Advertising

18 Agency Leaders Share Best Practices For Peer-To-Peer Marketing

In today’s digitally interconnected world, peer-to-peer marketing has emerged as a pivotal strategy, especially for B2B companies. By harnessing the power of authentic recommendations and social influence, P2P marketing allows businesses to tap into their customers’ own trusted networks, fostering brand loyalty and expanding their reach organically.

When customers market to one another through word-of-mouth and personal recommendations instead of having a company market directly to them, it can fortify a brand’s credibility and consumers’ trust in it. Below, members of Forbes Agency Council share 18 best practices for P2P marketing. Read on to learn about the different ways to leverage this powerful method of reaching target audiences.

1. Give Clients Language And Tools To Share Their Stories

Recommendations from trusted sources are critical in B2B marketing, and social media platforms have vaporized barriers to sharing success stories. But not every client is a great natural storyteller. That’s why it’s important to arm clients with both the language and supporting tools—charts, quotations and a video, for example—to share their success story in a succinct, powerful and memorable way. – Al Collins, VShift

2. Share Stories And Lessons Learned On Your Channels

Demonstrating thought leadership by sharing stories and lessons learned on your own channels is one way to build credibility with your peers. For example, I use LinkedIn to share my thoughts on industry trends. It’s less about selling and more about showcasing expertise on channels my peers are using to create a two-way dialogue and foster a vibrant community that exchanges tips and knowledge. – Hugo Loriot, fifty-five

3. Offer Discounts To Customers Who Share Positive Remarks

Give your customers a reason to share their success stories or positive remarks about your service or product by offering discounts to those who do. This is especially effective because when your customers have positive experiences with you, they’ll be more likely to publicly share them or promote your company if you provide an incentive as a thank-you for doing so. – Tony Pec, Y Not You Media

4. Have Peers Share Your Thought Leadership Content

Ask a peer to forward an opinion piece or a “letter to the editor”—preferably one you’ve written—to a third party as a potential article of interest. This is better than just an introduction because it sets you up as an expert and is asking your immediate friend to demonstrate knowledge expertise. – Merrie Spaeth, Spaeth Communications

5. Offer Incentives Or Rewards For Customer Referrals

By offering incentives or rewards to encourage customers to refer friends, businesses can tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing more effectively. I experienced this firsthand when a company offered me a discount for referring friends to their service. The reward motivated me to share the product with my network, resulting in increased referrals and a sense of loyalty to the brand. – Fadi Agour, RPM: REAL PERFORMANCE MARKETING


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6. Make Sure You Have Customer Feedback And Reviews

Customer feedback and reviews are some of the most important aspects of peer-to-peer marketing. Customers have become accustomed to reviewing ratings from consumers on search engines and platforms such as Amazon, so it’s important to make sure there are ratings there for your offerings and that your brand is replying to reviews as appropriate. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

7. Focus On Establishing Mutual Respect With Peers

Our agency has had the privilege to work with several peer agency leaders. Each relationship has taught us monumental lessons. Working with peers tends to involve a whole other kind of hustle, as you don’t want to let down those whom you work closely with and respect. Our agency team tends to go above and beyond, to the point where our loyalty has been taken for granted. It’s all about mutual respect. – Jessica Kopach, The JKO Agency, LLC.

8. Foster Authentic Relationships To Build Trust

One best practice for peer-to-peer marketing is to foster authentic relationships. I learned this lesson through a negative experience when a brand used fake reviews, damaging trust. In contrast, positive experiences of brands promoting genuine user-generated content build credibility, foster word-of-mouth and create lasting connections with consumers. – Kenny Tripura, Edkent Media

9. Partner With Credible Voices For Authentic Campaigns

Authenticity reigns supreme in peer-to-peer marketing. For a recent campaign aimed at Gen-Z, we partnered with creators known for their genuine stories and lived experiences. Their credible voices resonated strongly with audiences, driving engagement. This experience underscored the undeniable value of truthful, relatable content, especially when reaching out to a discerning audience such as Gen-Z. – Danielle Wiley, Sway Group

10. Encourage Customers To Share User-Generated Content

There is no greater marketing than word-of-mouth. It doesn’t just cut marketing expenses; it can outright eliminate them. Encourage the sharing of user-generated content to foster authenticity and highlight real-life experiences and interactions. This type of peer-to-peer marketing also builds trust and emotional connections. – Tom Elstner, Zoogency GmbH

11. Produce Results And Engage With Clients To Create WOM

My company started with peer-to-peer marketing—all of our early clients found us by word-of-mouth. I was active in the cannabis reform movement, connected personally with my clients and did really high-quality and effective work. When you produce results and genuinely engage with clients, peer-to-peer marketing will come naturally because the people you work with will want to spread the word. – Evan Nison, NisonCo

12. Give To Gain When Building P2P Relationships

Giving to gain doesn’t have to mean actually buying from the peer. Instead, do a one-to-one meeting, find something that provides a natural follow-up opportunity and set a reminder for yourself to check in—for example, on the anniversary of the founding of their business or when they started in their current position. Checking in around that date provides a natural, thoughtful reason to catch up. – Jill Whiskeyman, Simpatico Studios, LLC

13. Share Insights Openly For Transparent Collaboration

One pivotal peer marketing practice is nurturing genuine relationships. I learned this when organizing a webinar series with industry peers. A positive example was when we shared insights openly—attendees appreciated our authenticity, fostering trust. A negative instance was when people withheld information, leading to skepticism and weak connections. Transparency and collaboration build lasting partnerships. – Andriy Chumachenko, Netpeak

14. Get B2B Customers’ Permission To Highlight Their Stories

In the B2B world, it’s common to ask customers for testimonials or to participate in case studies. One important best practice is to get their permission and buy-in before publicly posting your content. Giving them the opportunity to approve the content enables you to craft a more powerful story and ensure that your customer is on board with their brand name being showcased in your content. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.

15. Show Your Value In Action With Customer Success Stories

Customer success stories are a powerful way to position your brand in a personal context and help others see its value in action. As a B2B content marketing brand, we’ve helped countless companies explain how their product solved another business’ problem and the data-driven results of the solution. – Justin Belmont, Prose

16. Build Positive Customer Experiences; Eliminate Poor Ones

People talk about their experiences—particularly those they loved or hated. Building an experience, rather than just offering a great product, is what generates peer-to-peer marketing. Eliminating poor experiences is equally important—in fact, research shows that customers are more likely to talk about a poor experience than a good one, so you have to work extra hard to ensure they never have negative stories to share! – Mike Maynard, Napier Partnership Limited

17. Prioritize Trust, Honesty And Data-Driven Decision-Making

One best practice is prioritizing trust, honesty and data-driven decision-making. We learned this through a positive experience with a client who, after working with us for some time, began recommending us widely. This led to us expanding our reach, establishing a strong reputation in the industry and gaining access to their extensive network, solidifying our status as a reliable agency. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO

18. Build Genuine Relationships With Influencers

Building genuine relationships with influencers is essential for successful peer-to-peer marketing. I discovered this while working with a blogger who endorsed our product, which increased visibility and sales. This highlights the importance of building trust with influencers to achieve effective marketing results. – Muhammad Eltiti, BOOST