Recommendation marketing, i.e. how to create a good opinion about the company

recommendation marketing

Opinions have a huge impact on purchasing decisions. If you want to effectively promote your business online, you must take care of recommendation marketing. How to do it? You can find out from the guide below.

Recommendation marketing forms a very important part of internet marketing. According to the study Local Consumer Review Survey The 82% of American consumers reads reviews on local businesses on the Internet. Moreover, the average user gets as many as 10 reviews before being able to trust the company. At the same time, only 53% consumers are considering taking advantage of the company's offerings having less than 4/5 stars. So you can say that referral marketing is a key criterion influencing the purchasing decision. Therefore, in today's post, we advise you on how to create a good reputation about the company thanks to reference marketing.

What is referral marketing?

Reference marketing, also known as recommendation marketing or opinion marketing, is activities aimed at making the customer share his opinion about a product, service or store with a wider group of people. By implication, the goal is for the store to get as many authentic and flattering feedback as possible. This is to increase trust in the company and encourage other people to buy as well.

The average user reads as many as 10 reviews before being able to trust the company.

Make him trust yours. We will help.

Currently good opinion about the company its main focus is on the internet, and many agencies offer it as part of theirs B2B marketing. There are various types of websites and tools that allow you to post opinions and evaluate given products and services. Reference Marketing includes recommendations regarding:

  • products,
  • services,
  • the company itself,
  • a specific brand,
  • companies as employers,
  • doctors and specialists of various industries.

In addition, the components of the reviews are opinions on the appearance of the product, its operation, method of shipment and pace of delivery, quality of workmanship, price and customer service.

Recommendation marketing definition

The increasing use of the Internet and newer forms of communication make companies use non-traditional marketing tools. One of them is recommendation marketing. The definition of this concept is often equated with word of mouth marketing due to inaccurate translation from the English language. Recommendation marketing, also known as referral marketing, is primarily about providing recipients with a reason to talk about a product, brand service or a given company. In Matthias' subject literature, Tewes is referred to as "direct and verbal communication between two or more people that contains positive, negative or neutral information." Which means that the person providing the recommendation does not gain any material benefits from it.

Whisper marketing, on the other hand, "aims to generate positive recommendations from potential and existing customers about a product or brand," points out Mark Hughes. In reference marketing, consumers promote products to their friends, family and friends in a completely informal manner using, for example, their e-mail addresses, Facebook Messenger or other messengers. The key to understanding the definition is to motivate our satisfied consumers to follow their recommendations over an extended period of time.

Word of mouth and recommendation marketing: differences

Featured here recommendation marketing it is not word of mouth marketing. These concepts should not be equated. Word of mouth marketing is the publication of opinions commissioned by the company by people who receive money for it. These reviews are not authentic, but that doesn't mean they don't work. Many companies use word of mouth marketing in their activities.

Reference marketing, on the other hand, focuses on getting authentic and true reviews from verified customers who actually made a purchase. The value of genuine recommendations is much, much greater than the so-called whispers and has a real impact on the long-term trust that customers have in the company.

How to create a good reputation for a company thanks to reference marketing?

Opinion marketing activities focus on three areas:

  • getting as many opinions as possible,
  • obtaining as many positive opinions as possible,
  • neutralizing negative reviews.

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Gaining feedback

In order to obtain as many opinions as possible, it is necessary to implement the tools. Firstly, they are to encourage consumers to share their observations with others, and secondly - to make it easier for them thanks to, inter alia, automation. How to get opinions on the internet using recommendation marketing? Register on websites that give you this opportunity. For example, Google users can review and rate companies that have a listing in Google My Business. So let's put it on and complete it correctly.

On the other hand, in the case of online stores, it is worth adding a review module on the website that allows you to rate and comment on individual products. For a simple reason - various studies on online stores have revealed that the customer is much more likely to choose a product with reviews visible on the product card.

How to get positive opinions on the Internet?

