It is a good thing to acquire new customers, but retaining your existing customers is better. The best thing is to make your customers your brand advocates. Marketing by using word of mouth technique is one of the cheapest, best, and quite an efficient way to advertise your brand.
This fact is known for ages and even in the era of the internet, brands still use this approach for marketing to grow their business irrespective of the industry and size of the business.
Now customers have become a lot smarter and do not fall prey to fake advertising or brand promotions. Before making a purchase, the consumer does their research and asks their peers about the brand and even checks their social channels. Because of advanced technology, consumers nowadays get all information about the company, product, or service, and then they either choose to make a purchase or decline it. So brands need to remain in good books for present and future customers.
Your customers are your hidden wealth, that can market your business effectively, that too free of cost. So are you using this wealth effectively, if not then you should use this untapped resource that you possess? Here we bring to you 10 simple techniques that are effective to make your customers discuss your brand.
1. Asking your brand advocates for their precious feedback and publishing customer testimonials that are actionable on the website: this is a simple and effective technique to market your brand using a word of mouth strategy. According to research, a visitor would create an opinion about your brand in just 8 seconds after visiting your website. To make use of these 8 seconds you need to highlight positive and real testimonials from your customers on your homepage. According to human psychology, people have higher trust in others’ opinions. Make sure that your testimonials are persuasive.
Online marketers can make use of different channels such as social platforms and email to gather customer feedback. Take permission from your customers before you put their feedback on the website. To increase the level of trust you can add photos or identities of the customer and make testimonials look legitimate. It is a rule, not to fake or modify testimonials. You can even keep a separate page on your website, dedicated to testimonials.
2. Keep social proof in integration with various marketing channels: make sure to integrate testimonials of your customers with several marketing channels such as email marketing, Twitter and Facebook sponsored ads, PPC ads, etc. this is the most powerful tool used by marketers. By putting testimonials in paid ads and marketing emails, brands can show their prospects the value of their brand, product, or service.
There is an increasing trend to have video testimonials in email marketing. Use a catchy statement from a testimonial as a subject line for the email. This will impact your CTRs positively. Add links in the email relevant to the testimonials or the product about which the testimonial is.
If there are paid ads then ensure that you are including only the accurate and current reviews in the ads. For getting approved of your paid ad, adhere to all the mentioned guidelines which are set by Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
3. Allow clients to speak in case studies: Businesses are publishing case studies and providing very interesting insights into potential customers. There are two ways for penning down the case studies. 1st to completely write in your words and 2nd let your clients speak in certain sections like challenges faced by them or the result section about the changes which came into their business after they have subscribed to your services or have bought the product from you.
Always opt for the second method for getting maximum benefits. As the source of words in your case study will always come from your business. Your prospect will trust them more as they are considered to be reputable references.
Also include the testimonials in the case studies. When you are adding the testimonials in the case studies then it boosts the trust of your prospects. While you include testimonials in your case studies then make sure to keep it short and simple. Usually, it should be 1 to 2 sentences long to give an idea about your client’s satisfaction with your services or products.
4. Make your customers content creators on social networking sites: as a digital marketing expert, you should be aware of the benefits of this marketing tactic. It is one of the trusted tactics of top brands. You can hold different contests on social channels to create opportunities for brand advocacy.
The main idea is to nudge your followers on social media to provide content on your social page as a part of the contest. You can tell your customers to post a photo with your product and post it online with a hashtag. Make sure that you keep the prize of the contest according to your audience’s interest and brand image.
You can submit user-generated content under these campaigns on social media channels which is quite transparent, life, and authentic. According to research, content posted by customers on social channels give a more authentic experience of the customer and speaks quite clearer as compared to content posted by the brand itself. Making such campaigns on social media will help to increase social followers, boost customer engagement, and helps you to get the attention of potential buyers. You can feature top-rated answers on your brand marketing posters or websites.
5. Promote content generated by users on social channels: there are many times when users are discussing your brand on websites of social media even if you have not created any campaign. For example when someone tags his friends and discusses a brand. It is time to grab the opportunity and add to their conversation. You can inform you about any special discount or product of your brand.
