You don’t need a huge budget to launch a successful marketing campaign. With a list of effective online marketing tactics and some time and effort, you can do what the big brands do but even if you’re on a shoestring budget. A great way to boost your conversions is to leverage customer recommendations.
Customer recommendations are just one among many types of social proof. But what exactly is social proof?
It’s a psychological phenomenon where people see others get results and naturally conclude that if they do the same action, they will achieve the same results. This is the psychology of marketing at work.
So whenever users read positive reviews, more people will be convinced to try out your product or service. On the other hand, people will be discouraged from trying it out if you have dominantly negative reviews.
Social proof also gives a business credibility. Compared to a business’s marketing claims, potential customers put more trust in their peers’ recommendations. With this strategy, you can let your customers do the marketing for you.
Give your customers a place on your page to leave feedback or reviews and encourage them to do so. This is a great way to spread the good word about your brand.
When someone praises you directly, ask them to share it with their friends and followers. Some sites like LinkedIn have a built-in feature for doing this.
What do you do when you’re thinking of buying a new product or trying out a new restaurant?
Most people would look at review sites when they’re searching for an objective third-party opinion on a product they’re considering buying.
Ask your customers or clients to leave you a review on sites like Yelp. If you sell products through Amazon, give them a nudge and get them to leave you feedback there too. Positive reviews go a long way towards increasing buzz about your brand online.
Get into the routine of asking your happy customers and clients for testimonials.
When someone contacts you with favorable feedback, ask them if they’ll write a testimonial that you can put on your website or use elsewhere in your marketing. You can also use an edited version of the feedback itself. If possible, get a website URL, photo, or email address from the customer so that people know that they’re real customers.
Video testimonials are the gold standard, so ask your customers if they are willing to film a short video talking about how they benefitted from your product or service.
Identify influencers and thought leaders in your niche and reach out to them to build a relationship.
An influencer is someone with a large and engaged audience who listens to what they have to say. When reaching out to influencers, don’t be self-serving. Do research about the person beforehand and make a connection over your common interests. Then let them know about your latest offer, your new podcast, or something of value that will be helpful to their audience, and ask them to share it with their followers. You’ll see a spike in new audience members or sales after they mention you.
Offer something free but valuable with no strings attached.
Give people a taste of your expertise with a free information product. This will compel people to tell others about you to say thanks and spread the word about the quality you offer. You can share this information product through your email list, your social media platforms, or on a landing page with an opt-in box.
A referral program is a system where a business rewards people for telling others about their products or services, offering a gift or discount to say thanks.
Putting a referral program in place will save you the time and effort of reaching out and seeking recommendations by automating the process. It also helps generate buzz about your brand through word-of-mouth marketing.
What’s better than retaining your repeat customers? It’s to make them your brand advocates, of course!
Part of your marketing goals should be to build an online community of these brand advocates. See your marketing efforts multiply as they share their positive experience with their networks and other members of your audience.
Customer recommendations are a great tactic to add to your marketing strategy. Especially if you’re just starting out, it lets potential customers know that your brand is reliable and is worth trying out. But keep in mind that you’ll need to work on other aspects of your business (such as operations and customer service) if you want to get more positive reviews.