Four Great Ways To Incentivize Word-of-Mouth Marketing

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Marketing has come a long way over the past few decades. Today, we have more avenues through which we can reach prospective customers than ever before, greater insights into how and why people choose which events to attend than we ever imagined possible. We have the ability to reach markets beyond anything that would have been possible even ten years ago.

And yet in spite of all this, the most powerful marketing technique of all has remained unchanged for millennia.

I’m speaking, of course, about word-of-mouth. Take off your marketer’s hat for a second, and try to think about things as a customer. Which of the three sounds most trustworthy to you?

  • A paid-for advertisement on Facebook

  • A sales representative for an event

  • A testimonial from a close friend or family member

Pretty obvious it’s option three, right?

There’s just one problem. How exactly do you get people talking about your products? The obvious first step is to offer exceptional quality, value, and service.

But beyond that, there are a few tactics you can use to really get people sharing.

Create a Competition

Winning feels good. I’ve yet to meet someone who would disagree. Why not use that to generate some buzz about your event?

Host a contest and ask your audience to share photos from last year’s event. If it is the event’s first year, ask contestants to share something they want to learn or experience at the event. The more referrals someone manages to generate, the higher their chances of winning. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it works.

That’s not the only thing you could do, either. User-generated content can also be a big draw, as well. Encourage users to create, submit, and share stories or media involving their relationship with your event, and allow everyone to vote on which entries are the best. Make sure you have a consistent, unique hashtag for the competition to keep everything organized.

Offer Meaningful Gifts of Bonuses

What do most referral programs offer? A cash reward? Money off a customer’s next purchase? A discount here and there?

Sure, those rewards are valuable, and they’re certain to attract more referrals. Why not take things a step further, and offer something that actually shows you care?

Branded merchandise is a great option here — just be sure you’re offering stuff your audience actually wants. Everyone has magnets and pens, so strive to be unique and offer something such as a cell phone charger or a t-shirt to really create momentum for your event.

Make It simple to spread the word

After you choose a social media platform for your event, your audience will be more apt to tell others about your event if the process is seamless. Make sure there is a share button after a ticket is purchased. This will help your audience tell their friends about the event.

Create a Facebook event and ask people you know are attending to invite their friends who live locally.

Once you have sold tickets, email the ticket holders images, videos, and text they can use to invite their friends to the event.  

get people talking

Word-of-mouth remains the most powerful marketing strategy both on the web and off — especially if you know how to leverage it. By incentivizing your audience to tell their friends and family about your event, you’ll generate more buzz than you ever imagined possible. And you’ll do it all while deepening your brand’s relationships with its most loyal customers.

About the Author:
Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.

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