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 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

Easy Web Marketing: Increase Ecommerce Revenue for Free

Easy web marketing by increasing revenue with Receiptful. From PMI, serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, Bethlehem, York, Lebanon, Pennsylvania and beyond with services to develop your online marketing strategy.If you are interested in a simple way to increase your ecommerce revenue, you should check out Adii Pienaar’s new web startup, Receiptful. Receiptful empowers you to send your customers “supercharged receipts” that include up-sells, discount codes, opportunity for customer feedback, and more.

Why Receipts?

Ecommerce receipts are a huge web marketing opportunity! While it is harder than ever to get a user’s attention on the Internet, almost everyone checks their email receipts. This is where Receiptful comes in.

Receiptful integrates with your ecommerce platform, so that when your customer checks their receipt to make sure the transaction was recorded properly, they are greeted with  your company’s logo, related products, promotional discounts, and a chance to share customer feedback on their online shopping experience.

Here is an example of what your receipt could look like using Receiptful:

An example of a Receiptful receipt that you can use to improve your web marketing and increase ecommerce sales.Right off the bat, you can tell this looks much nicer than most email receipts used on the web today, many of which are simply text.

You have probably spent a good amount of time and money on your company logo, so having it front and center to help build brand recognition is a good first step. The receipt builder integrated in the Receiptful platform allows you to then add a discount code (see above) or an up-sell. You can even have the discount code expire to encourage a swift return visit to your online store.

You can also add a feedback module (not seen above) so that your customers can share whether they had a good or bad experience shopping with you. If they had a bad experience, you want to be the first to know so you can rectify it before they share the bad experience with others! You can show your customers that you value them by responding in a timely and personal manner. By fixing their problem, you also have an opportunity to turn a customer with a bad experience into a customer who is loyal and appreciative of your swift customer support.

Is It Really Free?

Yes! Receiptful is 100% free. They have stated that their “supercharged receipts” will always be free, so you don’t have to worry about switching to their service and then getting dinged later. They are planning to create new functionality that they will charge for, but all existing functionality will be free forever.

How Do I Get Started?

If you are using WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, or EasyDigitalDownloads, there are Receiptful integrations ready to be installed. If you aren’t using one of these services, there is also a custom API to incorporate the Receiptful service into any ecommerce platform. This is significantly more work than using the pre-existing integrations though.

If you are looking to improve your web marketing and increase your ecommerce revenue, you should give Receiptful a try for yourself!