Our latest guide to the most interesting things happening in the world of advocacy marketing

1. The top 12 most reliable marketing channels for entrepreneurs

Keeping existing customers happy while gaining new ones is key to any business’s success. And the best way to do that is to connect with your target audience–those customers that won’t just buy your product, but might also spread the word to their friends. But, how do you figure out the best channel to reach them? While it naturally depends on your consumers and your product, we also might have some ideas. For example, creating personal connections with consumers is key, and referral marketing is the best at that. What separates you from the competition isn’t just your product, but the feeling you leave your customers with. Referral marketing allows you to leverage your happy customers’ trust to elevate their experience. Another top marketing channel? Word-of-mouth. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there’s no better marketing channel than a happy customer, and one happy target customer can lead to many more. Interested? Check out 10 more top marketing channels that might just help you find your target audience.

2. The power of customer reviews for small business

Reputation is everything in business. No matter the size of your company, your good name is one of your top assets, and customer reviews remain a key way to prove that your business is both trustworthy and transparent to potential customers. What’s more, a recent search ranking factors survey found that reviews have a 15% chance of influencing businesses’ position in search results. With more people than ever turning to the Internet to find brands that fit their needs, customer reviews play a central role in converting searchers into customers. So how can your business promote customer reviews? Respond to both good and bad reviews. Ask customers what could turn a just okay experience into an exceptional one. And follow up with customers. Check back in a week or two after a purchase and ask how it’s going. Finally, make it easy! Include links to review pages in all communications with customers. Ask questions on social media and remind customers to post feedback about their experience. While there’s always risk involved when seeking public feedback, customers reviews provide a vital opportunity to identify potential areas of growth and for authentic and organic advertising. Check out the full article.

3. Tips for working with a TikTok influencer

TikTok has become the fastest growing platform ever with more than two billion downloads in two years. While initially it was finding its footing in terms of how to monetise content, now it’s clear that the app’s viral content and hugely popular influencers are perfect for sponsored content. But, how do you get started? First, play around with the app and get acquainted with TikTok’s algorithm. The ‘For You’ page might look like just another ‘Trending’ or ‘Discover’ page, but once you start liking or sharing content, the algorithm will optimise the feed to fit your interests. What does this mean for brands? Associate your brand with a popular song, dance, challenge or hashtag and you’ll have more viewers in no time. Next, make sure your content inspires audience participation. TikTok thrives on everyday users putting their own spin on trending challenges. If your influencer can tap into an ongoing trend, lots of everyday users are likely to join in, creating potentially thousands of organic impressions that can reach new customers. While TikTok is still in its early stages, branded TikTok content might just be what your business needs to drive audience awareness and engagement in a fun and cost-effective way. Check out the full article to learn more about working with influencers on TikTok.

4. Top 16 tactics to get more Google Reviews for your business

Most companies are aware of the importance of search engine optimization. But what about Google review optimization? Given how much shoppers value customer reviews, Google has factored them into its local ranking algorithm–both the quantity and the quality. The average customer reads a minimum of 10 reviews before purchasing an item. And with Google reviews front and center when consumers search online, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that more Google reviews equals more purchases. So how can you optimize your business’s use of Google reviews? First, brush up on Google’s Terms of Service. No offering rewards for reviews here. Plus, your business needs to be considered a “place” on Google Maps and you need to create a Google My Business account and get verified as the owner of that business. Once you’ve mastered the basics, make sure customers know how to leave a review by including instructions on your website, or create a Google review shortcut. Read on for 16 tips for maximizing your Google reviews.

5. Five best practices to optimize your influencer marketing campaigns

You could say that successful influencer marketing is both an art and a science. Content creation and briefing the influencer on the desired outcome is a fundamentally creative process while driving a campaign’s ROI up is pure, practiced science. Now add in some of the added challenges of remote working and everything gets a bit more difficult. So how can you make sure you, your team and hired influencers are all on the same page? Brief influencers early and clearly. You need to communicate exactly what you expect from a campaign, then let them add their personal touch to your specific framework. Next, be sure to provide brand materials upfront. Is there a certain regulatory language they need to use? Are there official assets that they’ll need? Create a strong, organized workflow to make sure everything is clear and approved upfront. Next, coordinate campaigns for maximum impact. Working with two similar influencers? Coordinate the timing of campaigns to overlap to maximize chances of repeat impressions with the shared audience. It’s all about stacking the odds in your favor to make your campaign as successful as possible. Read on to find out more best tips and tricks.

6. The power of word of mouth in the era of social media

When the average consumer is exposed to thousands of ads per day, it can be hard to attract their attention. And it’s easy to assume based on how much advertising has grown and changed that your ad needs to rely on a range of slick new tactics to stand out from the crowd. But given how bombarded with information the average customer is, it’s the tried and true methods that work consistently to differentiate businesses and products in the minds of customers. That’s right–with today’s sophisticated consumers being able to spot inauthentic marketing spin a mile away, it’s the most unbiased methods of marketing that stick. And there’s nothing more reliable than a personal recommendation from a trusted source. But why is word-of-mouth so consistently reliable? Well, when using word-of-mouth, customers clearly articulate why they like your product or service. That’s better than a catchy jingle any day. Plus, they’re communicating directly with their friends and family–people who are likely to be similar to your happy customer, and thus your target audience. Building a customer base that is loyal can’t be forced, and word-of-mouth does just that. Read more here.

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