How To Be the Ideal Online Customer for Your Favorite Brands

February 3, 2020
Marketing Tips

We all have favorite brands. This article is about how to be as good to your favorite brands as they are to you.

When most people think of SEO and marketing spend and results analytics, the focus is on what companies can do to get more clicks and conversions. Companies are focusing on writing appealing and helpful content to attract online readers. Companies are focusing on providing fun and interactive social media campaigns. Companies are trying hard to design great brands and interesting campaigns to win your business.

But what about what you can do for your favorite companies? Brand loyalty is a thing we are all familiar with. There are brands you trust, brands you rely on, and brands you are relieved to see on the shelves when you really need them. There are brands that you would tout to your friends, not because you’re a paid affiliate but because the brand has served you well for years. Believe it or not, the marketing know-how of today can be turned around to give something back to the brands you love most.

Today, we’re here to share an outline of how to be the ideal customer for your favorite brands. If you’re curious, we understand. This is not a topic that is often explored or ever explored. But stick with us, here. This is going to be interesting. Especially if you have some personal knowledge of marketing and SEO principles under your belt.[[ Alternate Intro ]]

Why Try to Be the Perfect Online Customer?

You may be wondering why we wrote this article. Why would anyone strive to be the ideal online customer for a brand, even their favorite brand? The answer lies in big data and good intentions. For example, you might give a positive review to an item of your favorite brand because you know they could use the ratings. You might allow cookies willingly because you like how your brand remembers your data and offers you a refined selection of favorite options. And in return, your brand gains the benefit of your data and your reviews and can provide better service as a result.

By making a few small and almost meaningless gestures, you can save your brand money, help promote them to good people and reward them with the data all modern companies crave.

It’s like that. 

1) PPC: Don’t Click That Ad!

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. If you’re not familiar with it, PPC is how modern brands advertise through platforms like Google. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. Instead of paying for raw ad space, brands only pay Google when they get a click through the advertisement link. These advertisements are meant to use Google’s (and other platforms) wide reach to access new clients and inspire new people to get interested in the brand.

But if you’re already going to visit their site and used a PPC-triggering keyword to search, don’t click that top advertisement link! That will cause your brand to pay for a click they were already going to get. Want to save your absolute favorite brand a few pennies per visit? Click the natural search result link a few inches down the page. 

2) Email Promotions: Do Click That Ad!

Ironically, email promotions are the exact opposite. Anything that was targeted to your personal inbox that you care to open is something that your brand wants to relate directly to you. If you are tempted by the offer and want to investigate, click the email link! This link is not PPC and it won’t cost your brand extra money. Instead, your click will convey valuable data that says “This Email Worked” and you’re more likely to get similar promotional emails in the future. Clicking on an email ad is like sending in your vote for more email ads with equally tempting offers or designs. Likewise, if you’re not fond of an email ad your favorite brand sends, don’t follow the link. And consider sending a friendly message. Feedback is always welcome. 

3) Head to the Brand Home Page

When you interact with your brand online, do them the favor of visiting the brand’s own site. There are tons of third-party aggregate and service sites out there that are actually built to steal clicks and stats and data from the core brands they ‘promote’. Some food delivery sites, for example, will override and drown out a restaurant’s native site so that hungry customers will go through the platform and restaurants are forced to pay a commission fee for the order. Booking sites with hotels, flights, and venue reservations are the same way.

So avoid third-party sites, marketplaces, and aggregate lists. Instead, head straight to your favorite brand’s own site. They will not only gain the benefit of your clicks and attention, but they will also avoid any costly commission fees from platforms who ‘won your business’ for your favorite brand. Show your loyalty by not giving your money or clicks to third-party usurper platforms. 

4) Follow the Blog-Embedded Links

If you’re reading a blog article, news story, or product page on your brand’s site and see an embedded link, consider clicking it. If you’re curious about the subject and want more information, follow the link. If there’s a suggested product that is linked, feel free to follow that link. These embedded links are an important part of what is known as on-page SEO. They may lead to other blog posts written by the company, useful information pages, or outside resources citing information in an article. They may also be affiliate links, where the brand is paid each time a reader follows the link. Like the opposite of PPC.

