January 23, 2019
Word of mouth marketing brings over US$ 6 trillion in annual customer spending. As most people are more likely to buy a product or service recommended by a friend, WOM marketing has come to be a very valuable tool for creating brand recognition. Now, more than 13% of customer sales comes from WOMM.
But before we talk about how you can use this strategy to get exposure for your business, let’s specify what is word of mouth marketing?
This type of marketing entails an organization actively influencing and encouraging mouth to mouth discussions about a product, event, brand or company.
This type of marketing can occur in the form of organic WOM or amplified WOM promotion strategies. The former happens when people are enthusiastic about your product or service and genuinely want to share their experiences. The latter, on the other hand, occurs when marketers start campaigns to encourage WOM in new or existing communities.
Today, fewer people are likely to trust what they see in mass advertisements before buying a product. So, marketers are using WOM and influencer advertising on social platforms to reach more people. Though word of mouth promotion is quite effective, identifying brand ambassadors who are enthusiastic about your product is not easy. Here are 9 steps to make word of mouth marketing work for you.
Gets Social Media Buzz by Creating Something Unique
There is a lot of competition in marketing online. Brands are outdoing each other with different marketing strategies in a bid to get people’s attention.
For this reason, you must think outside the box to come up with something that stands out. Nevertheless, getting people to talk about your product does not necessarily mean inventing something that is completely new. You could, for instance, market your brand differently from your competitors or sell an already existing product in a fresh new way.
A good example is Zappos, which is a company that sells shoes online. The firm has established a reputation for excellent online customer service, and that is the reason shoppers are enthusiastic to talk about them with others. Their social web adverts, online campaigns, and offers are always geared towards customer satisfaction. Find out what makes your company or product unique or noteworthy and capitalize on it.
Use Influencer Marketing to Get More Exposure
Influencer promotion or marketing is a relationship that exists between a business and a social influencer where the latter markets a brand’s products or services to their online followers for agreed-upon compensation. Using influencers is a good way of getting visibility for your product by means of word of mouth. Alaska Airlines is an excellent example of a company that recruited Instagram influencers to show prospective customers beautiful destinations they could fly them to.
To reiterate the impact of influencer promotion, statistics show that at least 70% of millennials trust influencers over traditional celebrities. Therefore, getting relevant influencers to review and talk about your brand can be a great mouth to mouth marketing strategy. There are different ways you can compensate an influencer.
Provide a Solution to a Real Problem
Even influencers and celebrities face challenges, and one way to get them to talk about your brand is to find a way to solve people’s obstacles. With that, you can get them to advertise your product for free organically.
Giving a Free Product
After you have identified an appropriate influencer for your brand, you can opt to send them a few of your products to try out at no cost. In this case, it’s not mandatory that they review your product. If they like it, they will most likely talk about it.
Support a Noble Cause
Celebrities and influencers are always eager to show their support for causes they have a passion for, and you can take advantage of this. By supporting a great or brand new project, key influencers with interest in them will be happy to post and share what you are doing. Consequently, you will get a lot of exposure for your business.
By Paying Cash
Some influencers will give you a fee for their services. Their charges can be fixed or negotiable depending on their status, popularity, influence or demand.
Take Advantage of User-Generated Content (UGC)
UGC can actually help business to boost customer engagement with your brand. In fact, studies show that engagement can increase up to 28% by exposing customers to UGC and professional promotional content. If your product is great, people in most cases will talk about it organically. But, by sharing your followers’ and customers’ posts, more people will talk about your business on social platforms. You could encourage mouth to mouth marketing by offering discounts to posts that meet a specific criterion. A good example of a quite effective UGC campaign is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which gets their customers to share photos enjoying ice cream on social networks and tag their business page.
Offer Your Audience Incentives Such as Giveaways
Giveaways and contests are excellent ways to get people talking about your brand. We can all agree that people love freebies. A good incentive can get a customer to talk about how great your product or service is. These offers can also help you increase customer retention. The best way to implement this strategy is to gather information about your customers and give targeted offers. For example, you could send them a birthday voucher or create a giveaway and share it on social networks.
Provoke People’s Emotions for a Viral Campaign
One of the most powerful ways of promoting your brand is tapping into your customers’/users’/followers’ emotions. Get people talking by associating your business with something you believe in, for example, environmental conservation.
Encourage and Share Your Customers’ Reviews
Share your online reviews to encourage more customers to try your product or service. Once you get an excellent product review, make sure you share it with your followers and spread the word. There are many review websites where you can find genuine customer opinions on your industry, for example, Google or Amazon.
Introduce a Referral or Affiliate Program
A referral program is a promotion targeted to a particular customer with the intention of getting them to refer a friend. By offering referral rewards and affiliate networks, you encourage your customers or users to talk about your product or service with friends and family because they will get something in return. Affiliate Partners Ltd., Clickbank, and Amazon Associates are some of the biggest affiliate programs today. Airbnb, Tesla, PayPal, and Uber are just some of the thousands of companies that run referral programs. Plus, you can also go for other incentives like vouchers, price deductions or VIP rates for your word of mouth campaign.
Create Catchy Hashtags to Trend at the Top
Social media today is about what is trending, and the best way to trend is to use a hashtag. Rather than allowing your followers to come up with several variations of your hashtag, choose the best one and stick to it. It will help to drive traffic to your page and gives you the best opportunity to be seen. Plus, you are more likely to be at the top of trending topics if you encourage your followers to use your hashtag. Use this strategy to push a promotion you might be running or get more visibility for your brand.
Use Visual Triggers to Market Your Business
The use of visual content was a top trend in marketing in 2017 and is still one of the best ways to attract prospective customers to your website or business. Brands such as Snapchat have leveraged visual triggers for success in business for years now. IKEA, being among the first companies to adopt Augmented Reality, is also a good example of businesses that use visual advertising. Get people to share and talk about your business by creating stunning visual experiences and memorable word of mouth triggers for your followers. However, as an e-commerce entrepreneur, you must consider other factors other than the uniqueness or attractiveness of your website or online store. It must also be easy to navigate and to locate conversion buttons if you are to make any sales.
Final Words on Word of Mouth Marketing
At least 50% of Americans say that they would go for word of mouth as opposed to other sources of information in their decision to purchase a product or service. It, therefore, goes without saying that word of mouth advertising is a must for any business owner who wants to succeed.
Regardless, you should always begin with the fundamentals. The strategic use of different marketing channels affects how people will view your product or service and brand as a whole. So, keep in mind the customer experience that you are offering and how much you can afford to spend on the strategies you choose. But you can start small, and once you get it right, you can add more strategies. With these tips, we hope you will be in a position to grow your customer base consistently!
Alice Berg is a blogger and a career advisor at Skillroads, who received a degree in Social Work and Applied Social Studies. Now she helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance, helps young people to prepare for their careers. You can find Alice on Twitter.