Small business owners can learn a lesson from successful bands when it comes to marketing online: If you want your fans to support you, you’ve got to reward their loyalty. How do bands do this? By providing exclusives that only the most loyal fans receive!
For example, loyal fans such as fan club members of a band typically receive exclusives such as:
- First crack at purchasing concert tickets before the general public can do so
- Better seating at concerts in sections reserved for them
- Limited edition memorabilia such as posters, apparel, accessories or programs just for them
- Access to exclusive content online such as videos
- The ability to download music for free or in advance of wide release
What can you learn from successful musicians and how can you apply it to your business? Here are some ideas for creating content exclusively for your best customers.
Determine what it takes to be a best customer. Is it a certain purchasing level annually? Is it purchasing frequently? Is it length of time the person has been a customer? Or is it simply signing up for a loyalty program?
Figure out what types of exclusives you can offer. Exclusives could include:
- Content such as videos, ebooks, webinars or e-newsletters
- Special offers or discounts
- Free gifts
- Special events
To choose the proper exclusive, consider your goals for the program. Do you want to spur additional buying? If so, special offers, discounts or free gifts can work to encourage this. For example, cosmetics retailer Sephora has been very successful with its VIP program that rewards customers with points based on their spending that they can redeem for gifts. The temptation of rewards lures many customers to spend more than they otherwise would. The same concept could work for a B2B business—for example, you could offer customers a 10 percent discount on the next purchase once their annual spending reaches a certain level.
Or maybe you want to educate customers about your products and services so they’ll ultimately buy more. If so, an e-newsletter, ebook or webinar is a great way to provide your customers with useful information, subtly let them know what services you provide that they aren’t already using, and spread your reputation as an expert in your field.
If you’re like most small business owners, you’re already providing some level of content to all of your customers (and even to prospects) on social media. Make sure that your exclusive content goes one step beyond and has additional value. For instance, a salon owner could post one hair-care tip on Facebook and then encourage customers to join her VIP program to download the full list of 10 tips.
Want to go even further? If your exclusive content is really valuable, such as a seminar or webinar, you might even be able to charge for it and create an additional profit center.
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