February is for lovers — of digital marketing. If you’re familiar with Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, then you know it’s an assessment of the way individuals experience and express love. There’s words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch, and acts of service. When applied to relationships, they help people navigate communication in a more effective way.
The same can be said when it comes to digital marketing. Data analysts, strategists, and marketing managers spend their careers researching and implementing the most efficient ways of maintaining consumer engagement — developing a courtship, if you will. And each of those love languages can represent an approach to digital marketing. We’ll break down how they relate by highlighting the strategies that fall under each category.
Words of Affirmation: Customer Reviews
As defined by Gary Chapman, words of affirmation is language that encourages and supports other people. It’s unsolicited compliments, positive reinforcement, and kindness through conversation. In the world of digital marketing, we call these customer reviews. When customers leave positive reviews, it helps build consumer confidence. Website visitors get to read feedback on product quality and whether a service is prompt and dependable.
It’s affirming to potential customers to see that there is already an established number of people who find your brand trustworthy. In addition, even if every review isn’t in favor of the company, it gives representatives the ability to respond with satisfactory service, which could also improve their image in the mind of the customer. Furthermore, local business reviews boost your marketing efforts because Google uses reviews as a local search ranking factor.
Receiving Gifts: Discounts
Everyone loves gifts, right? As a love language, it tells people that you thought about them, that you care for them, and that they were worthy of the sacrifice of your time and resources to give them a gift. In the same way that people with this love language see gifts as a way of expressing appreciation, marketers also have the opportunity to use gifts.
When companies offer discounts to first-time buyers, newsletter subscribers, or during the holidays, they’re likely using it as a tactic to maximize sales. Although savvy consumers are aware of this, most will still see it as an opportunity to get their favorite products and services for less. They also come in the form of bundles and include small gifts with purchases of a certain value. These offers encourage brand loyalty, making it less likely that consumers will venture elsewhere.
Quality Time: Consistent Communication
Quality time is full, undivided attention. Not in a clingy way, but in a — I’m going to put my phone down and fully engage in this conversation — way. It’s shared activities, date nights, and active listening. In digital marketing, quality time is shared through consistent communication.
Companies can dramatically improve the consumer experience with expeditious responses, excellent customer care, and online chat services. They can also provide a list of frequently asked questions to anticipate customer needs. Taking these extra steps to communicate shows that you appreciate a customer’s business and time.
Quality time and visitor engagement can be calculated through website dwell time, pages per session, and average session duration. Marketing pros show their appreciation with the strategies outlined above and customers show theirs by their digital engagement. In addition, extended dwell time acts as an SEO ranking factor because it’s usually an indicator of high-quality content, a fast page loading time, and overall engaging user experience.
Physical Touch: Touchpoints
We don’t have to go too far into detail about physical touch. You get it. We will however, outline more about how the principle of physical touch is implemented into digital marketing strategies. Given that when most people think of digital interactions they think of communication channels that are anything but physical. That makes sense but if you think of physical touch like Gary Chapman (e.g. making your brand accessible and being present), it’s quite effective for marketing.
Touchpoints are the ways that businesses interact with customers. They are the bread and butter of digital marketing. It’s achieved with newsletters, social media pages, and the company website. These digital touchpoints increase your brand recognition by keeping your name ever-present in the mind. But it’s also important to not annoy your customers with these touchpoints by overwhelming them with unnecessary information. Digital touchpoints require consistency, relevant information, and high-quality content.
Acts of Service: Giving Back
Acts of service people find value in sharing responsibilities. Doing chores for them, picking up their prescription, making their lunch. These are all examples of what reads as love. In digital marketing, companies give back by sharing their time and resources.
When brands participate in acts of service, they do it through community engagement. Participating in local community service projects, finding opportunities to volunteer, and mentoring the next generation of brilliant creatives. It’s likely that these kinds of activities are in line with the company values but they also help boost brand reputation and awareness. It also about sharing your company culture and allowing your customer base to see the individuals that make up the business. Businesses aren’t people, but they’re run by them. And it goes a long way to show consumers that you’re present and that you care about your impact in the community.