August 12, 2019
Every marketer’s dream is to turn their customers into brand ambassadors – or at least they should be!
Brand ambassadors or customer advocates go for a walk and talk about advertising that is free. They provide the highest quality leads for one simple reason: authenticity. Think about it. Are you more likely to make a purchase based on an advertisement or product review? What about a recommendation from a peer?
You guessed it: 62% of consumers look for online reviews before they buy, and 90% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends.
And according to Jay Baer, co-author of Talk Triggers, those personal recommendations are even more important in his interview with Tyler Lessard on the podcast for creating connections in the B2B world where it’s even more important 90% of buying decisions are influenced by word of mouth.
But customer reps and word of mouth cannot be bought. If you want customers to participate in the brand promotion, you need to give them something to talk about.
What is a talk trigger?
In their book, Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Word-of-mouth Customers, Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin define a talk trigger as “any specific business choice that inspires conversation.” Basically, conversation triggers are actions that trigger word of mouth marketing. Any business can do this, but it will only be effective if done correctly.
Every company is expected to offer a product or service that is sufficient. But as Baer says, “competence is not remarkable” and doesn’t create conversations. On the flip side, it can be good to surprise and delight your customers with a one-off event, but gimmicks will only get you so far. Consistency is better, and this is where conversation triggers come in.
A conversation trigger is an authentic and consistent operational choice that gets customers talking and coming back.
To illustrate what a conversation trigger might look like and how you can create your own, the authors break them down into five categories.
5 types of conversation triggers
1. Speakable empathy
Many new companies are foregoing brick-and-mortar retail, including bed-in-a-box retailers. The Canadian provider Endy came onto the stage with apparently instant popularity thanks to its customer empathy.
Endy knows her customers: They lead busy lives, many of them live in condominiums, and they want to buy without risk. In response, Endy is offering online shopping, affordable pricing, a door-to-door delivery service, and small packaging to easily fit large mattresses into elevators and small apartment entrances.
Your website is optimized with easily accessible information and videos on frequently asked questions. And if a customer doesn’t like their mattress, the company will take it back within a 100 night trial period. Your talk trigger is a smooth shopping experience. It couldn’t be more empathetic.
2. Talkable usefulness
In order to get business going again in 1946 after the end of the Second World War, the American convenience store chain “Tote’m” extended its opening times from 7 am to 11 pm. At the time, these opening times were unprecedented. After all, Americans could buy household items outside of traditional working hours!
The convenience of having a store open late became what ultimately, as you guessed, became 7-Eleven. And although their current trigger is probably the big gulps, the initial operational decision to hold longer hours has brought “convenience” to the “convenience store”.
3. Talkable generosity
TOMS shoes first donated a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair they bought. This “one-on-one” policy quickly became a powerful conversation starter as TOMS aligned its corporate values with those of its consumers. It’s easy for consumers to shop into a brand that equates their product with charity while getting more for what they paid for, two pairs of shoes for the price of one.
To this day, TOMS shoes prioritizes charitable endeavors and has since expanded its one-on-one program to include health, education, and community building beyond shoe donations. Search the hashtag #oneforone on Instagram to see what TOMS customers have to say about it.
4. Speakable speed
If you know of any pizza parlor that guarantees delivery in 30 minutes or less, please let me know. Today’s equivalent of a successful talkable speed trigger is, of course, Amazon Prime.
The company changed the game for online purchases with its two-day (and same-day in some locations) delivery service and is currently investing $ 800 million to upgrade its base guarantee to free one-working day delivery.
And while we’re still waiting for drone deliveries to be ubiquitous, there’s no denying that the speed of Amazon’s delivery service is a successful conversation starter.
5. Speakable attitude
Most of us know MailChimp as an email marketing software company, but more recently they have made waves as content producers. From Instagram stories to podcasts, their content offers value for their audience.
If you look at their Instagram feed, you might be mistaking them for a lifestyle brand, and their corporate podcast is more like Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday for Business. They recently released a documentary series with Vice called “Second Act,” which featured people who quit their careers to pursue a small business. It might not be immediately clear what all of this has to do with email marketing, but your brand (and shareable content) is one of the many creative ways MailChimp uses to show off your personality. It’s unique to them and that gets people talking.
They stand out from other B2B companies in a way that customers want to follow them and brands want to follow in their footsteps. This is a talkative attitude that was done right.
Reinforce talk triggers with social media
Social media is effective at spreading awareness, but it’s not the same as word of mouth marketing. Rather, it is a point of sale where word of mouth thrives.
The connectivity and immediacy of social media makes it easier than ever for customer advocates to get your product or service known. However, all of these conversations are only effective if they are authentic.
Today’s educated shoppers won’t get caught dead sharing content that isn’t really valuable. In order to inspire users to share stories, create pictures, videos, and even memes about your product, you need to give them valuable inspiration.
Assuming you already have a solid conversation starter and an even better product, there are a few ways you can promote word of mouth marketing (and user-generated content) through social media.
Go where your audience lives
Be aware of who your target audience is, what types of content they are already sharing, where they are sharing it, and why. Then join the conversation. Use common sense: if your audience lives on LinkedIn, don’t focus on Instagram. Be active on the social channels you choose to drive brand visibility, republish user-generated content, and engage with your audience.
Make it easy for yourself
Don’t expect people to download an app or edit a movie just for you. After all, they do this for free – they have to enjoy it! Create a hashtag that’s relevant to your product but more customer-focused. Make-up company Glossier did this with their hashtag #glossierIRL. Customers get involved by posting photos and videos of themselves using Glossier products in real life, sharing their personal style, and interacting with their friends. Branding is an afterthought, which makes this a little question that the customer will enjoy.
Take inventory of existing user-generated content and post it on your website or social accounts. This can include text, photos and videos. Create a gallery that shows the various uses of your product. Vidyard does this in our Video Inspiration Hub, where we collect creative and effective uses of our platform and make them visible to everyone.
Although talk triggers can be advertised on social media, a good talk trigger can take a lot longer than a slip in a news feed. If you choose to do something different, you have the potential to create a legacy for your business. Just make sure it’s repeatable, consistent, and most importantly, real. Choose wisely and get people talking.
Subscribe to the Make Connections podcast on your favorite podcast platform to discover more ways to connect.
For more information on triggers and how to get the book, visit www.TalkTriggers.com
Rebecca began her career in film and media where she honed her storytelling and video production skills. Now she is using her creative perspective to bring the Vidyard brand to life and help others achieve success with video.