Marketing has changed in incredible ways over the last decade. The birth of social media has led to transformations from the way consumers shop to the methods businesses utilize to gather information on key demographics. While you might already have a decent understanding of the many marketing intricacies of posting on social sites, there are plenty of untapped resources you’re likely missing. Specifically, your customers are invaluable on this front. These days, businesses of all sizes are learning how to take a positive experience from a customer and turn it into a full marketing campaign.
Learning more about how to use your customers as marketers can have a positive impact on your future endeavours. Look over these tips and discover the easiest way to boost your brand’s reputation.
Create an Incentive
One of the best ways to get started is by ensuring you have a solid reputation with your current customer base. An incentive can be a good way to test the waters and see how many of your customers are willing to engage for a reward. Loyalty programs are one of the best methods you can consider. When a consumer is fond of a particular brand, he or she is likely going to seek out a program that rewards the shopping experience. You don’t have to offer too much, but discounts and giveaways are powerful tools.
Whatever approach you consider to incentivize your customers, be sure to analyze engagement along the way. As you do, you’ll start to notice which consumers are taking the most interest in what your program offers. Focus on the individuals who seem to really push hardest. These are the people you will want to learn more about for your future marketing endeavors. The people who care the most or have a lot of interest are the ones who will have a lot of useful input to offer your company.
Conduct Some Research
As you start to compile data, the type of software you use for customer relationship management will become more critical to your success. Be sure to take time to learn about the best CRM for small business in advance, as this will help you collect, analyze, and apply customer data in the most helpful ways. You’ll also want to conduct some additional marketing research, focusing on the key individuals you were able to pinpoint as being enthusiastic about or interested in your brand.
Send out surveys in order to gain insight on what these specific customers have to say about your current marketing initiatives. If you feel inclined, you can also offer rewards to those who take the time to fill out a survey. Some marketers use a tactic called “gated content” to obtain customer info and input, but this method is outdated. Instead, use targeted research and surveys coupled with special offers to create a natural connection and trust with customers who are already interested in interacting with your brand.
Request Testimonials and Get Creative
As you develop stronger relationships with your individual customers, you can be a bit more direct with your requests. If someone really seems to love the product or service you offer, ask if he or she would be willing to provide a testimonial. Getting a customer to offer honest feedback about your business is one of the most powerful resources you can use to your advantage. Consumers love authenticity and a truthful testimonial is as authentic as it gets. Be sure to offer some form of compensation for this, as you will be using this person’s words in some way.
How you use the testimonials in your marketing is where you have the opportunity to be creative. There are endless ways to go about things. If you get a positive testimonial from a child, for example, you can create a video campaign centered around animating testimonials. Incorporate the actual customers into the commercial spots, video ads, and blog posts that you create for your next marketing campaign. Have fun with what customers have had to say and it can help you really take advantage of the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
Advocates and Influencers
Trends come and go when it comes to social media marketing. Up until recently, influencers were a huge component. With times changing and audiences feeling a bit overwhelmed by the emptiness of “influencer culture,” businesses are now seeking advocates. An advocate is someone who will not just hawk a product because he or she is getting paid. This is a person who actually enjoys your brand and wants to share honest information about products or services that are offered. This can include both positive and negative feedback.
Marketing can often feel dishonest because it ignores criticisms and focuses only on the benefits. With an advocate on your side, you can give a voice to honest feedback. Encourage your advocates to try new products that you sell and create videos where they discuss how they really feel about what you’re offering. People are more likely to turn to your brand when it has a sense of self-awareness to it, as this means the company is open and willing to change based on the needs of the customers who patronize it.
Always Give Back
Using your loyal customers to help your business get ahead should not be taken lightly. In order to show your true appreciation, take time to give back. This can be quarterly sales, free products, charitable donations, community empowerment, wage increases for staff, or whatever else will help you show your customers that you are a brand that is dedicated to giving back as much as you receive. You’ll find what works best for your company as you continue to explore different options along the way.
While marketing is a very complicated and involved field, there are a few interesting ways to save money and see impressive results. By turning to your customers as a marketing resource, you can tap into some powerful potential. Take time to learn more about this process and see how you can start seeing how you can shape your business with a little help from your customer base.