Thursday, 21 September 2017

Best Kept Secrets For Protecting Course Content

stevepb / Pixabay

You work hard to create your audio and video course content. The last thing you want is for it to be stolen. You need a solution that will allow your clients easy access to the content, and an optimal listening and/or viewing experience.

While you can store the files on your site, it will eat up bandwidth, and the streaming may be slow and jerky. A better solution is to host it on a secure server that can handle large files without playback issues.

There are many file storage solutions, but one of the most reliable is Amazon S3.

What is Amazon S3?

Amazon S3 stands for Amazon Simple Storage Service. As the name suggests, it is owned and run by Amazon, with the goal of making cloud storage easy and accessible to its users. It can store a range of files in various formats and sizes. It can even handle large files and offers almost 100% quality playback, making it ideal for delivering your large media files to your coaching clients, course students, and others interested in your content as needed.

It can host software, analytics data and more, so you can back up your entire business in the cloud, for easy file recovery, particularly in the case of a disaster. Pricing varies depending on the service, but there is a free tier that offers 5GB of storage and a certain number of file access requests per month. After that, you would pay as you go, in the same way as you would for electricity or other utilities. You only pay for what is being used, making it an affordable option that is easily accessible while still keeping them secure.

Want to make your files even more accessible, while still maintaining optimal security? Then the S3 Media Maestro plugin for WordPress could be right for you.

The S3 Media Maestro plugin

The S3 Media Maestro plugin allows you to easily place your Amazon S3 hosted media content on WordPress pages so your course material can be viewed from your website, but can’t be shared.

Knowledge is power. Your audio and video files are valuable assets in your business. You’ve worked hard to produce your content, and do need to protect it. But you also need to make it accessible to paying clients.

It works across all devices, including mobile, creating an attractive viewer or player for your clients to access the content. But they can’t share the content because of a range of security features, including unique encrypted links that expire.

You can also set which countries are allowed to access the files to help prevent piracy.

It can be used with any WordPress theme, and you can customize the appearance of the players and skins in order to brand your content. Your WordPress-based site can become a powerful paid membership site or online education site with just a few clicks.

If you’ve been looking for a way to monetize all of your content, try Amazon S3 and the S3 Media Maestro plugin and see how quickly you can grow your course offerings.

Source: B2C

Hiring? Get More Job Candidates!

Hiring at your agency? Sometimes, you’ll get hundreds of job applicants. Other times, you’ll struggle to get a dozen… and none of them are qualified.

More candidates typically means you can be more selective about hiring, which tends to produce better employees. Follow this advice to get more job candidates, based on my experience as a digital agency coach.

Note: I assume you’re focusing on local-ish candidates for full-time roles in a metro area of 500,000+ people, and you’re using an Applicant Tracking System instead of wasting time on email and spreadsheets.

Choose job boards

Job boards are the fastest way to get your job in front of a lot of people. (But not all of those people are the right people.) Here are some options—you probably want to pick 1-2:

  • Craigslist: Hit or miss, but you should probably post here.

  • Indeed: General board, broad reach.

  • Monster: Big site.

  • SEEK: Top job board in Australia.

  • ZipRecruiter: Aggregator and syndicator to 100 job boards.

Use local or specialist job boards

There are lots of specialist job boards, by region and by role. They have a smaller reach, but (in theory) a more-qualified audience. For instance:

If you subscribe to the Bureau of Digital community’s Slack group ($20/month), there’s a jobs channel. It’s currently restricted to past event attendees, but they’re planning to open the group in 2018.

Connect with local marketing associations

You should already be plugged into your local marketing associations. Go to monthly meetings at the minimum, and consider getting further involved as a volunteer (but be careful about time commitments).

For digital marketing, that typically includes the American Marketing Association (AMA), American Advertising Federation (AAF), and design organization AIGA:

Many cities have local groups, too, ranging from casual tech and marketing meetups to regional organizations like AZIMA in Phoenix, KickassPM in Austin, and SEMpdx in Portland.

