Why Referral Marketing is Awesome [Infographic]

While content marketing and social media marketing are discussed and debated regularly, referral marketing is often neglected.

This is an infographic referralcandy.com put together to remedy that. Learn about what Referral Marketing is, how it works, why it’s so effective, and why we think you ought to seriously consider incorporating it into your own marketing efforts. Enjoy!

Why Referral Marketing is Awesome - Infographic
ReferralCandy – Refer-a-friend Programs for Ecommerce Stores

How to Turn Your Best Customers into Your Biggest Assets

assetsMost consumers trust their friends, family, influencers and experts to make recommendations about products and services to them. In addition, there are many ways to make recommendations – from online testimonials, to affiliate links, to direct mentions from the customer. They all work to some degree.

To encourage your customers to provide referrals, you can take some steps in advance that set everything up to turn your best customers into your biggest assets.

1. Be Excellent – The better you do your job, the more pride with which your customers can recommend you to others. If you provide excellent products and services, your customers will be happy to provide referrals when asked to do so.

2. Ask Customers to Refer You – Just ask your customers to please offer referrals to their friends and family who need your products or services. Give them some literature and information about your offerings so that they can easily share.

3. Create an Active Online Community – Using either a message board, forum, or private Facebook group, creating an online community can help spread the word of your good services and products fast to those who have need of them.

4. Build a Long-Term Relationship – Focus on relationship building over the long term and you will create true raving fans that are eager to recommend your business. When you have a real relationship with someone, they’re that much more likely to tell others about you.

5. Create a Formal Referral Program – Offer discounts to friends and family recommended by customers, along with a coupon to the one who gave the referral. With a formal referral program you should let every customer know about it as soon as they become full customers.

6. Use Social Media Strategically – Offer a coupon code for consumers “liking” or “following” your brand on social media, and encourage them to share. Offering sign-up incentives for newsletters and more always helps get the word out about your services.

7. Market Your Testimonials – When someone gives you a raving testimonial, turn it into a meme, ask for a recording, put it into many formats and then publish it and market it across all channels. Market your testimonials as you could other types of content.

8. Follow Up – Always follow up with customers who have provided referrals to you by offering them a discount, a thank you note, and acknowledgement. The more you follow up after a positive referral, the more likely they will to continue doing it.

Word-of-mouth referrals are over 50 percent more effective than other forms of marketing. If you want to develop a long-term business, the best way to ensure that it really is a long-term business is to encourage word-of-mouth marketing in every way that you can.

Many business owners find after years of being in business that most of their customers come from word-of-mouth, which lessens the need to expend more time, money and effort on other forms of marketing.

Overall Customer Experience Optimization

customer experience optimizationToday, brands have to go a lot further to please their customers than in the past. The experience of each and every customer is important to the point of brands having to consider the experience of one user over the masses. After all, you want each customer to come away with a relevant experience that they want to tell others about.

How a customer experiences your brand has a lot to do with various aspects of your offerings and at what level they entered your product funnel. You want each customer to feel that you thought of them throughout their entire journey regardless of where they entered, in a way that differentiates you from the competition.

How to Improve Your Brand’s Customer Experience

1. Know Your Customer – You hear it all the time, and you’re likely tired of it; but the fact is, if you don’t know who your customer is and what they stand for, you’ll have a hard time creating products, services, information or platforms that resonate with them.

2. Talk Their Language – If you want to be relevant to your customer then you need to speak their language. Spend time in communities with your customer to find out how they speak to each other so that you can comfortably talk to them the way they talk to each other.

3. Be True to Your Brand – Know your voice, and which images evoke the feelings that you want your customer to feel. If you remember to tell your story with the focus on the customer, you can both be true to your brand and your customer.

4. Deliver Enormous Value – In order to truly improve your customers’ experience, deliver the best value you can afford to deliver. Under promise and over deliver for every product or service you create for your audience, every single time. If your sales pages promise the moon, make sure to include the stars too.

5. Make It Timely – You want to be sure to deliver the right product at the right time. This happens with continuous research into what your audience wants, needs, and expects, as well as a good understanding of the technology available to you to make delivery better.

6. Provide Options – Most consumers today like having options. If you can provide your customer with different options including delivery methods, formats, and price points, you’ll have much happier customers.

7. Let Your Customers See You – Let your customers in on who you are, and what your voice is and what you stand for. If they can get to know you and feel as if they know you, you can build an entire community of fans waiting to buy your next product.

8. Ask for Feedback – Don’t skimp on getting feedback from current customers at every stage of the buying process. The more you ask, the more answers you’ll get, and the better your presentation and product can become.

Poor customer experience is a main factor in lack of repeat purchases among previous customers. Even if your product delivered what you said it would, if getting it was difficult, or navigating your website was hard, they’re not likely to want to do it again. It’s up to you to ensure that each customer’s experience is optimized from end to end in order to maximize potential earnings – because getting a new customer costs a lot more than keeping the ones you have.

