Getting others to do your marketing for you, part 2

(Second of two parts) In part one of this feature, I discussed several different techniques and practices to get your customers to do your marketing for you. In this installation, I will provide four more useful tips.

Engage with your audience. Since you probably have customer accounts who are active on a couple of platforms, that’s where you’ll want to engage with your target audience. You could also engage with them through forums and other sites—even your own site if you have a comments section. Either way, wherever your customers are is where you should be.

For example, let’s say a client posts a picture on social media using your product and tags you. You should respond with a comment of appreciation.

Conversely, what if the customer left a negative review on your site? I recommend you comment and apologize for any inconvenience. Then ask (or offer) how you can make it right. Pro tip: NEVER fight back in the comments section; that rarely ends well. Plus, it’s in the public domain.

Get influencers to spread the word. Can you think of any influencers or thought leaders you follow? You watch their videos, read their articles and have even signed up for their newsletters. They might not know you exist, but to you, they’re your best friend. Those are the kind of people you need in your court, promoting your brand. When you find influencers who genuinely love using your products or services, then you’ve hit the jackpot!

Now it’s time to do your research. Find a couple of influencers or thought leaders in your industry, reach out to them about your product or service and find out if you can strike up a deal with them to promote your business.

Provide incentives. This is a popular one—if you can afford it. There are a few methods you can use: ie, affiliate programs, referral discounts or loyalty programs. With affiliate programs, let’s say Jane recommends your product or service to Sam, and Sam buys from you. Jane would get a portion of the sale because she recommended Sam to you.

Referral discounts work in a similar way, but instead of Jane getting a portion of the sale, she would get a discount the next time she bought from you.

A loyalty program is likely the most inexpensive of the three. Take a coffee shop punch card, for example. Anytime you buy a coffee from the retailer, you get a punch in your card. When you’ve reached a certain number, you get the next coffee free. While it’s not likely that you’d offer your product or service for free, you could provide a discount. Or if you have any brand merchandise, like a T-shirt, travel mug or fancy sticker, you could offer those items as well.

Contribute to your community. This one is extremely valuable, so it needs to be done tact- fully. If you help out in your community in a way that is relevant to your field, that’s good for visibility. However, if you do it only for that reason, people will see right through you and run the other way. The first reason for wanting to contribute to your community should be because you care and that the cause is near to your heart, or the project just brings you joy.

Those types of incentives should come first. The fact that it’s good for building brand awareness should come second.

These are just some of the ways to get the word-of-mouth marketing train going in your community or field. It might take some effort to get things running smoothly, but once people start talking and your business starts growing, marketing your business might not feel like such a chore after all.

Eric Wagner is CEO of i7 Marketing. With a strong background in web development and new technologies, he focuses on helping clients dominate the online marketplace. For more information, contact

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