In 2023, customers crave authenticity more than ever before. Whether it’s on social media, TV commercials or even subway posters, we are all constantly being bombarded with sponsored posts, celebrity endorsements, and paid influencers, some of whom may not even use or like the product or service they’re advocating for. And with so much doubt as to whether the reviews we’re seeing are authentic or paid, word of mouth (WOM) marketing has become crucial.
So do brands have any control over WOM marketing? The short answer is yes. While creating a strong WOM marketing strategy isn’t easy, a key step is to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to build and maintain a loyal customer base. When you foster a tight-knit community of people who feel a sense of loyalty to your brand, you in turn build a customer base of users who are likely to recommend your brand to others.
With the LiveLike audience engagement suite, we offer features that work specifically to enhance your WOM marketing efforts and encourage your customers to remain loyal to your platform. In this article, we’re breaking down the top six ways you can use the LiveLike engagement suite to build effective rewards programs and maintain customer loyalty.
Remember that Consistency is King
One of the first steps to making sure your customers stay loyal to your brand is to create an experience they’re going to remember and that they can depend on. This involves offering a user experience that is not only unique and stands out amongst the rest, but also one that remains consistent.
Delivering a consistently positive experience allows your customers to form an emotional connection and a sense of familiarity with your brand. This in turn allows your users to depend on your brand experience as they know what they can expect, and feel confident when referring it to a friend.
Ensuring consistency across all UX touch points will build this brand credibility and trust, foster brand recognition, and maintain long-term relationships with your customers.
Create Personalized Engagement Opportunities Throughout the User Journey
No matter what kind of users are coming to your platform, something every faithful customer wants to feel from your UX is special. And creating an emotional connection with your users and then treating them like a new customer each time they interact with your brand is a sure-fire way to lose their loyalty.
In other words, a user won’t want to be prompted to sign up for your newsletter each time they visit your website when they are already subscribed. Sending a long-term customer an email that introduces them to your company will waste both your time and theirs. Similarly, celebrating the subscription anniversary date of a long-term user will let them know you care about them and value their loyalty.
Work to create an automated engagement strategy that is personalized to each individual user and meets them where they’re at in their customer journey. This can include creating unique user experiences, automated emails or interactive widgets for new, lost, or interested customers. Celebrating birthdays, holidays, and special events will build these customer relationships even further and make your users feel all the more appreciated.
Don’t Rely Strictly on Rewarding Purchase Actions
As previously mentioned, your users want an experience that is genuine, and not solely focused on encouraging them to spend money or invest in your business. If part of your UX strategy involves constantly finding ways to encourage spending, your users are likely going to seek out alternative experiences that feel more authentic.
In order to avoid this, make sure you are rewarding a variety of user behaviors that are not solely purchase actions. This could mean offering loyalty rewards to users who visit your app every day for a week, fill out a feedback form, or even simply vote on a poll. By offering this kind of rewards system, your users will feel as though you truly value their time and brand loyalty, and not just their spending habits.
Combine Engagement Widgets with Competitive Leaderboards
While interactive widgets in general are fun and engaging, what’s really going to draw in your customers is if they feel a sense of friendly (or not so friendly) competition with their fellow users.
For many people, there’s nothing more motivating than trying to top someone else’s score, keep themselves in the top ranking position, or even surpass their own previous scores. If this means returning to your platform every day or even multiple times a day to keep up with the competition, your users are likely to grow a feeling of loyalty, or at least dedication, to your site or app.
This works to not only draw in new users who want to be part of the action, but also to retain your existing users and keep them coming back for more.
Leverage Chat Functionality
Another key motivator to return to a platform is feeling a sense of community and connection with other users. This can be created most effectively with the use of public, private, and influencer chat capabilities.
By allowing your users to connect with each other from across the world, you’ll allow them to discover and create communities of like-minded people who they are excited to interact with consistently. This will not only keep them coming back to your platform, but will also make them associate your platform with the feeling of comfort, community, and interesting discussion.
Create Use Cases for All Users
The final way you can help to encourage WOM marketing for your brand is to create use cases for your product for all types of users or industries. If your product or service is only being marketed to a certain audience or industry, your users are not likely to recommend your brand to those that are outside of it.
However, by offering examples of all the diverse ways your product or service could be used by different people, your customers will be more likely to think of your brand when recommending services to their friends or family.
Of course, the first step to creating user loyalty is to make sure you are offering a quality product or service. Once this is the case, following these six methods will be key to building a strong WOM marketing strategy for your business.
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