“Review is the way to determine your brand reputation which leads to successful business.”

Referral marketing (also known as word-of-mouth marketing) is a powerful tactic and one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness, as well as your customer base. It is the process of someone referring to a product and the referee purchasing that product due to particular recommendation. Referral marketing can come from friends, influencers, celebrities, and even online reviews. According to McKinsey & Company , it’s said to influence up to 50% of all purchasing decisions. Review is one of the alternative ways for referral marketing.

Why Reviews Are Matter?

Reviews are important because the BrightLocal survey  found that 93 percent of consumers read online reviews and 73% of consumers trust a local business more based on positive reviews. On the other way,  50% of consumers said that negative customer reviews make them question the quality of a business. They trust reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. Those reviews can become referrals, and the term reputation essentially ensuring your business shares a favourable opinion for others to see. It’s necessary to maintain your business reputation. When you don’t do that, you’ll lose more potential customers.

Why Referral Marketing is Valuable?


Referral marketing is incredibly valuable because normally we wouldn’t be interested in marketing messages that irrelevant to us. When your friends, family members, or some influencers share a brand with you, they’re acting as the best possible filter for relevance. If they are your friends and family, they know you and whether you’ll appreciate being introduced to the brand or not. So when you’re the marketer, you can identify your most successful demographic by finding others similar to your customers, such as their friends. It’s the same when you do it through influencers. People who respect them may want to use the product that influencers recommend.


Recent reports from Nielsen stated the lack of trust in marketing over the last 5 years. Referral marketing can boost  trust. Especially when it comes to your friends and family. The global measurement and data analytics company Nielsen  reported that 83% of customers trust recommendations from friends and family. This is because the customer knows that the people that connected with them in some ways will only share brands that they trust. Their friends and family members won’t risk their reputation by sharing an unreliable or poor quality brand to your customers.


In the past times, the reach of audience for marketing was relatively small. Mostly referrals were made during face to face conversation or through the phone. But today you can add more audience with social media and review websites. Your brand will be known to thousands of friends and acquaintances in a short time with a simple Facebook post, Yelp review, or another public-facing review.

How to Build Referral Marketing?

  • Before building referral marketing, audit your brand reputation and make a note of a few of your best and worst review sites.
  • Then you should build reputation management. This means the online reputation management. You can do this by sending emails after the customer makes a purchase. Ask them if they’d be willing to review your business on the review websites. Put the one that you recognized as needing the most love. Do the follow up afterwards by replying customers’ reviews, social media comments, and messages so they’ll feel appreciated.
  • Build referral marketing strategy. Design a referral program, for example, provide incentives that is easy to use. Incentives are included discounts and cash incentives to store credits depend on your product and customer. Your incentive should be appealing enough to make your customers want to share it with their friends. Before set the price, do the research on your competitors. At last, don’t forget to promote it through  email, social, paid posts, and all other outlets you traditionally use. Treat it like a new product launch. You can see this incentives referral program in Uber, for example. Uber offered $30 in credits to those who referred new riders.


Referrals can come from friends, influencers, product reviews, news articles, and testimonials. In order to launch a successful referral campaign, brands must offer compelling incentives so customers want to refer to others. Big promotion is also necessary. But it’s not only about strategy. A never-ending analysis is needed to manage your online reputation. This online reputation that will be shown through the result of referral campaign determines the sustainability of your business.

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