Referral marketing brings together all those strategies aimed to increase sales thanks to the user’s favourable opinion on the brand. It is the classic word of mouth, adapted to the digital world.
A clear example is represented by feedback on websites such as TripAdvisor, Amazon or BlaBlaCar, where customer ratings are vital, as they affect purchasing decisions.
Several companies, including Airbnb and Dropbox, opted for referral marketing programs, that drove enormous growth.
The key to success
Why does referral marketing work so well? According to Nielsen‘s report, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising (i.e. banners on websites). The trust generated becomes the base of a stable brand-customer relationship.
Where to find “advisors”
Unlike influencer marketing (where the protagonists are celebrities), referral marketing highlights ordinary people’s feedback. People you can find on social media that leave a favourable opinion on a product or service, or customers that give positive feedback after a satisfying experience with a brand.
Once you get these reviews, you can spread them using:
– an interview, included in a video or a blog article
– a favourable quote (in order to strengthen credibility; it is always better to use first and last names and add a photo)
– a case study in which you highlight the strong points of the product/service
– social media
– an event where the brand is present.
Discounts and gifts are incentives that encourage clients to refer and translate to more clients! But mind out! Don’t publish fake ratings, as this could damage the brand, discrediting and undermining overall credibility.