Clever marketing and advertisements have a lot to answer for, but as consumers become more savvy to new ad techniques and sponsored content, they also become more suspicious of what is said and done online around brands, products and services.
Ever noticed that the top search result on Google is an ad, and purposely clicked on another listing? You’re not the only one. Awareness of paid advertising is growing all the time and it’s estimated that over 60% of Google users now know when a listing isn’t organic. While this isn’t a bad thing per se, it does mean that many users discount these search results as they know they’re not entirely genuine – they’re placed where they are because of expenditure, not authenticity.
The most effective form of marketing remains word-of-mouth. People trust people, and in the absence of being able to build up a one-on-one relationship with someone face-to-face every time you meet or hear of a potential new customer, word-of-mouth and first-hand testimonials can be truly valuable: for both their authenticity and their human feel.
So, how can my existing client base help?
Of course, we all hope that our current clients are singing our praises to every relevant professional contact they meet but realistically, they’re as busy as you are, and they probably have other things to talk about! Thankfully, there’s way to utilise your existing (happy) clients’ feelings on your products and services, but it does take a little effort.
Existing clients can provide written testimonials and feedback, as well as supply photos of their own experiences with your company. Their experiences can be re-purposed into case studies, included in blogs and PR pieces, and incorporated into elevator pitches and press kits. This is all invaluable first-hand marketing that can be adapted and used in various different ways. And best of all? It’s free!
That said, it takes time and effort to build up a decent content library of genuine customer feedback. Customers must be approached, nurtured and then chased; and copy must be gathered, edited/corrected, and re-purposed into usable content.
How I can help build your customer feedback base.
As a VA, the time you don’t have is the time I do. I can approach your customers and explain to them what you’re hoping to do, how we’re looking to use their thoughts and feedback, and I can chase and then utilise the feedback in the best possible manner. This can be done however suits you and your audience best – by phone, e-mail or through LinkedIn messages – and can be done to meet your deadlines. What’s more, I know how to most effectively re-purpose and brand your content so that it can be used on a variety of different social media and digital channels to the best of its ability.
Ain’t no touch like the human touch… and real human feedback is exactly that.