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Develop a kick-ass referral strategy

When you are deciding to buy a product whose advice do you trust? A billboard or a friend or family member? According to a study by Nielsen, 92% trust a friend or family member more than a stranger or as in the above example of a billboard. There is also research that shows that the lifetime value of a referred customer is 16% higher than one who is not. With these stats in mind, let’s look at how you can design a kick-ass referral strategy for your brand advocates.

1. Know the principles of why something goes viral

According to Jonah Berger’s book “Contagious”, there are six principles to why something will catch on in society. They are:

  • Social currency: Does the idea or offering make us look good?
  • Triggers: Is the idea, or offering top of mind?
  • Emotion: Do we care about the idea or offer?
  • Public: Is this something that other people around us are doing?
  • Practical value: Does the knowledge or your expertise add value to others?
  • Stories: Is there a story or is it just the facts?

If your marketing can incorporate one or more of these principles there is a good chance that it will become contagious and will be shared among the people who trust each other.

2. Get close to customers

You should understand who your brand advocates are among your customers. You need to know what they would like if they were offered the opportunity to refer people to your brand. You should also ensure that your customer’s personal brand is in line with your company’s brand.

3. Decide on your offer

How will you reward the person who sent you the warm leads? Will you give them a percentage off of their next purchase? Will you give them a free product? Remember that this offer will be paid for by your marketing budget as you are using your customers to market your business to their trusted network.

4. Make the process easy

When you have decided on your offering and found the customers you wish to target to market your product. You need to make the referral process easy. Find an online referral tool that will make the process of referring customers easy and will make payments to your referral network easy.

5. Create marketing collateral

It is important to create a promotion pack for your network to use so that your brand has a unified look and feel across all platforms.

6. Design content to be shareable

The content that you create must resonate with your brand advocates so that they can share it easily across their networks. Remember to ensure that the content has some of the principles mentioned in point one. This content should also be easily shareable for everyone who enjoys your brand even those who don’t belong to your referral program.

By following the six points above, you will be well on your way to creating a customer pool who are more loyal and trusting.

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