In the MIX, we talk a lot about Influencer Marketing because it is so immeasurably valuable to your business.
Word of mouth customers are just better overall — they convert easier, tend to spend more, and are more positive and optimistic from the start because they already have a level of trust and confidence in your business that has transferred to them from the person who recommended you.
How do you know if your business is ready to embark on an Influencer Marketing strategy?
One of the core values of MIX is a fundamental belief that MARKETING IS A LOVE STORY. And so, the key to a strong Word of Mouth strategy is to first create an epic experience for the customer. Focus first on delivering your goods or services to the highest standards.
Influencer Marketing is all about that purely love-centered referral model. And so, you start with a very simple and straightforward question — do we have a brand that customers fall in love with?
Start there–focus all of your energies on serving your clients and customers in such a way that they cannot help but fall in love with your brand. People refer others to your business because they want to share something they love. Not just because they might get a discount voucher for doing it.
Once you’ve developed an approach to your customers customer experience that people fall in love with, the next step is to tap into that affinity that your customers have for your business.
Here are some simple steps that you can do today that will kick off your Influencer Marketing efforts.
First, ask yourself and your team a simple question: “Who are our top three customers?” and for this exercise, do NOT overthink or over-define what it means to be a ‘top’ customer. Whatever your reasoning, write down those first three names that pop into your head. Using this sort of thinking, formulate a short list of your initial Influencers.
Next, take a look at all of the decisions that you’re currently facing in your business–perhaps you’re considering a new marketing campaign for next quarter or maybe you’ve made changes to your website. Whatever you’re grappling with, give some thought to ways that you’d really benefit from directly hearing your customers’ feedback. Define ONE thing that you’d like to get feedback on and then create some sort of fun experience around it. Your goal here is to take this short list of top customers and provide them with an experience that demonstrates how you perceive them as an influencer — you’re looking to make them feel seen and heard.
Once you’ve identified your list of Influencers and constructed a meaningful experience, reach out to them, preferably by a personal contact such as a phone call or handwritten note — or maybe even step up your game with a nicely packaged message that will really grab their attention.
This is a great opportunity for you to surprise and delight them, so make it meaningful and memorable. Let them know that you have noticed and appreciate their loyalty to your brand and explain your ask, carefully describing exactly what it is that you want from them. You may say something like “We appreciate your business and the fact that you refer so many of your friends to us. Now, we’d like to get your insights … “.
Keep it really simple, emphasizing that there’s no gimmick, nothing for sale, you merely value their opinion. Give them clear directions as to what sort of feedback you’re looking for and let them know the next steps.
The most common reason that most small business owners fail to get desirable results from their influencer marketing efforts, is because they fail to follow through and follow up. Your top customers will be delighted that you’ve recognized them and reached out for their feedback … but your outcomes will fall short if you fail to close the loop.
Therefore, make sure that you plan a beginning, a middle, and an end to the experience. You’ll begin by reaching out, in the middle you’ll solicit their input, and in the end you’ll thank them for their insights.