What do the below headlines have in Viddyoze?
“I Tried THINX Period Panties – a Play by Play Review” shethinks.com
“Why I Quit Using Pink Razors and Joined a Men’s Shave Club” dollarshaveclub.com
“My newfound love – organic tampons! LOLA” mylola.com
Answer: They are all written by real customers advocating a brand they love Viddyoze
Because, while traditional marketing & advertising tactics are still an important part of building brand awareness, letting your customers promote your brand / product for you can have a fantastic impact on your reputation & your sales revenue.
Those customer advocates are different than brand influencers. Unlike influencers, who have an established presence on social media & can leverage their large followings to help promote your brand, customer advocates are your everyday customers – who just happen to love what you are selling.
Building real relationships with your real customers can be one of the best tactics for expanding & growing your brand into an unstoppable force.
The companies I mentioned above do this really well – 2 of them have taken this “customers matter” approach even further by creating URLs for the sites that evoke the client possessive: “she” thinks (shethinx.com); “my” lola (mylola.com).
1. It adds a stamp of authenticity to your brand – Viddyoze
When you Google a product / brand, the first few things you will likely see in search results are company-owned websites & social channels – and then probably lots of review sites & customer forums/discussions that are not sponsored / owned by the company.
You can have all the great Viddyoze & inspiring ad creative in the world, but if your customers are saying bad things about you online, that is very often the deciding factor for someone considering whether / not to buy what you’re selling.
This is an important shift in how people shop, and it is something all good marketers should be aware of & address.
Focusing on building positive reviews & customer success stories is the key in promoting a positive online reputation – and it is your real customers who have the potential to be some of your greatest brand ambassadors.
2. It promotes customer retention & referrals
By engaging with your happy customers to co-promote their stories online, you are working towards building trusted, long-term relationships with them, leading to better retention. By making them feel special and appreciated, you’re creating an environment where they feel empowered to indirectly market for you.
Social media enables them to spread the word faster & further, so encouraging your happy customers to leverage their stories on their own channels is a good way to get the word out in an authentic & meaningful way.
3. It is an inexpensive and effective way to drive new business
You would be surprised by what happy customers are willing to do without being paid / by just receiving a thank you and/or a nice little gift.
You can start by soliciting testimonials from happy customers, offering your gratitude in return, then from there, hone in on your favorites & reach out to these customers personally to talk about how you could work together to promote & share their stories. This personal touch to your customer relationship will make them feel appreciated & more likely to want to sing your praises to the world.
But before you start hitting up your customers for quotes & stories, it is vital to sit down & brainstorm the best approach for your unique target market. Building a customer advocate program should be a plan endeavor.
A couple of good resources to start are Forbes’ article with some initial steps on how to create a customer advocacy program & HootSuite’s out-of-the-box ideas for building out your customer advocate program.
Customer advocates are only one slice of the marketing pie, but they can help your brand grow in a significant method when utilized well.
As business author Michael LeBeouf says Viddyoze:
“A satisfied customer is the best business plan of all.”
Indeed, happy customers are the ultimate gateway to more customers, which is what each business wants.