Marketing is a very crucial aspect of any business, whether established or start-ups. The rule of thumb is that as a B2C business you should spend between 5% to 10% of your revenues on marketing (2% to 5% for B2B businesses). However some businesses find themselves spending more than the upper limit of their respective category. This, and the fact that digital marketing cost is increasing at a rate that’s five times higher than that of inflation is something you as a savvy marketer can’t afford to overlook. But what if you could use your existing community of customers and turn them into a killer marketing force?
One thing that we must admit is that with the coming of the information age, consumers are growing weary of the too much noise from brands trying to win their hearts by all means. They are put in a situation where they experience business ads right, left and centre. Salespeople are almost everywhere. A person logs in to his social media accounts and a significant part of the information he sees is about businesses. What next? He opts for ad blockers. Finally, the nuisance is done away with but for you as a marketer, it’s an unfortunate move. A recent survey shows that approximately 30% of all people who use internet use ad blockers. Another consumer survey shows that 82% of consumers look for referrals from their friends and family members before purchasing something. As such, peer-to-peer marketing has been found to account for 20-50% of a person’s entire buying decisions.
It’s Getting Tough For Marketers
Consequently, as a marketer, it becomes more difficult for you to make your message reach your target customers. They rarely trust you. But you can win their trust, although indirectly-through your existing customers. It’s quite easier to gain high-quality sales leads and high lead conversion when a sale process is initiated by a customer who has used your products or services than when using other conventional marketing strategies. In fact, 92% of people trust recommendations resulting from word of mouth while all the survey respondents reported that they pay more attention to posts and recommendations made by their friends than they do from the information presented by brands. Interestingly, 37% of the customers referred to a business by other customers have 37% higher retention rate than those who are persuaded through other marketing strategies.
The statistics clearly shows that your customers could form a killer marketing force through word-of-mouth marketing. How do you then convert your customers to ultra-effective marketers of your products or services? Let’s look into that now.
How to turn your customers into a killer marketing force
1. Focus on Customer Satisfaction
If you are truly determined to leverage your existing customers to help you reach more of your target market, you need to ensure that they are happy with what you provide them. Having done that, it’ll be easy for you to win their loyalty and influence them to spread the word about your business.
2. Know Your Customers
Having a deep understanding of your customers, including their location, what they like or don’t like about your business and what influences their buying decisions (especially those related to your business). With the information, you’ll be able to find the best customers who could become your great marketers and how to motivate them to tell the people around them about your business and products/services.
3. Offer Value
Although you can’t put a price on customer loyalty, a customer will feel more appreciated if you provide something more than just what you normally offer them for helping you in your marketing. Ideally, it’s a give-take relationship. Although it might just a simple token of appreciation, for instance, a shout out, small give away or exclusive information access, it goes a long way to making a customer feel more motivated to give you continued support.
4. Request Testimonials
Once you identify your best customers, you can go ahead and ask them to write personal stories showing how your product or service changed their lives. You can then incorporate the testimonials in your website content and ask the customers to share them on their social media profiles. When posting the testimonials on the media, you can request them to include your website’s link so that those who see the posts can reach you easily. Customer testimonials are super-effective sales tools not only because they are from verifiable and trusted sources, but also for the reason that stories have a tendency of sticking in people’s minds.
5. Incorporate Customers in Your Support Forum
Do you have a forum where customers can ask questions and get answers publicly? If you don’t have, you need to create it and incorporate your existing customers into it. Although your sales or support team can answer the questions asked on this forum, especially by prospective customers, the answers that your customers will provide will seem more genuine, thus highly likely to influence your lead conversion rate positively.
6. Involve Business Virality Experts
Creating and implementing a successful customer advocacy plan might not be a walk in the park for you. While analyzing and putting analytics into proper use in the marketing strategy is a hard nut to crack for someone with minimal experience, involving a business virality expert like Pukket improves accuracy and yields better results.
Feel free to contact Pukket in case you want help in creating a killer marketing force from your existing customers.