Here’s Why You Need to Focus on Your Customers

Focus on Your CustomersThe answer may be obvious, but here’s the big question anyway. Who brings all the money into your business? No the answer is not your sales team, it’s your customers. As obvious as that is, so many businesses spend all their time focusing on prospects and give no attention to their current customers. The entire idea behind customer-centric marketing stems from the fact that only customers make money for your business, so, because of that, all marketing just like product development and content creating should place the focus on them instead of elsewhere. In order to learn to place the focus on the customer in marketing, it’s important to understand why.

8 Reasons Why You Should Focus on Your Customers

1. Customers Bring All the Money to the Table – It seems like an obvious statement but sometimes companies forget the fact that the only way to make money is to get customers to buy. Customer-centric marketing always remembers this fact.

2. Repeat Customers Bring Most of the Money to the Table – Customer-centric marketing understands that 80 percent of all purchases are made by the same customers and remarkets to these customers via email lists.

3. Customers Can Be Divided in Segments – By segmenting customers into different groups based on various criteria such as demographics and where they found out about your products or which product they entered your product funnel with, you can increase repeat sales.

4. Focuses on Individuals instead of Groups – The individual is important when it comes to customer-centric marketing. This is led by research into the customers that purchase and by creating personas that represent the customer.

5. Leads to Increased Customer Satisfaction – Customers are more satisfied after their purchases when they made a choice to buy based off customer-centric marketing messages. The messages aren’t hyped, so the customer feels as if they had enough information to make a sound choice.

6. Assists with Developing Long-Term Economic Viability – The importance of customer satisfaction shows in the marketing statements that a business makes to potential customers. They don’t seek to use any of a customer’s behavior to try to sway purchase decisions; instead they craft products that sway decisions.

7. Values the Customer and Respects Their Worth – A company that uses customer-centric marketing knows that the only way to make money is if a customer purchases their product or uses their services. All marketing reflects this fact.

8. Keeps Promises – Companies who participate in customer centric marketing don’t make promises to their customers that they cannot keep. In fact, they always under promise and over deliver. Customers know that when you tell them something, you stand by it.

Customer-centric companies seek to create communities that show how they value the customer, above all else. They have an open-door policy with their customers where the customers know for sure that they are important and come first. When customers feel appreciated they end up very loyal to the brand. It’s only when the brand fails to be customer centric that the customer moves on to the competition and loses brand loyalty.

If you need to build a customer-centric focus to your marketing efforts contact us and we can help you strategize, train and implement this into your processes.

The Ultimate Social Media Cheat Sheet [Infographic]

We found this Ultimate Social Media Cheat Sheet to help you quickly check the best formats for posting pictures and videos across the most popular social media platforms. Feel free to go through it and use it at your leisure. It’s always helpful to have a cheat cheet so you can get in and get the job done!

Social Media Cheat Sheet
Courtesy of: Prohibition PR

Which Social Media Sites Will Give Me the Biggest ROI?

Which-Social-Media-Sites-Will-Give-Me-the-Biggest-ROIGuest Post by Kathi Kruse

Social Media ROI may seem elusive but there are specific steps you can take to leverage the medium without going broke.

Marketing to generate leads for any business today requires a holistic approach that includes SEO, content (blog), Social Media and Social advertising. It’s difficult to know where to concentrate your resources but it bears close attention due to the investment it takes to succeed.

Now that Social Media marketing has gone mainstream…

Many business owners are left wondering which sites will give them the biggest ROI. The simple answer to that question is…whichever sites your customers are on.

However, true Social Media ROI is not that simple.

You must know your audience well to know where they spend their time. You must know your audience in order to engage them and convert them into customers.

Social Media sites are channels, just like radio or TV channels. Marketing campaigns are run on the channels where your ideal customers spend their time. Content is developed and published on those sites (just as it would be on traditional channels) and in return, people engage with your business.

But this is only a portion of your overall quest for Social Media ROI.

The only true way to establish and achieve Social Media ROI is with a solid marketing system.

A solid marketing plan will outline clear objectives, goals, a budget, a timeframe and trackable metrics. Your system’s goals could look something like these:

  • Increase Facebook likes by 1,000 in 30 days.
  • Improve Facebook page engagement by 20% within the next 6 months.
  • Generate traffic to our site and collect 500 new blog subscribers in the next 90 days.
  • Convert Facebook fans into customers by leveraging a budget of $500/month for social advertising.
  • Grow our Twitter following by 1,000 users in the next 90 days.
  • Develop and implement a solid content strategy that includes our employees’ participation in blog posts to increase visibility and reach with search engines.

I’ve always been a person who likes to think things through and create a plan with a system that brings me the best results for the time, money and effort I put into it. Many businesses simply hip-shoot their way onto Social Media, perhaps misunderstanding that since it’s free, they should participate. Here’s a little secret: Nothing is free.

People use Social Media sites to check in with friends, connect with their network, and share relevant opinions about the products and services they use. Your business needs to be there to listen, answer questions and nurture the sales process with those most likely to buy from you.

Below is a breakdown of the most popular Social Media sites. This is a bird’s eye view but it will give you a starting point from which to plan your quest for Social Media ROI:

social-media-roi-comparison

Which Social Media sites give you the biggest ROI?

