Word-of-mouth advertising is all about creating a buzz around your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing can be targeted or occur naturally, but in both cases, customers need to share their satisfaction with a product or service.
The stats don’t lie. Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) converts. 92% of consumers around the world trust recommendations from friends and family, but only 47% of people trust television ads.
It’s easy to see why. Businesses want to increase sales while friends and family would probably only recommend a specific product or service if they genuinely thought it was worthwhile.
But why exactly is Word-of-mouth marketing so important, and what are some of the best word-of-mouth marketing strategies? Keep calm and keep reading.
Word-of-mouth Marketing Benefits
Organic WOMM occurs naturally and is almost always the result of an incredible product or service that consumers love. Amplified WOM refers to marketing campaigns that may target or look to amplify and encourage WOM in specific communities.
Needless to say, WOM is extremely important for brands and businesses. It can grow sales for much less. Of course, amplified WOM still costs money, but the goal here is to build a community of loyal customers.
A community built around a specific product or service is a community that will likely remain loyal for years to come. WOM marketing at its early stages is not free but costs drop as a buzz is created around your brand.
Loyal customers are every brand’s lifeline. Happy customers will keep coming back for more, which makes for a healthy business. As a result, you’ll be receiving more angel and venture funding.
Every word-of-mouth marketing tactic aims to either: create a buzz or build brand loyalty and trust.
Creating a buzz involves social media marketing. Ultimately, you want people on social media and social networks to be talking about your product. If users are spreading the word about your product, then you’re doing something right.
Brand loyalty and trust don’t come easy. Consumers will not just trust in your brand or product because you told them to. To receive recommendations, you’ll have to provide customers with something incredibly valuable and worthwhile.
Needless to say, you’ll have to create an amazing customer experience. As you probably already know, people are not always fair and objective in their judgement of products and services.
Customers are more likely to talk about your brand in a positive light if they’ve had a great customer experience. One poor encounter is enough to lose a customer.
WOM is a double-edged sword. It could take your brand to new heights or damage it beyond repair. You can spend thousands on marketing campaigns, but at the end of the day, people will still speak their mind.
This is why it’s extremely important to focus on the product or service itself first. Sounds simple? If you’ve got something good on offer, chances are you’re putting your customers’ needs first. Your number one priority should be to provide consumers with something of value. Referrals and recommendations will likely follow.
Your e-commerce site and ordering process should work perfectly. Spending the time to create a flawless website with great user experience is well worth the effort. In this case, everything matters: visuals, page speed, ease-of-use, and functionality.
You also need to make sure you’re running a tight operation after a sale has been made. The last thing you want is for people to start talking about slow delivery times and bad service. Mishaps will occur; the goal is to resolve issues as fast as possible.
Build Your Word-of-Mouth Strategy
Hoping to earn referrals and praying that people will talk to friends and family about your products is just not enough. You need to actively invest in amplified word-of-mouth marketing that will encourage people to refer.
Word-of-mouth triggers do just that. They offer customers something they can’t get anywhere else. WOM triggers and referral programs promote WOM advertising through special promotions and exclusive rewards.
You could, for example, send an email to customers who seem loyal (e.g. have purchased something more than once), asking them to promote your product or service using a unique referral link.
You could offer them rewards for every 10, 20 or 100 people that sign up by clicking on their unique link (or you could come up with something more fresh and original); you could offer discounts and bonus gifts; you could offer gift cards or give access to exclusive content. The possibilities are endless!
Whenever you can, you should also try to push for ratings and rewards. Even if people are not recommending your brand or product for one reason or another, they can still contribute to WOMM if they leave behind positive feedback. Collect reviews wherever possible: on your website, through email, and on social media.
Incentivise and encourage user generated content by offering rewards or discounts to those who mention your brand on their posts.
Try to think out of the box and don’t be afraid to try out new things. Find new ways to market your product or service. Steer away from industry cliches and carve your own path. Evoking and eliciting strong emotion is another great way to get people to talk about your brand or business.
WOM and Influencer Marketing
We can’t talk about word-of-mouth marketing and not mention influencer marketing. Influencers have large followings and can really help spread the word about your product or service. Send out free products or samples so that influencers can review and write/post about them.
If you’re willing to delve into paid influencer marketing, make sure you spend enough time researching your industry. Just because an influencer has a lot of followers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be the best choice for your brand.
Do some research and identify influencers that you know will be interested in your product. If their views and beliefs align with your brand’s values, then reach out to them and make an offer.
Quality products and great customer and user experience are a must. If you want to turn your happy customers into loyal fans, then you must always put their needs first.
Serve quality, seek out reviews and try to get influencers involved. Influencer marketing and WOMM go hand in hand. Learn more about the benefits of influencer marketing here!