As brands and online retailers are moving more towards a native advertising strategy and a focus on content marketing, it is more important than ever to retain existing customers on their platform. Now that brands hold greater weight than ever, it is vital that companies hold on tight to their audiences.

Customer loyalty is not something that can just be expected of a site, it must be asserted. This goes beyond the image portrayed by a social media page, and works deep with within the strategy of the business and is shown throughout all aspects. We will cover the main methods an e-commerce business can keep their customers loyal.

1. Get customers to build the brand

User generated content is essential to developing a brand at all angles. When users see the image of the brand represented by their own community, a connection is strengthened with the product. Allow customers to submit their work and show it off on your platform. You can do this directly on your site through featured blog posts and projects, or simply through sharing via social media. The more you share their work, the more content will be submitted and awareness will spread.

2. Find people who care – let them shine

When building a brand it is important to have your heart involved in it. Work with products you care about and embrace throughout your life. As an entrepreneur, your passion in your brand is something you can identify with very clearly – but don’t forget you’re not alone.

Customers share that same passion as you, on many different levels. While some may casually be involved in your brand, there will always be customers who live and breathe the product on your level who would love to get involved. Reach out to these individuals and encourage them to build content.

Through developing guest blog posts, guides and other content on your website, customers will notice that one of their own was picked up and featured by your brand. A business who engages in this way will be placed into a customer’s comfort zone, and exist on a more personal level than other companies. Viewers will be encouraged to become more involved, and inspired that they could even match the passion that your brand will stand for.

3. Create more opportunities to showcase the brand.

Users can purchase your product and experience it, but ensure you give them the opportunity to showcase it. Make sure you have social media platforms ready for customers to submit and share their brand experiences on. Encourage users to tag you in a post when they take an image of their own product. You can provide incentive for this through contests, however even sharing the best examples of this content will work. Encouraging promotions and contests will keep the brand on the customers mind, and bring them back around to engage with your product once again.

4. Stand for something

Create more than just engaging content. Create engaging content that inspires. Customers will find a connection with a brand that aligns itself with their own goals and values. You can use your product as part of the process or just featured along side the inspirational content.

An example of this can be seen most clear in athletic wear. A brand who’s creatives push imagery of success and dreams will bring in users who dream to be in that situation. Wearing your brand will establish confidence on their way to personal achievements. Embody what they stand for and show it off to the world. Users understand that wearing your brand might not be the secret to success, but that doesn’t mean they’ll forget what they brought along their journey.

Make connection possible everywhere

Customers today are smarter than ever, so give them credit for it. Their voices are louder than ever on the net, whether on a social media channel or product review. Utilize these methods to maintain loyalty and establish personal connections to win them over. Strengthen your brand by empowering those who built it.