The less you spend on marketing, the better. That’s why Word-Of-Mouth marketing is still so highly sought after. This is, by definition, the oldest marketing method. It’s been around for centuries. We love talking about what we’ve bought, what we love, what we hate … just sharing our opinion in general helps us form an identity. Now, the question is: how do you capitalize on this human tendency? As a business owner, you need to find a balance between encouraging customer feedback and straight up soliciting reviews.
Don’t think WOM has a place in your industry? Think again.
Some top word of mouth marketing stats suggest the following.
- Customers who were acquired through social influences have a 37% higher retention rate.
- 72% of consumers say reading a positive review increases their trust in a business.
- Brands that leverage social influencers to spread their message are seeing up to a 10X increase in conversion rate.
- 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people; more so than they do from brands.
Ready to rake in awesome customer reviews and churn up some word of mouth feedback? Learn these 7 tricks like the back of your hand, and put them into practice.
Offer an instant reward.
You’d be amazed at what people will do when an instant reward is on the table. Who wants to wait for their prize? Not me, that’s for sure. For example, if my hairdresser told me, right here right now, that I’d get $15 off my cut and color if I shared a selfie on Facebook and mentioned her in the photo, you better believe I’d do it. When comparing the 60 seconds it’ll take me to post that selfie to the $15 I’ll save, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Send out free product.
Give away free product in exchange for an honest review. Now, to prevent disappointment, be very clear about what you expect. If you absolutely need the review in exchange for free merchandise, make this apparent. Type up an instructional note, and place it in the package before mailing it out. Your note might look something like this.
Thanks for agreeing to review our product!
- Please review the product within one week of receiving.
- Please post the review on your personal Facebook page, and tag us using @milliesoaps and #soapsbymillie.
- Be 100% honest. If you hate it, include constructive feedback in your review. Not only will your review help us promote the product, it will also help us understand how we can do better.
Hop on Facebook, and ask for customer feedback. Post a product, and ask for fans to leave an honest review in the comments. This is probably the quickest way to drum up a bunch of buzz. In the middle of a customer crisis? Then wait it out. Doing this at the wrong time can encourage a ton of nasty feedback.
If you aren’t looking for product reviews, but want to gather a general opinion about your customer service or shopping experience, you can also ask questions along these lines.
“What can we do to make our shopping experience better? Comment below with suggestions.”
“We’re putting together our fall line! What would you like to see us carry?”
Run a contest.
Ask customers to share a photo on Facebook for a chance to win that product. Or, invite fans to tag people in an Instagram photo for a chance to win the pictured product. Above all else, focus on customer engagement. If you’re not regularly interacting with your social media fans, they won’t respond to this call to action. Be consistent, and focus on building a community. If you do this, everything else will fall into place. People will be lining up, eager to post a rave review.
Pay customers for how to tutorials.
If you have an amazing product, customers will want to rave about it. They’ll want to show others how to use it and why they love it. Find your most active customers, and then see which are most involved in the DIY community. This will take a bit more effort on the customer end, so don’t be afraid to spend a little for this project.
Post something like this on social media.
“Are you Youtube savvy, obsessed with our roses, and looking to make some extra shopping money? We want to see how you use our product! We’re currently looking to hire 25 members from our DIY community to film how to tutorials. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. We’ll reach out if it’s a good fit.”
Offer a promo code in exchange for a review.
You can email the promo, or text it out in the form of a mobile coupon. You can either operate on the honor system, meaning you send out the coupon first, and just encourage customers to share their feedback online or, you can walk customers through a funnel that only rewards them with a coupon when they’ve posted their review. Personally, the second option is the way I would go. People have good intentions, but if you leave the task open ended, it will get pushed to the wayside.
Create a referral program.
This might not technically happen overnight, but with a little work, a referral program can help you auto generate extra revenue and word of mouth reviews. Once put into place, this program will keep the review process somewhat automated. Before launching it, test it out at least a dozen times. The last thing you need is a faulty referral program. People expect to get paid for their referrals, and you want to iron out any kinks in your system so this can happen.
So, what are you waiting for? Get to pushing that product, people. Don’t lose sleep over high cost promotional methods. Instead, loop your happy customers in, and ask for their honest feedback. That’s the quickest way to grow your business on a budget. Why spend thousands of dollars on so-so marketing methods when you don’t have to? Be smart with your spend, and you’ll be rewarded.
This article was originally written by Kristen Vanstrom for the Heyo blog.