Some have formal job boards. Others have an informal way to share postings—for instance, via their social media channel, or by email amongst board members. Make it easy by sharing a link that points directly to the job you’re promoting.

Warning: Don’t just show up and act entitled if you’ve never had contact with them before—if they share your posting, they’re doing you a favor.

Connect with industry-vertical trade associations

Your agency specializes, right? You should be plugged into your clients’ trade association(s), too. They often have job boards.

Even if there isn’t a formal job board process, the association staff may be getting inquiries from people seeking new roles. And if you’re a sponsor of the association, you may be able to get an email promo or two about the position.

Consider LinkedIn job postings

I see agencies getting mixed results through LinkedIn job postings—sometimes they get good candidates, sometimes not. It tends to work better in larger metro areas.

Important: To get higher-quality candidates, do NOT enable “Let candidates apply with their LinkedIn profile and notify me by email.” (Otherwise, you’ll be flooded with one-click, zero-effort applicants.)

Share with your personal network

Post on social media, and email people directly. People can’t help you if they don’t know you’re hiring. But don’t overdo it—posting daily on your personal Facebook profile is probably a bad idea.

Make it easy for people to share—as I noted above about associations, this includes having a deep link that points directly to the job description. No logins, no extra clicks. The link needs to stand alone.

Send directly to influencers

Asking influencers to help works best if you have existing relationships—but people will consider sharing (especially via social media) if you and your agency seem credible and the role seems valuable. (Remember, they’re sharing to help their network, not to help you.)

If you’re hiring for an entry-level role (or one that’s targeted to people within 1-4 years of graduation), consider sharing the posting with professors and career services contacts in the fields you’re recruiting from. Ideally, you’ll have built those relationships before you need to call on them.

I know if I ask one of my marketing contacts at NC State, “Who are your best current students?” and “Do you have any recent grads who may be looking for a new role?”—I’d get some leads.

Decide whether to use a recruiter

If you’re still having trouble finding people—or you don’t want to spend the time to do it yourself—you can hire a recruiter.

Hiring a recruiter is an expensive solution. Typically, recruiters charge a placement fee equivalent to 15-25% of the role’s first-year salary. Often, this comes with some level of guarantee—if the candidate doesn’t stay three months, you get a free replacement.

They don’t get paid unless you fill the job. This is good—they keep working—but also creates some incentive alignment problems—they won’t dig too deeply to vet a candidate because your saying “no” on a finalist candidate means they don’t get paid.

Some recruiters work on a freelance hourly basis, rather than a percentage (contingency) basis. This approach may work if you’re trying to source candidates but plan to handle the rest of the process from there.

Next steps for your agency

Lots of options, right? You’ll need to choose the approach that works for you. In general, I recommend doing a combo of job boards, local associations, and influencer outreach.

You can expand this strategy if you have a team member who can take the lead on this—and you may need to if you don’t get the right candidates in Round 1… or Round 2. If you’re still not getting good candidates, consider that you aren’t making the job sound appealing. After all, recruiting is a two-way street—you’re looking for what you want, but it needs to be something candidates want, too.

Recruiting can be time-consuming—but as an agency owner, building the right team is one of your most vital jobs. Good luck!

Question: How do you find the right job candidates at your agency?

Source: B2C

Darci Lynne’s Ventriloquism Beats Angelica Hale’s Singing To Win Season 12 Of America’s Got Talent

Darci Lynne is the winner of Season 12 of America’s Got Talent. Surprisingly, it came down to her and Angelica Hale. Previously, Light Balance, Mandy Harvey and Sara and Hero were eliminated in that order. This left two of the younger contestants to be the two remaining for the end.

Lynne was inspired by a ventriloquist at a pageant and decided to give it a try. She has since won multiple state and national talent contests for ventriloquism and has appeared on TV around the world. Due to her success as a ventriloquist, she gave up being a gymnast to pursue her love for performing.

