With messages coming at consumers from every direction, social media, emails, television, radio, newspapers, and more, it’s getting harder and harder to be heard above the fray. While push messaging, your attempt at pushing your products at people has completely lost its relevance, you still can do the opposite and pull people into your brand naturally. When they’re excited about what you’re doing, they’ll talk about you positively...and even do your marketing for you.
Here’s how to get people to rave about your business, which will, in turn, help you grow it.
1. Set Up a Win-Win Referral Program
I’m going out on a limb here: I’m guessing you have customers who are happy with the products or services that you deliver. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be in business, right?
By leveraging those happy customers, you can attract even more of them by setting up a referral program. This is your opportunity to let your customers sell your brand for you; in fact, 74 percent of consumers say word-of-mouth (a fancy way of saying a friend told them about a brand) heavily influences their purchases.
So you get more customers, but what do your existing customers get? Typically a referral program offers incentives for sending you more business. So they might save 20 percent off a purchase for every customer they refer, or accumulate points they can use to redeem for purchases. Everybody’s happy with a good referral program.
2. Use Press Releases Effectively
Here’s a caveat about press releases: not everyone uses them well, and therefore, they don’t always generate good results. If you’re spitting out releases every week that aren’t really newsworthy, you’re missing the point.
Save your press release strategy for when you have something really newsworthy, like the launch of a new product or a special event. Then, after you’ve published it through a news distribution service, promote the heck out of it. This increases the likelihood that your followers and fans on social media will see it and share it with their networks.
3. Encourage Online Reviews
Some brands run screaming from online review sites like Yelp, but in fact, they’re excellent marketing tools if handled properly. Certainly, you run the risk of a few bad reviews, but in general, a few won’t hurt you. Especially if you’re proactive about responding to the reviews and rectifying whatever made the customers unhappy.
Before you wave your hands and say, “I don’t have time to manage my online reviews,” consider this fact: 97 percent of consumers read online reviews to help them make shopping decisions. The reviews of your business are happening whether you want them to or not, so your best bet for success is to carefully monitor them and respond to them. Encourage customers in your store to leave a review for you.
4. Make Your Branding Fun and Memorable
Everyone knows the GEICO lizard. Or McDonald’s golden arches. You may give little thought to your logo, but it’s an essential component of your marketing that warrants investment to ensure it’s one that people will know.
Even if you have no budget for design, find it. For a few hundred dollars, it’s easy to create a logo and work closely with a designer. This isn’t something you want to DIY (unless you’re a graphic designer), so prioritize the expense.
5. Invest in a Quality Infographic
Infographics came on the scene a few years ago, and they show no signs of slowing in popularity. The simple fact that they visually condense large amounts of data into a pretty package makes them highly sought-after for blogs.
But your own blog isn’t the only place you can publish a custom infographic; just like with guest blog posts, you can pitch the editors of other blogs and ask them to publish your infographic. They typically are willing to include a link back to your website, and you can build in information into the infographic about your company (“Infographic designed by MyCompany”).
There are DIY infographic tools available, but often if you don’t have an eye for design, these aren’t as compelling as professionally designed infographics. Test out hiring an experienced infographic designer and see what kind of return on engagement and clicks back to your site you can get with an outreach campaign. Promote the infographic heavily on social media to encourage others to share it as well, further expanding its reach.
Marketing doesn’t have to be about force-feeding your message down people’s throats. If you think about what your audience wants, you can not only deliver it but also get them to spread it far and wide on your behalf.
Just test out each tactic to measure results to ensure they’re working for you. You might, for example, find that your business benefits from publishing on one blog more from your infographic than the other five that published it. In that case, you can work on a relationship with that one blog so that you can amplify results again and again.