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Now more than ever, business owners need to be communicating effectively with their customers. In fact, a recent Merkle survey found that 81% of consumers want to have a relationship with a brand. To be a successful business owner in 2022, employing consumer education in your marketing strategy will be essential to educate customers and foster those relationships.
In this guide, we will break down exactly what consumer education is and its importance to your business sales and reputation.
Consumer education is the practice of sharing vital financial, industry, marketplace, and brand information with consumers. This arms consumers with the information they need to make informed purchases and financial decisions, and determine which brands they want to support.
Brands can educate consumers through various channels, including advertising, articles on their brand site, newsletters, and social media content.
Ecommerce brands can help their consumers stay safe and make informed purchases online by developing and implementing a comprehensive consumer education strategy.
There really is no limit on what consumer education can encompass, because every industry and brand is unique and has its own set of challenges. That being said, there are some universal types of consumer education that are always a good idea to share with your customers.
Customers need to be financially literate to make informed purchases. This means being able to understand the full price of a product, as well as any fees that come along with it. You can easily provide customers this financial information with clear, transparent pricing, and updates on price changes, discounts, and deals.
Brand-specific information like policies, sales channels, and brand practices are vital to share with customers. This can include your brand’s return policies, the marketplaces your brand sells products, and the quality customers can expect of your products.
There are some industries whose value of products fluctuates depending on market trends. The value of NFTs, for example, In this case, consumers need to be well-informed on the current market trends and activities to make informed decisions and purchases.
Consumer protection aims to help consumers avoid common risks within a brand’s specific industry or market. Your brand can help consumers stay safe by sharing how to avoid counterfeits, scammers, and other bad actors looking to defraud them.
Consumer education has always been important to help consumers make informed decisions and purchases and communicate their rights. Educating customers helps make clear everything from fee structures to return policies on product purchases.
This, in turn, holds brands accountable for their business practices, product quality, and pricing. Consumer education also makes it harder for scammers and bad actors to defraud consumers and steal their money and sensitive information.
This is one of the top reasons your brand needs to develop and implement a consumer education strategy focusing on consumer protection. Online consumerism is still growing at staggering rates, and the changing market can be confusing, and even dangerous, for consumers to navigate. Uneducated customers may fall victim to online scams, which hurt them as well as your brand’s revenue and reputation, so you must educate your customers.
Consumer education doesn’t just protect consumers. It is in your best interest as a brand owner to make sure your consumers are educated on your industry and specific brand practices.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of consumer education to your business:
Consumers are looking to form relationships with the brands they support, and that’s great news for you as a business owner. Customer interaction instills trust in your brand, and creates loyal customers who will continue to make purchases and refer business to you.
Ensuring you use your communication channels to educate your customers and share information transparently will help to form these relationships and bolster your customer’s trust.
You can make your content marketing work double-time for you by creating education content for your customers to consume. Videos, graphics, and blog posts on current industry trends, products, and other relevant information provides value to your customers and helps highlight your expertise.
This will draw in organic traffic to your brand through online searches, and show your existing customers that you are an expert in your industry.
When your would-be customers are defrauded by counterfeit products and bad actors impersonating your brand, you lose revenue and may experience a damaged brand reputation.
Keeping your customers informed of the risks of online scammers and helping them identify your brand keeps them safe and protects your brand reputation and revenue.
When building your consumer education strategy, you will need to implement various tactics to ensure your customers are informed. The channels of communication you use, as well as the specific information you share, will vary greatly on your brand.
When building your consumer education strategy, the following methods can help you stay on the right track.
The only way to truly know what information your customers most want and need is to ask them yourself. Engaging with customers via social media and other channels opens a line of communication that will allow you to better understand their needs.
Make sure you are actively engaging with your customers and paying attention to frequently asked questions, concerns, or complaints. These are all opportunities for you to provide consumer education that can help instill trust and loyalty in your brand.
You have to know which information is the most important to communicate with your customers to help them stay safe and make informed purchases. Make sure you pay attention to current trends within your industry, especially when it comes to threats consumers might encounter. This will help you create expert content and keep customers informed.
No business owner relishes in reading negative reviews and customer complaints, but they are a source of vital information. Customer complaints can show you what your brand needs to improve upon, and can be a warning sign that your brand is being impersonated.
This is how many brands discover there are counterfeits and impersonators stealing their revenue and defrauding their customers, like popular footwear brand KEEN. After receiving customer complaints, they were able to take down the counterfeits stealing their revenue and better protect their customers.
Always pay attention to negative reviews and investigate customer complaints to know whether your brand has a counterfeit problem. If you discover infringement, share information with your customers and help them identify your brand and avoid these scams.
Consumer education is essential to not only foster loyal customers who support your brand, but also to protect yourself from bad actors in the market. If your business is already seeing complaints from customers who have been the victims of counterfeits or scammers, your brand and customers are at risk.
Implementing your consumer education strategy is essential, and you can invest in further protection with a trustworthy partner like Red Points. See how you can protect your brand and customers with our innovative services.