Over the years, one constant that has remained true is that consumers hate being sold to. In the digital age, people are constantly bombarded by ads, with some people even installing ad blockers to limit their intake. This is why peer marketing can be so effective. Any customer that tells someone else about their success with or enjoyment of a product is helping build trust for that brand. A positive review coming from a peer can do a lot to convince someone to purchase a product or service.
Despite peer marketing being such a great method for creating demand for a product, however, not every business approaches it the same way. Several companies look at peer marketing as an afterthought and instead focus on targeted ads and other forms of outreach. This aversion to peer marketing could stem from how inefficient some companies view it because it can be more difficult to quantify.
These six experts from Ad Age Collective have delved deep into the art of peer marketing. Here, they offer their insights into making peer marketing more effective so that more businesses can start benefiting from the approach.
1. Add a personal touch to all of your interactions.
Add a personal touch to all of your interactions and stay engaged with the customer. No one wants to feel like they're just another buyer in your plan to increase revenue. They want an interaction that has meaning and honesty. Ask them questions about themselves, and start discussions about issues and hobbies relevant to them. A little interest goes a long way. - Duran Inci, Optimum7
2. Help peers feel the "must-share" moment.
Share your brand with peers in your target group and help them experience all aspects of the brand and feel the real brand difference. The best peer marketing happens when you help an influencer reach a point of "must share" after experiencing your brand. That "must share" is one of the most authentic and effective positive buzz moments your brand can ever get. - Arjun Sen, ZenMango
3. Focus on delivering extraordinary value.
Deliver extraordinary value. As much as marketers would love to think otherwise, most products that consumers buy are adequate. They meet their needs and that's it. If you want people to really start shouting from the rooftops to their peers, you need to deliver an exceptional experience that is completely out of the ordinary. People aren't surprised by much these days, so make sure you do! - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
4. Build flexibility into every brand ambassador program.
Build flexibility into every brand ambassador program. Peer-to-peer marketing programs can be an authentic and effective way to connect with consumers, but it is important to allow your brand ambassadors to use their own voice and adapt tactics to fit their lives. Asking every brand ambassador to do the same thing the same way may be more efficient, but it will be far less effective. - Issa Sawabini, Fuse
5. Help your best customers convey their earned status.
Status is a powerful motivator. Create ways for your best customers or ambassadors to naturally convey their earned status. Airlines do a good job with their tiered loyalty programs that convey status to all the other travelers. Privileges or experiences worth sharing are a great way to do this. Think special upgrades, access, events, etc. - Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)
6. Focus on specific values your audience relates to.
People feel motivated when they're moving from a place of strong values. You can make your audience feel more passionate about sharing your brand by focusing on specific values that they relate to. For example, a store can focus on locally-sourced craftsmanship as a way to support local artisans. People will be willing to support value-based business and will share your content. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner