Are you looking to create a referral marketing strategy for your business?
If so, you are not alone. Few things are more valuable to a company’s reputation than promoting its customers for it. Even better, Word of mouth marketing does not have to cost anything.
Think about it: most marketing strategies you could happen to probably involve some sort of cost to begin with. Advertising is a clear example of this, but even organic marketing methods often take a lot of work to set up.
When you encourage customers to refer a friend, you are literally getting them to do your marketing for you. Even though setting up an effective SEO marketing program requires some work, it can still be a profitable way to gain new customers.
However, this assumes that your SEO strategy is working as intended. And for most businesses, just asking customers to share them with their friends may not be enough. So what does it take for a successful SEO marketing strategy?
You are about to find out. Find out how to get your customers to refer a friend when you ask them, keep reading.
Improve your customer experience
It goes without saying that unless your customers’ experiences are positive, they won’t recommend your business to others. If you know your business isn’t as good at appealing to customers as it could be, you need to focus on improving your customer experience. Asking them to share you with their friends when they are not happy with your service will not result in the kind of promotion you want.
Even if your average customer experience is positive, it’s still a good idea to think about how you could improve it even more. People recommend brands and products to their friends when they are delighted with their experience. It is one thing to meet the expectations of your customers, but going further and delighting them is better.
If you make the experience of your existing customers your primary concern, the referrals will likely take care of themselves. And when you ask your audience to share you with their friends, they’ll be more than happy to help.
Align your brand with your customers’ values
It’s one thing to meet your audience’s basic expectations, and it’s another to exceed their expectations and intentionally delight them. An important way to delight your customers is to make sure that your business represents something that they consider important. Your customers should feel that they are making the world a better place by supporting your brand.
To align your brand values with those of your audience, you need to know what your audience values are. You can find out the values of your audience by asking them directly, for example with a survey. Or you can make an educated guess by looking at their demographics, such as age range and locations.
However, it is important to make sure that your brand authentically represents the values of your customers. You can’t come up with a slogan that sounds great about world peace and expect people to take you seriously. Instead, try to identify where your own values and those of your audience overlap and focus on those.
Encourage word of mouth promotion
Hope your customers are so excited about their experience with you that they will jump at the chance to share your brand with others. But you should be wary of assuming that they are all going to want to help for nothing. No one likes working for free, and your audience might respond better if you offer them an incentive.
Incentive referrals can take many forms. You can keep it simple and give your fans a valuable downloadable gift in exchange for a Facebook share or tweet. Or you can set up a full referral program where customers use a unique code or link to encourage others to sign up and then offer them free gift cards or items in return.
To run an effective referral program, you need software to help you monitor and incentivize referrals.
Image Source: Princess Polly
Make it easy with a template or email your friends directly
Let’s be honest: most people are very busy, and your customers are no exception. There are probably people in your audience who would like to share your brand with their friends but don’t have the time. After all, explaining to someone why they should use a service you love isn’t always easy. Solving this problem is simple: provide a place where customers can easily insert their friend’s email address, and you can do the rest. This will increase the number of referrals you will get.
This email is a great example because it tells the user that a friend offered them $ 25 and then introduces the brand. They make it easy for the end user to click and claim their rebate.
Image source: Brooklinen
Another option is to give passionate fans a template to use when approaching their friends, such as an email or text.
A simple and widely engaging script can make it easy for your audience to share you with their friends.
Leverage social media posts
No discussion of business credentials would be complete without mentioning shares on social media. After all, social media is almost entirely about sharing things that people enjoy. If you don’t use it to build awareness for your brand, you might be missing out.
However, it is not enough to create articles with random links to your website. You need to focus on creating social media posts that people naturally want to share.
There is a lot of strategies and secrets there to make highly shareable social media posts. The most important thing is to ask yourself what your audience would like to share. Then challenge yourself to create posts like this.
Image source: Sephora Facebook page
Invite different types of brand advocacy
Brand advocacy takes many forms, and a customer needs to be serious enough about your brand before they want to talk about you with their friends. Instead of expecting all of your customers to be ready to share your brand with others, keep in mind that some of them may not yet have this type of brand loyalty.
With that in mind, offer your customers other ways to help you. Ask them to leave reviews on your website or submit testimonials. You might even ask some of them to participate in a case study.
Configure your referral program
A referral program is a more sophisticated way to encourage word-of-mouth promotion. It allows your audience to sign up and recommend your products or services using special links in exchange for a reward. This can sometimes be confused with affiliate marketing.
It is best if you have a great value and highly engaging product or service and have a large fan base who are in love with your brand. From there, you can offer your audience the opportunity to promote your business and earn rewards on every sale made through their links. This is one of the best ways to encourage promotion because you allow your audience to share your success.
Boost your referral marketing strategy
By now, you have discovered some of the best tips and strategies for a successful referral marketing program. You’ve seen how running a business on referral marketing starts with delivering a great customer experience. You’ve also discovered ways to encourage word-of-mouth promotion. Each business is required to find different things that work for them. But one of the best ways to leverage your audience for promotion is with referral marketing.