Word of mouth is the best way to have your company promoted. It is affordable, with a cost to you as low as zero. More importantly, person to person promotion is effective, since your potential customers are more likely to be persuaded by the experiences of those who already use your goods and services than by the controlled messages you offer.
The reality is that consumers are savvy and quite cautious in today’s marketplace. They resist being sold anything. The good news is that you can use their informed, wary approach to your advantage by making them happy to promote your brand and offerings. Let’s explore how to make your customers do the marketing for you – here are four ways to get customers to be very positive about your company as they eagerly promote it to others!
Make your website interactive with review and Q&A options.
Amazon is the model for doing this effectively. Customers are encouraged to rate the product they’ve bought as well as the purchasing experience, and they do so in droves in reviews from a few words to several thousand. If you’ve bought anything from Amazon recently, you’ve probably received a follow-up email from the company encouraging you to review your purchase. Amazon knows this method works and promotes it heavily.
When you offer customer reviews, your current customers promote to new visitors to your site; some of those visitors convert to customers who leave their own reviews. In addition, many customers will say to friends something like, “the product gets really good reviews,” which encourages the next wave of visits to your site.
Here’s another feature from Amazon that might increase your sales. Shoppers can submit a question to be answered by those who’ve purchased the item. The Q&A hold people on the site and keep them coming back to look for answers to their queries. The longer shoppers are on your site and the more often they visit, the more likely they are to buy.
Add video to your site.
Videos can be used to promote your brand and your products, show how to use your services, talk about your company’s social advocacy and be used in other promotional ways. The value of videos is that they are easy to share, so your customers are likely to pass them on to their friends either with a link or by saying, “Hey, you should take a look at the video for product X or service B.” The video doesn’t have to be Hollywood slick. Dropbox used a simple demo as its first promotional video, and it went viral through customer shares. Even a small investment in video can yield tremendous return.
Join a mobile app program that rewards sharing.
Retailers of all size can promote their goods and services through mobile apps like Shopkick and Shopular by offering discounts and loyalty rewards. Importantly for our discussion here, users of these and similar services earn extra points when their friends download the app.
In other words, when your company becomes one of the services promoted via the app, the app’s users spread the word about you by encouraging their friends to download the app. With more than 30 million downloads of such apps, a figure growing quickly, your pool of potential customers gets bigger every day.
Enhance the value of the goods and services you offer.
Here are a few examples of how companies are making use of this tip.
Sellers of products such as boomerangs that require technical skill to master produce how-to videos or put on workshops for their customers. The education increases the enjoyment of using the product. In turn, the customers promote the products and hobbies.
Schools offer employment services to their students that help them land jobs. For example, ITIC in Sydney assists with resume writing, interview skills, coaching and internship/work experience programs that ready students to find employment. A high percentage of them do. Those grateful graduates who have become IT professionals earning an outstanding salary are very happy to share their success story including the help they received along the way.
Cosmetic companies produce videos that teach users how to apply makeup to get the look they want. The videos, like these from Maybelline, are recommended by mother to daughter, sister to sister and friend to friend. Each video is a commercial for the products used, essentially, with viewers eager to watch.
Which of these promotional methods will work for you? Most growing companies are employing more than one of these tools to build their ongoing success.