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16th July 2019

3 Ways Customers Can Be Your Own Marketing Tool

minute read

Customers are the beating heart of your business. It is their engagement that provides the revenue that fuels your engines, so it makes sense to keep them at the forefront.

This is not just about keeping your customer engaged in what you’re selling but allowing them to contribute to your content strategy and the growth of your customer base. 

There are many marketing tools out there but customers are already at your fingertips, so why not take advantage? Here are 3 ways you can begin to include customers in your content:

1. Customer case studies

Any small business should gather positive quotes from customers whenever possible. Including them everywhere, from your website to social media posts, is a great way to prove the quality of your service. While these are golden nuggets of endorsement, there is greater good in writing in-depth case studies.

Showing off the good things people have said is obviously a great way of promoting yourself. Case studies, on the other hand, are great ways of showing off your customers. Interviewing companies and individual customers is more than a way of singing your own praises, but an effective way of finding out what you do right and - most importantly - what could be improved.

Obviously, case studies are strong ways of making a customer feel included. More than that though, through accurate statistics and emotive feedback they can provide companies with the opportunity to audit their processes and change what they do for the better. Publishing these on your website and across social media will not only draw attention to your successful campaigns but also how well you treat your customers.

2. Social Media

The interactivity that social media boasts can help companies communicate better with customers while providing them with more authentic content.

While there may be a growing cynicism towards branded content, content created by fellow customers is hard to ignore. We’re referring to User Generated Content (UGC), which is not created by the company but by its audiences or users. Fashion brands, in particular, have used UGC to put their customers in the spotlight, sharing photos of their customers wearing their clothes on social media. These testimonials are effective because unlike case studies, these come from the customers themselves. It seems customers agree, with more than 64 percent of social media users seeking out UGC before making big purchase decisions.

At the end of the day, what social media does best is help you engage with your target audience. Live streaming has become the latest exciting and cost-effective way to do this. Available on popular platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and utilised by brands and celebrities alike, live streaming brings a new level of trust and transparency. This tool is particularly effective for events and announcements where customers can feel like they have the inside scoop.

3. Content contributors

Your customer base is made up of more than just buyers. They are people from varied backgrounds and industries that have a combined pool of knowledge that your company can tap into. 

Reaching out to current and past customers is a positive first step and inviting them to write a blog from their perspective could strengthen your relationship with them. You could also use this as an opportunity to reach new audiences. Creating a detailed and relevant “write for us” page on your website will make your company attractive to newcomers as well as search engines. This page should be thorough, making it clear what you want from your contributors and how their ideas can honour your company. 

Ultimately, opening your blog to customers will not only give your content team a small reprieve but also give your customers the opportunity to tell their story and boost their own brand.

Customer-orientated businesses are on the rise, bringing authenticity and transparency to companies and their campaigns. Marketing has evolved pretty rapidly over the last few years so it makes sense that our interactions with customers should do the same. As we move away from pushy sales tactics, we begin to realise the power of our audiences.

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