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What Is Relationship Marketing?

Relationship Marketing

In the flurry of different ways to market and promote your business, you may have heard the term “relationship marketing.” Described in one sentence, relationship marketing is about connecting with customers beyond the bare minimum to achieve revenue. It involves a warmer and friendlier approach that forms a connection or relationship between you and your audience. Take a look at our guide on relationship marketing to learn how this approach may be beneficial to your business and the ways to put it into practice.

What Is the Point of Relationship Marketing?

Image via Flickr by amtec_photos

The value of relationship marketing is that it increases customer loyalty and engagement, similar to how content marketing works. You’ve likely heard the old business school piece of advice that maintaining customers is more beneficial than constantly chasing new ones, and it’s been proven true. By forging legitimate relationships with your customers, and ensuring they have an actual reason to like and support you beyond what you sell, you’re guaranteed to collect a group of super fans who will act as independent marketers for you.

Keep in mind that this tactic, such as posting a certain type of content, isn’t a singular one. It’s more of an attitude and big-picture strategy to implement into your current content and promotions. Think about what your business does for other people, the opportunities it presents to them, and how to take things to a more personable level.

Why Does Relationship Marketing Work?

As any marketer will tell you, getting customers isn’t easy. Pay-per-click advertising, SEO, influencer marketing, and other strategies all take serious effort and investment. Once you acquire some good leads and customers, it only makes sense to maximize their value. Keep customers happy not only with their individual purchases but also with you as a business by personalizing yourself and showing that you care.

Without relationship marketing, it’s simply too easy for customers to forget about you, even if they were 100 percent satisfied. Our busy world is flooded with distractions and competitors. People need a personal bond to remember you the next time you launch a product, hold a sale, or need a grassroots marketing boost. If they remember that you have helped them, chatted with them, and been there for them, helping you again will become second nature. Besides, it’s simply fun to connect with your ideal customers.

What Platforms Are Best for Relationship Marketing?

Social media is the best resource for connecting with customers and building relationships. The specific site will depend on your audience. Facebook, while reliant on paid traffic, can still be useful if your audience hangs around some of the popular groups. Twitter can be effective with young, action-driven individuals, while Instagram is popular among a more relaxed crowd. These statements are all broad generalizations, however, and ultimately the best platform is whichever one your audience hangs out on the most. Choosing a specific platform solely because it seems better for relationship marketing is going at it from the wrong angle.

Develop a fairly loose, open policy with regular requirements every day. For example, you may hire a team member to spend a few hours on the social media site of your choice, checking on customers that have engaged and continue to do so. As long as they keep commenting and addressing you back, do the same. This time should be mostly treated like checking up on friends, with only a light amount of selling when appropriate.

What Content Is Best for Relationship Marketing?

In general, relationship marketing grows out of any type of highly engaging, high-value content. Lazy, copy-paste low content is not going to cut it here, and the more personalized you make each piece, the better. Video is especially good for engagement, and personalized videos take it to another level. Infographics are another great choice, especially if you curate the ideas by asking your best customers what they’d want these graphic presentations to be about. Presenting information that they asked for in a clean, sharable, and attractive format will score you many points.

Considering our advice in favor of social media platforms, creating infographics for social media is one of the strongest ways to build and maintain customer relationships. Once they get shared by your fans, other people will be organically introduced to your business in a more effective and impressive way than anything you could do directly. The social proof of a friend sharing something a business posted, rather than the business itself, cannot be overstated.

Other Tips for Maximizing Relationship Marketing

Below are three final tips to stay in the relationship marketing mindset:

  1. Personalization itself goes beyond saying “We care.” Study and listen to your customers and learn about their fears, reservations, frustrations, and pain points regarding different topics. Then speak to them about those matters to try and discover new content, products, or services that would assist them. If that approach is not applicable, aim more positively and find out what they like best about your niche.
  2. Relationships go beyond customer satisfaction. Imagine if your friends told you they are “satisfied” with your friendship. That response would feel cold and disconnected. Customer satisfaction is the starting point for a business-to-customer relationship. From there, you want a friendly connection distinct from their experience with what you sell.
  3. Create a customer loyalty program and encourage customers to use it. Reward people who go the extra mile to share your content and recommend you online by privately offering extra points if they join the program. In general, you want customers to know that you appreciate items beyond their money. When they spend time and effort to help you, try to reward that loyalty and link them back to the program.

Relationship marketing breaks down to one concept: It’s easier to sell to your current customers than new ones, so keep your current customers around. When paired with strategies to draw in new customers and reduce customer acquisition cost, relationship marketing can function as extra fuel for your business. If you’re curious about how to use relationship marketing in your current content and marketing approach, feel free to contact CopyPress and describe your needs.

About the author

Shane Hall