It’s no secret that word-of-mouth marketing is the most potent means of growing your small business and getting new customers. According to Nielsen’s research, recommendations of friends and family are trusted 83% of the time. As many as 20-50% of purchases are influenced by word of mouth marketing.
However, word-of-mouth can also be a proactive strategy rather than just doing what you can and hoping that people will tell others about you. It is about working on making a connection with customers. The focus is on creating brand ambassadors or advocates for your business.
Although quite a few larger businesses have created a strategy for this, there’s scope for small business marketing to take it up too. Here’s how you can apply this marketing method to your own business for more growth:
1: Encourage user-generated content
Encourage your social media using customers to engage more with your brand. By creating content such as contents and quizzes, you can encourage them to share them as part of the process of taking part.
Using hashtags could help your content get more likes, views and shares. This practice can pay off as Google look at social media engagements as part of its algorithm for search engine results. Applying this technique will also give your brand more exposure.
2. Add testimonials and reviews
Reviews and testimonials are also influential, and they will give your brand more credibility. If your brand or business uses a third party to collect testimonials or reviews (i.e. TripAdvisor, TrustPilot or Checkatrade) you can even bring the content over to your social feed, then link back to the original to make it credible.
Note: the word is that people check Instagram in place of reviews in some cases as reported by the Telegraph last year.
Also look for videos, Instagram or other images that have been posted by a customer that you can re-post.
3: Create sharing incentives.
If you offer an incentive, people are happy to share your products or services. This approach might be in the form of providing a discount, a bonus or credit for future use. You could also provide an incentive for the friend they tell or do something compassionate like make a charitable donation. Here is a list of 11 incentives to encourage referrals to give you some ideas.
Amazon Prime, Airbnb, Trello, DropBox and others have their referral schemes. To get your marketing juices going – here is a list of 77 different businesses who have referral schemes so that you can feel inspired and find a route that may suit you to grow your business.
Actively using Word-of-mouth marketing can work wonders for sales and engagement. Proactively encouraging your customers to share about your business can pay off in the form of extra customers, connections and revenue.
Here are 10 things you can do right now to grow your business.
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