Hale is a young singer from Atlanta. At just two years old, Hale started singing along to songs on the radio, and began taking professional vocal lessons at the age of five. When she was four years old, Hale developed a severe bacterial pneumonia that nearly took her life, causing her to go septic and have multiple organ failures, including kidney failure and permanent scarring in her right lung.

What did you think of the winner of this season’s America’s Got Talent? Did America get it right when it came to this year’s winner? Who should have won? Let us know in the comments section.

America’s Got Talent Social Media Reactions

“America’s Got Talent” Season 12 continued its stellar ratings run on Tuesday, with the penultimate episode of the season hitting multiple highs. According to Nielsen overnight data, “AGT” averaged a 2.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 14.3 million viewers for NBC. That is the show’s best rating in the key demo in over three years, since the June 2, 2014 episode (2.9). Tuesday’s episode was also the most-watched Tuesday installment of the show in six years, since July 5, 2011 (15.8 million). To top it all off, Tuesday’s episode was up by over 20% in both measures compared to last week.

On the heels of the most viewed season in five years, the 12th season of “America’s Got Talent” is back with creator and judge Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel. Supermodel, entrepreneur and CEO, Tyra Banks, joins the team as host and the series returns to Los Angeles this summer with live shows from the famed Dolby Theatre.

With the search open to acts of all ages and talents, “America’s Got Talent” has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing unique performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of creativity and talent, featuring a colorful array of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and hopeful stars, all vying to win America’s hearts and the $1 million prize.

The “Got Talent” format, created by Simon Cowell and co-owned by Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia globally, holds the Guinness World Record as the most successful reality TV format of all time, airing in 186 countries and having been commissioned in 68 territories worldwide. Around the world more than 500 million people watch “Got Talent” every year. “Britain’s Got Talent” has remained the U.K.’s #1 entertainment show since it first launched in 2007 and discovered global singing sensational Susan Boyle, who has sold 23 million records to date.

Photo Credit: NBC

Source: B2C

5 Working Methods to Monetize Content on Your Website

Content is everywhere on the internet today. And honestly, we are simply getting overloaded with more of it every single day. Statistics show that there are currently more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today. — all of which are generating new content and flooding the internet with more information than ever before.

However, while this overload of content and information might seem overwhelming, it’s also leading to new opportunities in site monetization and ways to make money online.

Today we will be looking at several different ways to start monetizing content on your website or blog. Best of all, no matter what type of content or traffic audience you currently have, each of these monetization methods will prove beneficial for both your revenue generation and providing value to your audience.

Snufkin / Pixabay

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has been one of the most effective ways to generate revenue online for well over two decades now. The way affiliate marketing works is simple. You join an affiliate program for a top brand or website, and every lead, sale, or action you send to their website, you will earn a commission. The great thing about affiliate marketing is that nearly every big name brand has one, and there is no need to hold inventory or process any orders. All tracking and commissions are done through the affiliate network on the back end. The only job affiliates have, is to send high-quality traffic and leads to the advertisers.

Google Adsense

We all know that Google is one of the top businesses in the world today and generate billions of dollars every single year. This is mainly due to the fact that advertisers are paying on a per click basis to rank at the top of Google for relevant search terms and keywords. The good news is that site owners and bloggers can also take advantage of this opportunity, by joining the Google AdSense ad program. Through the Google AdSense affiliate program site owners can have advertisements appear on their site and earn a commission on a per click basis. Google does all the work for you and serves relevant advertising on your site based on the content it currently sees.

Native Advertising

Native advertising has quickly become one of the fastest and most effective ways to monetize content on top media and entertainment websites. You will likely see this type of advertising already on sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, BuzzFeed and any other high-traffic website. The top native advertising networks on the internet today are Revcontent, Taboola, and Outbrain. Native advertising works extremely well because it looks like real content and is recommended by websites to users at the end of most articles on websites. Just like Google AdSense these ad placements usually pay on a per click basis.

