How To Turn Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
In the age of social media the best way to market yourself is to get your customers to do it for you! Learn how to turn them into brand ambassadors.
These days the customer journey has become about more than just the sale. With the advent of social media and a continuously evolving service economy, consumers increasingly want to feel involved in the process of buying a product. This makes it essential to have a professional, engaging and responsive business that will entice consumers.
If you get it right, customers will support you with brand loyalty and will feel inclined to share their great experiences with others. In a world where 60% of people say they choose where to buy based on the recommendations of friends and family this is clearly a key part of building business. Exceed the expectations of your current clients and in return you will be rewarded with your own personal promoters.
What can a brand ambassador do for you?
Brand ambassadors can vastly improve how your image is perceived. Deloitte found that only 1 in 10 consumers believe product manufacturers to be their most trusted source, meaning businesses must utilize other sources to create brand trust and awareness. One glowing review from a satisfied customer can do wonders for promoting your business.
Social media has undoubtedly changed the game with unlimited possibility for customer engagement and audience reach. User-generated content can help create brand awareness and recognition, especially with the rise of micro-influencers. They are easy to target and reach, as they are your normal customer base who end up feeling so positive about your product that they want to share their experiences. The more people you can get to share and review your products or your service, the more you can build a reputation around your company.
Creating shareable content
Of course, in order to get people talking about your brand you not only have to provide customers with great products, but also give them something to talk about. Creating shareable content will bring your brand into the forefront of people’s discussions as well as making sure people are more likely to pass the information along.
One rule to remember when creating content is to focus on your target market. For example, makeup brand Urban Decay developed a marketing scheme which encouraged users on Pinterest to post pictures of themselves having recreated their favorite festival looks using their makeup. This is targeted perfectly towards their market, as makeup lovers generally like posting pictures of their looks anyway and people often go to Pinterest to find inspiration. This also creates a mass of promotional user-generated content in the process.
Videos are another great way to boost engagement. In fact, Vidyard found that marketers who use video grow 49% faster than their competition. Try creating a video that is engaging to your audience – unless necessary try and ensure it isn’t over 60 seconds long, as viewers’ attention span probably won’t last much longer than this. Like all other content about your brand make sure you show off your product in a way that suits your audience. It can be great for ecommerce sites to include videos on product pages, but for sharable content on social media try appealing to your customers emotional side. Providing a backstory to the product can mean the customer makes an emotional connection to it.
A great example of this is Kenco Coffee’s advertising campaign through which they explained how they are helping young people in Latin America stay out of gangs by training them as coffee makers. Concurrently with their advert, they also featured a song and dedicated website creating even more possibility for engagement. Not only does this help create a connection to the brand, but also helps set the brand apart.
Under the right management, Twitter can also be heavily utilized to create brand personality. There are multiple stories of companies going viral due to their witty and engaging responses that sometimes step away from the advertising norm. One great example of this is when, amidst a slew of negative press about train times, UK train company Southern Rail employed 15 year old work experience student Eddie to run their Twitter. People enjoyed the responses so much that they ended up getting a lot of customer engagement and great press instead.
In today’s service driven economy, creating a smooth running customer service will help you stand out from other companies. Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to air their complaints. Lithium compiled a study that revealed 60% of people who tweeted out a complaint and didn’t get a response within an hour would take actions to express their dissatisfaction. Whilst it may sometimes seem like an uphill struggle to respond to everything, it is definitely a worthwhile way to build up customer trust.
In fact it is also a great way to increase your reputation as according to ibm 71% of consumers change their perception of a brand after seeing a positive response to a review online. Engaging with consumers, whether they have left a good or bad review, will automatically make people connect your brand with great customer service ultimately leading to a higher level of trust.
Competitions are also a great way to engage customers and get people talking about your brand. Invesprco’s analysis shows that 33% of consumers have acted on a promotion on a brand’s social media page. Much like creating shareable content it can act as an easy way to spread brand awareness and get customers involved in the brand story. Try coming up with a creative competition that requires hashtags and sharing media for maximum reach and impact. You can even consider running a competition that involves signing up to the company’s newsletter.
Consider creating a loyalty scheme for your company – this can be anything from simply having a points per pound spent, to getting a free product every ten items bought. Having a loyalty scheme will be enticing to customers as they know they can get more out of buying with you. It’s also a great way to ensure brand loyalty as customers will feel like they are already working their way to achieving a reward. For instance, even if your product is slightly more expensive than a competitor’s, a customer might factor in gaining loyalty points which they can later use to get other products. Brands like Sephora or Sainsbury’s, with their famous points systems, use these ideas to both create brand loyalty, as well as collecting information that can target the appropriate offers to customers at a later date.
Another good idea is to reward customers who are already loyal to your brand. This builds on pre-existing relationships and reminds your customers why they love your company. Hinting at exclusive offers for members is also a great way to get people to sign up to mailing lists. This can be achieved by offering special promotions through newsletters or social media streams. Whilst many companies offer a free gift on consumers birthdays, try and surprise customers by offering out something when they least expect it.
Using these tips it is easy for businesses to grow their client base and build a hype around their products. The more customers who are using the products, engaging with the brand online and taking advantage of the perks that come with it, the more likely they are to share positive information about it, not just online, but to their friends and peers as well.