8 Ways to Turn Your Customers into Brand Ambassadors
Most consumers trust their friends, family, influencers and experts to make recommendations about products and services to them. There are many ways for people to make product and service recommendations – from online testimonials, to affiliate links, to direct mentions from the customer. These are all channels in which brand ambassadors can promote your business. Brand ambassadors are customers that love your brand and are willing to tell others about it.
To encourage your customers to become your brand ambassadors and provide referrals, you can take some steps in advance that set everything up to turn your best customers into your biggest assets.
Create a Brand Ambassador Program – By creating a brand ambassador program, you are able to offer a referral fee, discount or reward to customers that recommend others to purchase your products and services. You can also create an affiliate program, where you provide a percentage of the sale to those who place a link on their website to encourage others to purchase your products.
Develop an Online Community –By creating an online community, using either a message board, forum, or private Facebook group, you can help spread the word about your brand quickly to those who have need of your products and services.
Build Relationships – Focus on relationship building over the long term and you will create true raving fans that are eager to recommend your business. When you have a real relationship with someone, they’re that much more likely to tell others about you.
Offer an Incentive – Offer a coupon code for consumers “liking” or “following” your brand on social media, and encourage them to share. By offering sign-up incentives for e-newsletters and more, it always helps get the word out about your services.
Feature Your Testimonials – When someone gives you a raving testimonial, turn it into a social media post or feature it on your website. You may even ask for a video testimonial, and then put it into many formats and market it across all channels. Market your testimonials as you would other types of content.
Operate in Excellence – The better you do your job, the more your customers will want to recommend you to others. If you provide excellent products and services, your customers will be happy to provide referrals when asked to do so.
Ask for Referrals – Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for referrals and to promote your products and services to their friends and family. Provide your customers with some literature and information about your offerings so that they can easily share. Word-of-mouth referrals are over 50 percent more effective than other forms of marketing. Many business owners find after years of being in business that most of their customers come from word-of-mouth, which lessens the need to expend more time, money and effort on other forms of marketing.
Acknowledge – Always follow up with customers who have provided referrals to you by offering them a thank you note and acknowledgement. The more you follow up after a positive referral, the more likely they will to continue doing it.
If you want to develop a long-term business, the best way to ensure that it really is a long-term business is to encourage word-of-mouth marketing in every way that you can.
What are some ways you have created brand ambassadors for your own company? Let me know in the comments below.
Need help with your brand strategy, messaging or positioning? Check out my Brand Strategy Guide that will walk you through the steps to creating your brand.