Marketing is always essential for a company or startup to help grow and get results. Marketing doesn’t even necessarily mean paid activity, it could be organic growth as well.
However, a lot of these activities are often done without customers being directly involved. Rather you are doing activities in order to reach and gain new customers.
But this is slowly changing.
Companies at present are now adopting customer-centric models into their marketing mix. This means more marketing activities are based on the inputs from customers.
Some of the best strategies involve creating advocates from your customers and leveraging that as your go to market strategy.
Buying has always been an ‘emotional decision’ so who best to tell someone to buy your own product than your own customers themselves.
Here are 5 ways you can turn your customers into your own marketers and advocates to drive your business to new heights.
1. Encourage Customers To Give Testimonials
Testimonials are a great way for you to showcase your customers and give a voice to your business. The best validation of your product is when your customers are willing to give a testimonial for it.
It also gives a chance for your customer to get their own brand out and to showcase themselves for their company(although Josh Fletcher definitely doesn’t need that!).
2. Dedicate Pages Or Case Studies For Your Customers
Featuring your customers in case studies or having their own story on your page is a great way not only to show your loyalty to a customer but also for them to share the win for their own brand.
Not only is this a win-win for both parties but provides both sides with some free PR.
No one can say no to good old free PR!
This is especially strong when both parties share the stories across their social media profiles and help boost each other’s profiles.
As a note, it’s always essential to get full authority from the company your customer is working under as well before posting case studies!
3. Loyalty Program — Empower Your Evangelists
Loyalty programs are underrated, especially in the B2B space.
From all industries across the board, almost all face some kind of disruption with the new entrance of startups and other businesses.
Retaining market share has never been so important and even more, companies convincing their customers to evangelize their product when there are so many in the market already.
As such, introducing a loyalty program is a great way to not only show that you care for your key customers but also allow customers to feel a part of the company.
A 2016 study found that customers who are members of loyalty programs, such as frequent flier clubs, generate between 12 and 18 percent more revenue than non-members.
Newer startups are attempting to keep their early adopters by introducing early perks and benefits whilst bigger enterprises can offer major discounts for products or other benefits.
By driving good loyalty programs, it naturally becomes a buzz. I talk about good ones all the time to my friends which brings us to the next important point and what all these strategies build on, Word of Mouth.
4. Create Brand Advocates And Drive Word of Mouth
Brand advocates are vital to any business, especially startups. This is due to the word of mouth they can generate for business which is often something that is organic and not bought.
Positive WoM is one of the best forms of marketing you can receive. When satisfied customers tell other people how much they like a business, product, service, brand, or event, they put their reputations on the line every time they talk about it.
This is why it’s important to understand who your company advocates are and actively engage them and show that you value them. This is especially important if you’re a startup because this becomes your base of ‘super users’
Adaptive marketers should leverage social networks to gain access to consumers to generate awareness and build credibility with their brand.
Here is a list of strategies you can do to create brand advocates:
- Engage on Social Media
- Special invite only groups on Slack, Facebook, etc.
- Special invite only events
- Launch Events
- Any other special recognition (forum badges, etc.)
5. Let the Results Speak For Themselves
If you’re nailing your support for your customers and they rave about it, rave about it yourself! Sites like G2Crowd usually demonstrate how good the product is as well as the support. To be even more official, having high NPS can also demonstrate how good your support is.
Companies like Nutanix (average of NPS of 90+) often use it as a case to demonstrate their value to their customers. More often, having good customer support can make or break if your product outperforms or not.
By having a solid product, good customer service and overall, a delightful experience, people naturally post good reviews and goodness of your product without you needing to do anything!
As marketing evolves, it is becoming more customer-centric. Companies are finding newer ways to bring in customers into the mix and to develop strategies around it.
If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out.
There should be no excuse in not strategizing how to create advocates for your business through your customers.