Generating The Most Powerful Form of Advertising With The Least Expenditure

92% of people trust recommendations from those they know more than they trust any other form of marketing.

 

This is true even more so for online businesses, where the face-to-face element is missing.

 

In a Leadpages study, it was found that word of mouth advertising is by far the most effective way of securing new business:

 

 

 

It makes sense then, that the biggest chunk of your marketing budget should be on word of mouth.

 

But how?

 

This article explores 3 of the most potent methods of generating the world’s most powerful form of advertising, at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods.

 

Related: 3 Big Ideas to Attract Key Employees to the Insurance Industry

 

Delight your customers

When your business provides great service, your customers will be satisfied. As they should be.

 

But since they expect to be satisfied, there’s nothing wow about that…Nothing worth telling friends and family about.

 

On the other hand, statistics show that when your customers experience poor service, they’ll tell 9 – 15 people about it. In addition, 70% of buying decisions are based on emotion. Poor service certainly stirs up emotion…the kind you don’t want stirring up…

 

But when you put strategies in place that work to delight your customer’s experience, that’s when they’ll automatically begin giving you free word-of-mouth advertising.

 

So…delighting your customers not only results in free and the most powerful form of advertising, but also customer retention. Harvard Business Review reports that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases profits to between 25% and 95%!

 

Strategise user generated content

First up, UGC (user generated content) is any content that was not created by a brand or company, but rather, is created by their users.

 

A good example of user generated content strategy is the  “Share a Coke” campaign, getting millions of customers to add photos of themselves and their Cokes, onto social media:

 

A powerful example of UGC – a Coke customer uploads an image to Twitter, showing him and his girlfriend with a bunch of Cokes.

 

Business2Community reports that for millennial buyers, user generated content is 20% more influential than any other type of content, and 71% of people feel more comfortable making an online purchase after reading reviews by current customers.

 

What types of user generated content is there?

 

  1. Reviews are exceptionally powerful, as the majority of people now check reviews about a product or service before purchasing.
  2. Images that users upload to social media, together with a special hashtag.
  3. Videos uploaded to social media by users.
  4. Social media post comments.
  5. Blog post comments.

 

Try running your own version of the “Share a Coke” campaign. Find out how Coke planned it, and then see how you can make the same kind of strategy work in your business, with your products or services.

 

Related: 4 Ideas For Innovation in Old-School Industries

 

Put referral programs in place

It’s surprising how common this is: a customer makes a purchase, says thank you and goodbye, walks out the door and is never heard from again.

 

Don’t allow that!

 

Always try to maximise customer touch points and never ever allow a customer to purchase once from your business and then walk out the door without trying to get them to return at some stage, to buy again.

 

Referral and loyalty programs are ideal to foster indirect word of mouth advertising opportunities. Just make sure you offer great incentives, or it won’t work. Ideas to try:

 

  1. Referral contests. Offer prizes to those who send in the most referrals in a specific period of time.
  2. Free trials. With this option, referrers don’t get anything out of referring, except to give friends and family free trials from your business. It works because although they are not getting anything out of it, their friends and family are.
  3. Loyalty cards. Once customers have bought a certain amount of goods from the company, they get a free ______.
  4. Offer good discounts on customer’s next purchases when they refer someone who buys over a certain amount.
  5. Merchandise. Award merchandise as a thank you when customers refer a friend.

 

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