Perhaps, sometimes you get really excited about something you’ve bought and tell your friends how good this thing is. Perhaps, sometimes you have a dinner at some restaurant and then tweet about it to let others know how tasty it was. In both these situations, you create a product of word-of-mouth marketing — the most natural type of marketing which implies simply sharing information with other people. Although it has some common features with viral marketing, WOM marketing uses other channels, and the information is shared exclusively by customers.
Word-of-mouth marketing is usually triggered by some outstanding experience that exceeds the customer’s expectations so that they want to tell their friends about it. WOM is a very effective way of generating leads. In addition, it’s very cost-effective. Most people would likely follow their friend’s recommendation than a TV commercial or another type of advertisement. According to statistics, 88% of people make their purchasing decisions based on recommendations from their friends and online reviews.
What Is Word of Mouth Marketing?
When we buy some good product or have an outstanding experience with some company, most of us want to share these moments with friends — it may be a conversation or a post on social media. Everybody likes to share happy moments with other people, and the more customers share their experience with others, the better the company’s incoming traffic, and the more leads it gets.
Word-of-mouth marketing is a natural way of sharing information online, as well as offline. This kind of marketing relies not only on talking to people but also on social media, blog posting, and review platforms, such as Yelp or Amazon. WOM encourages your customers to share authentic content which is particularly engaging. In addition, this kind of marketing is not only about a single interaction between a customer and his or her friends. The natural interaction keeps going on, with new comments, pictures, and ideas. Thus, word-of-mouth is one of the best solutions for ensuring your brand’s presence both on the internet and in regular conversations.
How to Use Word of Mouth Marketing for Your Business
- Have something worth talking about
As we’ve already mentioned above, WOM marketing is all about outstanding experiences. Thus, if your service or product is just “OK,” your customers will unlikely share their experiences with friends. The main secret of great service is the employees. Your employees should be happy to work for you, and they should share this happiness with customers. In addition, you may want to reconsider your customer interactions in order to make them more shareable. According to research, Facebook users like to share experiences that make them look good or help them build a certain image of themselves.
- Participate in conversation
If you want your customers to talk about you, you should participate in such a conversation as well. You must listen to what they say about your products and be a part of their lives. A great example of a company that always tries to be a part of the conversation is Netflix. On Twitter, @Netflix shares viewer’s posts about their favorite shows. Netflix also increases awareness by sharing content related to their shows, such as details about lives of criminals from Making a Murderer.
- Start a referral program
A referral program may turn out to be the best solution if you want to boost your worth-of-mouth marketing. According to statistics, almost 80% of people say that discounts and bonuses were the main reason why they decided to like some brand’s page on social media. If you want people to say something good about you, you can offer a reward, and a referral program is a nice way to encourage people to increase brand awareness.
Simple and Effective Word of Mouth Marketing Techniques
- Share customer reviews
As we’ve already mentioned above, most people make their purchasing decisions based on personal recommendations, as well as on online reviews. When your consumers see real feedback, they feel much more comfortable buying your products because they know what quality to expect. Encourage your customers to leave their reviews on popular review platforms.
- Encourage user-generated content
Most millennials determine the quality of a brand based on the user-generated content. The average millennial spends 30% of a day consuming UGC, so you must take it into account when planning your marketing strategy. First of all, you should have your unique hashtag. Select the best content and publish it on your main profile or your website to create a sense of community. Encourage users to create pictures, gifs, and videos on social media. Videos can also increase the effectiveness of the marketing content by 20%.
- Offer incentives
You can improve your WoM marketing by offering incentives. Give your customers a reason to talk about you. They will want to spread information about your brand and bring you more referrals if they receive something valuable in return. It may be a gift or a discount. For example, DropBox offers free storage space, Trello offers free Trello Gold, and BlueApron offers a credit for its products.
- Use influencers
People trust influencers and always listen to their recommendations. However, it’s not enough to find people with many followers. You should look for those who demonstrate high levels of engagement, who are relevant and respected in your industry. Make sure they use your hashtags and don’t forget to include such hashtags as #sponsored and #ad so that your audience will be informed that a certain post is an ad.
There are many methods that can help you boost your word-of-mouth marketing. This method of marketing is very effective and it doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money. All you have to do is provide a customer experience that is worth mentioning. You should also stay in touch with your consumers and offer some rewards for sharing information about you. Follow our simple tips and you will significantly increase your sales thanks to the most organic and trusted method of marketing.
About the Author
Berta Melder is an experienced brand manager, content strategist and co-founder of the Masterra, contributor and guest blogger for many websites. Being passionate about her job, she cooperates with different education courses covering a broad range of digital topics as a guest lecturer. Follow her on Twitter.