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Photo Credit: Abbey Dieteman

Tips on Getting a Hand from Customers to Promote Your Brand

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It can be argued that customers are the most important part of any business. Without customers, there is no business. You could have the most amazing product ever created with the finest business model around but without customers that product is sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Customers are what drive a product and the innovation of a company. More customers speaking about the business is also a major boost to the brand. Just like gossip, one customer giving a rave review sends out waves to potential customers. So what is the best way to get customers to help promote your brand?

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Photo Credit: Jeff Epstein

Photo Credit: Jeff Epstein

By providing a referral

Customers can best promote your brand by providing a referral. In the past, a referral meant a loyal customer might tell a friend or family member about your service or product. This type of word of mouth referral has and continues to be a consistent driver of new customers for any successful business. Today, word of mouth referrals are even more powerful because they are online. The beauty of online word of mouth marketing is that it is no longer 1-to-1, it can be 1-to-thousands or even 1-to-millions.

Thanks to Jeff Epstein, Ambassador

 

Photo Credit: Abbey Dieteman

Photo Credit: Abbey Dieteman

Talking about what we do

I’ve found that the best way for customers to promote our brand is just by talking about what we did for them. To encourage that, we set up a generous referral program that includes a free month of service for clients that refer us new customers. We also reciprocate. Since we are B2B, we try to promote our customers on our social media channels. We have customers doing some really cool things so we love to spread the word. It’s a sincere promotion, we only work with clients that we really believe in their mission so we are excited to share what they’re up to.

Thanks to Abbey Dieteman, Dieteman Technology Consulting

Related Post: How to Benefit from Google+

 

Photo Credit: Chris Campbell

Photo Credit: Chris Campbell

Positive online reviews of your products or service

Customers can best promote your brand by providing positive online reviews of your products or service. Recent trends and studies indicate that user generated online reviews can have a greater impact on an organization’s performance than tweets, likes, and fans or follower counts. A New York Times and Latitude study, for example, revealed that online reviews inspire twice as much consumer/client trust than Facebook “likes”.

Also, positive customer reviews on sites like Yelp, Google+ Local, Angie’s List, etc. have been proven to influence 79 percent of consumers’ decisions.

Thanks to Chris Campbell, Review Trackers

 

 

Photo Credit: Ryan Surber

Photo Credit: Ryan Surber

With advocacy and credibility

In today’s age, it’s hard for a new brand to earn trust with consumers. Our company names are fabricated and often mispronounced. As unique as our produce or service is in our industry segment, consumers lump us with others attempting to do what we do, differently. MyCharityLife is a web-based philanthropic movement that is entirely unique in our industry, yet we are regularly lumped in with other internet-based charity sites. Our customers best promote us with advocacy and credibility. This most often happens through their tweets and their likes.

Thanks to Ryan Surber, MyCharityLife

 

Photo Credit: Sara Bodinar

Photo Credit: Sara Bodinar

Word of mouth, online and off

The best way for customers to promote your brand is by word of mouth (online or off) and for this you need to give them something to talk about. I find that a giveaway, an exceptionally good discount offer or a unique product oozing with wow-factor are usually the methods. The sharing of good deals and good ideas is key to increasing your brand’s awareness

Thanks to Sara Bodinar, Monty Manatee Weddings

Related Post: Driving Sales with Email Marketing

 

Photo Credit: Ben Cober

Photo Credit: Ben Cober

Offer a product that is repeatedly unique

Word-of-mouth is truly the most powerful marketing tool – beyond news, advertisements, and all marketing materials, people trust their friends and loved ones’ opinions more than anything. Direct face-to-face promotion is the strongest (because of all the visual, physical, and auditory signals that come along with someone explaining something). Social media is a great follow-up – Facebook and Twitter posts about the product/brand. And a customer’s repeat business is always a great promotion of your brand. Oftentimes in business we mention that one of the best questions to ask in a survey is “would you recommend our brand/product to friends or loved ones?” Of course, you’re only going to get that positive brand advocacy if you offer a product/experience that is repeatedly unique, enjoyable, and high quality. On top of that, you want the message of your company to be clear, obvious, and simple, so that consumers are promoting your brand in the way you want it positioned (with a little addition of their own personal connection to it).

Thanks to Ben Cober, PGAV Destinations

 

Photo Credit: Ashley Hannawacker

Photo Credit: Ashley Hannawacker

By being passionate about the brand

By not taking the brand too seriously and being passionate about what it represents. Live the brand. We are a lifestyle company by design and customers that understand, live and breath the paddle boarding lifestyle are the ones who best promote our brand. They do it because they want to and because it feels natural -not because they feel obligated. It is not so much about selling a product, but more about inspiring others into a lifestyle. We have a program called Tower SUP Crews that does exactly this. They are paddle board enthusiasts that go out and rep our brand simply by living it, inspiring others in the process.

Thanks to Ashley Hannawacker, Tower Paddle Boards

Related Post: Tips on Building Your Brand Experience Online

Photo Credit: Ian Rogers

Photo Credit: Ian Rogers

Giving a good review online

Business owners with local establishments or geographical presences should definitely encourage their happy customers to post reviews of their experiences online. Not only do others read these reviews, but it can definitely help the online presence and visibility of the local business. One of the factors of ranking a local business on the first page of Google is the quantity of reviews on both the Google+ Local page and other listings of the business, such as Yelp, Citysearch, etc. Google considers reviews a good factor for ranking as it is a signal of business popularity. So, when we have good experiences with our customers, we ask them to simply leave a review on one of our local listings, which in turn, helps us bring in more and more new customers through search. It’s simple for them, and a big win for us.

Thanks to Ian Rogers, Mvestor Media

 

Photo Credit: Valerie Alexander

Photo Credit: Valerie Alexander

By posting self-images

Right after my book came out, one of my readers posted a picture of himself on Facebook holding his copy with the caption “Buy This Book!” Four of his friends commented that they would be buying it, which was amazing. It occurred to me that this is the best possible form of advertising, so I started a Reader Gallery on my website and have encouraged all of my readers to join in, by posting their own selfies on social media sites and sending me the link. It has become really fun, for me and for them, and I have been able to re-purpose the pictures into all kinds of displays. The best part is that photos get the highest reach and engagement in social media, and now the book is being put in front of a whole new audience, with a direct endorsement from someone they know.

Thanks to Valerie Alexander, Speak Happiness

 

Photo Credit: Neven Gibbs

Photo Credit: Neven Gibbs

Connecting with other businesses

Between social media, Internet promotion, public appearances and anything else we can come up with. Musicians, often with limited funds rely on word of mouth to build a fan base. Expanding this base is an absolute necessity for success. Many times we also connect with music stores to gain more exposure. Often limited by genre, still we manage to get crossover references and connections through studios and technical support people. Business owners can take a lesson from these artistic creators and emotional interpreters on how to reach out and touch the souls of the listeners to grow a fan base as a means of gaining loyal customers.

Thanks to Neven Gibbs

 

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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