How to Turn Your Customers Into Marketing Machines
When was the last time you bought something you really loved? It could be anything—a new piece of technology that seems to make your life exponentially easier, sneakers that have elevated your game at the gym—even a particularly delicious snack food from a new brand. Services count too: that car wash that seemed to leave your car sparkling for weeks, doggie daycare with staff who treated your fur baby like their own, a wellness coach who is helping you get on the right track and more.
Chances are, you told family and friends about how great that product or service is, followed the brand on social media—maybe even wrote a review. And you probably know where we’re heading with this: happy customers can be a powerful (and low- or no-cost) form of marketing. But having a great product is just the beginning.
There is so much you can do to transform satisfied clients or customers into marketing machines—individual megaphones spreading your message with the kind of credibility money can’t buy. And the best part is that it doesn’t require a financial major investment on your part.
Today, we’re sharing a few ways to amplify your brand by harnessing the power of one of your most valuable marketing tools: your customer. Ready to get your buyers pounding the pavement in service of your brand? Read on.
Start trending: We don’t have to tell you how valuable social media marketing can be to your operation. But it’s not just about what your brand posts; it’s also about the buzz your buyers are creating. And you can make a meaningful impact on their messaging with a simple strategy that relies on an even simpler truth: A huge part of the appeal of social media is being part of something.
In the age of technology, we are desperate for human connection. So, give them the opportunity to connect. Create a hashtag that’s unique to your business, and ask customers and clients to use it when they use your product or visit your locations. When others see how much people love what you make or do, they’ll want to join in too.
Want to take it a step further? Add an element of competition—something that’s hard to resist. Run a contest for the cutest photo, the most likes, the best tagline—you name it! Of course, to play, people must post and tag you. The prize? A free product or service, of course.
There are also great opportunities for cross-pollination here. Consider teaming up with another local business (or two) and offer rewards from each brand. You’ll get new followers—and potentially new business—in the process.
Reward for referrals: Referrals are a great source of new business, and save you the time, energy, and marketing dollars you’d spend converting a customer or client on your own. Make sure to say thank you! Let the referring client or customer know how much it matters that they’ve shared your name with the people in their community.
A note or call to let them know goes a long way, but to really drive home how much their mention means to you, give them something in return. A discount, a gift, or some other gesture of thanks will have them shouting your name from the rooftops—or at least sharing it at their next dinner party.
Ask and thou shall receive: You probably already understand the value of a customer review. The vast majority of customers consult them before buying, and one study found that 88 percent of customers were influenced to purchase from a company—or look elsewhere—based on what other buyers had said online. But the truth is, unhappy customers are much more likely to leave a review than satisfied ones.
So, how do you get customers singing your praises? It’s a lot simpler than you might think. Just ask! If customers share with you that they’re happy, ask them to let others know by writing a review on the sites your buyers are likely to frequent. And when they do, don’t forget to thank them! It could be as simple as a quick response thanking them for their kind words, a discount coupon, or a free product or service.
With these simple strategies in place, everyone will feel like a winner—and your business will reap the benefits. Looking for more marketing tips? Check out our free Authority Marketing resources straight to you from Advantage|ForbesBooks.