Your Customers are Talking
If you are a business owner looking for a way to attract new customers nothing beats the power of word-of-mouth. But where do you start? First you need to know where not to start. Traditional marketing & advertising are becoming less and less effective, yet their costs continue to rise. Print, direct mail, radio and TV are not cost-effective for most small businesses. Not to mention they must be run over and over again to see continuous results. These methods are not designed to make customers want to run out and tell their friends all about you.
So what does that leave us? Well, we live in a digital world. Everyone is online—including their friends, family & co-workers—even most grandmothers are online! There are over one billion Facebook profiles alone. So without a doubt the best place to start a word-of-mouth marketing campaign is online
The problem is that this is easier said than done. There are millions of businesses who put up a Facebook Page or website, but very few know how to use them to generate new customers. Sadly, many of these businesses give up long before they should, and never see the opportunity they have before them.
Now for the good news. Digital Brick has spent over two years developing a simple, easy to use word-of-mouth marketing solution that can be successfully implemented by over 90% of small businesses.
“A hundred years ago, business owners laughed at the thought of the radio as a marketing tool. Sixty years ago, it was the TV. Twenty-five years ago, it was the internet. Don’t miss the opportunity you have now!”
Your Online Foundation
Before you can get customers talking about your business, you need to have an online foundation to work with. These will be the initial tools in your online toolbelt. Don’t worry it’s not complicated and many businesses have some, or most of the pieces already in place. You need a Facebook Business Page, Google+ Page/Map Listing, Business Website, well-designed Images and/or Graphics, and the ability to generate content about your industry. These tools can work alone, but together they build something very powerful. The concepts below vary slightly depending on your industry, but the principles are relatively the same for the majority of small businesses.
Your Online Foundation (Social CRM)
How do you contact your existing customer base? Do you have a way to even collect customer contact info?
To build a word-of-mouth marketing solution you need a CRM. What is a CRM? A Customer Retention Manager is a tool for collecting and storing customer information to use for marketing and promotional efforts in the future. Unfortunately, most businesses have no solid CRM in place, and traditional marketing & advertising methods do not lend themselves to building one. Customers do not like to give out their contact information even to businesses they frequent.
The solution to this problem is simple. Connect with customers in a way they want to be connected with—through social networks. The most successful place to connect with customers is through Facebook. When done correctly you can build a powerful Social CRM with thousands of connected customers (new & existing) through your Facebook Business Page.
Your FB Page
Your Facebook Business Page is the key to your Social CRM. Your page needs to be well designed and attractive to be effective. No one wants to visit a page with no cover image or a horribly sized profile image. This is your online store front, be proud of it! You wouldn’t put off-center signs in front of your store—or worse no sign at all, why do it online?
The way your business is seen online (digital brand) is just as important as the merchandise you sell, your staff, your signage and the atmosphere of your brick and mortar business. Your Page’s look & feel, how it functions, and what content you post will all effect the level of success you have in building and monetizing your Social CRM. The best Facebook Pages contain professionally designed graphics, post valuable content daily, use custom applications, and have well-written business (About) sections.
Your Google+ Page & Map Listing
Show up in search results and on local maps. This is by far the most powerful way to get your business in front of both new and existing customers. When your listing is claimed and built correctly, you will be able to display your brand, connect with your customers, get found in search results, and message back and forth with your customers in real time.
Your website should be designed as your Content Management System (CMS). This is where all of your valuable content is housed and shared from. The most effective websites are professionally programmed & designed, well-written, and contain articles or blog posts.
Your website is another online representation of your business (digital brand). The look & feel of your site, how it functions, and what information it contains should mirror your brick & mortar business and branding.
More specifically you need valuable content. Your goal is to have your customers see you as an asset. You want them to view you and your business as an industry leader and/or expert. You do this through the content you share and post.
Professionally designed graphics, articles or blog posts, promotions, incentives, special offers, industry tips & tricks, product and/or service comparisons, and industry news are all examples of valuable content. When done correctly, sharing valuable content will build your business’s credibility and clout, making customers want to connect with you!
4 Steps to WOM
Now that you have an understanding of the individual pieces that create your online marketing foundation let’s look at how they can be used together to create your word-of-mouth marketing solution. These four steps can be repeated over and over to build a massive Social CRM and an effective word-of-mouth marketing solution.
Digital Brick pinpoints and customizes each campaign for every business we work with depending on the industry and specific situation. If you are installing your own solution understand that some industries may not require certain features listed below, others may require specialized features or content.
1. Connect your current customers to your Facebook Business Page through professionally designed in-store (or print) graphics, website integration, check-ins, Facebook Ads, a forwarded domain name, QR Codes, etc. Focusing on connecting with your current customers is one thing that makes our marketing concept unique. By connecting with your existing customers first, your campaign builds a solid foundation of customers who know your business well, and will have good things to say about it.
2. Expand your Social CRM with promotions. Use valuable content, incentives, special offers, Facebook Deals, events, etc. . .to promote your business through your Facebook Page and/or website. Collect likes, tweets and emails for any contests or bonus information giveaways. Contact Digital Brick directly for a free phone consultation for specific ideas on how to promote your business.
3. As you connect with your existing/in-store customers, and you share valuable content (DAILY!), something amazing will start to happen. Your connections will like, share, comment on, and recommend your content & business via Facebook and your website. This engagement with your content is shared with all of their Facebook connections. These connections are their friends, family, co-workers, and other people they know who often have have similar likes and interests.
4. Once this engagement begins with your existing customers your Social CRM will explode! At this point your current customers are sharing your valuable content with your next customer—also known as a new customer. Because their connections know them personally, what they say about your business is more than just a 3rd party recommendation. What you have now is a genuine, self-sustaining, 21st Century word-of-mouth marketing solution!
. . . But How Much Does it Cost?
Many business owners simply do not have the time to accomplish everything laid out here on their own. Digital Brick can help, we provide all of our services ala carte and on an as needed basis. We customize each package for each individual client. This allows our clients to pinpoint their marketing efforts and never waste a dollar. Our packages start at just $79!
Digital Brick has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including Microsoft, T-Mobile and Blackberry. We have spent over two years developing our unique approach to social branding and development, applying our big brand knowledge to help local business owners.
Our services include Branding & Corporate Identity, Website Design & Development, Custom Social Profiles (All), Facebook Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, Landing Pages, Print Marketing, Campaign Management and more!