Your customers can be your best promoters. Not only do they have unbiased firsthand experience with your brand, each customer has a network of friends and family that they can promote to. What makes this special? Well, studies have shown that promoting to family and friends has double the power than promoting to strangers. This means that when a promotion is done by someone you know, you are more likely to act on it. Well, it’s understandable. You are more likely to act on a recommendation of a person you know than someone who you have not even heard of. When a marketer promotes to you, you are somewhat wary of their intentions. But when a friend or family member promotes a product to you, you know that they have the best intentions in mind.
With this, it is very important to tap your everyday customers when it comes to brand promotion. If you are running your business for quite some time, now is the best time to transform your everyday customers into brand advocates. Here’s how.
Provide One-of-a-Kind Products or Services
It all begins with your products and services. One of the easiest ways to get your customers to promote you is to provide one-of-a-kind products and services. These days, innovations are on the rise. And this is true not just for technology. It seems that business owners are getting more and more creative with the way they create their products or administer their services. It is in these days when you can’t just another ordinary product seller. You need to think beyond what you are selling and actually offer a unique customer experience. For example, you may want to put up a coffee shop. While that’s great, putting up another coffee shop just for the sake of it may not really get your customers to promote you. But if you choose to create a coffee shop with a certain theme (like aliens for example), you’ll have a greater chance of getting more customers. Sure, your coffee shop is now targeted towards a specific market. But that’s a good thing. This means that you have a greater chance of standing out and you also have a higher chance of having your customers promote your business just because of its unique concept.
Make It Easy to Promote You
Some people sell products and wait for their customers to promote them. That’s such a waste when you can always brand your packaging in a way that your customers can easily promote you. I found this with one baker that sells cakes on Instagram. Her works are exceptional so she is already providing something that is unique. In fact, she may be the best baker that I have seen that delivers in my area. But what stood out to me was how she created a unique cake topper that contains a link to her instagram profile along with her contact details. This way, when a picture of the cake is posted on Instagram, she is instantly promoted. This is what I am talking about when I say that you should make it easy for others to promote you. It is as simple as including your name in the packaging or branding every report you create so as to promote yourself as you serve your customers.
Make Your Brand Memorable
These days, blending in can be a crime for businesses. You don’t want to be seen as just another seller or business. You need to stand out for something. In fact, the businesses that make it big these days always have something that’s memorable about them. It can be their products or services. Or it may be because they are providing something more than the ordinary. Think about what makes your business special then think about how you can communicate that to your customers so that they promote you automatically.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Some people promote ordinary brands because of their exceptional customer service. For example, there is this restaurant that serves fried chicken. Sure, their fried chicken tastes good and they also provide an array of local dishes. But what stood out to customers is how they are treated when they are in the restaurant. While this restaurant is not high end, they make sure to treat all of their customers like royalty. The result? More customers talk about their experience and more people are encouraged to try their services. So if you think that your business is ‘ordinary’ and you lack the oomph to be promoted by your customers, make up for that by providing exceptional customer service. That may just be your ticket to get your customers to be your brand advocates.
PRO TIP: Have an online business? No problem! You can still provide exceptional customer service through live chat sales. In here, you’ll have customer service representatives that will assist your customers with any concern that they have about your business. This will make it easier for them to order from you. In here, you may have to train your staff so that they can address the concerns of your customers well.
Give Them a Reason to Promote You
There is one thing that people naturally hate and that is entitled people who think that they should get everything because they asked for it. This works the same way when you are asking someone to promote you. Often, you will ask them by sending an email. After that, what do you get? Some may reply but that is quite rare. Most people will just ignore your request. Here’s why. It is because people are just naturally not motivated to do anything unless you give them something. It’s the law of reward. This is the reason why people get trapped in their bad habits. They eat a lot of food because it makes them feel good. They sit in front of the TV because it relaxes them. This encourages the behavior and solidifies it. So if you want your customers to promote you, you have to do one thing - give them a referral incentive.
