While connecting with influencers in your industry is a great way to reach a lot of people quickly, don’t leave out a more obvious — and often more attainable — source to help with your marketing:
These are your customers who rave about you online. They tell their friends how great their experience was, and they’re not shy about singing your praise on social media and review sites. They’re the ones who you want to corral so that they’ll continue to spread the word about your brand (yes, that good ole word-of-mouth marketing you hear tell of).
Where to Find ‘Em
Chances are, these rare gems are already gushing about your brand somewhere online. All you have to do is find them.
If your company has a Yelp page (or similar review site profile), start there to see who’s doing more than just giving a thumbs-up to your products. Next, search for your brand on social media channels to see who’s buzzing about you.
You may find some crossover for the particularly tech-savvy evangelists who are talking about you on multiple channels. These are like gold.
Create a spreadsheet and start logging information for the people who are doing your brand a huge favor by telling the world how wonderful you are.
Your next mission is to publicly thank anyone who has taken the time to tell others about your brand. A quick “thank you” tweet should suffice here.
Also, follow them on social media. This usually gets you on their radar screen, and in the event that they’re talking about you but not actually following you on a given social channel, this is their impetus to do so.
Before you ask for anything, be a good social citizen by engaging with them beyond that first thank you and follow. Share their content. Reply to their questions. Like their posts. People love getting social attention, especially from brands who can put them in the spotlight and expose them to more social media users than their own following.
Offer ‘Em Incentive
Now you want to find a way to take that relationship to the next level. You already know these brand evangelists love your product. Why not offer them more products in exchange for one or more of the following:
- Product review on their blog, if they have one
- Shares of your content or promotions
- Telling others about your products
You could even create a brand ambassador program that rewards the loyal customers you’ve targeted for taking actions like these. It’s a great way to foster engagement and let them have fun doing what they were already doing: talking about your brand positively.
Just note that laws now require bloggers and social media users to identify sponsored content, or if they have been given a product in exchange for a fair review. This shouldn’t put a damper on results, but know that if you want the FTC to leave you alone, you’ll follow these requirements.
Working with brand evangelists can have a bigger punch than advertising will, simply because people turn to others for advice on brands to buy from. Get enough of them on your team, and you’ll have a full-on army of evangelists!
Learn how to couple brand evangelists and other product marketing tactics together to drive more interest in your company. Download Encouraging Awareness: New Tactics & Opportunities for Product Marketing for more innovative ways to reinforce your message across digital, social and offline channels.