Your Brand And Your Customers: Are You On The Same Page?
There are many reasons why millennials make great entrepreneurs. They’re digital and social natives. They have an inherent understanding of the media and how brands leverage it to enhance their relationship with audiences. They are digital and social natives and have an innate understanding of how social media works and how to communicate with their audience through it that older entrepreneurs may lack. What’s more, millennials have a great work ethic but eschew the 9 to 5. They are as flexible in their working hours as they are in their thinking and “outside the box” is their default setting. They are beholden to neither tradition nor conventional wisdom and are malleable in their thinking and their methods.
Yet, while many a millennial can (and does) find success in small business, no entrepreneur can risk falling into a “business first” mindset. Everything they say and do as part of their branding needs to come from a “customer first” perspective. This means that they can’t afford to neglect the needs, wants and desires of their target market. The brand and the customer base need to be on the same page if the business is to effectively retain existing customers while attracting new ones to the brand.
Here are some ways in which the ambitious millennial entrepreneur can ensure a harmonious relationship between brand and consumer…
Put market research at the forefront of your marketing efforts
Digital marketing is an essential discipline that all 21st century businesses need to master if they’re to distance themselves from their competitors in an increasingly cutthroat and competitive business landscape.
Digital marketing can help your brand to resonate with your target audience. The right campaigns speak to their wants and needs and clearly delineate how the brand can fulfill them. That said, however, there are also many digital marketing mistakes that nascent entrepreneurs are apt to make when they’re trying to crack this valuable nut for the first time.
While coming up with digital marketing campaigns can be incredibly creatively rewarding, your creative flair should always be backed by meticulous market research to ensure that your campaign will have the desired effect on your target market.
Failing to take them into account can lead to spectacular marketing mishaps and tone-deaf campaigns which actually alienate audiences rather than strengthening their relationship with you. Even big brands from Dove to Pepsi have some of these embarrassing gaffes to their name. But unlike them, your fledgling brand may not recover from one.
Make your website a place customers will want to keep coming back to
If your business makes its money through e commerce, it goes without saying that your website needs to be one which consumers enjoy coming back to. It needs to not only be secure and make it easy for intent-rich customers to find the products they’re looking for, it also needs to be attractive to look at and pleasant to navigate.
However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because your business doesn’t use eCommerce that your website doesn’t matter. Your website may well offer new prospects their first exposure to their brand, and if it doesn’t accurately represent your business, it’s unlikely that they’ll be willing to pay you a visit in person.
Invest in the right web development services to ensure that your website is a place they’ll keep wanting to come back to. Not only should it look beautiful, it should be easy to navigate with intuitive UX that makes it easy and pleasant for users to find the information they need. It should have a steady stream of content that builds value in your brand and keeps giving users a reason to come back. The more you keep adding to your site and the more users keep coming back, the more you’re organically improving your SEO.
And when you appear ahead of your competitors in Search Engine results pages, that’s always a win!
Be sure to tailor your content to their needs
Although a steady stream of fresh content can be a boon for your SEO, never forget that you’re writing for human readers rather than algorithms. Don’t fall into the trap of spamming keywords or sacrificing quality for quantity (both can actually do your SEO way more harm than good).
Whether your content marketing comes in the form of blog posts, infographics, tutorials, videos (or even all of the above), whether you create it yourself or outsource it to freelance writers, make sure that it is created with the needs of your customers in mind.
It should provide them with information that’s beneficial to them, help them solve a problem that they encounter regularly or make their lives easier. This kind of content not only builds value in your brand, it also encourages longer time on page, deeper scroll depth and more movement around your site (all of which are valued by search engine crawlers).
Use social platforms where you know they spend their time
A presence on social media can be highly beneficial in improving your relationship with your target audience and building value in your brand. However, many new entrepreneurs assume that a platform agnostic approach is by default the best approach… And that’s not always true.
A presence on every social media platform can direct a lot of your time and energy in the wrong places and potentially making your brand seem like a nuisance when promoting its products and services to the wrong audience. Again, this is why market research is so important. It helps you to identify which platforms your target audiences spend the most time on and where your efforts are best spent.
Make sure your rewards scheme gives them more of what they want
Finally, many brands leverage rewards schemes as a way to improve customer retention. And while this is a potentially useful strategy, just be sure that your rewards scheme gives your customers more of what they want (as opposed to what you want to give them). Learn what matters the most to them and ensure that your rewards system allows them to get it by coming back to you. Keep in mind that this may well be different for each customer. So the more flexibility your rewards scheme has, the better!
Britt Hysen is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of MiLLENNiAL. In addition to being a media entrepreneur, Britt is a passionate humanitarian, international speaker, and an expert on all things related to the global millennial.