Conversions: this is the ultimate goal of every marketer and brand builder. Should it be this way? Or should the brand strategy focus be elsewhere? Join us as we discuss the importance of conversions—and how it should be overshadowed by the importance of loyal brand fans.
A Brand Strategy with Fan Focus
Who do you think is the biggest source of referrals for your brand? If you’ve been assuming that your loyal clients are your biggest word-of-mouth advertisers, you might be disappointed. According to EngageSciences.com, all of the referrals that will result in conversions for your brand will come from 4.7% of your audience. And when you consider that only a tiny portion of your fan base is made up of loyal clients, it stands to reason that most of your referrals are coming from fans who have never made a purchase.
You see, the majority of the people talking about your brand are those people who may never make a purchase, but who feel an emotional connection to what your brand stands for, and are therefore eager to share its message.
Online content is an essential part of any brand strategy; however, there seems to be a misconception about its purpose. Content will not, in itself, lead to conversions. Instead, content is meant to build relationships on trust, prompt people to care about your brand message, and to amass fans for your brand—all of which will, in time, lead to conversion opportunities.
Remember, too, that your brand will have customers who buy your product, but who are not emotionally invested in your brand. In fact, brand fans are more loyal than these buyers, and like mentioned earlier, are more likely to be your biggest source of referrals.
So how can you determine where your brand’s referrals are coming from—your clients or your brand fans? This is not an easy question to answer. Testimonials, referrals, and recommendations from loyal clients are easy to track. You recognise the names from which they come. Determining how many referrals (and what quality) are coming from fans can require that you be a bit of a sleuth:
- Watch social media activity closely. Notice who’s liking, commenting, and sharing (and take note of their buying activity—even if its non-existent).
- Create a community in which your brand fans can feel fellowship; where you can develop relationships with them and learn more about their activity and where they’re talking about your brand.
- Make your brand fans feel like they’re part of an exclusive club, even if they’ve never purchased anything from your brand. They will inevitably start to share information about the things they say about your brand.
- Reward brand fans with recognition or incentives. Avoid being too salesy—this could frustrate them and disengage them from your brand. When they see that there’s a reward for word-of-mouth advertising, they’ll start telling you when and where they’re doing it.
- Invite brand fans to submit photos and to talk about how your brand has affected them, then show them how grateful you are for their communications.
- Don’t just invite loyal clients to exclusive events; invite brand fans, too. Make them feel included and the work they’re doing for you will compound.
- Share brand secrets with your brand fans. Show them that you trust them and feel that they’re worth sharing with.
- Give brand fans opportunities to participate in VIP events. This will show them that you value their support as much as you value any conversion, and they will reciprocate.
- Make it simple (and incentive-rich) for brand fans to invite their friends to participate in your brand events and specials. Their friends could turn into brand fans or loyal clients—particularly since they already share values with your brand fans.
None of this means that the loyal client should be ignored—your loyal client is a goldmine of referrals and income. You need only realize that your brand’s number of loyal clients pales in comparison to its brand fans, and that failing to tap into this valuable resource would be a big brand strategy mistake.