When was the last time you thought about why your customers choose you over other services? They might come to you to buy the latest products for their rabbit, a prescription for their cat or a nice pamper session for their pooch. What can set a business apart is the added value your customers get, so it’s worth considering ways to connect with customers and create added value that can be integrated into your business.
Giving customers added value can come in many forms, and it’s worth considering the ways you can give a little extra to your valued supporters when they choose to spend their money with you. If you aren’t already, now is the time to introduce some simple marketing strategies that will set your business apart by considering what your customers might be interested in hearing about.
Regular newsletters sharing offers and advice are a great way of connecting and communicating with customers. Whether you share emails on a weekly or monthly basis, your customer base can look forward to a free resource packed full of useful information.
You can create great looking email newsletters using a range of programmes, MailChimp being a popular choice. You can include a wide range of resources, including offers that customers can make the most of, insights from your team on latest business updates, new things coming or even just advice related to your specific business service.
You can link through to your website to signpost people to new products or services, and link through to your own or external articles that you think your customers will be interested in. You can theme your newsletters by season or event relevant to your customers, and of course, keep them consistent and regular.
This is a simple, free and effective way of connecting with your customers and potential customers. In the age of GDPR, you know that if someone has consented to communications from your business that they’re going to be keen to hear from you.
GDPR compliance is extremely important, so ensure that you have permission to contact each of your customers. You should also include a clear option to unsubscribe.
Having active social media profiles are essential for any business. This doesn’t mean having a profile on every channel, but using the ones which are relevant to your business and will allow you to engage and communicate with your audience. Active profiles that post relevant, interesting content regularly with quality photos and videos show customers that your business is connected with its community, whilst raising brand awareness.
In a similar way to email newsletters, you can share articles, advice and updates to your followers – who are likely to be customers or potential customers interested in your business, products or services – quickly and directly. Social media is often referred to as a ‘business brochure’, displaying all elements of your business to your audience. Having the ability to connect with customers in a professional but personalised way is invaluable, particularly as more and more customers move to online shopping and booking.
You can display your work and case studies to your followers and give much more insight into your business, which is a great value add for anyone looking at your profiles. You can provide essential information too, such as your location, contact details and opening hours.
Setting up your profiles and posting daily or weekly posts can help you build an online presence, and creating a simple plan for the month or year ahead can help keep you consistent with your posting. You’ll be surprised how popular your pages might become! The more regular, consistent social media content you post, the more users you’re likely to reach (more people will see your posts).
Think about it from the perspective of a consumer. If you’re looking for a new local groomer to take your dog to, you might search on Google and find some promising options. You might go to Facebook and search their names. If two out of three come up, you’re likely to want to know more about them.
One profile might be inactive or posts very sporadically, while the other posts daily content – from business updates to before and after photos of the dogs they groom. It’s likely that once you’ve checked out their location, open hours, services and pricing listed on their Facebook page, you’ll send them a message to enquire about an appointment. A great profile really is that effective and beneficial.
Blogs and advice
If you have a website for your business, it’s likely that as well as a homepage, you have a page for people to find your contact details, maybe an ‘About us’ page and perhaps some products or services list and pricing, depending on your business.
So if you don’t already have a ‘Blogs’ section, it’s something to consider as blogs can be a great way to share updates – both business and in your specialist area – as well as specialist advice, top tips and hints for your customers. This is a great way to prove your expertise and knowledge, and drive traffic to your website. It also means that people will stay on your website longer to read about what you have to say!
You might want to use your blog as a place to share ‘Day in the life’ posts, some hints and tricks for customers – such as the best nail scissors for trimming your dog’s nails safely at home, tips for getting mud out of a pet’s fur, or caring for a dog with long hair, if you’re a groomer – and general updates to keep people informed on what’s going on with your business. This has been essential during the Covid-19 crisis, as businesses have had to find quick and effective ways to communicate with clients and keep them in the know as things progress.
Having free, easy to access resources like this add a great deal of value to your customer’s journey. You become a voice of expertise while going above and beyond to help your customers better care for their pets.
So if you’re yet to implement these strategies into your business plan, there’s no better time to consider what your customers might need from you and how you can become more invaluable than ever.