Word of Mouth Marketing Part 1: Increase Your Business by Creating Brand Advocates
There’s no doubt about it, people do business based on what others say. Whether you are looking for your next best slice of pizza, a great cup of coffee or maybe how to hire someone to cut the grass, word of mouth marketing is a great way to do business.
According to [
], 83% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services – making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness.
According to [
], 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
What does that mean for your business?
It costs twice as much to get new customers then maintaining a loyal customer. Loyal customers will not only purchase from you in the future pending a great experience, but they will often spend slightly more money with your business because they fear a bad experience with a different provider.
Not only that, but a loyal customer will talk about you with their friends and family, post about you on social media, and do the work of your marketing for you: for free. One great post on Facebook from a customer may go further than $200 spent on Google Ads.
Are you taking advantage of this?
Right now, businesses are in a position to focus on their marketing efforts. Because business may be slow (and if your industry is slammed, good for you!) this is a great time for your business to take advantage of improving its online presence.
Is this a good time to create and designate an employee who is savvy on social media to perhaps post and maintain your brand’s image and maybe create a loyalty program? One way to reward and get reviews and testimonials out of the woodwork is to create an incentive program for your customers.
For example, if you run a retail shop that sells products, you could create brand advocates. Giving away your product for free or at a discount could be worth a few ‘micro-influencers’ posting about you on social media to their friends. Identifying who purchases from your frequently and approaching them would be a great place to start. Sell trendy baby clothes and have a mom that purchases once a month? Offering 25% off or 50% off in exchange for her posting a pic of her baby after she receives the product with an official ‘@exampleshoutout’ and a few hashtags like #cutebaby #storename #lovethis that you designate could go a long way for increased sales. Even five customers that are influenced would well make back the discount.
Creating a brand advocate for your services business is a little harder. If your services are recurring, the same idea could be applied to offering a discounted service for those who are consistent with posting: like hair salons or gym membership. Another way would be to create a referral system for your services. There are many examples of this out there: earn bonus points or even cash back or a percentage off for referring a friend.
A restaurant could offer a free $50 gift card for every referral they receive and they could even create cheap cards where the loyal customer could write their name on the card so the restaurant could keep track of who referred the new customer. This could even be done online with an email list or form and a coupon code. [
] says 39% of respondents say monetary or material incentives such as discounts, free swag or gift cards greatly increase their chances of referring a brand.
Whatever you do, pay attention to the service and experience. Word of mouth marketing and testimonials only work as long as the product or service customers receive has value and gives a great experience.