I have seen businesses and companies spend millions of dollars on advertising just to increase sales and sustain their brand awareness. Now what about the small business owner who doesn’t have millions of dollars in advertising budget? Is there a way for small entrepreneurs to still attract some customers in the face of stiff competition? Well, I will advice you read on to find the answers you seek.
It’s often said that keeping a customer is cheaper than looking for a new customer. I think this statement is true in all fairness. But what if you had an opportunity to keep a customer and still use that same customer to attract more customers for free? Wouldn’t you grab such opportunity with both hands? Well, that opportunity is what I am about to hand over to you today?
Most entrepreneurs don’t know that a business can be promoted for free and it is often said that free publicity is the best. This article is going to explain in detail how to promote your small business for free with word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing is such a powerful technique that if properly harnessed can lead to spontaneous business growth and increase in sales.
Now how do you promote your small business with word of mouth marketing?
1. Give your customers something to tell others about
The first step to promoting your business with word of mouth marketing is by generating something to be talked about. Call it a buzz and you won’t be wrong but it must be worth sharing with others. If your business offers nothing exciting or puzzling to be talked about; then you can never harness the power of word of mouth. What are things you can create to generate a buzz? What will your business offer that customers can talk about? Well, below are five things your business can do to get customers can talking.
a. Provide exceptional service
Going all out to deliver exceptional services can get your customers talking about your business to family and friends. Examples of companies that have generated word of mouth by providing exceptional services are Disney, Starbucks, GTBank and Virgin Atlantic airlines.
b. Offer quality products
If your business offers quality products, customers can confidently recommend your products to family and friends.
c. Create memorable words
People love words that inspire or promise them of a specific benefit. If you can give your customers this, they will tell it to their friends. You can also create a unique selling proposition that offers your customer a promise and be sure to deliver on such promise. Companies that have found success using USPs and memorable words are:
Nike- Just do it.
Adidas- Impossible is nothing
Wal-Mart Always low price
d. Organize a challenge or contest
A contest or challenge can get your customers talking especially when there’s a good prize or entertainment attached to it. The Virgin Group gained publicity and generated word of mouth by organizing balloon flying contest and weird public stunts.
e. Surprise your customers
Surprising your customers with gifts unexpectedly can catch them off guard and get them talking.
2. Encourage your customers to spread the word
After giving your customers something to talk about, you need to encourage them to spread the word. If your marketing buzz stays with a customer, it dies a naturally death but if it’s spread; it brings tremendous results. Encourage your customers to become crusaders for your business.
3. Provide your customers with the right marketing tools
This is actually where the work lies in the game of generating word of mouth. Any content you create to generate a buzz will never be successful if you don’t provide your customers with the right marketing tools to help spread the word. You need to provide them with fuel to keep the fire you ignited burning and spreading. Now what marketing tools can you provide your customers?
i. Branded materials
You can provide your customers with branded materials such as newsletters with valuable content; brochures, branded T-shirts, souvenirs, etc.
ii. Introduce a referral program with incentives
A loyalty or referral program with attracting incentives can also be used to get your customers promoting your business. Network marketing companies such as Amway and GNLD does this excellently.
As a final note, I want you to know that you can promote your business for next to nothing and compete with giant corporations with million dollar budgets; if only you are willing to be creative. Implement these marketing tips and I will see your business at the top.