AdviceIdeas

How Customers Can Help Promote Your Brand

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: Javier Perez-Karam
Photo Credit: Javier Perez-Karam

Videos help

1. Video is the best way to showcase your product or service. A well crafted story told through video is more powerful than any other way. It has been proven over and over again, that products and services that use video in their landing page, do up to 60% better than the same product or services without the video. So video is key for any kind of marketing campaign. 2. Video is the best training tool. In our experience at Green Carrot, video helps businesses scale their training. Instead of having a one to one person training, the business owner can make sure all new employees or contractors, learn from one same source, at any time, and with the possibility or going back and reviewing it. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that this videos needs to be engaging and not just informational because that will result in the new staff not really learning.

Thanks to Javier Perez-Karam, Green Carrot LLC

Related Post: Presenting Visual Stories

 

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Chabner Thompson
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Chabner Thompson

Word of mouth

My company, BFFL Co, relies on the word of mouth of our happy customers sharing our products with other patients and their physicians. Our mission is to improve patient experience through useful recovery tools for those undergoing mastectomy or other surgeries or simply being admitted for the delivery of a baby. Our customers interact on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. In addition they tell their local hospitals about our products and the hospitals then become our customers.

Thanks to Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, BFFL Co

 

Using social media

We are in a “social” world that embraces technology. This world is filled with “likes,” “shares,” “tweets”, “re-tweets,” and blogs. It seems like everyone is connected these days while participating in some form of social media whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and/or Instagram just to name a few. Therefore, in this day and age, the best way that customers can promote my brand is to make my brand apart of their daily online conversations. I’ve gotten the most reach for my business from customers engaging with and sharing content from my site through social media platforms. This has introduced my brand to people that my brand wasn’t able to reach organically or through paid marketing efforts. It also makes my brand more trustworthy as friends of friends tend to trust what their friends post and share. If it’s worth of sharing, than it’s trustworthy in the social media world! I like to reward customers for helping my brand in this way by executing monthly giveaways via social media. This generates brand awareness and ultimately translates into sales.. We “like” this.

Thanks to Crystal Dishman, PURSESTRINGSstore.com

Related Post: Who is Winning the Talent War in Social Media?

 

Photo Credit: Sara Margulis
Photo Credit: Sara Margulis

By telling their own story

Honeyfund is a wedding gift registry site where couples make their dream honeymoon happen. They promote our brand simply by inviting friends and family near and far to contribute to their honeymoon as a wedding gift. When they return from their trip, they tell their story through photos and thank you notes. And that’s when givers really connect with our brand: When they see the joy they’ve created by giving a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Thanks to Sara Margulis, Honeyfund.com

 

Photo Credit: Carolina Caro
Photo Credit: Carolina Caro

By making an impact on clients

We are now in an era where marketers are getting really creative with social media, blogs and videos to promote their brands. And although I promote myself in those different ways, the most effective way that customers promote my brand is still by a very traditional way – word of mouth. There is no price tag you can place on a glowing testimonial. Particularly for someone like me, a life coach. If one of my clients shares with someone how much their life has been positively impacted by working with me, that’s priceless!

Thanks to Carolina Caro

 

Photo Credit: Gayl Murphy
Photo Credit: Gayl Murphy

When you’ve made it easy for them

Customers will promote your business, product or service when you’ve made it easy for them and successfully solved their problem. If you make people feel good about their decision to buy from you, chances are they’ll promote you to anyone that will listen. You can get them to go viral on you by becoming experiential, and communicating well with them; detailing in advance how you work and how the process works. What the timelines are, and what the outcome would look like, feel like and sound like when the job is done, or the product ships. Also, taking your time with them, listening to their questions and answering them in a language they can understand. Some will sing your praises on social media, so have all your online ducks in a row, and create and offer referral benefits and/or coupons they can share, offer and promote.

Thanks to Gayl Murphy

 

Photo Credit: Kalyn Johnson Chandler
Photo Credit: Kalyn Johnson Chandler

Customer referrals

Good old fashioned word of mouth is the best way customers can help to promote my stationery company, Effie’s Paper. I’ve found that customer referrals to friends seems to make all the difference! I think it may have to do with the fact that I’m selling a tactile product online – so unless, a customer has had a chance to touch and feel our notecards for themselves it’s hard for them to know if our online descriptions are going to match the quality of the stationery they receive in the mail. Kind words and positive endorsements from customers to their friends and families have really helped my business to thrive. And now that social media plays such an integral role in all of our lives, we’ve started a SHARE THE LOVE, #EFFIESPAPER campaign with our customers to help spread the word about their love for Effie’s Paper virtually. Our #EFFIESPAPER campaign is discussed on all of our social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook, Tumblr, our blog and newsletter). In addition, when an order is shipped the customer receives a notification email with a paragraph about our SHARE THE LOVE, #EFFIESPAPER plus we put a promo card in every shipment that goes out or is purchased encouraging our customers to share the love. So far, so good!