These days, giving your customers a reward for their promotions is not that hard. There is now a referral marketing system which you can use to reward anyone who promote your brand. Here’s how it works. You have an online form that captures all the contact information of your customers. Then, you can give your customers a reward (which can be a discount code or a free item) for every contact submission.
Have an Affiliate Program
Another way you can encourage your customers to promote you is to have an affiliate program. This works in the same way as a referral program only that you reward your customers with cash or a percentage of the sale once it is done. The difference of an affiliate program with a referral program is when a reward is given. In a referral program, a reward is given when the contact information of their family and friends are disclosed. On the other hand, an affiliate program only gives a reward when a sale is done. See the difference? A referral program rewards when a lead is given while an affiliate program rewards when a sale is done.
Show Them How to Promote You
Sometimes, you may need to show your customers how to promote you. How can you do that? Well, you can integrate user-generated content into your site. User-generated content can be reviews or social media posts from your customers. If you put this in your site, it can do wonders for your search engine optimization and can even make you rank higher on the search engines.
What is this? Well, you may see some social media posts in some Ecommerce marketing websites online. In here, you will see a roster of posts that showcases that they have bought the product. This can act as social proof that your customers are buying from you and is happy with their experience. Implementing this in your website may just be your key to encourage more people to promote you.
But if social media posts are not your thing, you can always implement reviews in your site. Reviews also act as social proof for your products and services. If you can have images in your reviews, that’s better because that means that other people can see how your products look like in real time.
Show Them That You’ll Appreciate It
It is also a good habit to have a weekly spotlight on some of your customers. With this, you can link to their website or social profiles. This will show your customers that you appreciate any review that’s given about your products and this will encourage to do the same for you. You see, today’s customers are no longer like before where they buy and leave. Today’s customers are usually engaged with the brand that they feel more fulfilled if they feel included in the brand’s growth.
This is the reason why brands often showcase their customer testimonials. They do this in their websites or social media profiles. I am also seeing brand profiles in Instagram that showcase their customer’s image posts. I think that this is a great way to show your customers that you appreciate the love.
Enlist The Power of Influencers
Another way to inspire your customers to promote you is to enlist the power of influencer marketing. After all, they are not called ‘influencers’ for nothing. They are called as such because they inspire their followers to do something. So if you get some influencers in your niche to try your products and show that to their followers, chances are their followers will also do the same. It is the power of imitation. When an influencer posts an image or a video online, their followers are inspired to do the same. So if they use a particular product or service, their followers will be raring to try it out. The result? They will also post about it and that’s some customers promoting your brand.
A good way to approach an influencer is to give them a good deal. One way to do this is to give them a unique discount code that is just made for them and their followers. But if the follower is really influential, you may want to throw in a free product or a free trial of your service so that they will be more encouraged to give feedback.
NOTE: It is important to consider the reach that the influencer has before making an offer. The larger their reach is, the higher they’ll demand from you. It is important to consider if it will be worth your time and money. Sometimes, it may be better to just approach multiple micro-influencers than one big influencer.
Make Them Compete for It
Hosting a contest is also a great way to encourage more customers to promote you. You don’t even need to be a big brand to do this. I have seen some creative brands host mini-giveaways or contests and asking their customers to do little acts of promotion in exchange. This little acts of promotion can be as simple as liking a page or just sharing it. In any case, it gets your customers to promote you.
PRO TIP: Hosting a contest by yourself may not be as appealing to your customers than if you do it with other complementing brands. It may be better to contact some partners and host a giveaway or contest together. This way, your customers will get more prizes and you also get to cross promote and get more new customers in the process.
Follow The Golden Rule
Did you know that it takes double the amount of money to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one? That’s not to mention that existing customers make the best promoters because they have firsthand experience with your products and services. So treat your customers well so that they share your brand. Give them a reward or a prize. It really doesn’t take much to get your customers to promote you. Just continue providing top notch products and customer services and you’ll see them support you by spreading the word.