  • If you’re new and only have budget for one site, start with Facebook. It’s the biggest and offers the most opportunity.
  • Facebook also offers established businesses many opportunities, especially with Facebook ads. The ability to target those most likely to buy from you makes Facebook an obvious choice when you’re looking for the biggest Social Media ROI.
  • Twitter is great if your target audience likes to consume information on the go in 140 characters. It’s also an outstanding way to prospect by leveraging Twitter’s advanced search and industry-related hashtags.
  • Instagram is ideal for showing another side of your brand – perhaps the fun-loving, not-so-serious side of your business. However, the images you share need to be hi-quality to stand out. I can’t tell you how many businesses share images that are just so sad.
  • Pinterest is great for reaching women. In the car business, 85% of vehicle purchases are influenced by women so develop a content strategy that speaks to them.
  • Google Plus is a great platform for engaging with niche groups of people. The Circles tool allows you to tailor content to specific groups. Google Plus is also ideal for sharing your blog posts and gaining authority with search.
  • LinkedIn is the ultimate platform for your salespeople to develop a referral network and prospect for new customers. With LinkedIn Premium, your salespeople can leverage advanced search to locate those they want to connect with. Example: many car manufacturers have financing programs through large companies. Your salespeople can search for employees within those companies to prospect with.

Social Media ROI is clearly where your focus should be. Start with a solid marketing plan, a proven system, and identify your ideal audience before you begin any online marketing.

Goals and objectives provide a starting point from which to measure. During the lifecycle of your campaigns, track and analyze your results. When it’s time, you tie your results back to your goals. That’s true Social Media ROI.

 

391ae6095d4f3071074185b826183f91Kathi Kruse, Founder CEO at Kruse Control Inc.

Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Speaker, Coach, Author and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people”, Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”. Her Kruse Control Blog is the leading Automotive Social Media blog in the US.

The Social Media Checklist for Business

If you find yourself stumped at the prospect of using social media marketing to promote your business, our simple guide can help. Follow these easy suggestions to create a consistent social media internet marketing presence on multiple channels.

Sensible Social Media Checklist for Business v.3.0 [INFOGRAPHIC]

 Infographic courtesy of  www.thewholebraingroup.com.

Are You Making This Rookie Social Media Mistake? – Strategix Video Tip

We’ve all been there before, you’re a rookie. You don’t know how the game is played, or how “things are done here” so you just go with what you know, right? Well, that only gets you so far and then all of a sudden you realize you just don’t know what to do next. It’s a common scenario in life and it’s a common scenario when it comes to marketing with social media. Take a look at this week’s Strategix Tip and see if you are making this rookie mistake?

[Tweet “Are you making this rookie mistake on social media?”]

Generating Traffic to your Website with Twitter

twitter bus

You probably already know that twitter is a great way to keep up to date on everything that’s going on in the world around you. Whether it’s finding out about the latest product releases or just knowing what your friends are up to, twitter is a quick, easy and popular way to keep an eye on the pulse of the modern world. But it’s also a great way to get traffic to your website. More and more people are expanding their numbers using Twitter and so can you – you just have to know how to do it.

Why Twitter is a great tool for getting traffic:

• It’s easy. Anyone who has access to a computer can use it. And we all know that the less work people have to do to use something, the more likely they’re going to be to use it.

• It’s accessible. People can use Twitter from their computer, phone, or any mobile device. That means they’re always checking it and always getting updates. It becomes a part of their life. And if they follow you, that makes you a part of their life too.

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If you’ve never used Twitter, it’s pretty simple. It takes about a minute to create an account, then you can type in short messages (less than 140 characters) and they’re sent to everyone who has chosen to be one of your “followers”. You can also follow people you’re interested in and get updated whenever they make a post.
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• It’s Popular. Millions of people are already using Twitter, and thousands of new users join each day. So you can transfer networks over from other sites, or your email list, and watch your followers grow from there.

The first step to increasing your traffic is to simply gain followers on. If you’re tweeting and no one is listening, it’s not really going to do you or your website any good.

The easiest way is to bring along your network from other sources, like your business contacts, email list, message boards, or even other social networks. If you don’t have anyone to add, or you want to expand, simply start following others in your field. Many will follow you in return, and if you use your tweets properly, the word will get out.

Once you have followers, there are many strategic ways to use your tweets wisely. Don’t just talk about anything:

Keeping up relationships. Whether it be clients, potential clients, or business contacts, Twitter can help you update your followers, and following them can help keep you updated. This makes them feel more connected with you and gives you a better relationship. You can even take it a step further and follow-up on their tweets through other communication lines. And remember, happy customers means repeat customers and referrals.

Product release. If you have a decent number of followers, Twitter is a great way to get the word out about a new product, website, or service offer. You can also use it to build excitement before a new release.

• Website changes. If something changes about your site, even something small like a new article, spread the word. This gets them to come back to your site, even if they’ve already been there.

Become a resource. If there are things going on that interest you and that might interest your followers, spread the word. They’ll be thankful that you shared valuable info with them and be more likely to pass on your name and pay attention to future tweets.

Twitter is a great way to get traffic to your website and is an integral part of any marketing plan.