engage you if they see you have real customers. Typeform is a great data gathering and engagement software for you to find out more about your customers. As a business, you need to figure out what platforms best suit you and creatively leverage them to stay in touch with customers.
- Content Marketing: This is an important aspect for upscaling as a businessand it comes in two parts. First, when running a business, you’re constantly exposed to incredible amount of data about your product, audience and audience interaction with the product. You need to pay attention to this data in order to know how best to curate your contents and where to position them for your customers to feed on. For example, you can own a shoe business and discover that more women from Lekki buy black shoes than anywhere else in Lagos, a simple, funny blogpost like “Here is the reason why women in Lekki buy black shoes,” it doesn’t add much to your business financially, but it sure is a unique way to stay in touch with your audience and because of it’s uniqueness, it can give you more visibility. The other part to content marketing is understanding the information your customers are seeking for and providing contents or data based on those information. That is the easiest way of getting your contents shared among customers, existing and potential alike. Content marketing helps you build an audience or community, until you have this, running Ads are a waste of time and money.
- Testing and Learning Consistently: Usually, every business activity presents a learning process, moreso for the marketing and/or engagement side of it. You have tried strategy A for a period in engaging your audience, it’s okay to try strategy B for another period especially when strategy A doesn’t work as well as you expected. Testing new and refreshed ways of doing similar things in business helps you learn what works for your customers and helps you understand them better in order for you to provide an improved interacting experience with your business.
- Distribution: For any business looking to build sustainable customer base, investing on your content/product distribution should be top priority. You should constantly worry about how to get across to your customers with your offering at every point in time because that’s the beginning and end of interaction with them and ensuring that, that meeting point is as surreal as can be should be of paramount concern to any business owner.
- Audience Segmentation: Segmentation is the most important thing in your customer base. Of course, there should be an overall brand tone that connects with the entire audience, but you need to segment them in order to know your most profitable segment and the least profitable segment. When you understand both, it will be easier for you to build strategies that can grow your business faster. If you’re not segmenting your audience, you’re joking with your business.
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