Connecting with customers memeDo you give your customers a reason to connect with your business, to get excited about your business?

Every business wants to have loyal and engaged customers, people who will buy from you simply because they love you and your business.  In order to do this, you need to give them a reason to feel this way.

Some businesses wish they had “raving fans”, while others go out and make them.  Creating a loyal and connected customer base takes work and involves you going out and giving people a reason to connect and engage with your business.

Below are 5 simple, yet underused ways you can reach out and connect with your customers as well as potential customers.

Start a Blog

Yeah, yeah, everyone tells you to start a blog.  The thing is, it works.  The problem is, most people give up on it way before they can ever realize the benefits of it.  A blog is a great way to speak directly to your customers.  No self-serving advertisements or cheesy calls to action to get in between you and your customer.  Take the wall down between you and your customer and start talking to them as a person, not a business.

Resources

Art of Blog: How to start a blog from start to finish

Hubspot: How to start a business blog

Copy Blogger: Sign up for their free online marketing course

Create a Podcast

This may not be for every type of business, but podcasting has really taken off in recent years.  You can thank the iPod and iPhone for that.  Millions of people are turning to podcasts as a learning and education tool.  They would rather listen to something of value while they work out or take their morning commute.  If you have a good natured personality and enjoy educating others, a podcast is a tremendous platform to drive an entirely new type of customer to your business.

Resources

Smartpassiveincome.com: Starting a podcast

Authorityenigne.com: Your Business+Podcast

The Podcast Answer Man

Libsyn: Great place to host your podcasts

Use Video

Video is not hot, it's En Fuego!  Adding video messaging to your website can take things to a whole other marketing level.  People love to watch videos, at least quality one's with a great message.  Video is not only applicable to your website, you can create personalized video messages that you can email to your customer or create a video training series on how to use your product.  Lots of potential and lots of platforms available to get your message out.  Idea, create a FAQ page answering everything in video.

Resources

Wistia: Great video hosting and awesome learning center

The Distilled guide to video marketing

KissMetrics: The Youtube Marketing Guide

Get Creative With Email

Did you know that email marketing still delivers the best ROI out of any other marketing platform?  Did you know that 99% of business are awful at email marketing?  Do you see the disconnect and the opportunity here?  Personalized, value based emails can turn potential leads into raving fans.  Create an engaging and valuable auto-responder series, send personalized “thank you” emails (add a video message!) and start getting some mileage out of this highly profitable marketing channel.

Resources

Mailchimp: Email marketing field guide

Copyblogger: Growing your business with email marketing

Copyblogger: Creating an email autoresponder

Use Social Media

If done right, social media is a great way to connect to current and future customers.  I think where many small business owners go awry in this space is because they treat it as just another marketing platform.  It's not, at least not in the sense of traditional marketing.  Social media is more of a cocktail party rather then a networking event.  A great way to connect with your customers is to be the first person promoting their content on social media.  They are your customer, but you are their fan.  Give shout-outs to your customers, share interesting content and be really helpful.  See, a different way to do market your business.

Open Forum: Business guide to social media

Blog Tyrant: Social Media simplified

Social Media Examiner: Selling with social media

Try one or try them all

As you can see, many of these methods overlap.  Try a few and see which one's will work for you and your business.  Creating multiple ways to reach out and connect to both current and potential customers is a sure fire way to reach them through methods your competitors aren't using.  They are probably still sending out mass mail postcards and hoping for the best.