Referral Marketing 101: How to Create Content Your Current Customers Want to Share

October 15, 2019
emily amos

Creating intentional content that is targeted at your prospects is one of the main goals of any content marketing strategy. But have you considered how you can tap into referral marketing by involving your current customers in your marketing initiatives?

This is a process that’s called referral marketing. Referral marketing is becoming more and more intertwined with content marketing. But before we dig into what referral marketing can do to improve your organization’s content marketing strategy, let’s first get clear on what referral marketing is:

What is referral marketing?

Referral marketing is a promotional strategy that encourages current customers to refer new prospects, sometimes with an added incentive. While referrals can happen organically, it’s also smart to try to encourage referrals through intentional action. 

If you’re looking to take your content marketing strategy to the next level, consider how you can use your content to directly encourage referral marketing with your current customers or clients. 

Here’s a referral marketing process you may want to follow: 

1. Provide an fantastic customer experience that goes above and beyond the call of duty 

Referral marketing starts by creating an experience for your current customers that is so high quality it blows their minds. Consider getting to know your customers more intimately by reaching out to them and checking in on how they’re making out with your service or product.

By building trust and intimacy with your customers through targeted customer experience initiatives, you increase the likelihood that they will refer your service or offering to someone else. 

From here, you can bring some direct content marketing strategies into the equation. 

2. Create content that speaks directly to your customers’ needs

Next, request to hop on a call to see if there’s anything else you can do to help them further their goals or meet their needs. Pick their brains, but mostly offer them a chance to speak. Is there a portion of your product that they find confusing or need a little guidance on? Are they aware of additional ways your service can add value for them?

With the first-hand information you gather from that call, you can create content that specifically addresses their questions or concerns. Keep in mind that for the purposes of referral marketing, you want this content to be applicable to other readers. You also want new prospects who are interested in researching what your service or product could do for them. 

3. Reach back out to the original customer with your new content

Lastly, provide the new content you created to the person you had the conversation with. The email could look something like this:

“Hi John,

Thank you for taking the time to chat with me last week. On our call, you mentioned that you were a bit confused about how to operate our system. Because of our conversation, we created a blog post that runs through the steps of our system more clearly. We hope that this offers some clarity for you and our other customers. 

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you do.” 

At the end of this correspondence, consider suggesting that the reader share the content on social media or with a friend if they found it helpful. This gives the content another opportunity to be as shareable and as multi-purpose as possible.

The customer will feel relieved to have a solution to their problem, while also feeling heard and valued by you. It’s customer experiences like this that create a trusting bond between you and your customers. And give them the motivation to refer your product or service to someone else who might share the same needs. 

Get your own referral marketing strategy in gear

It’s through a content marketing strategy such as the one outlined in this blog post that you can start putting into place your own referral marketing strategy with your current clients.

Other ways to achieve referral marketing include offering discounts for direct referrals, providing a referral code unique to each customer that will save both themselves and their friend some money, or prompting current customers to leave a review of your product or service to unlock a free guide that addresses a pain point of theirs. These are all examples of how you can use referral marketing to enhance your overall online marketing strategy. 

Is referral marketing something you would consider for your organization? If so, why? Let me know in the comment section below. 

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