It used to be that marketing consisted of things like TV and radio commercials, billboards, and print ads. And while these things still exist, it’s in a world where countless other marketing tools and outlets are available simultaneously. In this new marketing reality, customers have enormous amounts of information literally at their fingertips.
They also have access to an another extremely powerful sales tool: other people.
Online sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Glassdoor exist for the sole purpose of providing peer-to-peer customer testimonials and feedback. These sites are frequently used by consumers as decision making tools to help them determine everything from what to eat for lunch, to where to buy a car, to which employers are worth pursuing. And they are not taking these reviews lightly.
The power of peer-to-peer marketing
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.
- 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars.
- 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Need to make a purchase? It’s very likely your first move is online.
A quick Google search will instantly reveal online reviews, testimonials, and ratings for just about any product, service, or business. Questions thrown out on social channels will instantly result in numerous comments from friends and family who are all-too-willing to share their personal opinions and buying experiences.
But this isn’t just how you operate. It’s how your customers operate as well.
Potential clients are hopping online to research your company website, Facebook page, and professional LinkedIn profile. They are also seeking out sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and their own social accounts and then using this feedback to make buying decisions. And all of this is often happening long before they’ve tested your product or interacted with anyone in your organization.
As a business, you can’t ignore this powerful influence your customers have over your business. You must provide a customer experience worth talking about. In a good way.
- What makes you different?
- What do you offer that no one else does?
- What is it about your company that makes people want to recommend you to friends, family, and total strangers on the internet?
In other words, what are you doing to get people talking? And listening?
Customers make the best salespeople
You can sing your own praises all day long, but when it comes down to it, you will never be as effective at marketing your business as your biggest fans are. If you’re not taking advantage of word of mouth marketing, you’re ignoring a huge opportunity for organic growth.
You can have the best website in the world and the perfect marketing plan in place, but if you aren’t inspiring your customers to speak on your behalf, you’re missing out.
Yes, you need a quality marketing team, but you don’t need them to do all of the work. Happy customers will gladly take on some of that heavy lifting. All you have to do is give them an amazing experience— and one that they want to share.
Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
Photo by gpointstudio