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5 Ways on How to Include Customers in Your Marketing Strategy
I have a BIG news to tell you: the population of the world outnumber businesses.
Yes, it is indeed obvious, we all know that. What we want to show here is a problem many business-to-business (B2B) marketers face. Social media is more about the consumers looking for something, which is really good for business-to-consumers (B2C) marketers — but not-so-good for B2B marketers.
Why? Because most of the products and services offered by B2B businesses is out of reach for most consumers’ pockets. And the worst part is that most consumers don’t need their products. This makes most consumers not keen on following B2B profiles.
So, how does one tackle this conundrum? By including and involving your existing customers.
Many, if not most, businesses look for some “proof” of what you do, how you do it, and what other businesses say about you. Paying for something that can affect your business calls for background check.
Social media helps to expose many of a business’s background, and thus helps to share a transparent view of it.
Here are some ways how you can involve your existing clients into your marketing:
Sharing Your Clients’ Contents
If you have existing clients that share tons of contents on their social media accounts or websites, share their contents on your own profiles.
This is a win-win-win situation: your client gets free advertising, both of your viewers get more contents to consume, and you (yes you!) shows your client you love their content and your “future clients” will see your strong connection with your clients.
This also comes great on a time when you and your other co-marketers runs out of articles to post.
Share, retweet, use their hashtag, link to their contents, put them on your monthly newsletters, digg, pin, and all those sort of stuff — do them.
Or, you can do it the other way around — ask your clients to share your contents and post to their blogs or newsletters. This is a really good way of showing their customers your connection to them and how much they love your work.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to feature how your client succeeded using your product or service? In fact, yes it is, indeed. While it may sound very proud and boastful to some, don’t worry.
Case studies would serve you a great purpose in your marketing strategy: it will make for a solid proof — that your service can help other clients, and make them reach their goals.
However, choose the bigger or more well-known clients that you have (if any) because they may create the biggest impact. Imagine having Apple or Amazon as your client, well, you get the idea.
Doing case studies isn’t all too easy; it takes time and effort between you and your existing client. This takes cooperation on both sides, which is not often a blissful experience: the client may be too busy, you may be too busy, etc.
Coordinate very well with your client’s social media management team to get the most out of this strategy. Ask for photos, videos, infographics, data, and metrics, among others, so that you can present the idea clearly and concisely.
When publishing the case study, be sure to inform your client and ask them to promote it as well.
While the past 2 examples are synonymous with engagement, there are differences, however.
By “engage them” we mean that you do some dialogs, be it scripted or not, with your client. Ask them something through Twitter or Facebook, or if they asked you something, answer them in the best manner you can.
When you do engage them, make sure that you think of your audience with your words. Take a look at how brands talk to their clients and vice versa. They often engage in a light way so that users can relate. Don’t be too uptight.
Creating a script or storyboard helps to create a great engagement — but don’t sound like it. Your audience will surely spot heavily scripted dialogues and may become “disengaged” and you don’t want that to happen, do you?
You can start with a question, a joke, a quote, even graphics will do.
Ask For a Testimonial
This can be one of the biggest thing you can ask from your client. It can also be the one with the greatest effect on your B2B marketing strategy.
are indeed one of the best proofs of your excellence. It shows what your future clients can expect from your product or service. In fact, many consumers base their purchase decisions on testimonials or recommendations from friends, brands, and other notable consumers. Testimonials
Along with the rise of social media did the need for testimonials rose to new levels. Social media has made information about brands easily available and shareable. Looking up for a client’s testimonial — either positive or negative — is not hard to do anymore. And yes, because it is easier to do now, consumers and businesses look for testimonials from notable clients.
With the effect that testimonials have on your business, you may want to do a good job of getting the best testimonial you can get. Ask your client politely and professionally if they can give you a “good” testimonial. LinkedIn has a great way of getting testimonials, as well as sharing those testimonials. Twitter, Google My Business, and Facebook pages also offer a great platform for sharing testimonials.
Share testimonials on your website, blog, social media accounts, and even in print or ads. Just remember to ask for permission before publishing them.
The list above can show future clients that you have built a good professional relationship with your existing clients. But how about those who have not tested your services just yet? Or what about those with whom you have just started to have business with?
Don’t fret: you still have a choice.
Either you failed to deliver or surpassed your client’s expectations, feedbacks will improve you nonetheless. But especially on failed expectations, you will not only improve; you can also try to build your working relationship — or just to mend the bruises — with the client whom you failed.
You can use this situation to show that you were not at your best that is why you fail. And also, you can ask them to try your product or service and promise them that you will not fail them a second time. But be very careful as this may lead to a very, very bitter taste on the tongue if you fail again.
You may want to ask your client to keep this feedback off-the-records. Who knows what others might think about your business if they see stuff like these being said to you.
Feedback can also be requested for, say, an exclusive preview to a few select clients before you share to the rest of the world.
That’s about it: the 5 ways to include your clients onto your marketing strategy. We hope to have covered the basics of each. Which is your favorite? What did we miss? Which had the most impact to your business? We’d love to hear them: tell us in the comments below.
© 2015 Naven Pillai