Leverage Your way to Success
Growing any business is tough. It takes a lot of time, effort, and talent. Work smart, and leverage other individuals’ time, effort, talent, and reputation to grow your business.
INFLUENCERSREFERRAL PROGRAMSBRAND ADVOCATESPARTNER PROGRAMSAFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Growing any business is tough. It takes a lot of time, effort, and talent. Just when you think you have given it your all, you are asked to give more. If you want what others don’t have, you have to be willing to do the things they will not do. This means working harder, longer, and smarter than anyone else.
This article is about working smarter. You only have 30 hours each day (feels like that) to grow your business, but what if you could replicate yourself and have many versions of you doing business development? You can’t do that quite yet, but you can leverage other individual’s time, effort, talent, and reputation to grow your business.
We will explore four leveraging strategies that Prevail Marketing has successfully utilized for our clients. These strategies created exponential growth for them, and they can for you. The four strategies are:
Influencer marketing is the transfer of information and trust from a person who is respected for their knowledge, expertise, or social position to a brand or another person. Influencer Marketing can take many forms, including word of mouth, earned media, social media, gamification, and public relations.
There are three general groups of influencers:
Professional Influencers - This group is primarily comprised of Mega Influencers and Subject Matter Influencers. While both can certainly create content that is free, it is the Subject Matter Influencers who created their status by primarily publishing their content for free. That is how they built their personal brand. For the most part, Mega and Subject Matter Influencers tend to be paid professional content makers (e.g., movies, television, radio, or internet) that require a monetary expenditure if you want to engage them to promote a specific product or service.
Quasi Professionals - Macro and Mid-tier Influencers are quasi-professionals who typically get some economic benefit from being an influencer. They also create content that is self-produced and free. If you want to engage them for a particular product or service, they often accept barter as an acceptable means of payment. For example, a Macro or Mid-tier Influencer might accept your product or service as full or partial payment in exchange for promoting your brand on the internet.
Amateur Influencers - Micro and Nano Influencers are true amateur influencers who make recommendations or provide reviews, because they simply like or use the product or service.
Benefits of an Influencer Marketing Program:
Authenticity - Influencer marketing allows for authentic and relatable content creation. Influencers have the ability to showcase products in a genuine and organic manner, which resonates with their followers and builds trust. This kind of user-generated content also has a higher chance of going viral and reaching a wider audience.
Brand Awareness - An influencer marketing program can greatly enhance a brand's visibility, credibility, and customer engagement.
Enhanced Reach - Because the influencer has a social reach that may be more extensive than the brand, they are able to connect with new target audiences. The influencer's reach is often further extended by the amplification and reposting by their audience.
Disadvantages of an Influencer Marketing Program:
Influencer marketing programs have some disadvantages that should be considered. One of the main drawbacks is the potential lack of control over the influencers' actions and behavior. Since influencers are independent individuals, their actions and content may not always align with the brand's values or message. Additionally, measuring the return on investment (ROI) of an influencer marketing program can be challenging. It can be difficult to accurately measure the impact and effectiveness of influencer campaigns, making it harder to justify the expenses.
Download, read, and implement The ALMOST Definitive Guide on Influencer Marketing.
Tips on Implementing an Influencer Marketing Program:
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based program where you leverage the time and talents of an individual (or company) to market your products or services. Since you only pay for results, this can be an extremely cost-effective method for increasing your sales and branding your product. Affiliates use their marketing prowess to promote their products or services through various channels such as websites, blogs, social media, or email marketing. Affiliates are given a tracking code or a dedicated landing page, so all their efforts can be attributed back to them.
While affiliate marketing programs can be set up to pay for delivering leads or actual sales, we strongly believe that the program works best when the final sale is the requirement.
Benefits of an Affiliate Marketing Program:
Besides the obvious benefits of having a large number of people who work on a commission basis to sell your products, an affiliate program also has the following benefits:
Cost-effective – You only pay for results, so if the requirement is for the actual sale, you should be able to achieve a healthy profit.
Brand Awareness – The promotions done by your affiliates will result in increased brand awareness and visibility. Since they are likely to be promoting on channels and locations you do not, it will also increase your reach.
Scalability – You are able to bring on as many affiliates who are interested with very little onboarding, so this strategy is highly scalable.
Disadvantages of an Affiliate Marketing Program:
The major disadvantage of an affiliate program is the lack of control you have over the affiliates and how they are promoting your brand. Affiliates have been known to use deceptive or false advertising that places the brand and its reputation at risk. There is also the possibility of brand confusion when the affiliate operates under a misleading domain name.
Tips for an Effective Affiliate Marketing Program:
To obtain the maximum benefit from an affiliate program, we recommend that you implement the following tips:
Choose the Right Affiliates - You should be highly selective and not accept everyone who applies. Implement a due diligence process where you examine the Affiliate’s URL, social posts, other products they promote, and background to ensure they align with your brand, audience, and values. Adopt the principle of quality over quantity.
Establish and Enforce Marketing Guidelines – Create acceptable use guidelines for brand messaging, product information, and imagery to ensure that your product is properly represented in the marketplace.
Be Competitive – Make sure that your affiliates place a high value on promoting your product by offering commission rates that are slightly higher than the industry average. This will promote loyalty, and it will drive the affiliate to make you their primary business partner.
Use the Right Tools – Do not try and implement an affiliate program without using the right tools. Utilize an affiliate program that tracks performance, provides automatic payouts, and has analytical tools to monitor the performance of your program. This will ensure that affiliates are paid properly, and that you can make data-driven adjustments as required.
