January 22, 2016
Most businesses are successful based on word of mouth. If that is true about your business, it probably goes without saying that you have a constant goal of getting more and more people to promote your brand.
How do you get people to create a buzz about your brand?
Even if your business is being discussed by many different people, there is still a great deal that can be done. First of all, the more offerings (and the more interesting your offerings), the more material you will be giving to other people when it comes to their “spreading the word” about your business and your brand. The more exposure you allow them, the more confidence they will have in what you are doing and the more eager (or, at least, willing) they will be to sing the praises of your offerings.
To expand on those critical elements:
- The story: Your story must be compelling for your online connections (especially influencers). They will need to review your offerings and your brand carefully so they can truly wrap their minds around the information.
- The relevance: Is your brand and are your offerings relevant to your online connections and to your influencers? If not, they will not have anything to talk about with other people.
- The authenticity: Are your offerings authentic in the way that your online connections and your influencers relate to what you are doing and to what you are saying? Do they buy into your brand as a whole? If not, they cannot speak about it to others.
The ability to relate to your brand
The bottom line is that if your online connections and influencers cannot relate to what you are offering, they can’t speak about it. How can they possibly be convincing to someone else if they don’t believe it themselves? What social media channels do for you and for other people with whom you connect is that they promote meaningful discussions.
So, how do you get people to talk about your offerings?
This is where those three critical elements come into play. First of all, you need to present a story that is compelling, fascinating and genuine. If you want to determine if your story contains those critical elements (and that it will do what it is supposed to do), imagine that you are in a social environment with the person or people with whom you wish to share that story. Imagine that you are presenting your story to them. Now, watch their reactions carefully. That will help you to determine if you have a story that really works.
Now, you are at the point where you need to choose your influencers. When it comes to choosing an influencer, you should look at particular personality traits. Influencers are excited to get involved with new ideas because they are excited about the novelty, they love to share interesting stories with other people, and they are people who are generally motivated. Those personality traits cause them to constantly be on the lookout for new, interesting stories. That means that it is your lucky day. The influencers are looking for compelling stories and you just happen to have at least one of those.
One thing that you should remember is that any given influencer will be influential in a few areas. Not all influencers are influential in the same areas. If you choose wisely, all of your influencers together will provide you with an amazing array of influential areas. Your success lies, in great part, in your choice of influencers.
How do you avoid obstacles?
When it comes to the obstacles that you may encounter with word-of-mouth marketing, they are often similar to the obstacles that you would encounter in any other marketing strategy. With modern forms of marketing, the other people are much more in control of the decisions that they are going to make than they were with traditional marketing approaches. Because of that, they are also in control of which types of information (and delivered in specific forms) they are willing to accept. The easiest way to avoid obstacles in this case is be becoming flexible in the way that you think about your marketing efforts.
- Don’t make the mistake of thinking that word-of-mouth marketing is exactly the same as other forms of marketing. You will need to treat it differently.
- Become very well acquainted with the timing that is involved with that type of marketing.
- Educate your influencers and other online connections about the subtle differences.
Getting people to sing the praises of your brand may not be a simple matter but it certainly can be accomplished. You may just have to work at it a little. In order to accomplish that, you will need to present them with facts, convince them of your brand’s uniqueness, and connect with them emotionally. Make sure that your offerings are top quality and get other people to feel that they can’t live without your products and/or services. If your offerings are compelling and unique, other people will recognize that easily and they will be more than willing to speak about what you are selling in a very positive way to other people.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company's Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies. His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development. Mr. Cohn earned a Master's degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master's degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).