Word of Mouth Marketing: How to Do It?
Word of Mouth Marketing may feel like a thing of bygone days, however, it is more relevant now than ever. Now that there are more platforms to convey your opinions, anything from word of mouth is more trusted.
This is because of the trust element attached to it as people tend to trust their friends more than brands. It has now also transferred to trusting social media influencers.
In this article, let’s see how this form of marketing is still critical and how you can use it to increase your brand’s popularity and credibility.
What Is It?
Word of mouth has been an old way to spread reviews of a product.
It is usually considered credible because you hear from the sources you trust.
For a business, it could mean that satisfied customers leave a review and tell about your business to their relatives and friends.
Word of Mouth Marketing
When making purchasing decisions, people tend to listen to close ones rather than random people.
Not so surprisingly, around 93 percent of people say that they look for online reviews before making any purchasing decision.
However, 21 percent of people say that they rely more on reviews by friends and family than online reviews to make buying decisions.
Besides being a credible source, this form of marketing also allows to effectively target people that will probably show interest in your business and buy from it eventually.
This allows this marketing strategy to work for even smaller brands and start-ups that have just begun.
Though, these are usually of two types. Organic and amplified types of word of mouth marketing.
Just like organic SEO, organic marketing relies on customers making recommendations to people around them.
So these are genuinely satisfied and happy customers making these recommendations.
On the other hand, there is amplified marketing where brands incentivize buyers so that they get the word of mouth out.
How does that happen?
Online competitions and sponsorships entice people to review and share their products hence, spreading the word about it.
But where did word-of-mouth marketing begin and why is it so important today?
Let’s find out below!
Background of Word of Mouth Marketing
Word of mouth is as old as it gets.
People tend to share good products and experiences with their friends and family.
Therefore, there can be no set timeline on when it began.
However, if we specifically talk about the word of mouth marketing then that came into being in 1970s by author George Silverman.
Now, this marketing strategy has evolved to the digital sphere.
Thanks to social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, these places are providing the opportunity to share reviews regarding products and services.
And that is a very powerful tool.
Social media can spread the word to many people at the same time.
Hence, businesses would urge their consumers to share reviews and talk about the brand rather than simply leaving it to the consumers to do it on their own.
Though, one other way to do that is to make products that consumers will eventually love and talk about.
That is tough but not impossible.
Having unique and innovative products will get people excited.
Moreover, if they look good, are pretty enough to share, easy to use, and with fresh features then they will get the world talking.
Incorporating other marketing strategies such as building excitement before the release can further help in creating the hype for the product.
As long as your product is good enough, it will get people talking and bring you new customers.
There are enough reasons to care about word of mouth marketing (WOMM).
With the history and background out of the way, let’s dive deeper into why you should care about WOMM and what benefits it brings you.
The reputation of your business matters.
If there are reviews and people’s opinions stating the good qualities of the product then it is bound to attract more people.
Most of all, it is an easy way to get more consumers and is also free.
Benefits of Word of Mouth Marketing
It goes beyond one interaction
If a customer has had a good experience with your products and services, they will not stop there.
The praise for your business may continue after the consumer’s first interaction with it.
If anyone asks about a recommendation, your brand’s name may pop up.
Hence, the brand’s promotion goes beyond a single interaction.
It results in customer loyalty
If only five percent of your customers retain, that can add 25 percent retention to the bottom line.
Having loyal customers will bring good results for your brand and its bottom line.
It is Free
Start-ups and small businesses usually have a lesser budget.
Traditional marketing methods might be too costly to follow.
Hence, you can simply resort to word of mouth which is essentially free and also effective.
It builds your business’s credibility
This marketing adds credibility to your business.
This way you can also connect with leads on social media and keep expanding your brand.
Feedback can help you grow and it is extremely important in the early days of the business.
These reviews can help you correct mistakes and also improve your services.
It Builds a Community
Word of mouth does not build customers rather it builds an engaged fanbase.
Engaged customers are different from buyers because they will buy more often and even recommend it to their friends quite often.
It results in high customer lifetime loyalty.
No Need for Ad Spend
This marketing allows you to increase the loyal customer fanbase alongside sales without having to spend on ads.
Getting More Venture Funding
Subsequently, brands that have repeat purchases and a loyal customer fanbase will attract more venture and general funding.
Customer Acquisition Cost to Lifetime Value represents a healthy business model, especially in the early days of a company.
While setting up a word of mouth marketing strategy, you are not only limited to online mediums.
However, these days, online mediums are the most popular and effective.
Writing reviews, starting contests, and using influencer marketing sponsorships and customer referral incentives can spread the word about your business.
How to Capitalize on Word of Mouth Marketing
Leaving Reviews on Social Media
Either you get the reviews organically or tell people to give you feedback once they use your product, getting an online review and promoting it helps to get the customer’s attention.
Reviews are powerful. They can make or break your business.
Hence, reach out to your satisfied customers to get it and also display them.
You can reshare the reviews on social media platforms, though you can also include them on your website, in-store and on marketplaces.
You can encourage people to leave reviews on Google Consumer Reviews or other such platforms.
Also, implement any of the feedback they give, and act on the negative reviews.
Include social media links with the reviews so that the customers can share them with their friends and family members.
You can give an incentive of a 10 percent discount if the customer leaves a review as long as it is not against the review sites’ regulations.
Besides that, ensure that reviews are displayed where the other potential buyers can see them too.
For instance, you can also display the ratings and not only the reviews of the products.
Creating User Generated Content
UGC is a strong way to spread the word about a brand.
It especially helps customers in the travel industry to influence tourist behaviors and make travel decisions.
However, it works equally well for other industries where people can show how they are using the products.
UGC increases sales and grows the online audience for a brand.
Using Social Media to Spread the Word
Social media in itself is a means of promoting a brand and spreading the word.
Using that, you could sell freebies, start a contest, interact with the customers, make relatable memes and use humor to separate yourself from your competition.
Your unique social media presence can generate a lot of buzz if done correctly.
Customer Referral Incentive
Offering an incentive is always a plus point.
It allows the customers to finally take action.
You can give them free shipping, discounts on the product or a free gift for bringing in another customer and spreading the word about your brand.
Using Emotional Provocation and Visual Triggers
This allows people to connect with your brand using an emotion that gets people talking about your business.
Hence tie something that you believe in closely with your brand.
You can further attach a visual trigger with it.
For instance, making a unique and beautiful website that people feel like sharing.
Also keep in mind navigation, ease of use and conversions to let it spread through people.
Using Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing allows you to target audiences and communities that the brand is already familiar with, hoping it will reach the right customers.
Influencers have a dedicated audience and collaborating with them is targeting their fanbase.
Creating content with them with leave a lasting impression and the word about your brand will spread faster than other methods.
You can start by giving them products for free or paying them to review them.
If a strong collaboration develops, you can later join hands for a cause that represents your brand.
Using these methods you can build a word of mouth marketing strategy.
It can help spread the word about your business, get people talking, bring you new customers and increase sales without having to spend on advertising or make other expenses.