6 minute read
If your brand has a referral marketing program in place, but no one knows about it - does it really exist? Is it bringing in new customers or interested leads? Or is the program collecting dust on your website?
When planning a referral strategy, understanding how to maximize awareness of your program is crucial for success. The more people you can reach with your program, the more potential buyers you can add to your funnel. And that's the end goal for most marketers, to increase your audience with a unique referral marketing strategy tailored for growth.
If you're nodding along, keep reading! In this blog post, we'll dive into how social media and referral marketing work together, proven tips to expand your referral program reach, and the right promotional strategy for your unique brand.
Social media and referral marketing: The perfect fit
Most companies today agree that social media is a prominent marketing tool. In fact, nearly 75% of brands believe social media is an effective part of their business. As marketers, we understand that social media can put you in touch with your target market. What many brands are still missing in their strategy is when social media is combined with referral marketing, organic engagement and brand awareness can be easier achieved.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll, two-thirds of Americans say they’re more likely to purchase a product after seeing it shared on social media or email.
So how can you help your brand ambassadors share your products and services with their networks? By combining the power of social media and referral marketing.
By intertwining these two highly engaged channels, companies can create meaningful relationships that extend beyond typical online outreach. So what does this look like in practice? For some brands, that means tweets from their ambassadors with unique share links or adding that link to their profiles.
Knowing the details of your customer’s online behavior can help best target where company resources should be directed. If you notice that followers love sharing pictures on Twitter, post regular photo updates with a call-to-action to sign up for the referral program.
Flexibility is key - however your ambassadors choose to share, make sure the experience is aligned with your brand. When asking your ambassadors to share, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Have a pre-made message ready to go so they don’t have to spend time coming up with their own. And everyone loves pretty pictures, include attractive photos that make the post more appealing.
Here's the thing: sharing on social media is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to promoting and publicizing your referral program. Integrating your referral program into all your marketing initiatives is what will really make all the difference.
5 Tips on how to maximize awareness of your referral program
The more your brand ambassador talk about your products and services online, the larger your reach becomes. Additionally, generating brand awareness through referral marketing is more likely than not to turn into brand preference, which ultimately leads to revenue. Here's how to increase exposure for your referral program:
Tip #1: Use your email lists
Email marketing is ideal for keeping your customers engaged and aware of new company updates, so it makes sense that it’s also invaluable for getting people excited to promote your brand. If you just launched your referral program or have a special promotion running, you should engage with your database with program details on how to enroll, share, and earn rewards. Include a strong call-to-action that brings people directly to your landing page and make sure it’s laid out clearly and concisely.
If you have a strong email list, segment your customers into different lists based on what they’re most interested in to send targeted emails that increase bring more traffic to your landing page.
Remember that even your most engaged customers might not know you have a referral program. Hitting them with a strong email campaign is the perfect way to get them excited and mobilized.
Tip #2: Include a CTA Wherever You Can
Oftentimes, CTAs are the biggest missed opportunities for brands looking to promote their referral programs. For example, consumer brands and eCommerce companies can include a CTA to enroll in post-purchase confirmation emails. This is a moment of peak excitement for customers and, as a result, is the perfect time to ask for a referral. For B2B organizations, including a CTA in regularly scheduled content, such as an email newsletter or blog post, may be a better fit.
Tip #3: Prominently display your referral program on your website
For maximum exposure, your referral program should get some real estate on a homepage or landing page. Adding a link in a header, sidebar or even smack-dab in the middle of your page will lead customers to take action and sign-up.
Conversely, keeping the link hidden probably won’t get you many sign-ups. Again, people need to know you have a program so they can participate in it.
Tip #4: Encourage Employee Promotion
From customer service representatives to account managers, employees are your front line and are engaging with current brand ambassadors as well as potential new program members the most.
Ensure that employees are both aware of and promoting your program. It can be something as turnkey as including a link to enroll in your email signature or an internal contest to see who brings in the most new program members.
Tip #5: Don't stop promoting
In the age of social media, attention spans have never been shorter. While you may have sent out an email or a tweet about your program, that might not be enough to keep people consistently engaged with your program. You don’t want to nag your brand ambassadors, but subtle reminders will help keep your referral program at the top of their minds. Maybe send an email out once a month with an update, or drop a link in a Facebook post/tweet.
The right referral marketing promotion strategy for your brand
It’s always a good idea to figure out what works best for your brand, your customers, and your prospects. But that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. When determining the best way to promote your program, we recommend starting with the basics.
Begin identifying ways to layer the referral program into your existing marketing initiatives. Here are some questions to help with this process:
1. What channels do you currently dedicate the most time to? For instance, does your team spend more time on content for your blog or email marketing?
2. Out of the marketing channels you’re utilizing, which ones drive the most engagement? Is your audience more active on your social channels or your website?
3. Dive into your website analytics. What areas are high traffic or which pages have the longest time spent on them?
Our most successful clients ensure there is high visibility for their referral program. That means it is linked in their blog posts, promoted on their social channels, and easily accessible on their website navigation.
But this isn’t an all or none game - if you have limited resources to spend on your referral program, focus first on the areas where you have an engaged and attentive audience. And then branch out as you start to generate ROI.
Whatever the method, remember that effective promotion of your referral program is an ongoing process. If you want your program to be successful, you’ll have to remind people that it actually exists. Keep people engaged with your program and not only will you bring in new customers, but also more brand ambassadors to compound your referrals exponentially.
Posted May 28, 2020 in Referral Program