In today’s competitive, crowded, omnichannel world, how does a small business with no budget attract attention? Word-of-mouth marketing is the best tool you have that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The good news is there are cheap word-of-mouth marketing options out there to help you grow your company organically. Here are five tips and tricks to get to improve your brand reputation when you don’t have a big marketing budget.

1. Let Your Customers Be Your Voice

People cringe a little at self-promotion. But nobody should have a problem when other people say how great you are. When customers who have actually bought your product rave about it, the testimony is authentic. Implement reviews on your eCommerce website so that customers can rave about your products. Monitor reviews to remove any that are spammy or include inappropriate content.

2. Get Really Cheap Word-of-Mouth from Forums and Online Groups

Create a place where customers can share their experience of your products. This can be a social media platform for posting photos or a discussion thread for feedback where people can ask questions about your products. A forum is a great way to collect your target market in one place. Make sure you have the control to moderate that might put people off and respond to posts to show that you are proactive and customer-centric. Facebook is a great place for retailers to create a mini “cult-following”.

3. Win Over the Influencers

Another great way to get cheap word-of-mouth marketing is to collaborate with people who have influence in your industry. These can be bloggers, or Youtube or Instagram influencers. or even celebrities that like what you do. You can offer an influencer a product in exchange for a review, but be careful about paid endorsements. In the first place, this isn’t a cheap word-of-mouth approach. But more importantly, companies that pay influencers for endorsements may get into hot water if they don’t let the public know money was involved.

4.  Start an Affiliate Program

This is something I learned about recently and may be new to other B2Cs, as well. Commission Factory any other platforms manage url links for bloggers to put into the code on their websites or a unique url link for each influencer which is tracked. The  great thing about this is it’s cheaper than advertising with bloggers bringing business to your site via the links on their blogs. You can also provide influencers with discount codes for their social media where people will get a certain amount of discount with the code and the influencer will also get around 8-10% commission on top. The url links also work the same but don’t provide the customer with a code for discount just the influencer get 10% per sale with a cookie attached which means 30 days after the click to your B2C site if that person makes a sale the influencer will still get commision.

5. Give Customers a Reason to Refer

Offer customers a discount or gift-with-purchase if they refer a customer. Many B2Cs do this via an email marketing campaign or a pop-up window on their home page. These promotions usually come with terms and conditions, so make it clear to the customer about the rules.

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