Referral Marketing Beginner’s Guide

Referral Marketing Beginner's Guide - Power Marketing InternationalReferral marketing, or word-of-mouth marketing, excels at creating sales and conversions. Referral marketing is at work anytime someone makes a purchase at least partly based on someone else’s opinion of a product or service. It works because people trust the opinions of people they know and respect, even if they are skeptical of traditional advertisements.

Referral marketing is not limited to the opinions of friends and family, but also includes the opinions found in news publications, customer reviews, and product testimonials.

According to Richard Lazazzera, a content strategist at Shopify, referral marketing works for three reasons:

  1. Precision Targeting
  2. Trust Factor
  3. Reach and Acceleration

Let’s dig into these concepts.

Precision Targeting

Referral marketing is inherently targeted because people tend to know their social circles well, and are able to share products and services they know will be well received. They likely share many interests with people in their social circles, so if they like a product enough to mention it, it is likely it will be received well by their friends.

Trust Factor

A Neilson Trust Study showed referrals are by far the most trusted form of advertising. 84% of people said they trusted referrals from friends, 68% said they trusted consumer opinions posted online, and 67% said they trusted editorial content posted online. Compare that to only 48% that said they trusted search engine advertisements.

Reach and Acceleration

Social media has made referral marketing more powerful than ever. Not long ago the social reach of the average person was limited to the people they talked to in person or on the phone, but now people are only a Facebook post, Tweet, or Instagram pic away from instantly sharing their thoughts and opinions with hundreds or thousands of likeminded people.

How to Implement Referral Marketing

Now that we’ve looked at why referral marketing is effective, let’s move on to implementation.

Provide an Exceptional Experience

Depending on your business this may be customer service, or a buying experience, or even the user interface for your software or hardware. The most important thing for referral marketing is creating an exceptional experience that your user will want to share and talk about with other people.

Make Your Products or Service Shareable

If you are running an ecommerce store, this could mean focusing on creating packaging that provides a share-worthy experience.  (A cottage industry of “unboxing videos” has actually sprung up on YouTube over the last few years.) Apple excels at this. The process of unboxing any of their physical products is designed to be compelling and beautiful.

If you are running an event or conference, this could be encouraging users to tweet or post to Instagram with an official hashtag.

Implement a Referral Program

If you are running an online store, you can encourage users to share your products by setting up a referral program that rewards customers for sharing your products with their friends. Here are a few companies that have referral program systems you can tap into for your store:

FriendBuy
Referral Candy
LoyaltyLion
S Loyalty

Reviews and Testimonials

If you run an online store, make sure to implement a review feature on your product page. A few good reviews assure a potential customer that actual people have enjoyed your product. If you are not an online retailer, you can list testimonials from clients about their positive experiences with your company.

This is Just the Beginning

I hope this has given you a good foundation to get started with referral marketing. If you would like help with referral marketing, social media marketing, or web design, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

 

This post is based on an article by Richard Lazazzera – Referral Marketing 101: 7 Tactics to Launch Your Own Referral Campaign

 

Web Marketing Tips: Email List Building for Ecommerce

Let’s begin with a few facts about the power of email:

  • Email drives 7% of all ecommerce user acquisition, making it the 2nd best user acquisition channel.
  • It influences over 70% of mobile purchases.
  • Email generates $44.25 for every $1 invested!
  • Commercial emails are opened by 82% of the users that receive them.

Building an email list is a great strategy for developing a customer community that will continue to make purchases from your online store. This blog post will introduce 3 methods for building an email list that are simple enough to start today.

1. Incentivize with Discount Coupon Codes

According to one study, 71% of users prefer to use discount codes that are emailed to them. If a customer is already on a site, letting them know that they will get a discount code if they sign up for the newsletter can be just the right incentive to get them to do so.

Even if they don’t purchase something that day, you now have a direct connection to them to let them know about upcoming products, sales, and other initiatives from your business.

2. Integrate a “Bounce Bar”

Having a bar at the top of your page with a message like “Sign up for our newsletter!”, is a simple, non-obtrusive way to encourage users to join your mailing list.