Direct Ad Sales

While each of the methods mentioned so far are great for placing advertisements on your website, you are only going to be earning a percentage of the total revenue generated. If you already have a high traffic website or Blog then you might be better off selling your own advertising directly. The benefit here is that you will generate 100% of the revenue from each Advertiser. This will also allow for premium add placements on your websites and higher CPM earnings on traffic coming to your website. If you are worried about not having the right ad copy or creating “Advertise Here’ banners for your site, you can use any of these recommended design tools to create custom ad placements for your site and any advertisers who might also need ad creative.

Online Course Creation

Sticking with the theme of owning your content and generating as much revenue as possible, we should also discuss the opportunities and online course creation. Right now the business model of creating and selling online courses is more lucrative than ever before. At the same time, it’s now easier to create an online course and sell it to an audience as a result of course creation software and platforms that make it easy to create and sell courses online. In short, if you would like to create and sell courses online you can do so without the need of hiring a designer or even touching a line of code. Again the benefit of creating online courses is that you actually own the content and can earn up to 100% of revenue from each purchase.

How to Make the Most Money with Your Site Content

With so many different monetization methods on the table for you to choose from, how are you supposed to know which is best? At the end of the day this ultimately comes down to the content on your website, the audience you are targeting, and the goal of that audience once they visit your website. If your site is focused around information and providing content to your audience, then Google AdSense is probably a great option for you. However, if you have a website that is focused on product reviews, then affiliate marketing would be the best option.

Take time to explore each of the monetization options mentioned in this article and see which might be best for your audience. If you have enough traffic flowing through your website, then you should be able to tell if a monetization method is working for you within a few days time.

Source: B2C

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Why Your Website Isn’t Getting Traffic

FirmBee / Pixabay

If you have a functioning business website, you are on your way to connecting with customers and increasing your sales. The problem is that many business owners don’t realize that website management is not a single step, but a continuous process.

After the website is running, it is imperative that statistics are monitored to make sure that the website is getting sufficient traffic. If you see that there is a lack of traffic to your business site, there are some common problems with easy solutions that can jumpstart your traffic!

Common Problems and Solutions that Inhibit Website Traffic

Broken Links

The online world is constantly changing and evolving; for instance, you may stop selling certain products, rendering the links to those offerings invalid. You may also have linked to another site in your content that has since stopped being active, creating a broken link.

Broken links severely impede website traffic; one source states that “only 23% of users who came to 404 error page, make a second attempt to find the requested page, and the remaining 77% will leave the site forever!”

When Google’s bots peruse websites, they penalize those with broken links, leading your search rankings to suffer. To improve your website traffic, improve search engine visibility by removing 404 error and broken links from your site.

It would be very time consuming to click on every link on your site to make sure it’s working, which is why there are many online tools that can do the job for you. Try Dead Link Checker or Broken Link Checker to quickly and easily find and fix broken links.

Insufficient Content

Another reason that your website may be lacking in sufficient traffic is because no one knows it exists. You must lead online users to your site, and one of the most effective and affordable ways of doing so is with content.

Including product descriptions, website copy, articles, blogs and press releases on your website plays a big role in improving traffic. One survey found that sites that publish 16 or more new articles per month saw 3.5 times more traffic than sites than with 4 or less blogs per month.

Make sure that the content is relevant to your audience, and is informative and engaging. Include photos, diagrams and videos if possible to make your content more interesting to readers.

Poor SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that tells search engines, specifically Google, what words or phrases are relevant to your brand. By conducting a search on Google Adwords Keyword Planner, you can get detailed information about what relevant keywords online users are searching for, as well as how much competition each word has.

Once you have this data, you can include these keywords in your content, or base your content on the incorporation of these keywords. Ideally, you want to focus on keywords with the highest search rates and the lowest competition.

Source: B2C

6 Impressive Examples of Training Videos that Drive Real Change

geralt / Pixabay

We’ve all sat through an abysmal training video.

When you’re trying to learn something new the last thing you want is a dull, confusing and downright insulting piece of training content that just makes you want to turn off.

