Implementing a referral marketing strategy is easier than you think: Here are 7 actions to create word of mouth and entice your customers to recommend your brand.

As I was telling you in last article, the Referral Marketing is one of the most valuable methods of increasing leads, conversions, and sales: through word of mouth, people come to you or buy your products because they trust the suggestion of a friend, family member, or perhaps that influencer they follow on social and whose advice they listen to all the time.

After all, as already explained, this is a natural mechanism: you also feel like sharing your experience, letting people know what products you buy and what brands you choose. 

Am I right?

Okay, so now you just have to do one thing: figure out concretely how to put it into practice.

It involves implementing a real strategy, with a series of actions designed to engage your customers as standard-bearers for your business, suggesting to others your offer as a solution to their problems or needs.

Don't worry, this is nothing particularly complicated. I am going to show you 7 actions you can take right away, to create word of mouth to benefit your business.

Here they are!

#1 Offer impeccable customer service

Happy and satisfied customers share more. And how do they make themselves so? With exceptional customer service. This is the first thing you must do, as a basic prerequisite for any Referral Marketing campaign.

You know, many companies actually provide the bare minimum: you don't settle, always evaluate the buying experience you offer, looking at it from the customer's point of view and asking yourself, "If I were him, would I share it with my friends?"

Consider what your strengths are and improve your weaknesses, make sure that your customers can really count on you for continuous and effective assistance. They want you to listen to them and solve their problems-be quick and helpful in responding to questions, criticism, or feedback.

Also make sure that service providers are always responsive, authentic, and consistent when communicating with your audience.

#2 Provide a "wow" experience.

To create word of mouth, you have to give consumers something to talk about: a WOW product, service or experience. This literally means having that surplus that sends people into raptures and makes them say, "What a great experience, I have to tell everyone!" 

There are many ways to do Referral Marketing like this: for example, one of them is to package your product in a way that entices customers to create a fantastic video of unboxing and then share it on their profiles-something that has become a craze on social media today.

#3 Make sharing easy

Always make sure to make it as easy as possible for people to share your products and recommend your brand. How? With small but effective tricks, such as adding share links on social or on your website, or writing specific call-to-actions in your Facebook posts or in your Instagram stories.

More generally, design and user experience are key. Make your Referral Marketing program as easy to use as possible-it must be clear how it works and what benefits it brings to your customers.

Think about your mom, your grandfather, even the fifth grader: would they be able to figure out how to recommend you to their friends? Would it be quick and easy? If the answer is no, it means there is something to improve.

#4 Offer the right incentives.

Nowadays it is very difficult for you to get reviews, comments and sharing from users on social in a natural way.To stimulate them to promote your brand and create word of mouth, you have to give them something in return. After all, a referral marketing program is based precisely on the idea of rewarding your customers for spreading the word.

There are several incentives you can adopt. One of the most popular is discounts, which you offer both to the customer who made the purchase and to their friends through the use of a code. Or you can offer an exclusive giveaway to those who share and comment on the experience they had with your brand on their profile.

Finally, you can throw some loyalty program to retain your community and get them to talk about you and your company. A practical example? Create a contest to win tickets, a dream experience and push them to share everything with their friends.

create word of mouth

#5 Invest in influencers

Influencers can be a gold mine for triggering word of mouth around your brand-the key is to find the right ones whose following is as close as possible to your target audience.

And don't think you have to immediately reach out to the Chiara Ferragni on duty: there are plenty of influencers who have a small but responsive audience. It may be enough to contact a popular blogger or YouTuber, asking them for sponsored posts or reviews of your products.

Influencer marketing can be a useful middle ground between traditional advertising and in-person recommendation; this type allows you to get the word out about your offering and begin to build a steady customer base even if you are just starting out.

#6 Stimulate reviews.

As I told you before, people trust the opinion of other consumers more than the opinion of a salesperson.

In fact, if you think about it, before spending money on anything (whether it's dinner at a restaurant or buying a smartphone), we all like to read online reviews to evaluate the best options available-and reduce the risk of dissatisfaction. 

That's why you should encourage your customers to leave reviews after their purchases so that everyone can see them and decide to buy. The easier it is to leave feedback, the more likely they are to do so. You will thus increase engagement, credibility, trust and, as a result, your customer base.

#7 Promote your program.

If you have a Referral Marketing program, it is a must that you talk about it as much as possible: promote it on all your marketing channels, treating it a bit like a new product launch.

Include it on your website, use e-mail marketing and newsletters to give information about it to all your contacts, create a specific blog to which you link the offer, finally announce it on social media and make it viral.

Conclusion

Well, as you can see, you have plenty of alternatives available to you to concretize your Referral Marketing campaign and leverage it to increase your brand awareness.

The last piece of advice I want to give you is to pay attention to the numbers and monitor it through data analysis. Keep track of the success of the incentives used, check in how many have joined word of mouth and monitor conversions on e-commerce. If you involve bloggers and influencers, monitor the results both in terms of post exposure and visits, and in terms of conversions and sales made.

It also takes advantage of Google Analytics, to identify the presence of external links and sites that are already citing you (so you can contact them and work out a plan together to acquire more traffic).

Finally, I recommend: always aim to build strong relationships with your current clients, because only then will you really encourage them to do something for you. Always be transparent and credible in their eyes, show that you appreciate them and are grateful for their loyalty: trust will be the number one incentive to get them to recommend you to others. 

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash