Any business would love to gain exposure for their brand. To do this without spending a ton of money seems almost far-fetched.
But the truth is, brands who use referral marketing can grow their business without breaking the bank.
How can a brand gain exposure from a referral program? Let’s cover some basic points before diving in.
Referral marketing is all about converting leads to customers, by using the power of your existing customer base. But many businesses wonder how to ask for referrals and get word of mouth going.
Referral marketing is a way for a business to kick word of mouth into gear, so it can take on a life of it’s own.
Typically, referral programs prime customers to share, by using some sort of incentive or added benefit to the customer.
So it’s a bit more than typical word of mouth. In fact, many referral marketing campaigns use referral software to help with reward distribution, sharing, and keeping track of the whole referral process.
Referral programs work because of trust. People share the brands they love and trust with their friends and family. It’s important to remember that people don’t share brands with their close ones unless they have a good reason to do so.
This sharing of information is called word of mouth. By providing great service, word of mouth tends to happen automatically.
When a referral program is added on top of the already occurring word of mouth, exposure becomes amplified.
Let’s dive into how referral marketing can amplify a business.
If you plan on using referral marketing to grow your business there are a few logical steps that need to be taken in order to guarantee success.
The most important thing you can do when running a referral program is provide good customer service.
The service someone receives correlates to their openness for word of mouth to occur.
So, it’s imperative to give customers something good to talk about. If you are providing a good experience, for everyone, customers will be more open to sharing you with friends. This is where referral marketing comes into play.
You may have some occasional word of mouth leads being sent in. This probably means the majority of customers are happy with you.
This is a good sign you are ready for a referral program. A referral program can kick the good exposure you are already getting up a notch.
Fortunately, for businesses, there are plenty of great referral marketing platforms out there to help ease the referral process.
Starting a referral program doesn’t have to be time consuming, difficult, or expensive. In fact, most programs can be up and running in a few days or even a few hours (depending on the complexity) with a good referral platform.
As soon as the referral program is running, people are motivated to share your business. Motivation comes from any incentives that might be given to referrers.
Motivation can also come from businesses simply asking for referrals, or promoting their referral program - which primes referrals to occur.
Referral marketing programs are stimulating for everyone involved. And, often provide many more shares than the typical, unprovoked word of mouth.
This happens for a few reasons, one being an incentive to refer, and two it acts as social currency making the sharer seem ‘in the know’.
The last big reason is that sharing is simplified. With most referral marketing programs, sharing is made easy. Typically, the referral marketing platform allows customers to quickly share via social media, email, text, etc.
To top it off, the referral message is often provided by the business to customers, so sharing is a simple click of a button. Because the process is easy to use, it powers sharing occur.
There is a slight virality about referral programs, referrers almost act as brand advocates. Think of it like this, multiple people will be talking about your brand online, through email, and in person.
Therefore, exposure is bound to happen. Often times customers will refer more than one person.
They may even share their referral link and information about your business to all their friends on social media. Then their referrals become customers and join the program to refer their friends.
If your business is well liked, the referring cycle can go on and on. Even if not all referrals convert to customers, those people are now aware of your brand.
Having a referral program is like having an army of advertisers. The best part is, many referrals tend to fit your business’s ideal customer (most commonly people share with their friends who they know need/want what you have).
It’s been found that referrals make the best customers as well as the people referring them.
Not only do they shop with you more often, but they remain customers longer.
To have customers rooting for your success comes with some added bonuses. One including a lifeline of referrals.