A referral program is a marketing strategy that encourages existing customers and brand advocates to promote and refer a business opportunity to your company. A referral program is built upon the trust that you have acquired with your customer or advocate. You then leverage the relationship they have with another entity.
A referral is motivated by a financial reward for making the referral. Many programs have a bifurcated reward structure paying a small amount if the referred prospect takes a meeting and a larger amount if they become a customer.
Benefits of a Refferal Program:
Cost-Effective - Referral programs are performance-based, where you only pay for results. Typically, you will split the referral award. The referral partner receives a small amount when the referred party obtains a demo and a larger amount when they become a customer.
Quicker Sales – Because you are leveraging the trust the referred party has with the referrer, the sales often occur quicker.
Higher Customer Lifetime Value - Customers acquired through referral programs are more likely to remain customers longer, because they have been referred by someone they trust.
Disadvantages of a Refferal Program:
The biggest disadvantage of a referral program is keeping the referrers motivated to promote your product to their connections. Unless you can give them a financial reason to incorporate the referral program into their business operations, they are unlikely to make referrals.
Tips for an Effective Referal Program:
The Program Must Have True Incentives - If you expect to get referrals, make the program truly worthwhile for the the referral partner. I have seen companies try to “reward” a highly paid professional $50 for a referral. Any individual who is already well-paid is not going to put their reputation on the line for such a meager amount. If you expect a referral program to work, make sure that the people you ask will find the reward enticing.
Provide Referral Content - Provide referral partners banners, emails, a one-pager, and other content they can share with their targeted group.
Communicate - Communicate and engage with participants to show appreciation for their efforts and keep them motivated. By following these tips, businesses can create a referral program that drives growth and customer loyalty.
Clearly Define the Program - It is essential to clearly define the referral program's terms and conditions, including the rewards for both the referrer and the referred customer. Make sure the program is easy to understand and communicate effectively to your customers.
Make it Easy to Refer - The referral process should be simple and convenient for both the referrer and the referred customer. Implement user-friendly referral mechanisms, such as personalized referral links, email invitations, or social media sharing buttons.
Track and Measure Results - Implement a robust tracking and measurement system to monitor the performance of your referral program. This will help you identify what works and what doesn't, allowing you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your program for better results.
A reseller program allows you to leverage another business to sell your product or service. It is a business arrangement where a company purchases products or services from a manufacturer or service provider at a wholesale price and then resells them to end customers at a higher retail price. The reseller acts as an intermediary between the manufacturer and the customer, handling tasks such as marketing, sales, and customer support.
Reseller programs are typically straightforward, with the reseller focusing primarily on selling the products or services without making any modifications or enhancements. The reseller may receive support from the manufacturer in the form of marketing materials, product training, and technical assistance.
A subset of reseller programs are value-added resellers (VARs). A VAR will take your product or service and create integrations or add products and features that provide enhancements and sell as an integrated package. Well-structured VAR programs will allow you to leverage the time, energy, and talent of a highly motivated organization willing to learn how to sell and service accounts from top to bottom. It is like hiring a commission-based sales team. However, the real value of a VAR network is aligning yourself with resellers who already have a large client list of companies that represent your targeted personas.
This streamlines and shortens the sales process as they do not need to find a prospect and build trust, they simply are sharing a new product or service to their existing customers. You, then, are leveraging the trust and relationship they already have acquired.
How effective are reseller programs? Wel,l many companies find that upwards of 65% of their revenues come from their reseller programs. However, these programs only work if it is attractive enough for the reseller to change their business model to actively solicit your business
Benefits of a Reseller Program:
Enhanced Reach - It allows businesses to tap into new markets and increase brand exposure without having to invest heavily in marketing and advertising.
Reduced Expenses - a reseller program can also help businesses reduce their operational costs by outsourcing certain functions, such as customer support and order fulfillment, to the reseller. This allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and improve overall efficiency.
Reduced Churn - The close and trusted relationships created between the reseller and their client will result in fewer cancellations and increases in larger recurring revenue streams.
Disadvantages of a Reseller Program:
There are several disadvantages to a reseller program:
Less Control - Resellers often set their own prices, which can lead to price variations and potential loss of profit for the manufacturer.
Confusion - You may find yourself competing with your resellers within the program, as they all have access to the same products. This can result in a saturated market, making it harder for manufacturers to differentiate their offerings and stand out.
Limited Visibility - Since the resellers are the ones in direct contact with the final customer, you may have limited visibility, which can impact the ability to gather valuable customer feedback and make improvements to their products.
Tips for an Effective Reseller Program:
Clearly Define the Program - Set forth, in a clear and transparent manner, all the terms and conditions, including pricing, profit margins, and sales targets. This will ensure a transparent, and mutually beneficial, partnership with your resellers.
Train - Provide comprehensive training and support to your resellers to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively sell your products or services. Make sure training is conducted at regular intervals, and that the reseller becomes certified.
Campaigns in a Box - Provide co-branded omnichannel marketing campaigns, that the reseller can implement with little effort.
Gamification - Gamify the resellers to foster competition, which will lead to more sales.
Incentivize - Make sure the program is lucrative enough, that the resellers are willing to change their business model to include your offering.
Communicate - Establish a strong communication channel with your resellers, keeping them informed about new product updates, promotions, and marketing materials.
Leveraging other individuals or companies through programs, such as influencer marketing, affiliate programs, referral programs, and reseller programs, is an excellent idea that can yield positive results. These programs allow businesses to tap into existing networks and reach a wider audience that may not have been accessible otherwise.