So follow those links. Not only are your clicks informative and potentially profitable, but they also boost the SEO ‘relevancy’ rating of your favorite brand’s websites. This will raise their page ranking and cause them to do better at Search Engine marketing in general. And if you see links to your favorite brand website on other sites, those are clicks in your brand’s favor as well. 

5) Accept the Cookies

If you’re surfing a favorite (trusted) brand and they offer you ‘cookies’, accept them. It’s instinctual to deny all requests for cookies all the time. This is natural, and it’s good to distrust websites by default. But if you trust the site of a favorite brand, let them give you a few cookies.

What these cookies do is watch how you use the site. They record what pages you visit, how long you stay, and what products you look for. Sometimes, they record your behavioral preferences, like always setting the product color to Green when given a chance. Or remember that you prefer ‘night mode’ when browsing on the site and therefore loading ‘night mode’ the moment you tune back in.

Cookies from a trusted site are there to help you as much as to provide information to the company. If you want a more personally tailored brand experience, accept the cookies. 

6) Answer Quick Surveys

Let’s say you’re browsing on your favorite brand website when a pop-up asks you to take a quick survey. Or perhaps you receive an email that asks if you’d be willing to participate in a customer survey. For a brand you love, you have every reason to say yes.

Surveys are how brands learn about their customers and make plans for improvement. They may ask you how well you enjoyed the site if there’s anything you’d change, or if you enjoyed a particular new feature that was implemented recently. If you’d answer these questions from a store clerk who politely introduced themselves in a shop, then answer them for your favorite brand. After all, you want them to keep getting better at offering great service.

These surveys are also sometimes used to derive real data, like how modern consumers feel about certain issues or set their priorities. If you like data (and we do), then being part of a useful data set also has a certain exciting appeal. So answer surveys if you have a moment.  It’s helpful for everyone. 

7) Link Back – Spread the Word

Is there a recent article you read that you just have to tell your friends about? Is there a new product that you’d give all your friends for Christmas one year because it’s just so comfortable or useful? Link back to the page.

We’re not kidding, this is one of the single most powerful ways you can help your brand. Off-page SEO is what happens when off-site locations on the internet link back to a helpful website. The more you link to your favorite brand sites — especially the content you love most — the more powerful their SEO ranking will be to reach new customers. So link to your favorite products, articles, and Tweets. And if you have a popular blog or website, consider applying to become an affiliate marketer. Get paid promoting brands you’d be praising either way! 

8) Rate and Review

Never ever underestimate the power of a rating and review. You know your brand is awesome, but the world might not. Every product you add a rating and review for, your brand gets stronger. Every time you re-confirm that their quality is high and their service is superb is another voice assuring new customers that your favorite brand can be trusted.

So take a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. But click those stars and jot down a little something on how you’re enjoying your brand’s products, services, or venue ambiance. Every star is worth its non-weight in gold. Every positive review is like a neon sign that says “No Promo: This Brand Can Be Trusted”. Share that message if you feel it with rates and reviews. It matters. 

9) Share Your Testimonials

Testimonials are also incredibly strong for a brand, but they’re not for everyone. If you have the time and inclination, draft a quick glowing testimonial detailing your last or favorite experience with the brand. Describe the one time that pair of boots saved your life, or how courteous the service technicians were when they repaired your exploded air conditioner. If you have an interesting or even just a complimentary story to tell, share it.

If your brand has a strong social media presence or an interactive campaign, you might even consider shooting a little testimonial video and sharing it with them. Trust us, brands dig this a lot and fellow customers trust a testimonial like advice from a best friend. 

10) Get Involved on Social Media

Last but certainly not least is social media. You don’t need us to tell you that social media marketing is powerful and that your brands benefit from the involvement of customers in social media campaigns. Remember to Like, Share, Favorite, etc. your favorite posted content from your brand’s social media page. Get involved in the contests, join in the discussions. If it interests you, say something. Even just an emoji is enough to boost a brand’s response stats and it makes the social media community managers very happy to see.

—Favorite brands will always have a special place in our hearts. if you’ve ever wondered how to give back to a brand that you’ve loved for a long time, this is your list. Follow just a few of these pointers and you can give a real boost to your favorite brand based on the rules of modern online marketing. For more marketing insights from more than your average marketing pros, contact us today!

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