Thanks to Kalyn Johnson Chandler, Effie’s Paper

 

Photo Credit: Juan Benavides
Photo Credit: Juan Benavides

Promote with social media

A great way to have customers promote your brand is through social media. At KeShot, we offer photobooth solutions with social media capabilities. How this works? Your company hosts an event and sets up a branded photo package with Keshot. Your guests will spend the night taking fun photos of themselves in the photo booths and uploading them to their email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. All of the photos will be branded with your logo and company name. In this sense, your customers are promoting your brand just by having a good time. It’s a win-win!

Thanks to Juan Benavides, Keshot

Related Post: How to Use Twitter Hashtags

 

Photo Credit: Richard Wilens
Photo Credit: Richard Wilens

Do your job really well

Clearly, the first thing is to do your job really well. Once your customer knows you are trustworthy they will sing your praises when prompted. Beyond that we preach building your brand skillfully using promotional products. You want to place your logo where it will be seen often and appreciated. It could be a nice pen used at a real estate closing, a high quality shirt given to customer who just placed a nice order, or a plush bag given out with jewelery. All of these items, decorated the right way, will create goodwill and help garner loyalty. This loyalty will result in your goal of turning customers into brand ambassadors. A software company uses a branded flash drive to deliver it’s product instead of simply having it downloaded. It’s a good investment because people keep and use these thoughtful gifts/promos. There has been exhaustive research done with results clearly showing people like to get free things and feel loyal toward companies/brands who give them out. Just remember to not go cheap on a promotional product. You are better off providing great service and not using promos than providing great service and giving out ill advised, cheapo stuff with your logo that falls apart. When that happens your brand suffers. When you brand suffers you spend too much time trying to fix it. Time is always at a premium, right?

Thanks to Richard Wilens, DoWilco Promotional Products

 

Photo Credit: Gordon Veniard
Photo Credit: Gordon Veniard

Tell them exactly what you want them to say

Make sure you know what you want them to say – and then tell them. Think of successful, long-term advertising campaigns. So many of them contain a piece of information (often as a slogan) which buyers then use to justify their purchases – even if humorously – to others. So, for example, if you offer guaranteed same-day service or a lifetime guarantee (and your competitors don’t) – make sure that’s the last thing you say to your new Customer. But, always make sure that what they are “told to say” is important to other potential Customers like them – and not just something you and your business is proud of!

Thanks to Gordon Veniard

 

Photo Credit: Roz K. Walker
Photo Credit: Roz K. Walker

Word of mouth

I have found that word of mouth marketing from my customers to be one of the best tools in promoting my business. But it starts with me. I must first do my part by delivering excellent service that meets my clients’ needs, giving my clients the results their expecting (or better) so they are excited to share their experience with others, and then by asking them to share their story with others. I specifically ask them to write a testimonial, giving them specific questions to help format their responses. I also encourage them to comment on and then share my blog posts that resonate with them. Any referrals given by clients are rewarded, so it’s a win-win for us both. By using these tactics, 95% of my business has been built on word of mouth alone.

Thanks to Roz K. Walker, Covert Social Media

 

Photo Credit: Teana McDonald
Photo Credit: Teana McDonald

Talk about what you did for them

The best way for my customers to promote my brand is to talk about what I did for their business. How I got them on the front page of a magazine or how I turned a Facebook question into a sale. That is what helps me get new customers in the door. For my industry the proof is in the pudding- social media may seem like it’s been around forever but there are millions of companies that still haven’t jumped onboard. The reason being is that they don’t know what they don’t know. My customers can show them what I did for their businesses and that’s the best promotion there is, a referral!