Web Marketing Tips - Encourage Email Sign-ups with a Bounce Bar

There are a few services that offer this kind of functionality, including Bounce and HelloBar. Neil Patel actually talks about using HelloBar on his website, Quick Sprout. Neil was able to generate 11% of his leads simply through HelloBar.

If neither of the above services offer the exact kind of functionality your business needs, we can help you design a custom solution.

3. Carefully Integrate a Pop-Up

Pop-ups are a tricky subject. When done poorly, they are one of the most annoying things a customer can run into on the internet. When they are done well, however, they can generate an enormous amount of email list subscriptions.

They key to making sure your pop-ups are in the latter group is to make them personalized and targeted. One site that did just that saw an increase in sign-ups of 1,375% over an email signup form located in the sidebar.

Some pop-up best practices include it being:

  • activated once your user intends to exit (by tracking mouse movement or click placement)
  • positioned as an overlay
  • visually attractive
  • incentivized

We Can Help

If you are interested in building an email list to better communicate with your customers and drive traffic and sales, let us know!

This blog post is based on an article by Ivan Kreimer — How to Collect Emails for Your Ecommerce Store

Web Marketing Tip: Use Video in Your Online Store

YouTube Logo - Web Marketing Tips from Power Marketing International. Serving Reading, Philadelphia, Lancaster, and the surrounding areas. You probably know how important photography is for your online store. For starters, compelling and clear photographs show your customer exactly what they are buying, and can also communicate the lifestyle associated with your brand. It’s a given that you are going to put time and effort into photography when building your ecommerce presence, but have you considered the powerful impact video could have on your sales as well?

Why Use Video?

Product videos can be a great tool to increase conversions. Customers are actually 64% more likely to purchase a product from an online retailer after watching a video. After seeing this statitstic, I was reminded of how Apple recently added video previews for the apps on their App Store—they know effective this can be! And even though Amazon has been featuring product videos for years now, many online retailers haven’t caught on. This is one area where you may be able to gain an advantage over your competitors.

In addition to increased conversions, here are some other reasons you should consider adding product videos to your online store.

1. More and Better Search Engine Rankings

Search engines show a mix of sites, photos, videos, and more in their results. By adding video content to your site, you are giving yourself more chances to rank. Google also favors sites with video, so adding video could boost the ranking of your site as well.

2. It’s Easy to Share

Whether through email, social media, or text message; it’s extremely easy to share video.

3. Increase Customer Confidence

Customers want to be well-informed on the true nature of a product before purchasing. Video can quickly and accurately convey information about your product. Boost consumer confidence beyond what is possible with merely images.

Some Product Video Examples

Let’s take a look at some product video implementations. Our first example is from Bellroy, a company that specializes in wallets. Bellroy uses their product videos to show the customer how much each wallet can hold. These are really fun and creative, and are what I would consider to be on the high end of what a product video can be.

If the above video is beyond your budget or skill set, don’t worry! Depending on your business, you may not need anything flashy or high budget. Bellroy is trying to sell you not only on their wallet, but on the lifestyle they want you to associate with it. Showcasing a product video that is direct and informative can work just as well.

The above video is a great example of a lower budget product video that is still informative and clear. It walks the customer through a feature set, shows off the product from various angles, and is approachable and thorough.

Even the above video may be more than you need for you business. If the above videos seem too daunting, how about a 6 second video?

You can even use the camera on your phone to take a quick video of your product, upload it to your business’s Instagram or Vine account, and then embed it on the product page as well! One benefit of this method is that it is by far the easiest for fans of the product to share.

Get Started

Above we looked at three different approaches for implementing product videos in your online store. Whether you want to make something polished and fancy, or something quick and approachable, the most important step is to get started. If you would like help putting together a strategy for product videos in your online store, we are always happy to help.

