Client: WordPress.com (Automattic)
The most impactful tool in your marketing toolkit is a delighted customer.
A satisfied customer gets what they expect, but you’ve got to go the extra mile to surprise and elate people. When you do, you’ve created an opportunity for customers to tell a story about their positive experience. The way you build your business website encourages that behavior and turns happy customers into brand advocates.
You’ve probably heard marketing gurus say “word-of-mouth is the best advertising you can get”. One reason is that you don’t pay for it — but you do have to work for it!
People won’t post five-star reviews if you simply deliver a functional product or service on time. You need to wow them by doing more than you’ve promised.
Here’s what Seth Godin says about word-of-mouth marketing:
Sure, it’s hard for you. Your brand doesn’t get as much as you like.
But that’s not what I mean.
It’s hard for the consumer. A few people like to blab and babble. Most people don’t…
Sure, 1% of your customers blog or post or just plain talk. They’re louder than ever before. But the other 99% represent a real opportunity for you. Figure out how to get them out there.”
If you’re providing an amazing product and service, your business website needs to be optimized to create word-of-mouth marketing. Here are a few ways you can use a WordPress.com website to encourage brand advocacy.
Tell shareable stories on your blog
Your company blog is an ideal place to generate brand advocacy, but you need to publish irresistible content that people want to share.
The typical customer won’t share press releases, ordinary company announcements, or any blog post that’s too promotional. Save that content for the News section of your website. Compelling content makes peoples’ jaws drop, makes them think, makes them laugh, or tugs at their heartstrings.
To create shareable blog content, ask yourself, “How will sharing this make my customers feel?” If it makes them feel like they’re passing along something smart, funny, or inspiring to their friends and followers, you’ve got a winner. Remember, your audience wants the validation of Likes and Shares, too.
Publishing stories that turn your customers into the hero of your blog content is an excellent way to encourage brand advocacy. It shows you care about the success of the people you serve.
We love telling stories about our customers on the Discover section of WordPress.com where we celebrate what people all over the world are doing with WordPress. That inspires others to do more with their websites. What kind of inspirational customer stories could you tell?
Make social sharing simple
Some businesses place a lot of emphasis on posting content on their own social media channels, but getting a social share from a customer is the real goal. According to Mention Me’s 2019 Customer Advocacy Report, people are far more likely to trust a social recommendation from a friend than an “influencer” like a YouTuber or celebrity.
When someone views compelling content on your site and wants to share it with their social network can they do so with a simple click? Eye-catching buttons will encourage digital word-of-mouth.
All WordPress.com plans come with the ability to add social sharing buttons to posts and pages on your website. Customize which social media channels appear and choose from a few different sharing button styles. To keep things uncluttered, pick a few social sites you know your audience uses. Other social channels can be hidden behind a “More” link.
Stay connected and keep customers engaged
Here are three ways to keep customers engaged with your brand using your business website:
- Social media icons: These clickable icons link to your social media accounts so customers will follow you. Some WordPress.com themes have social icons built into the website’s header and/or footer. Use the social icon widget to add these links in other places.
- Join the conversation: You’ll see more engagement from customers when you’re an active participant. Have someone monitor and respond to social media and blog comments in a timely fashion.
- Get customers to subscribe: An email newsletter is an effective way to distribute content and news to your customers. But, if you don’t have time for that, people can follow your blog and get updated whenever you publish something new. Find out more about using subscription and newsletter features from WordPress.com.
If you are creating valuable content, it can even add revenue to your site — using the new WordPress.com recurring payment feature. There are different ways of using recurring payments to earn money.
Highlight rave reviews
If you are going above and beyond, people will post positive reviews about your business. Rather than leaving those reviews on sites like Yelp, Amazon, or Google, publish them right on your business website.
The testimonials feature from WordPress.com is an efficient way to add and manage testimonials from delighted customers. The next time someone sends an email about a customer service rep who went out of her way to solve their problem or sings the praises of your unique product offerings — publish it on your website.
Build a page dedicated to customer testimonials, or add them to blog posts. If possible, ask permission to use the customer’s full name and a photo — as people can be skeptical of reviews. If you have well-known clients or customers with a respected reputation, ask them for a testimonial.
Advanced brand advocacy tactics
Once you’ve established a foundation of best practices for brand advocacy, explore more options.
Using the wide selection of plugins available to our business and eCommerce website owners, you can take brand advocacy a step further. Try a contest plugin to host a fun sweepstake or giveaway on your site, or create a customer referral program with a WordPress plugin.
When your brand partners with WordPress.com to build a better business website, you’ll find the tools to connect, engage, and share the amazing things your company is doing.