As most business owners know, ‘relationship marketing’ can build excellent long term relationships with customers by way of regular communication via various channels. Long Term relationships do not happen overnight though- you need to build confidence and trust with your customers over an extended period.
Most people prefer to do business with people that they know and trust. Building knowledge and trust can be accomplished with the right digital marketing strategies in place. For example, you can expand your relationship marketing using online tools such as social networks, blogs, websites, social media and email. It is all about building trust and reinforcing your business credibility.
Relationship website: Design your website with your visitors perspective in mind. Invite your visitors to explore your website in a warm, friendly and polite way and make sure that when people visit your website the get a good user experience. If appropriate, demonstrate your appreciation on your website by offering your visitors ‘free gifts’ in the form of free information, eBooks, coupons or tools.
FAQ: A well developed FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on your website or blog makes it easier for people to find the information they need and get answers to their questions quickly. Always encourage a two way dialogue where your visitors can easily call, email or message you for immediate answers if they cannot find what they are looking for.
Interactive: Make your website interactive. Visiting a good website should be an enjoyable experience. Create a two way flow of information with live support as appropriate. Allow your visitors to describe their unique needs and enable them to receive specialised answers to their questions.
Blog: Your blog allows you to regularly reach interested readers on a conversational level. Each post you write allows you to reach readers with business advice, problem solving ideas and insights on how you can help them. Encourage your blog visitors to comment on all posts and if they do thank them for doing so. You can also engage in a blogging conversation with them. Your blog allows you to develop strong bonds with your existing customers and prospects.
Email communication: Regular emails allow you to stay in touch with those customers that gave you their permission to send them emails. Offer to send visitors valuable information or resources. It is all about creating a positive experience, not spamming or ‘hard sell’. Everyone hates spam, even the spammers. Always offer an easy way for them to opt out from future emails so that they are in control.
Social Media: Using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can interact and network with thousands of prospective customers. There are hundreds if not thousands of social media websites, forums and tools where people from different market niches gather and converse.
The key to using the Internet for relationship marketing is to set yourself apart from the masses. You must also be willing to do what others are not willing to do. You need to dare to be different.