And how to get flattering opinions about the company? It is enough to be an honest and reliable seller. Although people in general are more likely to leave a comment if they don't like something than if they like it, they are also increasingly sharing their positive experiences. If you successively work on improving customer service, ensure quick shipments of goods, enable a trouble-free return and offer competitive prices - customers will surely appreciate it. There is also a good chance that they will give it a positive opinion and a 5-star rating.

Planning your recommendation marketing also use the newsletter and customer data. After completing the order, you can send an e-mail to the customer asking him to leave an opinion on a website with opinions, eg Opineo or Allegro.  

How to deal with negative comments?

Sales communication is very important in referral marketing. First of all, do not demand removal of negative comments and do not scare your clients with a lawyer. Currently, it is the easiest way to an image crisis and loss of trust of other customers. According to the research text mentioned at the beginning, as many as 97% people who read reviews also read responses from companies. They see if the company responds quickly and professionally to opinions, especially negative ones.

Recommendation marketing and a matter of trust

The basis of recommendation marketing is customer trust in the company. We have already written about it in our text Why are references for a construction company crucial. Ultimately, it is it that determines that the customer will buy the product. If a company has a lot of negative feedback and comments from dissatisfied customers, it will quickly lead to a decline in confidence and, consequently, a decline in sales.

Recommendations are especially important now, when there is enormous competition on the Internet. The price is no longer the main selection criterion. Having two items at a similar price side by side, we need a separate factor that will show us which seller is worth buying. The easiest way is to rely on the opinions of other people - if they bought and were satisfied, then I will almost certainly have no problems buying in this store. Based on this assumption recommendation marketing can become a key way of acquiring new customers.

Recommendation marketing and purchasing decisions

There are many factors that influence customers' final purchasing decisions. In addition to preferences, price and good product presentation, these are the opinions of other customers. According to the data, most users check comments posted by other Internet users - and every second buyer reads them all. Consumers are more likely to believe the opinions left by others than the information provided by the store or the manufacturer - and at the same time they are open to spending up to 30% more on a given product or service solely thanks to the good opinions of other customers. Why? The recommendation is authentic for consumers, because it was issued by a "real" person - the one who purchased the product or used the services of a given company. Thanks to this, the opinion is real and fully reliable.

Recommendation marketing

The credibility of the information provided is equal to the high effectiveness of the recommendation. A satisfied customer is the company's best ambassador. Social proof of rightness is of great importance here. According to this principle, consumers make decisions based on what others think and behave. It can be boiled down to a simple phrase - "others know better". Interestingly, brands eagerly use the social proof effect in their promotional campaigns, creating the slogans “we have been trusted by millions of Poles.

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Positive comments prove that the product is worth buying. The subjective assessment of the value of reviews and their number are of the greatest importance here. In a nutshell: the more and more positive opinions a given product has, the higher the probability that the consumer will invest in it.

However, in referral marketing, it's not just positive reviews that count. Negative comments also matter. Some even believe that they have the greatest influence on what purchasing decision the consumer ultimately makes and what attitude he will adopt towards the brand. There are usually fewer negative reviews and more information. Dissatisfied customers are willing to leave their comments about the product.

They usually write more and in more detail than people who are satisfied with the purchase - these usually post simple comments in the style of "recommend" and rate the product / service 5 stars, which unfortunately does not give any factual answer to what the product really is or authentic condition reflects what was presented in the photos. So how to make sure that customers are willing to share their positive impressions about the purchased products? Reference Marketing you need to enter your marketing strategy and public relations activities. How to do it correctly?

How to use recommendation marketing in the company's strategy?

Recommendation marketing is an effective form of customer acquisition that can be used by virtually any company. Recommendations made by users can be divided into two groups of opinions: "organic" and "generated".

Reference Marketing

Organic reviews are those that customers publish of their own free will. These are spontaneous reviews created by users who are satisfied with the product they have purchased. Organic reviews can also come from unsatisfied customers. Negative comments are not favorable to the brand, but you should bear in mind that they cannot be avoided.

