I read a great article yesterday on the topic of companies paying to incentivize getting their customers to provide word-of-mouth referrals. The article was titled “The Real Truth About Referral Incentives” and the author Jeff Riddle puts into context a lot of what I have been blogging about over the last week. In my last post, I suggested that putting your best customers at the center of your advertising strategy was the first thing you should do to work towards achieving the coveted viral loop. In this post I want to share a few of Jeff’s ideas in the context of your desire to create a viral referral loop for your business.
Every bootstrapping entrepreneur knows that they need to spend more time on their advertising strategy, but for one reason or another don’t. I belive the reason for this is that it is often expensive and time consuming to figure out the ins and outs of all the various ways you can advertise your business to drive new customer traffic in the door. Everything from pay per click (PPC) ads, banner ads, social media marketing, yellow pages, radio and television is offered up by pushy sales reps trying to convince you that their solution will provide a ROI. I say ignore all of this and focus on this: YOUR BEST CURRENT CUSTOMERS!!!
I was chatting with my mom over the weekend about how the different online advertising campaigns she was trying were doing for her business. She is the business manager and co-owner of a chiropractic wellness center in Georgia. What I heard made me cringe. She told me that the money she was spending on internet advertising wasn’t providing a return on investment. She also told me that after several years of trying various online advertising campaigns most of her business still comes from word of mouth advertising.