Luckily it doesn’t have to be this way!

Training videos don’t need to be boring, and you really can use them to engage your colleagues, kick-start discussion and inspire real change in your business.

Finding an emotional core is key to successful training. Modern research has found that emotions are a steer for thinking: they’re necessary for us to engage in complex thought on a topic. That’s why scenario-based training videos have become so popular — because they use dramatic scenes to resonate with viewers emotionally and encourage them to imagine how they would respond to situations in the real world.

If you’re trying to change attitudes and behaviours in your organisation, you need quality pieces of long-lasting training content that are crafted to get the right emotional response from your team. We’ve put this post together to give you a glimpse of what that content might look like.

Here are 6 outstanding examples of training videos that connect with their audiences, encourage discussion and lead to meaningful change (and the principles they follow to do so).

How to Create Training Videos that Don’t Suck

Connect your team, communicate messages that stick, and drive real organisational change.

6 Training Video Examples for Happier & More Productive Organisations… and the Principles that Make them So Effective

1. IBM — Focus on a Human Problem

The point of a training video is to teach your audience something new in a way that will stay with them, whether that’s a skill, method or concept. But focusing solely on the thing that needs to be learned — without also explaining why it needs to be learned — is a mistake.

This short example from IBM is effective because it returns constantly to the problem at the root of the learning. It covers not just how to conduct a stand-up meeting, but also why doing so is such as good idea. The problem is at the forefront, and it’s a very human one.

Your teammates might be short on time. They might feel uncomfortable speaking in front of a group. Or they might need help working past obstacles. Almost every type of training is intended to fix a simple problem like this, whether it’s removing an unnecessary piece of admin or making sure everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.

If you remind colleagues that training is there to help solve their problems and make their lives easier, not just something that must be done because you say so, you have a strong emotional base from which to build effective content.

2. Ernst & Young — Turn Hard Topics into Simple Ideas

Some subjects are just so big and so complex that it’s a struggle to even know how to begin teaching your team about them. In cases like this, it’s often wiser to bypass the complexity completely and use a strong metaphor to do the hard work for you.

When Ernst & Young created this training video they knew their goal was to show colleagues why email can be less than secure. Would those colleagues also need to know all the ins-and-outs of email technicalities like SMTP, DPS and MTA? No.

So the business instead created a fictional character to represent an email client. Rather than having to explain how the whole email system works to make their point, this personification allows them to work with a visual and emotional shorthand we all understand — a dodgy deliveryman who’s more likely to open your package than deliver it.

The result is a clever, succinct video that gets across exactly what the risk is and grounds it in terms the audience can connect with. After all, would you want somebody snooping through your mail?

3. LRN — Use an Absurd Angle

When we make a stupid decision, it’s easy to imagine the worst. This training video from LRN plays on that common fear to teach an important lesson — by showing the worst-case scenario of a seemingly innocent office email.

It’s not only a funny video (more on using humour below), but it’s also effective at explaining why certain behaviour and actions aren’t acceptable, even when the likelihood of such an extreme situation coming to pass is fairly small.

By taking a playful approach like this, LRN don’t appear to be chiding their employees or driving a wedge between trainer and trainee. In fact all teammates can agree that such a ridiculous outcome should be avoided at all costs. This reductio ad absurdum might seem like an usual approach to training, but it succeeds at adding a fun and memorable edge to what could easily be a painfully serious issue.

4. Resonate — Involve a High-Stakes Scenario

Today the most exciting training videos look more like big-budget blockbusters than the old, dusty VHSs of yesteryear. You can use the power of drama to communicate important messages with your audience in a highly engaging way.

There’s no reason why compliance training has to be boring. This 35-minute drama was created for a large organisation that had previously undergone a grueling lawsuit and wanted to make new employees really feel what such an experience was like.

Just like any great movie, these kind of scenario-based training videos work best when they focus on the human drama and emotions involved in such a situation — rather than getting sucked up into an overly complicated plot.

