“What goes around, comes around.” “One good turn deserves another.” “You get what you give.”
These common sayings are all about reciprocity. This happens when one person does something nice, and the recipient does something to pay them back. If you’ve ever bought lunch for a friend after they bought yours last week, you’ve participated in reciprocity.
Many companies use reciprocity as a marketing tactic to improve their leads. If your organization is not already applying this principle to your business strategy, here’s how you can start.
1. Use quality content marketing.
Reciprocity is one of the principles behind content marketing: companies provide useful, free information to clients.
If your organization is only using content marketing to promote itself and announce company news, it’s time to reconsider your approach and ramp up the value. Offer free podcasts, videos, or articles that provide effective, compelling information.
When clients can get real results from the information you offer, they will feel grateful and, thanks to the principle of reciprocity, are more likely to pay you back for what they receive by becoming loyal, paying clients.
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2. Offer free trials.
You don’t have to be a grocery store to offer free samples. Buyers often feel like they should pay the company back even for giveaways, so free trials can trigger reciprocity. Alternatively, you might offer a free consultation or estimate. This principle applies to products like Spotify or services like Amazon Prime.
The experience also can generate customer loyalty. By using the product for a length of time, consumers can feel more connected to the brand.
3. Brand your giveaways.
When you do provide excellent content marketing and other giveaways, your potential clients should always be aware of where they come from. Anything you provide for free, whether a ballpoint pen or an ebook, should always feature your branding.
One successful example is Red Bull, which sponsors many events, at which it also displays its branding with huge logos, banners, and free drink samples.
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Giving away good ideas, products, and even industry secrets can generate leads, loyalty, and revenue for your organization. Reciprocity may seem counterintuitive, but many organizations used it successfully.
Ready to apply reciprocity to your own marketing strategy? Contact CC&A Strategic Media for a free consultation or to answer your questions.