Do you sometimes talk to your relatives or friends about the different types of products and services you use? How much do their opinions affect what you choose? The research of Paraphrase Online shows that as many as 92% of people trust such recommendations much more than advertising messages. What about online reviews and recommendations? They are the basis of modern communication strategies. In the following article, you’ll learn what referral marketing is and how to use it.
What is the strength of other people’s opinions?
First of all, the fact that you can assign a “real” person to a specific recommendation and be more sure that the sentence he expresses is authentic. You can interact with the “real person”. Ask for details. Find out why he thinks as he thinks. Therefore, it is more credible than the message that comes to you directly from the company promoting a given product or service. Marketers have long understood the power of social proof of rightness and are using it diligently in various forms of communication. But it is in recent years – when internet marketing has become the foundation of contact with customers and inbound strategies are becoming more and more popular – that they are used much more often and intensively.
Internet referral marketing – what is it?
The simplest definition of referral marketing is the one that defines it as activities aimed at motivating customers to share positive opinions about the brand. Therefore, the company creates a number of incentives, the result of which is to encourage consumers to discuss its products and create a positive “buzz” around the brand. Is it worth it? Absolutely. After all, as research by Paraphrase Online Team shows, for as many as 74% of consumers, a recommendation has a key impact on their purchasing decisions! It is good to remember that recommendation marketing is one of the elements of word-of-mouth marketing, which until recently was equated with “whispering”. However, these concepts are no longer interpreted unambiguously today.
Recommendation marketing and word of mouth marketing – what’s the difference?
Both word of mouth and recommendation marketing are based on the opinions about the brand published on the Web and strive for the most positive ones to appear. The problem is that in the modern approach to communication with recipients, the emphasis is on the authenticity of the message. This is where the difference between whispering and recommendation marketing emerges.
While in the “whisper” the authors of opinions expressed on forums or in social media are most often employed for this purpose – whose task is to publish advertising posts, the discussed form of communication relies on real recommendations. Not those that were written and published for remuneration, but prepared by people who actually dealt with the brand’s products and can say positive about them.
That is why recommendation marketing brings much better results, and above all – is fully ethical, and thus strengthens the image of your company.
Recommendation analyst under a magnifying glass
The power of recommendations and the benefits derived from them mean that more and more companies pay attention to customer feedback, and the recommendation analyst is no longer based solely on demographic data. The behavioral context is also important.
On the basis of analyzing consumer behavior, we can suggest to the customer, among other things, what product may be of interest to him. Do you know the characteristic inscriptions that appear on some pages after adding the product to the basket?
“Customers who chose this product also bought …”.
A special algorithm based on the analyzed habits of Internet users suggests new product suggestions that tempt visitors to a given e-store. Various companies benefit from such facilitation of the purchasing path through recommendations, customer loyalty and increasing sales.
The recommendation system uses machine learning and allows you to select specific products based on information about:
– The purchasing preferences of users who are similar to each other.
– Analyzes of the current customer order.
– The likelihood of purchasing additional products.
The recommendation system can be easily implemented by installing a ready-made plug-in, both on the website and in social media. It allows you to collect data using cookies. For this to be possible, the user must first consent to it.
Machine learning learns the habits of consumers every time they are clicked. This allows you to create personalized offers. The consumer will be pleased because by serving him ready-made packages of products that they may be interested in, you shorten the time needed to make a purchase decision. In turn, for you it is an opportunity to increase the value of the basket. All sides of the transaction win!
Did you know that … The recommendation system is not only recommendations and personalized offers for groups of specific recipients. The analysis of the collected data also allows for the estimation of the client’s tendency to leave, and consequently the intensification of loyalties.
How to use recommendation marketing in the company’s strategy?
Recommendation marketing is a very broad field, which means that almost any company can use its tools. Of course, it will work best in the company’s communication strategy that operates in the B2C model, because this is where the mechanisms related to the proof of social righteousness can be used to the fullest.
What can you do in practice to encourage customers to express their opinion about your brand? A lot.
Recommendations for your business can be divided into two categories.
So those that users will publish completely “on their own”, spontaneously, because they are satisfied with what products / services they have received from you and want to share their experiences with others. They are the most valuable of all, but also the most difficult to obtain.
How to get them? Providing:
– the best possible customer service,
– great products,
– execution of the order on time or before the agreed deadline.
But don’t worry, it’s not about the artificial ones – custom-made. Rather, the key issue is to create a system of incentives for customers to share information.
How to do it? There are a few items that you can find very useful. See what you can use in your business:
Enter the purchase rating system in your e-shop
Let your customers rate their satisfaction with the transaction – the quality and efficiency of service, as well as the products ordered. You can use this form of communication on your website or by collaborating with others who focus on collecting opinions.
Encourage your opinion in the mailing
When the customer has completed the transaction – thank him for the purchase and ask him to complete a short questionnaire assessing your cooperation. As an incentive, you can use, for example, an additional discount on the next purchase for people who leave a recommendation.
Involve the community involved in contact with your brand on social media
You can do it, for example, on a fanpage or on a thematic group that you create. You can initiate and moderate such a discussion. But do it openly – for example by brand ambassadors or in person. It’s about honesty.
Think about an affiliate program
Encourage your customers to spread real, positive opinions about your brand online by assigning them referral links. You can reward them when the recommendation has translated into, for example, obtaining a new lead or a new transaction. It is also worth thinking about taking actions that will encourage users to create content related to your brand – e.g. through contests on social media profiles. Another solution, similar to recommendation marketing, is cooperation with influencers. You can read more about influencer marketing at this link.