How to drive brand loyalty through community-based marketing

Try community marketing

The competition for consumers’ eyes is at an all-time high for brands. A recent study found that the average person can see up to 10,000 (!) ads a day, with a multitude of digital media channels flooding consumers everywhere with branded content, be it a Google search, a social media platform, a streaming service or even the gas pump.

Consumers experience decision fatigue. This coupled with advertising being more difficult than ever to target has resulted in advertising results hitting all-time lows. When you also consider that consumers’ purchasing preferences are changing — showing loyalty to brands that align with their values ​​and care about more than the almighty dollar — it’s clear that brands need to adjust their strategy.

Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can have a huge impact on overall profitability. Any brand can spend money to get a consumer to make a one-time purchase (although the cost of acquiring customers is also at an all-time high), but those investing to build a long-term buying relationship will win. Here’s how.

Meet her in her backyard. Digital marketing is a great way to approach hyper-local marketing campaigns, but while technology is great for scaling, it’s a barrier to making real connections. Yes, ads are often shown to consumers based on personal information like demographics or browsing history, but seeing a coffee pop-up while playing a game on your phone doesn’t seem all that personal, does it?

Instead, look for ways to integrate your brand presence directly into the communities where you want to build a customer base and product awareness. Don’t just be in the community, be a part of it. Consider options like sponsoring charity events, youth sports leagues, educational programs, or other community events—anything that allows consumers to see your brand at one of the happiest times of the week.

While these types of marketing opportunities were once reserved for small businesses, they offer national brands a great opportunity for direct customer engagement and feedback. What better way for a grain company looking to increase sales in a specific community than by offering free samples and coupons at a local 4thth July celebration or little league game?

Consumers – families in particular – spend most of their time in the communities in which they live. Bring your marketing efforts straight to their backyards.

Show what you stand for. Survey Monkey recently reported that 78% of consumers said they had made purchasing decisions based on brand values ​​in the past year, while 55% said they would be more likely to shop from a company that shares their values. It seems like every week we see a brand either praised or boycotted for a stance on a public issue. The point? Consumers care not only about what you sell, but also how you do business and who it affects.

Brands don’t necessarily have to stand out from a hot cultural topic to showcase their values. They can easily start getting involved in the communities where they hope to build customer loyalty and do something that makes a difference. The examples of sponsorship for community events from yesteryear? Not only are they great hyper-local marketing activations, but they show consumers that you care about helping improve their community, not just selling products to them.

Data shows that 64% of consumers prefer to support brands that are not only known for profit but also for purpose. Brands whose marketing initiatives support the community will see better ROI than those that don’t.

measure brand recall. Ultimately, you want to make sure that the connection you create with your target customers will result in them remembering your brand at a later date when they are ready to make a purchase — aka brand recall.

Brand recall is crucial as it can demonstrate the effectiveness of your marketing. If the consumers you target are coming back to your brand by default, you’ve likely made progress in building brand loyalty and acquiring a long-term customer. Positive brand recall also increases the likelihood of word of mouth recommendations, a boon for brands since 50% of Americans make purchasing decisions based on what they hear from others.

As outlined above, the aim of brands should not only be to reach as many consumers as possible and play a numbers game. Instead, brands should focus on making clear connections with their audiences, hoping to build a genuine relationship between brand and buyer that will lead to long-term purchase and loyalty. Make that connection and, in return, win a consumer for life.

Evan Brandoff is co-founder and CEO of LeagueSidea community sports sponsorship platform that connects grassroots campaigns and social impact to scale local marketing efforts for brands.


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