According to HubSpot, 75% of people don’t trust adverts, yet 90% believe in suggestions from friends and family while 70% rely on consumer reviews.
No wonder word of mouth and referral marketing is fast becoming the most preferred customer acquisition strategy for most marketers. Besides, you are more likely to cross-sell and up-sell to your loyal customers than acquire a new customer, and that too at significantly lower costs. But in this post, our focus is not on sales or conversion. We are going to talk about how you can increase Brand Awareness by leveraging existing customers.
Increasing brand awareness is crucial for any business, whether it is just starting or has been around for a while. When done right, brand awareness can help shoot up sales, acquire more customers, and create loyal advocates for your brand.
Brands are always looking for inventive and economical brand awareness strategies. One of the most effective and long-term ways is by leveraging customer loyalty. Raising brand awareness through loyal customers is a self-feeding loop situation. A lot of brand-building exercise leads to higher retention on one hand. On the other hand, a greater number of loyal customers results in better brand perception and visibility as these loyal customers become your brand advocates.
To succeed, brands need to build a strong perceived value for the product in the minds of customers. However, this is not always easy to achieve in a marketplace cluttered with almost similar products. Fortunately, there are several fairly straightforward steps you can take to increase brand awareness without breaking the bank. Without any further delay, let’s dive into how you can expand your brand’s visibility through your existing customers.
Existing Customers Are Your Flag Bearers
Bain & Company estimates that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost a company’s profitability by 75%. Marketing strategies that foster favorable word of mouth ensure customers keep coming back. And refer other customers. Who in turn keep referring more customers. Not only does your brand awareness accelerate at a rate that very few paid marketing strategies can keep up with, but also most organically and sustainably.
- Referral Program- A referral program incentivizes existing customers to recommend your products to their family and friends. Most brands run one or the other forms of referral programs, for example, T-Mobile offers Stock Rewards- one T-Mobile Share for each referral. On the other hand, Dropbox offers 32GB of space per referral. Offering only monetary rewards for referrals is a thing of the past. To reward your existing customers you need to identify strategies that strengthen your connection with your customers and see a deep-rooted value in staying loyal.
- Promote Success Stories – There has been an increasing awareness in today’s customers, who want social validation from other customers about brands’ trustworthiness. Customer success stories serve as a great avenue for such validation. They describe the overall experience that the customer had with the product and team while highlighting the customer’s pain point and how the brand offered a solution. These stories ultimately provide prospective customers with the trust they’re looking for. Moreover, based on their insights and user feedback, you can tweak your messaging and make it more targeted and relevant. Be it social media marketing, blogs, whitepapers, or even case studies, your existing customers serve as a rich source of information.
- Giveaways – Surprise your customers. Give out monetary or nonmonetary rewards when they are least expecting it. Send freebies by partnering with other relevant brands. Make your existing customers feel a part of your brand family. For technology companies, allowing your existing customers to use certain product features before the launch is a great way to make them feel part of the “inner circle”. On the other hand, consumer goods companies can send new product samples to the existing customers and ask for their feedback. This will create a positive brand perception and bolster word of mouth effect as your existing customers share their experiences with their network.
- Leverage Badges and Digital credentials – Loyal customers might end up feeling that they are anonymous to the brand. So, it is imperative to create personalized messaging and interactions with them. Issuing digital certificates, badges, or credentials helps in creating such personalized customer experiences.75% of customers incline towards businesses that provide them with rewards? They need to see a greater value in associating with your brand than what they are paying for. Rewards, appreciation, or simply an expression of gratitude in the form of badges help your existing customers see a greater value in association with your brand! ValidateMe.Online is one digital credentialing platform – powered by blockchain technology, that offers an end-to-end solution for issuing such powerful badges to create unique experiences for your customers.
- Connect across Platforms – In this day and age, most brands rely on omnichannel sales and marketing strategies. A business may sell goods in-store and online while it may run marketing campaigns on social media, paid ads, and through emailers. In such a scenario, unifying a customer’s experience gives greater credibility to your brand and its messaging, and the customer is likely to remember your company in the future. Among all channels, social media is often one of the best means to make a brand seem human and associate with customers more personally. As per research, 52% of a company’s brand reputation comes from its online sociability. Most brands have an online brand presence and there is also too much information to absorb. It becomes crucial that you ensure that your voice is heard distinctly and consistently by your target audience across media. An example of this would be hashtag campaigns like P&G’s #LikeAGirl campaign.
- Ease of Sharing – All the above steps boil down to how convenient it is for your customers to share the experiences you create for them. People generally rely on a recommendation more if they see it coming from friends, family, and co-workers. However, most of your existing customers won’t go out of their way to share their product experience especially if the sharing process is not easy. As a first step, using the right widgets and tools on your site for sharing content on social media and other platforms will make the process simple. Leveraging social media will make your content shareable by default, empowering customers to spread your content conveniently if they find it interesting or of value. Encouraging and rewarding customers for sharing not just their positive brand stories but your content on social media can massively increase brand awareness.
Leveraging your existing customer base can make your brand stand out among competitors. To know how you can leverage badges and digital credentials to increase brand awareness and bolster customer engagement, please feel free to get in touch with us!