This will help you to improve your relationship with your followers on social media and lead to brand awareness and brand promotion too. You should keep a check on your social channels. Endorse posts or tweets that are associated with your brand or service or product by your social audience on social media channels.
Make sure that you appreciate the efforts of your customers that will encourage other followers to do similar stuff. In this idea, you are not organizing any campaign on social networking websites but your customers and followers would share their experience on their own. You can put an unboxing video of your customer on social media too.
6. Make use of reputation management platforms associated with your niche: nowadays customers check burrp or yelp for restaurants, TripAdvisor for hotels, and similar websites for different businesses. These review platforms are an amazing source to check the quality of any business as customers consider ratings and reviews posted on third-party platforms to be more authentic.
So it is vital for any brand nowadays to keep an active presence on platforms where reviews are posted related to their business genre. You should research all popular review avenues where customers are giving ratings about your business. Also, keep a check on the review platforms that your competitors are using. You can ask your satisfied clients to post their review on these platforms.
7. Use the technique of customer referral programs: using the tactic of referral marketing can be an amazing way to increase your customer base organically. It is a powerful way to improve the trust of your customers and to create brand awareness. It can help you profitably gain customers. Apart from just getting customers, it can improve retention of customers too. Research shows that a customer that is referred can stay with your brand for a longer time as compared to a non-referred one.
To motivate customers to become your brand referrals you should let them know that they can get benefits by telling others about your brand. You can offer discounts or vouchers to customers who refer others and even to those who sign up using a referral code. Promote your referral program smartly by using it on ads and social media channels as well as email marketing.
8. Exceed Expectations of customers
Either it is a fortune 500 company or the local coffee shop both should be required to invest in the advertising. The best way for promoting your business is with the customers. Happy customers are doing marketing by word-of-mouth. These customers are satisfied customers of the company.
Now here the main question is how to make the social followers/customers happy?
We need to Exceed the expectations of customers, but the question is how?
This can be done when you are offering them personalized experience, over-delivering, and promising their requirements. You can also ask them for their opinion on your service or new products. You can simply surprise them with new goodies.
For example, if they have ordered some product then you can send them the complimentary gift Y with it. But also ensure that it is not burning your pocket. The best example of exceeding the expectation of customers is from WestJet. WestJet is the Canadian airline that has surprised its flyers by fulfilling their wish for Christmas gifts.
Some savvy marketers are not willing to spend the bucks for surprising their customers. They will just send personalized messages to their customers on any social channels. This can work in two ways, 1st when the social channel is very transparent when all the people in the person network will know that he has purchased from the company. 2nd when the brand has given any personalized experience to the customer.
9. Delighting the dissatisfied Customers
The best way is to bring back the unsatisfied customers is by delivering them the best services and the high-quality products which they are expecting from the brand. But there are times when everything will not work as you wish and something will go wrong. This will lead to a negative impression of the brand in the mind of the customer. The customer will post negative feedback on social channels. This will affect the reputation of the brand and this will affect the sales of company products or services.
In this scenario, you must take this situation as an opportunity and try to turn the dissatisfied customer into the brand advocate. Delight this customer by giving him some personalized gifts, coupons, vouchers, etc., and try to turn his negative experience into a fruitful one. Help the customer in resolving his issues this will excite and motivate the customer about your brand. In this way, the customer will share your brand story with family and friends.
10. Capitalizing in Events
Events are the perfect place to live campaigning your brand. A brand can leverage the festivals, concerts, and live events like a sports tournament awards ceremony. This will encourage and connect the fans to the brand.
Design the dedicated hashtag about the brand presentation in the event. Ask the brand followers on social media to share the content from the live events using hashtags.
For example, GoPro is an American company who are asking their fans always to share the images from their camera during the festival of Bonnaroo music by making use of the #GoPro hashtag.
It is very easy to capitalize on topics that are trending live. This is the user-generated content that will help you in gaining eyeballs, earn recognition for the brand, and boost the followers on social media. The bonus to this is, the brand followers will win its deal with the Trolls.
This is the best tactic and would emerge you as the winner in the crisis of social media. Trolls handling is not an easy job on social media platforms. A single wrong comment or tweet has the power of damaging the brand’s reputation badly. The best way of handling the trolls is to allow your social followers to defend the trolls.