Guest Post: Using Content as the Foundation of Your Referral Strategy
New Customers are the lifeline of your business, a staple you cannot live without. Creating and nurturing your marketing strategy drives this, but your job becomes much easier if you use a smart referral strategy as well. Prospects listen when someone they know recommends you, far more than from a talking head or advertising campaign.
Referrals are a very strong way to attract new clients, and businesses don’t leverage this channel nearly enough. This is because they either have a problem starting up their referral strategy, or they just decide to skip it altogether. Fortunately, you will not need much in order to build up your referral strategy – only some very smartly used content.
Start with a good plan
Having a plan should always be the first step in any journey. Never blindly venture into any endeavor – this is particularly required when creating content for your referral strategy. So, make sure you take some time to sit down and carefully create a strategy that will ensure the best results.
The best way to do this is through SMART goals – focus on those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. First, your goal needs to be clear and well-defined, so that everyone can be on the same page. You will need to be able to track their progress and evaluate whether you were successful or not. However, you also need to make sure you can actually do this - so making your goals achievable is essential. You should also worry about how important they are to you, and how they will affect the overall success of your strategy. Finally, you will need a deadline by which you expect to achieve the goal.
Then, grab a project management tool like Nifty in order to keep your strategy flexible. A project management software that offers you the ability to track your progress and adjust your plan as your situation changes is essential. From there, start thinking about the best way of connecting to your clients and how to get them to refer you.
Conversions are not the end
You need to be able to adjust your planning as you go along as you get more data and feedback. Your initial conversion point shouldn’t be your end goal or the focus of your campaign. Instead, if you want to build up your referral strategy, it should be only one rung on a ladder. What many businesses do is stop all efforts once the client buys the product or requests their services; however, you should instead double down your support and efforts once a client goes live as these will be your biggest opportunity for reaching new clients through their referrals.
Thus, the post-conversion period is as significant and valuable to your marketing as the initial winning of the prospect. After the conversion point, you can check up on clients to see how satisfied they are with the product. Also, that is the perfect time to influence the way they will talk about you with their colleagues and friends - which helps build up your referral strategy.
The best way to achieve good referrals is through personalized content that you can deliver at just the right times in the post-conversion process. For example, after a client purchases your product, you can offer them discounts or coupons for the next purchase. This can lead to them coming back for more, as well as talking to their friends about your services.
It is up to you as the project manager to come up with the best method that works well with your product. The main objective should still be to engage the customer with the product or service and make them want to share it with friends, clients, and family leading to brand virality.
Producing personalized content for your business means contributing meaningful and educational content that your existing customers can benefit from. For example, if you are a moving company, you might also want to help your customers deal with the paperwork by sharing useful tutorials on your website.
If one's clients are mainly agencies then he should be producing valuable content about agencies that his user base will want to share with others. Many companies also publish useful information on how to best see value from their service or case studies with existing clients to highlight the best ways they can add value to you. This is a great strategy to keep your existing users engaged and know how to best your service but difficult to build brand virality with.
Reward your clients
Nowadays, almost all businesses have some sort of membership program – and it is quite easy to set them up.
The challenge is to get people to sign up for them. Most of the customers will not sign up without a reason and they generally want something in return. A key point to remember is brand loyalty and referrals go hand in hand, and to win their loyalty you will want to reward your clients in whichever ways you can. One of the easiest ways to do this is through rewards and recognition programs.
For example, a lot of businesses will offer discount coupons for the next purchases. Depending on the service you provide, you might exclude upgrades and updates – or even offer early access to sales and similar events. This will draw the clients in, but you will need to research your client base in order to come up with the offers that will be most suitable.
In conclusion, referral programs are a great way to get a huge boost in your clients’ number – and a great part about them is that they don’t require too much effort to build up. All you really need is to research your client base, come up with good rewards for your clients, and follow up on them after the conversion process.
Using content in creative ways can help accomplish this. Things like creating special offers for your clients and helping them solve problems they didn’t even know they have will go a long way. With a smart process in place, you will ensure that your business is growing at a steady pace, and create an enviable brand loyalty!
- Samuel Goldstein - Content Marketer @ Nifty