Even when we offer products of excellent quality, we care about the highest standard of service and attach great importance to every element of the transaction, negative opinions may appear anyway. We have no influence on everything. Adverse comments can happen. The key is to respond to them appropriately.

negative opinions - how to fight them?

And how to motivate customers to leave positive feedback? It cannot be denied that people just… don't want to publish favorable comments. Why should they waste their time if everything was fine? Therefore, it is on the brand's side to encourage them to do so. How? It turns out that customers are willing to give a positive opinion about the company, if they receive a product of outstanding quality, will be very well served, meet with a professional, very positive approach of the brand or the order will be completed in a surprisingly short time - preferably before the agreed deadline.

The second type of recommendation - "generated" opinions - are comments issued after appropriate encouragement. Various tools and techniques can be used for this. The first is the transaction satisfaction rating system that appears immediately after making a purchase in an online store. The customer can provide a quick opinion directly in the store or on a special portal.

The second form is e-mail encouraging people to express their opinion about the product / brand. It is a system of automatic messages to customers containing thanks for the purchase and a request to complete a short review questionnaire. An incentive to complete the survey may be, for example, a discount code for subsequent purchases. You can use it in referral marketing social media.

Social Marketing

This form even has a name - social marketing. It consists in active activity in social media, directing questions to customers, etc. As part of social marketing, you can create a thematic group, e.g. on Facebook, which will bring together current and potential customers of the brand (e.g. for a company that sells dog food, it can be a group that brings together lovers of quadrupeds).

By interacting with its current customers, the brand will show its "human face", learn about the needs and problems of consumers and build strong relationships with them. It will give them a sense of uniqueness. The brand should be open to new audiences. Group activities should be an incentive for them to take advantage of the company's offer.

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Other forms of referral marketing are affiliate and ambassador programs. The use of recommendation marketing gives you a chance to gain new customers who will gladly use the offer again. It is a way to build lasting relationships based on trust. The result is an increase in product sales and the generation of higher profits. It should also not be forgotten that referral marketing can contribute to improvement brand image on the market, and thus ensure its stable position in the industry.

Recommendation marketing and influencer marketing

It has been very popular in recent years influencer marketing. It is a form of cooperation with Internet creators who, in return for remuneration or a product (barter), promote a given brand, its product or service in their social channels. Influencer marketing is a good way to reach a wide range of new customers - especially if your followers align with your company's target audience. What's more, cooperation with internet creators creates a brand that is more human, one that wants to be closer to its recipients, its customers. Why? Because the influencer identifies with the brand, shows its products in everyday life.

Influencer marketing

However, for influencer marketing to be effective, it must be properly planned and carried out in a creative, inventive way. The first condition is to find the right creator to collaborate with. First of all, it should be a person who perfectly fits the vision and character of the brand - it should share the same values and identify with the company.

Thanks to this, its message will be authentic, credible for the recipients - which will translate into an increase in their trust in the brand. The creator's content also affects the credibility of the creator. If his profile looks like a notice board (he undertakes a lot of cooperation), the next advertisement will not arouse the interest of observers - the brand may lose more than gain from such cooperation.

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The selected influencer should have good contact with their community. High ranges are not the best and most reliable selection criteria. What matters is the involvement of an influencer in building lasting, positive relationships with observers - the Internet community has greater trust in such creators.

The form of cooperation is also important. The campaign should be creative, unconventional, ideally suited to the influencer's content - the free message will be authentic and interesting.

However, can influencer marketing be defined as a form of recommendation marketing? Yes and no. Well, it is undoubtedly a kind of recommendation of a brand or its products, and thanks to this, the brand can gain new customers. However, the difference is that referral marketing takes the form of natural referrals, and in influencer marketing everything is planned. Usually, it looks like the creator publishes a favorable review of the product / service in return for appropriate remuneration or a product package. Can such an opinion be one hundred percent authentic and credible? Hard to say. It is definitely not completely natural. And referral marketing is all about this naturalness.

Which form of marketing should you use in your marketing strategy? Preferably both! Both recommendation marketing and influencer marketing can bring great results. The key is to approach them with full commitment.

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