By allowing your colleagues to emotionally understand what an experience will feel like, you can engage their sense of self-interest rather than having to rely on boring policies or dry documentation. And that provides a far greater impetus for them to shift their behaviour.

5. Rapid Learning Institute — Explain the Science

It can be hard to change your ways when you’re told to do something out of the blue. But when you understand the resoning behind such a decision, and can make it logically for yourself, you’re much more likely to stick to the new way of doing things.

That’s why the Rapid Learning Institute base their training videos on solid science and clear explanation. Once your team understand a subject, it’s much easier to make them see why change is necessary — and why it will be beneficial for them too.

In this example, a scientific explanation helps to reduce the guilt associated with certain actions and move the conversation forward onto how they can be altered. Of course, the video doesn’t go into copious detail. It’s not necessary. But it does provide enough of an educational framework to open up the possibility for growth, beyond any initial feelings of regret or disbelief.

6. LDS Church — Invest in a Bit of Humour

We know that, like emotion in general, humour opens up our minds and encourages us to think, connect and remember. It’s a learning tool that must be used carefully, but one that can make any training video more powerful.

Here the LDS Church take a totally unique approach to a lightning safety video by conducting an interview with a cloud. It’s quirky enough to be utterly memorable, and the safety tips are weaved throughout with accompanying animations to make them stick in the viewer’s mind.

Because the humour here is kind and inoffensive, it works. It isn’t inappropriate, so it helps to make the message feel fresh and keep the audience watching all the way to the end.

You don’t have to include a funny element in your training videos, but if it’s smart and sparing it can go a long way to hooking your collagues immediately and throughout. When people laugh they pay attention, and when they pay attention they learn more.

Round-up: Inspire Change in Your Team with Training Videos

Those were 6 impressive examples of training videos that resonate emotionally with their audiences to bring about meaningful change, plus the principles you should follow when producing your own.

Remember that emotion is the key to encouraging learning, growth and change in your colleagues and your organisation. Once you can engage hearts and minds, you have the foundation you need to make discussions happen, behaviours shift and your business become more productive, happy and healthy.

How to Create Training Videos that Don’t Suck

Connect your team, communicate messages that stick, and drive real organisational change.

Read the guide packed full of all we’ve learned over six years of making training videos for clients like the NHS, Unilever and Experian.

Source: B2C

How to Transition from Customer Engagement to Customer Partnership

Wokandapix / Pixabay

When customer engagement strategies are implemented right, it allows for companies to continue to support the success of customers and keep building relationships within an account. These engaged customer have a better chance at upsell and cross-sell, increasing their lifetime value. But every account has a ceiling, where it has reached its full potential for cross-sell and upsell, or maybe never had the potential to begin with. However, this doesn’t mean that the monetization of customer experience ends. A customer’s life-time value still has a substantial ability to grow by transitioning from methods used to influence customer experience to methods that can build a partnership between a company and its customers.

Customer partnership is when a company’s customers shares in the desire to grow and better the business, products or services. Here the company acknowledges the immense influence their customers have over the business and their role in its continued success. This leads a company to then better enable customers to impact their revenue growth even further. Below are 5 steps to start enabling this.

5 steps to integrating customer partnership into your business practices

Remember the phrase, “You jump, I jump Jack.”? It comes from Titanic, but relates to customer partnership. It goes along with the idea that if your customers succeed you succeed, and vice-versa. Enforcing this message with customers is key to a customer partnership. This should have been conveyed starting all the way back in the sales process, but no matter when it starts make sure it is perceived as sincere by following it up with action. By making sure you support your customers’ success you start to build a foundation for partnership. Here is how.

1. Offer training to customers on new products and features.

Every business is constantly innovating. That means that customer need to be supported. Through customer engagement you might be sending email updates or having an account executive reach out to inform their customer on new opportunities within a new feature or product. But this doesn’t offer true support. It is often then left up to the customer to take the initiative to learn and apply this new product or feature.

