One of the best ways to advertise your business is to increase the size of your marketing team. What you need is a marketing staff numbering somewhere in the area of a few hundred to several thousand, depending on the size and scope of your brand.
That sounds crazy, right? But let’s stop and consider who the real marketers are these days. When a hot new movie comes out, who does most of the marketing? Even if the studio hits you with a TV spot for the flick every ten minutes, is it the trailer that gets you into the theater, or is it your friends on Facebook telling you how amazing this movie is? When your kid sees an ad for Nike, is it really the ad that has them begging you for a pair, or is it the fact that everyone at school has name brand shoes?
Your best marketers are your customers, people who will spread your message not because you’re paying them to (though that does come into play in some marketing models), but because they are sincerely hyped about what it is that you’re selling.
We don’t mean that “your best marketers are your customers” in the sense they could be, they already are, no matter what it is you’re selling. Even when it comes to something as simple as paper towels, we tend to buy the brands our roommates buy, or the brand our parents bought. We see movies as a group and it’s usually the film that the most passionate film-lover in our group wants to see, we rent or buy in the same neighborhoods as our family, we buy the same brand of cigars our grandpa smoked.
The trick is not to get your customers to advertise for you, but to consider that they’re already advertising for you, and your job is to amplify their voices. Here are a few ways that you can do that:
The Amazon Affiliate program is the most obvious example of a company offering incentives to get people talking, but you also see brands holding contests and giving prizes away to those who share their content.
- Product branding
Fashion labels make sure that their logo is placed prominently on many of their products. This isn’t just so that people can identify a Gucci bag on sight, but so that Gucci’s customers can brag about carrying a Gucci bag.
- “And one for a friend”
Many digital publishers are now giving away free copies so that users can share their purchase with a friend. You may think “doesn’t that eliminate at least one possible sale?” Well, think of it this way: it gets you one free advertiser who didn’t even need any convincing.
Your customers are already your advertisers, amplify their voices, and show them your gratitude.
Writer Bio: Gilbert S is a writer and artist who lives in rural New Mexico with his wife and with his dog Sir Kay.