Over the past couple of weeks, we have been blogging about the Top 5 tips for Amplifying the Power of Your Customer Advocates via Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) social marketing programs. This week, we are going to cover the importance of creating the right offer structure to resonate with the audience and drive increased participation.
C2C program structure begins with the offer. This is the fundamental driving force behind the entire program. Effective C2C programs provide customer advocates with a compelling reason to share the program with their friends across their social communities and incentivize friends to engage with your brand as well. Offering incentives can dramatically amplify participation. Successful offer structures share 4 key components:
A compelling offer for your customer advocates This offer provides an incentive for the customer advocate to share with their friends. The more appealing the incentive is to your customer advocates, the more likely they are to share. Successful offers are typically generous, unique, and targeted to your brand’s customer base. If people can find a similar offer elsewhere, what would drive a potential advocate to share your offer? Offers that give advocates an ongoing incentive to share such as internal offers (free goods, discounts, and loyalty points), gift cards, and charitable donations are ideal.
A unique offer for the friend This offer motivates referred friends to try your product or service. A trusted recommendation from a friend catches a potential new customer’s attention; a unique offer that they can’t get anywhere else persuades potential new customers to try your product or service. Internal rewards, such as coupons for a percentage off purchase or a free month of subscription, are excellent friend offers.
A balanced offer structure An offer should reward both advocates and their referred friends. Creating a balanced offer structure prevents customer advocates from feeling as though they are using or manipulating their friends. Advocates should feel that the rewards they receive for sharing are similar in value to those their friends will receive. Maintaining a sense of balance and integrity gives advocates peace of mind and will motivate them to share.
Testing and optimizing The final key to a successful offer structure is testing and optimizing to find what most effectively compels your customers to become advocates for your brand. By trying different incentives and analyzing the subsequent data, you can find the optimal combination of customer advocate and friend rewards. Upon the launch of a new C2C program, wait for performance to level off and find a constant weekly volume before making adjustments. When comparing changes to a program, use a scientific approach. Establish a baseline or benchmark, test a single change in order to isolate impact, and gather enough data to establish what effect your test has had on performance.
By creating the right offer structure, brands can increase participation in their C2C social marketing programs. Advocates will be more willing to share on behalf of brands when the offer structure is relevant to them and appeals to their friends, driving participation and word of mouth at scale. After all, friends trust friends.
To learn more about how to create the right offer to drive participation, check out our Best Practices Guide. Or check out our other recent blog posts “Making Referring Easy for Your Customer Advocates” and “Promoting C2C Programs Across Channels to Drive Participation,” to learn about other critical elements to making a C2C program successful.