Receiving customers is nice. Retaining customers is good. But turning your customers into brand advocates are the best.
In the past, word-of-mouth has been one of the cheapest and most efficient forms of advertising. Knowing this fact, brands, irrespective of their size and industry are including this approach in their marketing strategies to grow their business. Online marketing has embraced this customer concept and has made great inroads due to the technology available now.
Consumers today are smart. Today before buying a product, a consumer will seek recommendations from friends or family, check reviews about the product and the company’s business website and review platforms and even check the brand’s social channels. Thanks to technology, information hungry consumers are getting all the details about the product, service or company right at their fingertips; based on which they make their purchase. This makes it vital for brands to be in good books of their customers.
A brand is no longer what a company tell customers what it is, it is the customer that tells what it is.
A customer is an advertisement that has small or no cost but influential and huge effect in marketing strategy and marketing ideas
So it is time to take advantage of hidden wealth – the customers – to market your business. It’s time to realize the untapped value of this most important asset.
Here are some tactics to persuade your customers to do all the talking about your brand:
1. Asking for Valuable Feedback and Publishing True Customer Testimonials on a Website
Studies show that a website visitor forms an opinion about your company in 8 seconds. This means you get only 8 seconds to win a potential customer. One of the best ways to utilize this incredibly short time span is to highlight customer testimonials on your homepage. Human psychology studies show people trust others opinions. So, the best way to ensure they gain confidence in your business is to show them what your customers are saying about your business. Reading persuasive testimonials from your customers will persuade visitors to take an action.
Ensure you take your customer’s permission before publishing their feedback on your website. Add customer’s identity to increase trust level and make testimonials look legitimate and never fabricate customer testimonials.
2. Turn Your Customers into Content Creators on Social Channels
This is one of the most used tactics by companies.One of the ways to create brand advocacy opportunities is to hold contests on social channels. The key is to gently nudge your social followers to contribute content on your social page. Get your customers to take a selfie with your product and post it on social platforms with a custom hashtag. Ensure you align the prize of this contest with your brand’s image and audience’s interest.
User generated content submitted under such campaigns on social channels is live, transparent and authentic. Studies show that content submitted by customers on social channels offer more authentic experience and speaks much louder then content created by a business itself. Crafting such social campaigns will help boost engagement, increase social followers and help you grab potential buyers’ attention.
The digital team of Game of Thrones, one of the most popular TV-show of all time, started a social campaign asking audience to describe the show using a custom hashtag. The best answers of this campaign were then featured on HBO Connect.
3. Leverage Reputation Management Platforms Related to Your Niche
People today check Yelp for restaurants, IMDb for movie reviews and TripAdvisor for hotels. People check reviews on these review platforms to gauge the quality of a business as reviews and ratings on third-party platforms looks more authentic to prospective customers.
So it is vital for your business to have a presence on review platforms.
You need to find all the popular review avenues your customers are rating your products or services on. You must also keep track of review platforms your competitors are having profiles on. Ask your satisfied customers to leave a review about their experience with your firm on these reputed review platforms.
Depending on their niche, even B2B companies are today required to be part of review platforms. There are several ‘higher-end’ review platforms like Glassdoor, GoodFirms, Salesforce AppExchange and Better Business Bureau (BBB) that B2B companies ‘must’ consider.
4. Exceed People’s Expectations
A local coffee shop or a Fortune 500 company, each business is required to invest in advertising. The best way to promote your business is via your customers. Happy and satisfied customers are the key to word-of-mouth marketing.
By offering them personalized experience, under promising and over-delivering, asking for their opinion about your new product or service or by simply surprising them.
For instance, if they have ordered an X product, send them a complimentary gift, say Y that is a ‘must’ for using X. Ensure it doesn’t burn your pocket. Savvy marketers who don’t want to spend money to surprise their customers can send a personalized message on social channels. This will work two ways because since social channels are transparent, all people in that person’s network will come to know that he has made a purchase from your brand and secondly it will give a personalized experience to your customer.
So, just a short guide, there are numerous strategies that are linked to this valuable marketing strategy. The bottom line is that customers are more apt to trust and care about information when it comes from a peer rather than an organization.
ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.