Thanks to Teana McDonald, The InStyle Diva

 

Photo Credit: Nicholas Holland
Photo Credit: Nicholas Holland

Using the product successfully

The best way that our customers can promote our brand is to use our product successfully. Populr.me enables anyone to create an elegant one page website in a quick and easy way. If they use Populr effectively, not only will we have a use case that we can share with others but they will want to share it as well. We all communicate most effectively through story. It is better for a customer to share with a friend how they used our product as opposed to merely relaying its features. The other great benefit to stories is that they can be retold. If our customers have a great experience with our product they will have a compelling narrative to tell. Our job at Populr is to ensure that we empower our customers to create great content that they will then promote to others.

Thanks to Nicholas Holland, Populr

 

Photo Credit: Manpreet Singh
Photo Credit: Manpreet Singh

Old school mixed with new school

Humans are naturally communal beings. We can all see that it wasn’t the best for Tom Hanks to be stranded on an island alone for four years.  Building and promoting a brand by word of mouth may seem slightly archaic, but it’s one of the best strategies simply because humans love to talk and share. With the influx of social media and web connection, old-school word of mouth promotion has morphed into a new online medium. I say embrace this fusion. Communication is the base of online technologies – encourage customers to share, like, and follow with personalized emails, contests, prizes, or other incentives.

Thanks to Manpreet Singh, Seva Call

Related Post: Think Like Zuck

 

Photo Credit: Nur Sharina Shariff
Photo Credit: Nur Sharina Shariff

Using SMS

We love it when our customers and users find a brand new and useful way to use one of our products. We actually offer an SMS marketing service that enables local business to build their mobile database in order to drive traffic to their businesses with SMS deals and offers. One of our most recent “creative way customer promoted our services and brand” was the the Dragon Grand Prix (sail boat race) that was hosted this year by the Segelclub Kühlungsborn e.V (Germany) used one of our SMS applications (that is actually is designed to support local business to grow their mobile database) for internal communication and coordination of all the stewards, runners, helpers, supporters and lifeguards in order to secure a smooth racing week. This is for one our product a very new and unique usage example and a very good promotion for our services and brand in a very targeted and local community in Germany and it opened our eyes to extend our services and products also to industries that are event management related.

Thanks to Nur Sharina Shariff, Mobile Sales Systems

 

Photo Credit:  Beth Guide
Photo Credit: Beth Guide

Using the viral aspect

Customers are one of the best ways of promoting a brand, or they can also be one of the greatest challenges. We have long utilized our customers as an ad-hoc sales force. Customer endorsement or recommendations usually mean there is already and imbedded sense of trust in the relationship. If they take to Facebook and Twitter endorsing your service, there is a viral aspect that gets your business out to more people as well as gives you credibility with Google because they too are aware this activity and often a site will rank better because of it. Your customer are you biggest supporters and your best brand builders. Of course it will take a while because your literally building your brand one happy customer at a time.

Thanks to Beth Guide, SEO411

 

Photo Credit: Tamika Fletcher
Photo Credit: Tamika Fletcher

Social media is important

At Natural Resources Salon, we’ve found that social media has had a major impact on our customer-driven promotion. Being that we’re in the beauty industry, it’s common practice for satisfied clients to leave the salon, take a picture of their hair and share it with their friends. Customers can and do promote our brand by sharing their salon experience with their friends and family online, and word of mouth referrals have contributed to much of our company growth as well. Social media has helped us connect with customers all over the world! This exposure has led to media opportunities, speaking engagements and national magazine coverage!

Thanks to Tamika Fletcher, Natural Resources Salon

Related Post: How Social Media is Destroying Productivity

 

Photo Credit: Dr. Paula Chrishon
Photo Credit: Dr. Paula Chrishon

Referrals all the way

When a customer is satisfied with a product or service, all he or she wants to do is talk about the experience (such is the same when they are unsatisfied). Such has been the case with me, Dr. Paula Chrishon of Tendrils and Curls. In under a year, my unique boutique has grown from serving curly-haired men, women and children in the Houston area alone, to filling and shipping orders as far and wide as England and Japan. The source of our success? Customer engagement online, namely on Instagram and Facebook (but also on Twitter). Quickly, the boutique has grown to host a followership nearing 8,000, with customers sharing photos of: the shop, their favorite products, their hair success stories, and even with myself. The engagement has continued to benefit my store as we recently extended ourselves by opening a virtual storefront (e-Commerce website). Excitedly, we are continuing to grow, engage and enjoy the new take on word-of-mouth referrals, in a digital way.

Thanks to Dr. Paula Chrishon, Tendrils and Curls

 

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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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