As part of taking on and applying the idea of customers’ success being your success, try offering free training. This might be hard for bigger businesses with a great deal of customers, especially if those customers that have whole teams or departments that would need to be trained, but there are ways around that.

  • Offer training to managers and then have them train their teams

  • Create videos to scale customer partnership. This could get as granular as creating videos for each department if they are using different functions of the feature of product. Then be open to calls and questions on the training.

2. Ask customers what other products or services they would like to see developed

Customer should be using your product or service regularly. They often have ideas about what would make it better and what other features, products, integrations and services would help their success. By asking them to have input in product development you make them feel like they are a part of the business, not just a buyer. Here customers can start to feel like they are in a partnership with the business and start to share in the desire to better the company.

But no matter what these suggestions are, make sure that customers know their ideas were heard. For instance, when a customer gives you an idea try telling them that you are going to pass this along to your manager. Follow up shortly after with positive feedback. Some responses could be:

  • “That was a great idea. It turns out we are actually developing something quite similar that should be available soon.”

  • “We’ve been discussing developing something like that and it should be in development in the near future. I’m sure your input will help push it forward.”

  • “My manager thought that was a very interesting idea. It is definitely something that will be under discussion for future development. Thank you for thinking of it.”

3. Provide them an easy way to help build the business

Once you have established a foundation for partnership with your customers you can start creating other ways for them to be a part of the company and generate greater revenue. By creating an automated referral program customer can easily help grow the business and revenue. By previously using customer engagement strategies and foundational customer partnership methods you have already proven the value of your product or services to your customers. This means that there is a high likelihood that referrals are already happening naturally. It is just a matter of scaling that process for revenue growth and creating a program that drives a greater number of referrals.

Try using referral software that gives customers the ability to refer using multiple channels that are trackable, including:

  • Social media

  • Email

  • Lead form

  • Verbal referral

  • Shareable URL

  • Printable cards

Through a referral portal customers would also get full visibility into their referrals’ progress and status in real-time to stay engaged with the referral program. To understand the effectiveness of referral software, customer referral data was analyzed in the report, The State of Business Customer Referral Programs. It found on average, customer partnership with referral software provided over 3X (13% conversion rate) higher lead to deal conversion rate when compared to a study done on customer referrals made ad hoc by Salesforce’s Implicit.

4. Have them assist sales in the qualification of referral leads

The power of referrals comes from the relationship that has already formed between the customer and their referral. This means that customers have intimate knowledge of the referrals wants and needs. After a referral is made, sales can reach out to the customer and partner with them to qualify the referral lead. That way a salesperson knows the needs of the referral from first contact and can address them correctly.

Referral software that enables the breaking of lead routing rules also helps to enable the partnership between sales and the customer. This way the customer’s referral gets passed to their salesperson as a way to extend the relationship and trust between that customer and salesperson to include the referral.

This type of sales assistance was showed to increase deals generated from customer referral partnerships by 17 percentage points (30% conversion rate) when compared to the overall conversion rate.

5. Reward customers for bringing in new customers

There is no doubt that customer partnership requires work on the side of the customer to continue to generate leads, qualify them and offer any continual nurturing to the referral. To help reciprocate this effort, a company need to provide added value to the customer. There are many types of referral rewards that do this:

  • Gift cards

  • Bill credits

  • Checks

  • Merchandise

Based on the data from, The State of Business Customer Referral Programs, the majority of customer referral programs (52%) chose to use gift cards to compensate their customer referral partners. These are easy to automate and scale which removes any manual hassle associated with incentives.

To understand the value you should be rewarding put yourself in your customer’s place. On an hourly basis, how much is there time worth? The average reward provided to customers using referral software was $111, but it went up to $2,500. The cost of the product or service being referred should also be taken into consideration.

The structure of a reward is another consideration. By using a more advanced reward structure like escalating rewards, which increases the reward amount with each successful referral, you can continue to drive referrals and communicate the value of a customer’s continued partnership.

To see more data on customer referral partnerships download the report, The State of Business Customer Referral Programs.

Source: B2C