In the food industry, word-of-mouth marketing is an extremely important and powerful tool to accelerate your business. When a customer recommends your business, not only is it a testament to the quality of your food, but also shows their confidence in your business and the experience you provided. It's this confidence that influences potential customers to try your business and see the magic for themselves!
The goal is for your customers to be your marketers. No matter how much you promote the deliciousness of your food, there’s no better endorsement than from a customer who absolutely fell in love with your culinary creations. More and more customers are relying on family and friends for recommendations which means you need to stick out amongst other food entrepreneurs and deliver a service worth recommending.
Potential customers rely heavily on reviews from previous customers, so delivering exceptional service and food quality is crucial. In doing so, you are creating a loyal customer base who can spread positive word-of-mouth recommendations which will grow your business through existing customers.
The best thing about word-of-mouth marketing is that it's free! You’re not paying these people to talk about your business, they’re recommending you because they want other people to also enjoy your product. Although, there are some useful tactics you can use to help increase your chances of customers talking about your business and spreading these positive endorsements. We know your food is amazing, so let’s dive into some useful ways to increase your word-of-mouth marketing and start growing through existing customers!
Make your Business Stand Out From the Rest
It's no secret that it's a competitive world out there - entrepreneurs are starting new businesses daily. Therefore you need to make a product that’s worth talking about. Find something distinctive and unique about your business. This could be your excellent customer service, superior craftsmanship, creative packaging, interactive social media presence - or whatever sets your business apart from the competition.
Use this element as something people want to talk about. This is where you can really develop your uniqueness and show why you love what you do. Finding this unique niche should take time and patience to develop. Take the time to identify the area of your food business that has the greatest potential for growth and differentiation. By focusing on this area, you can set your business apart from the competition and give customers something to talk about.
Encourage Customer Order Sharing
A great way to get people to talk about your business is simply to ask them. At first, it may seem awkward to ask for a promotion, but your business can’t speak up for itself and you can ask in creative and friendly ways. One way is to include little inserts in your packaging, asking customers to share their orders on social media and tag your business. This could be a simple business card included in your package, a sticker on your packaging, or even at the end of a confirmation email.
Leave the creative element up to your customer by letting them decide how they choose to share your product, but make sure to remind them to tag you. More often than not you’ll find that people who order from small businesses like to support small businesses. Therefore, enlisting the help of your customers to spread the word about your food business is an effective way to generate positive promotions and attract new customers.
Implement Social Media Giveaways
Offering giveaways is a great incentive to encourage customers to share and promote your business. It’s no secret, people love getting stuff for free! By offering prizes to customers who promote your business, you increase the likelihood of them sharing your brand with their followers. It’s really up to you how you choose to run your giveaway.
For example, you could give away a dozen cupcakes and to enter participants must follow your business and tag two friends. Give participants a week or so to enter, and at the end, pick a winner randomly. These promotional activities will introduce your food business to potential customers who may not be aware of your business and also will significantly boost your social media presence. Some other ideas to enter the giveaway could be sharing the giveaway on their story, commenting on the post, reposting on their social media, or any other creative way to share the giveaway. The goal is to get the most eyes on your social media as possible to increase your online presence.
Ask for Reviews
It’s safe to assume that before placing their orders, your customers will most likely look up your company to see the reviews about your business. Therefore, it's important to encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google Business page. This not only gives them a chance to share their glowing comments about your business but also allows you to gain perspective from the customer’s perspective. Include your Google Business page link at the bottom of your confirmation emails, or include an instructions paper on how to find it in your packaging. You’ll want to monitor this page by responding to the reviews.
If a customer voices a complaint, instead of deleting the comment, explain how you will make reparations for their issue and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Ask them how you could improve their experience next time and what changes they would like to see going forward. This approach not only guarantees your customers’ satisfaction but also gives valuable insights into areas where your business can improve. Displaying genuine concern for your customer’s experience and satisfaction is a testament to your excellent customer service and will make your business stand out in your customers’ eyes. Your customers will remember how you make them feel. Therefore, customer service should always be at the forefront of your mind. By providing amazing customer service, your customers will be more likely to write positive reviews about your business, which in turn will turn prospective customers into loyal ones!
There’s a lot to know about word-of-mouth marketing but implementing just a few tactics will help increase your business’ reputation. Want to learn more about word-of-mouth marketing? Watch this Camp Castiron session about word-of-mouth marketing and start growing today!