Unleashing the secret power of Word-Of-Mouth to attract more customers

Technology has given us several "magic bullets" marketing solutions. Social media marketing, lead generation/sharing and search engine optimization are some of the novel marketing strategies that are being used in business today. Be it as it may, the most reliable and effective driver of business growth has remained the same despite the marvelous advancements in marketing technology that we have experienced. We are talking about word-of-mouth marketing.

A global study by Nielsen found that over 90% of all consumers worldwide trust word-of-mouth over any other form of advertising. Understandably so, many of us tend to trust purchasing recommendations from credible sources such as a friend, colleague or family.

Some of the most successful startups can easily attribute their growth to effective referral marketing strategies. Some notable companies such as Uber, Dropbox, Airbnb, and even PayPal used intuitive referral campaigns as stepping stones to reach their current enviable heights of success.

How to enhance your business using Word-Of-Mouth

Referral marketing confers sustainable and scalable growth because referred customers/clients cost less to acquire, make bigger purchases and stay with you longer. Many businesses know this. However, the million-dollar question has always been how to motivate past customers, current clients, potential customers and everyone else to spread a good word about you and your business.

Inspiring referral marketing campaigns aren’t complex nor do they require expensive technology. All you need is time, attention, commitment, and a referral software to help you launch a successful word-of-mouth marketing strategy.

Step 01 - Create a Referral Program that turns your customers into brand advocates

Word-of-mouth marketing only works if you give your customers and brand advocates an opportunity to tell the world of the wonderful experiences they get from your brand’s products and services. A referral.

Good Referrals Foster Warm Customer Relationships

Your customers are not a short-term or one-time-only commission. If you are smart in business, you can use them to draw in a large total revenue over time. Your referral program should, therefore, be built with a vision of encouraging repeat business and turning your customers into brand advocates.

Using your Referral Program should be as easy as pie

Customers should find it easy and fun to submit referrals. The referral process and information must be easy to understand and shouldn’t take much of the consumer’s time. Interestingly, most consumers value their time more than their money. Simplicity is, therefore, key to a successful referral program.

Clear communication backed by social media integration

Your referral program should be very transparent. Customers are more comfortable recommending you if the information they give about you is straightforward and open. On top of that, you should bear in mind that social media platforms give the average consumer access to hundreds of friends in just one second. Your program should exploit this opportunity by being compatible with such platforms as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.

More rewards equals more referrals

Needless to say, you should incentivize your customers to spread the word. Promises of enviable rewards for social media sharing could, for instance, create a buzz that creates far-reaching awareness about your brand.

Step 02 - Launch an influencers/affiliates program

Top brands hire popular celebrities to endorse their products. By using people that the society looks up to and admires, businesses are able to connect with their target audience. In the same way, an affiliate or influencer program can be a terrific adjuvant to your referral marketing endeavors. By leveraging on highly influential personalities, such as famous bloggers and social media butterflies, within your target market, you can generate excellent referral traffic and sales. Influencers have the power to enhance growth (by spreading the word), client retention (by reporting enticing brand experiences) and market penetration (by endorsing products in new markets).

Step 03 - Establish functional referral partnerships

The next step in your referral marketing plan should be to establish referral partnerships. Referral partnerships are a way of getting the word out there about your brand through indirect channels such as resellers, distributors, installers, suppliers, etc. Forbes predicts that referral partnerships are bound to grow and are indeed one of the hot marketing strategies to look out for in 2019.

Referral partnerships are usually born out of the need for different enterprises to work together so as to maximize potential market benefits. Most partnerships are mutually advantageous for the parties involved. A reward system is often installed to drive high-quality lead generation amongst the referral partners. Consequently, a lot of successful business can be sired this way by forming a strong bond with a reliable referral partner.

There’s no shortage of brilliant marketing options that you can execute to grow your business. It’s also not hard to lose yourself in the sea of new technologies and tools that flood the present marketing world. Nevertheless, the undeniable fact is this: no other form of marketing strategy outshines referrals and personal recommendations. Word-of-mouth marketing is, therefore, a low-hanging fruit waiting to be picked and used to boost your brand. Implementing a referral campaign could help you achieve better sales as well as enhanced, consistent growth.

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4 min read
October 08, 2018
Category is marketing

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