This post is based on an article by Richard Lazazzera — How to Use Video to Increase Conversions and Sales in Your Ecommerce Business

Web Marketing Tips: Pinterest and Commerce

Web Marketing - Pinterest Average Purchase AmountPeople use Pinterest to collect images of things that inspire them: dessert recipes, interior design ideas, apparel, and more. If you are a business that sells consumer goods, then your customers are probably already on Pinterest. This article will talk about how you can use Pinterest as a platform to drive sales of your products!

May users treat their Pinterest boards as aspirational collections—products that they would like to buy but haven’t yet. They may not be ready to purchase when they pin the item, but they’ll return to the board later and possibly purchase it then.

Shopify recently teamed up with Pinterest to collect data on commerce and the Pinterest platform, and they discovered the average order value coming from Pinterest was $50!

Two million people pin products on Pinterest daily, and 93% stated on a survey that they use Pinterest to plan purchases. Not every user is pinning products every day though, as 73 million people login to Pinterest each month.

Those findings make it pretty clear. If you sell consumer goods online, you should have a presence on Pinterest!

Some other finds from the data diving showed that in the last two years, mobile orders from Pinterest increased 140%. Mobile now makes up 80% of the orders that come from Pinterest! (Your online shop is optimized for mobile, right?)

How to Use Pinterest to Boost Sales

There are 3 main steps get you pinning and selling!

  1. Sign up for a Pinterest Business Account. This will allow you to create Rich Pins that include pricing, availability, and information on where to buy the product.
  2. Add the Pin It Button to the product pages of your online shop. This will allow customers to pin the product to their boards where followers will see it. (If you don’t know how to do this, we can help.)
  3. Pin and analyze! After setting up your business account, create a board that showcases some of your products. Follow other users and engage with the community. Once you are established, check out Pinterest Analytics to get data on what other people are pinning from your website

Next Steps

Hopefully you are pumped up and ready to increase your sales through Pinterest! If you follow the three steps above and still feel a little unsure about how to create a good pin, check out this article on how to create great pins. Good luck and happy pinning!

This post is based on an article by Dayna Winter — How Pinterest Drives Online Commerce

That’s Not How Content Marketing Works

Content Marketing does not work this way. From PMI, serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, Bethlehem, York, Lebanon, Pennsylvania and beyond with services to develop your online marketing strategy.There is a common myth that surrounds content marketing and how it works. This myth hurts businesses, content marketers, and anyone who plans and strategizes the content a brand creates to promote itself and its products. It is a misconception of what content marketing can and cannot achieve.

The myth goes something like this: You can create a blog post, and after someone reads that blog post, they will buy something from you. (Feel free to replace “blog post” with “podcast”, “video”, or whatever content you happen to produce.)

That’s Not How Content Marketing Works

Many people think that the reason you produce a piece of content is so that someone will read/listen/view that content and will be inspired to make a purchase.

Even if you promote this piece of content on social media, and it gets shared a healthy number of times on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, this still doesn’t mean that the people who shared and consumed it are going to sign up for whatever it is you are selling.

This is simply not how content marketing works.

How Content Marketing Works

First you must create new content and share it on social media, and repeat this process over and over again until you get good at it. You need to keep at it and continue to improve until you find the type of content that will resonate with your audience. This is as much about improving as a content producer as it is a trial-and-error process!

And once you have done this, it is almost never the case that someone will stumble upon our content, without having any kind of history with your brand, and then decide to purchase from you.

What does happen, then? People will consume your content many times (because you are creating a lot of it and sharing it!), and they will start to form a positive image of your brand. Because you are creating valuable, interesting content, they will look at you as a trusted resource. Then when they are in need of the service or product you offer, they will remember your brand and the many positive interactions they’ve had with your content.

Even if they don’t remember your brand, they will most likely perform a web search for the type of product or service you offer. And because they have been to your site many times, it will show up higher in their personal Google search results, and now that they have the need and they have a positive image of your brand in mind, they will purchase from you.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Keep this model in mind so that you don’t get discouraged when your first few blog posts/YouTube videos/podcasts don’t immediately drum up sales. It is the companies that keep producing valuable content that earn their customer’s mindshare and eventually their patronage.

This post is based on a YouTube video by Rand Fishkin — Greatest Misconception in Content Marketing