There are so many forms of advertising and marketing today that many business owners forget about the most efficient, tried-and-true form… word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). Nine out of 10 people seek out their friends and family members’ opinions about shopping experiences, and trust those over any type of ads. Knowing this fact makes it imperative to focus on actively generating word-of-mouth referrals to grow your brand’s reputation and your sales! This can easily be accomplished with these two effective strategies:
Focus on the E’s
Suzanne Fanning, President of WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association), has the following advice about generating word-of-mouth referrals – “Engage, Equip, Empower.”
If you want your customers to talk about your products or services, you must be part of that conversation! The first step is learning all there is to know about your shoppers, their patterns, trends, likes and dislikes. The second step is engaging with them on social media, in stores and online. Respond to reviews, ask for feedback and encourage your followers to keep on talking!
If you want your customers to talk about you, give them something to talk about! An ordinary shopping experience doesn’t generate any buzz; however, something extraordinary does!
Consider what strengths your business offers – it can be unique products, exemplary customer service, knowledgeable staff, hassle-free return policies or even some humor tied into the shopping experience.
The best salespeople learn what their customers want, and figure out a way to deliver it to them. Once your customers are happy, their natural reaction is to share that excitement with others around them!
Motivate your customers to spread the word about your company! People want to feel needed and valued, and it’s up to the business owners to create that energy for their shoppers!
Make it easy to for your customers to generate word-of-mouth referrals by creating business profiles on sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Share your profiles with your customers, asking them to leave reviews, post pictures and share information with their circles.
Your customers may have a lot of positive things to say about your brand, but not a lot of time to say them. How do you entice them to do so? With rewards!
Consider utilizing your best customers to be your “spokespeople” and spread the word online! If you have a loyal customer write a testimonial, you can share that on your site, email it to your subscribers and upload it to social media! Offer the spokespeople exclusive discounts or special previews of new products and services to make them feel special.
Another way to encourage WOMM is with contests; you can ask your customers to write reviews, testimonials or simply share your social media page with their circle of friends, ensuring them an entry into a contest for each action!
Starting a referral program can be extremely beneficial, as well. You can reward every individual who brings in new business with discounts, free items or other perks. Take Dropbox as an example; they offered both the old and new customer free storage space for every referral – thereby increasing their customer base and sales!
Although word-of-mouth referrals are free, motivating your customers to market your company for you will likely not be! IOU Financial wants to help you fund this goal with a small business loan. Contact us today to find out how to get a loan of up to $300,000 in under 48 hours.