Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Forming A Loyal Consumer Base in Blog & Business.


Running a business and a blog for a few years now, one of the things I'm always trying to achieve is to get people coming back. As a blogger I want people to click that 'follow on Bloglovin' button, and as a business owner I want people to buy, and be impressed enough to come back again. So I thought I'd talk through some of the things I've learnt along the way to always have people coming back for more.

Give Something Away:
Although it may seem it, I'm not just talking about giveaways, even though they are a nice little extra to thank your following, either on your blog or business' social media pages. If you're an expert in certain fields, how about give some of your valuable knowledge away? I personally love blogs where I feel like I've gone away having gained something, and that could be anything from knowledge of new products from a beauty brand or a free desktop wallpaper. We all love free content, and if we can learn from said content and improve ourselves at the same time, it's a win win for both blog and reader.

In my business, I decided a year or so ago that every purchase, no matter how big or small, would receive a discount voucher in the parcel for their next order, if they choose to make one. It's not huge, but it's a way of encouraging buyers to come back again if they had their eye on anything else and thank them for their custom. 

Stay Consistent:
I'm occasionally guilty of this, but especially in blogging I find people are much more likely to return if you update regularly. I've spotted fantastic blogs that sadly only posted about once every few weeks, and unfortunately it made me not want to follow. Whether you post religiously every day at 8am, or Monday's, Wednesday's and Fridays, keep it consistent so people know when to check back.

This point probably isn't so key in business, if you're selling products they'll still have something to see, but if customers recognize you have new items coming in most days of the week, they'll know to keep you followed on Twitter or Facebook so they can keep up to date.

Make It Pretty:
Although it may be a bit superficial, a good blog design seems to be almost as essential as good content these days. We've all got different ideas of the perfect design, but things most of us seem to agree on having a clear, concise layout with large photographs and not too much other fuss is the most attractive. And of course, pretty content, photographs and writing style is huge, too.

In terms of my business, I try to make everything as appealing as possible. That's including stock photographs, things I post on social media (keep it professional!), and of course, postage and packaging materials. If you just chuck in whatever they've bought in a jiffy bag without any thought on how they'll be experiencing it when they come to open it, you might not get very far. It's not just about making sure the product arrives securely with them, when you open a beautifully wrapped parcel with little extras inside that someone has gone to the effort to provide, it gives you a higher opinion of that business. 

Be Present:
I really think this is a big one, you have to be present and personable online. Your blog should show off your personality, but you can do this even more so on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. I spend a few hours everyday on these and if people like what they see, if you link to your blog, they can follow you on there too. Be authentic online and if people feel they can connect with you on something, they'll always be back.

Being present through my business just means for me being there for people. I'm always on my business Facebook and Twitter, posting about new fairs I've got coming up or new items of stock, and talking to people about it. It also means being present enough to get back to customers quickly - I don't expect people to respond to 11pm emails, but during standard business hours I try to get back to customers as quickly as possible. Whether it's a general query or problem with an order, no-one likes feeling ignored and people will be much more impressed if you deal with it quickly.

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg, so I'd love to know your tips for creating a loyal base.





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