Harness the Power of Your Customers to Build Brand Awareness for Your Small Business Jessica Lunk In basketball, you need defense and offense working together to set picks and set the pace of the game. You might have one all-star scoring points but you still need your other players on the court. You have to coordinate and bring everyone together to create the magic of a winning team. Likewise, driving success to your business requires a bird’s eye view of all your moving parts. Cross-channel marketing to your customers will help you develop game-winning plays that will conserve budget and make your audience work for you to build brand awareness. Here’s how to create a cross channel marketing campaign for your business: 1. Find Your Best Customers Start by listening to what your best customers are saying about you: Do you know who your promoters are? What do your best customers say about your company? What do you do that your customers love the most? A simple question to ask your customers is how likely they are to refer your company on a scale from 1 – 10. This is called a Net Promoter Score (NPS): Detractors: 1-6 Neutral: 7-8 Promoters: 9-10 2. Discover What Makes Them Tick Your promoters are those who believe in your mission. They get why you are in business and are attracted to your company culture and values. Using their feedback will help you develop messaging and campaign ideas to get similar folks’ attention and strengthen your brand. After you have determined who your promoters are, interview them to get further feedback. Take that feedback from your best customers and start playing around with developing a hashtag or campaign messaging from what they’ve said. 3. Incorporate Your Company Values Bring in your values and culture – the glue to an integrated marketing campaign. Who you are attracts a certain kind of customer. Monitor what your competitors are doing, but don’t replicate their marketing and messaging. Be yourself, & you’ll attract the right folks. Transparency builds trust among current customers and future customers. Staying true to your core values allows you to maintain a consistent voice across all of your marketing channels. If you’re a straight-laced guy, trying to build an edgy brand won’t feel authentic to you or your audience. If your marketing does not match your core values, you won’t attract your best or even the right customers. 4. Integrate Your Channels After identifying your best customers and reviewing your core values, main themes will begin to crop up that you can translate to your marketing channels. Your messaging should always speak to your ideal buyer and your company. Email Use email to get your customers talking about your brand. Ask for exactly what you want and explain what they will get out of it when they complete the action. For example, offer a $5 Starbucks gift card in exchange for an online review of your product. Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, and industry specific review sites are great places to capture online reviews. Focus on one review site per campaign to get the most participation from your customers. Content Content marketing is a great tool to use to showcase your expertise. Release content that can strengthen your brand awareness message during your campaign. For example, during our Marketing Madness campaign, we asked customers to vote on their favorite marketing tactics. At the same time, we published March-Madness-related blog posts and resources on our blog to maintain a consistent theme across all of our marketing channels, making a powerful statement. Direct Mail This is the fun piece! Surprise those who have participated in your campaign with a little something extra. What’s great about an unexpected gift is that there are no expectations! Even something as simple as a little box of chocolates will delight your customers. Who doesn’t love surprise candy? Social Media With your direct mail gift, ask your customers to post a pic of their surprise. Most will, but including a unique branded hashtag will help strengthen your brand awareness and broaden your social reach. Word of mouth marketing is such a powerful tool! When others see the great, genuine things you do for your customers, they will want to work with you, too. When you integrate all of these tactics, you’re putting your money where your mouth is. Your email, content, direct mail and social presence all tie in together, making it simple for your customers to pick up the torch and say the right things about you. The most powerful marketing translates digital marketing into word-of-mouth brand awareness. As your customers spread the word, they’ll paint an accurate picture of the type of company you are and what it is like working with you. 5. Timing It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a great idea, and then immediately try to execute it. However, if you let your campaigns breathe at right time when you have the right budget, more pieces will fall into place. Like writing, it takes more time to edit than to execute. For instance, if you have a press release coming out with potential of media coverage, a timed campaign with lots of customer engagement will look awesome! Remember, simplicity is key! The more elements you add, the harder it will be to connect all the pieces. If it’s complicated, it’s not fun, and you won’t want to do. Do something that is fun for you, too! Your best customers work with you because they support what you’re doing. Use the right combination of marketing channels to the right audience, at the right time will strengthen your brand and customer relationships.