Increasing the company’s success is not an easy task. You need to strike the right balance between investing in tools to help you grow and time to ensure continued success. It is very easy to get lost in personal networking or on social media without even remotely contributing to company growth. You can just as easily invest an incredible amount in paid advertising such as Pay Per Click without your investment paying off.
While growth is generally difficult, UK companies have seen some growth since 2000 – although we should consider the first decline in the corporate population since 2000. Whether or not you are frustrated with your business growth efforts, you may be missing out on some of the more obvious opportunities to drive significant and accelerated growth. Does your company proactively contact existing or former customers? Existing customers could be your gateway to remarkable business growth. Instead of focusing on just closing sales, smart entrepreneurs work to establish existing customers as brand advocates and advocates who love to share their thoughts and feelings about the products and services.
Embedding a robust customer advocacy strategy into your content marketing strategy will not only fit in well with your digital marketing efforts, but it will also potentiate the performance of MarTech. This creates a comprehensive and effective system with which you accelerate the customer journey and the sales cycle, but at the same time keep customers motivated and interested. You can save time and money by focusing on those individuals who are already interacting with your brand. Let’s take a look at four ways you can tap into the power of your customer base and grow your business.
Many companies do almost all of their marketing online – and miss a great opportunity that should be part of all successful customer marketing programs: Presenting yourself side by side with a loyal customer at trade fairs, exhibitions or conferences is a growing trend that you can really do with Build a story and excitement around your brand.
Presenting with a satisfied customer is a great way of showing how you helped them overcome a challenge or run a successful campaign. At the same time, you imply that your brand promotes customer relationships. Because one thing is clear: if your services (or the relationship itself) were bad, the customer would not be there with you!
Public lectures are another method to increase your brand awareness directly towards your customer as a speaking partner, but also towards others. Additionally, envoys are much more likely to attend a workshop or presentation if they can learn about the customer journey directly from a CUSTOMER, not just the brand. Soit is a promising way to get leads and potential customers.
When I was Head of Global PR, Social Media, and Communications, I shared a presentation with the spokesperson for a client everyone knows: Paddington Bear. And I dare say that my audience would never have been so full if I was the only one who talked about social media trends. In fact, the Q&A that followed was almost entirely focused on how the Paddington Bear brand accelerated engagement, the size of the digital community, and click-through rates on social media. The question-and-answer area alone was the most valuable part of the presentation for my company – the client explained the key role we played in their social media development, and we gained leads in passing, so to speak.
When you bring your customers to live events, you show the broader audience how engaging and strong your customer relationships are. This, in turn, helps you build your reputation and credibility as a third party – your customer – confirms the claims you make about your business.
What do you do when you find out about a new company, product or service? You are looking for neutral reviews. Finding out what other people think of a product or service and what the experience with a brand are like is crucial for the buying process – regardless of whether it is good or bad. Lots of companies kindly get some impromptu customer reviews, but there isn’t a steady stream. While you certainly can’t force customers to leave a review, you can ask and hope for results.
Depending on the customer relationship, you can ask in person, by e-mail, via Skype or the like and even as an additional line in your invoices. The possibilities are diverse – and what is the old saying? “If you don’t ask, you won’t get anything.”
There is a useful English language page that lists seven rules for getting more customer reviews. While the rules are for the niche dentistry industry, they can be applied to just about any company in any industry. By the way, reviews can also advance your company in search engines.
Google ratings appear on the Google Knowledge graphic, which appears to the right of search results, and which publicly shows exactly how popular (or unpopular) your business is with customers. The more reviews you have, the more believable it becomes.
There are hardly any methods that are more tried and tested than the classic reference, the trustworthy user report. Long before there was online marketing, companies had already published testimonials from their customers in the company. References are quick, to the point, and highly effective; they can be one-sentence or in-depth.
You can set up a simple but effective reference page on your website or generously publish the customer testimonials in your online channels, include them in product and service descriptions and so on. User reports and mentions of companies you work with are also an expanded form of the standard reference.
References are also good content for blog posts and articles and give you the opportunity to shed light on the comments in detail and to illustrate the positive aspects of your customer relationships. As the CodeAcademy shows with its ‘ Stories ‘, customer voices can also be presented in video form. Bluebeam, on the other hand, offers a mixture of video, written, and individual customer stories in their ‘in action’ area, which also stands out as something special.
If you approach your references creatively, you can attract new customers and turn existing customers into proud brand ambassadors.
A few years ago webinars fell out of favor, but are now rightly seen again as an important tool for marketing and sales – especially for the many companies that want to keep their existing customers involved and generate more leads. The value of webinars continues to grow, and with the right planning and promotion, they can add a huge amount to ROI. In order to get the desired ROI from webinars, comprehensive analysis and effective follow-up with targeted focus is essential.
Webinars continue to be a powerful channel for co-speaking with your customers. Bringing a customer or two onboard for a webinar can strengthen customer relationships while also generating a lot of content that you can reuse and reschedule. You get another opportunity to show exactly how you are helping your customers and what benefits your product or service has had for them. The period after the webinar is almost as important as the webinar itself, as you have to give yourself and your co-speaker customers the opportunity to provide quick and insightful answers through ready-to-use follow-up work.
When promoting your webinar, don’t forget to ask your co-speaker customer to also share the information via social media, email, and by post in order to maximize your reach. Webinars also allow you to link your best references as they can easily be added to the deck when relevant. For a successful webinar, you need a really thought-out plan.