The New Wave of Media Loyalty Programs

by Natasha Ambavle |

A consumer survey by Deloitte Consultancy found that 61% of the customers check their mobile phones within five minutes of waking up, every morning. Social media is the new ‘hangout’ or networking place of the world, and if you are not leveraging this platform through your media loyalty programs, you are missing out.

Social Media Presence – A Parameter of Success

A 2021 study, by PEW Research Center, states that 84% of US adults aged between 18 – 29 are active social media users. Millennials account for 90% of the population on social media whose spending power is more than $1.4 trillion. Today, it’s unthinkable for a brand to not have a social media presence. It is not only about marketing it also questions brand credibility. The number of followers determines a brand’s reach and success. Social media users are drawn to brands with more followers and the ones that the influencers are talking about.

95% of internet users follow at least one brand on social media. The customers are not only happily consuming content generated by brands but are also proud to be a part of the brand’s online community. From luxury brands to local companies and even small businesses, everyone is on social media, it’s how you stay relevant, get business, create brand awareness, and build a community of loyal followers and customers.

Loyalty Programs – Need of The Hour

It is common knowledge in the business world that the era of third-party data is coming to an end. With Google announcing to phase out third-party cookies, extracting first-party data has become a necessity, especially in today’s world, where data is money. Combined with its capabilities of extracting first-party, relevant data along with its impact on customer satisfaction and retention rate, media loyalty programs are gaining tremendous traction. Loyalty leaders are certain that the disappearance of third-party cookies from Chrome, will shift the attention towards loyalty programs as a safe, ethical and legal medium to extract first-party data.

Stricter data protection laws have made it even more difficult to accumulate data while adhering to global data compliance laws. To ethically and legally extract data, various brands like E.l.f Beauty, Maybelline, among others, have adopted loyalty strategies to engage customers and collect their data. Maybelline spent $227 million on advertising in 2019 but pulled back in 2020 to $102 million. In 2020, Maybelline focused its attention on loyalty programs and launched Maybelline Express Loyalty, to give its customers an added incentive to purchase from them and to surpass the heavy inflow of newer brands in the market.

The world is turning its attention back to the age-old marketing strategy – loyalty programs. Only, this time, it’s bigger and integrated with social media to form media loyalty programs and the intention is not to just engage and retain customers but also to ethically and legally extract first-party data.

Upscaling Your Media Loyalty Programs

Harvard Business Review found that posts that are intellectual or relational in nature were most effective in driving media loyalty programs. Social media users are more attracted to content that is relevant and not ‘tone-deaf’ to the current ecological, social and even political sentiments. Content needn’t necessarily be about promoting the brand or its products it could be educational and still help to improve the brand’s credibility and overall image. Your media loyalty program strategy could focus on creating brand awareness and content-driven posts give users an added incentive to ‘share and like’.  You could also strategize your media loyalty program to create user-generated content which has a higher reach. Incentivising customers for creating content for you, be it images, write-ups and reviews is a great way to create a powerful media presence too. With the help of an experienced loyalty partner such as Annex Cloud, you could design media loyalty program strategies that are best suited to your business practices and help you achieve your marketing and financial goals. For a free consultation, click here.

Why You Need to Integrate Social Media Marketing with Loyalty Programs

  • To Increase Brand Recognition – Global Web Index says that 54% of the customers use social media to search for products and the number is increasing rapidly. Social media is a great way to improve a brand’s reach and awareness, by incentivizing social sharing, you are encouraging your customers to actively share content about your brand and products. Social sharing has a larger market penetration rate and also gives you inexpensive yet powerful and organic promotions.
  • To Improve Brand Credibility – When more and more people talk about a certain topic, brand or product, it automatically gets validation on social media. Through smart media loyalty programs, you can leverage this to improve your brand image and build credibility in the market.
  • To Gain Insights – It is a known fact that, loyalty programs give access to vital zero and first-party data but when integrated with social media, the scope of information you can collect is infinite. Depending on your marketing strategy and creative campaigns, you can extract more-than-just-basic information from your customers, learn about their purchase patterns, factors that influence their purchase decisions and such other important and relevant information.
  • To Seem Relevant – Globally, over 3.6 billion people use social media and the number is only projected to increase to 4.41 billion by 2025. Social media is where everyone’s at – lockdown or no lockdown. To stay relevant and to improve top-of-the-mind brand recall, it is imperative to have a strong social media presence. Combine it with your loyalty offering and you have a powerful marketing strategy at your disposal.
  • To Foster Customer Relationship – As we have already established, social media is a global meeting place, so where else could you meet, interact and engage with your customers? Brands like Netflix use their social media platform to foster their customer relationships, stay relevant and trendy and today more and more brands are following in its footsteps. From retail brands to NGOs, everyone’s leveraging the power of social media. Now, it’s your turn to make the most out of it. To learn how to create a media loyalty program that drives value, read our white paper.

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