One of the most important aspects in any marketing campaigning is promoting brand awareness to make your product and/or company name well-known and widespread. Every lead doesn’t have to immediately convert into a customer in order to be beneficial for your brand’s overall presence, as leaving a lasting impression is often advantageous in itself. Many times, a person will recall a brand or product they’ve seen or heard about when making future buying decisions, and people tend to trust recommendations from friends and family.

Fortunately, a business with a decent customer base already has a starting source to spark an initial wave of word-of-mouth that can balloon into something much larger. With that said, here are 5 ways you can use an existing costumer base to expand your network of potential leads and generate more awareness for whatever it is you’re trying to advertise:

1. Use Referral Marketing

In an ideal endeavor, every customer would refer all of their friends and a large percentage of the people referred would take action. However, how can you ever achieve such ideal results when you’re not putting forth an effort to motivate your current customers to refer people? Many marketers use referral marketing software to keep track of how their current customers are bringing others to the table. In addition to using tools to analyze referral performance, it’s also a good idea to reward customers for sending your company more business. For example, you could offer discounts or promotional products as a reward for each referral.

2. Incentivize Social Sharing

Aside from trying to get customers to directly refer people in their circle, it’s also a good idea to encourage your customer base to share their feedback about your brand on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Offer exclusive discounts or content in exchange for people liking or joining your social pages or groups. Keep your followers updated and make every effort to get your current customers involved on your social media page. For example, by making your presence known on some of your customers’ Facebook pages you’ll instantly be putting your brand name in front of a percentage of their friends.

3. Funnel Traffic to Various Platforms

If you’ve got 1,000 people currently following your Facebook page, why not transition that popularity onto another platform like YouTube or Twitter. For optimal results you should be active on as many social platforms as possible, and you should strive to tunnel followers and visitors across the full spectrum of mega sites. Give your customers a reason to check out your YouTube videos and suddenly you’ll see more video shares and higher view counts, which will lead to more popularity for your channel and the associated social accounts

4. Use Press Releases to Announce Growth Stats

You can also leverage your current popularity by publicizing sales achievements to establish your brand as an authoritative presence in its niche. You can publish press releases or social status updates to let the world know how many customers/clients you have and how well your brand is doing. This “hey everyone, look at me” technique is as old as news media itself and is a fundamental form of advertising that every brand should utilize. Even if you don’t generate a ton of sales or conversions using this technique, calling attention to your brand and having it mentioned in more places online will only help in the long-term.

5. Brand Your Products More Effectively

Finally, an easy way to make your current customers advertise your brand without even trying is to make your products, vehicles, employee uniforms, website, and other company designs more brand-oriented. Make your slogan and logo obvious and unforgettable so that your current customers will be like walking billboards working on the brand’s behalf every time they make your product visible. Like #4, this is also a common tactic that predates the internet yet works just as well in cyber space.

Keep the Launch Momentum Going

Many brands don’t reach their full first-year potential because they squander the initial launch momentum. If you start with the above tips from the gate, you’ll be making the most out of the crowd that flocks to your brand in the early stages after launch day. On the other hand, if you become complacent with a steady stream of customers and don’t make any attempts to motivate those customers to refer others, you’ll be drastically hindering your brand’s potential.