Statistics say that 90% of people tend to trust a brand recommended by someone, even if he or she is a stranger. And 88% of people place their highest level of trust in a brand recommended by a family member or friend. This is the power of word-of-mouth marketing, which businesses should tap into.
A decade ago, businesses didn’t have much control over their word-of-mouth marketing. All they could do was sell quality products and services and provide great customer service to encourage natural word-of-mouth promotions. But today, with the advent of the internet and extensive use of social media, things have changed.
Businesses employ several techniques and tactics to influence word-of-mouth marketing among customers. This blog discusses some of the efficient ones. But before that let’s get to know what word-of-mouth marketing is.
What is Word-of-Mouth Marketing?
“Word-of-mouth” refers to the naturally occurring instances where happy customers spread the word about a product or brand to their circle. When the word-of-mouth spread of a business is encouraged or influenced by that business, it is referred to as word-of-mouth marketing. This is something that has existed since time immemorial.
Traditional word-of-mouth marketing was done in the real world whereas the modern one is carried out over social media. As social networks facilitate the lightning-fast spread of news and information the latter is highly efficient. It can take different shapes such as customer testimonials, online reviews, Facebook likes, Twitter @s, brand mentions, blog posts, message forums, etc.
Importance of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is important for any business. One happy customer can influence the buying decision of one or more prospective buyers. This can do wonders for your business by creating brand awareness, generating brand trust, building your customer base, increasing sales, and increasing revenue generation.
5 Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategies for Businesses
Word-of-mouth can strengthen or erode brand affinity. So, brands and businesses need to be careful while executing their word-of-mouth marketing. Here are 5 sure-fire techniques to use in your word-of-mouth marketing strategy to get it right.
1. Give People a Reason to Spread Your Brand
Word-of-mouth marketing is most successful when brands offer what people are looking for. For, people have that natural desire to share their enthusiasm and support when they are happy with a brand. So, take care that you source and sell high-quality products and provide exceptional customer service.
Train your staff interacting with customers and clients to be of high caliber. For, people are happy when they encounter positive human interactions in today’s world where they experience lousy customer service often. So, launching a referral program can help you effectively leverage the power of word of mouth.
2. Be Unique
A successful technique to generate word-of-mouth promotions about your brand is to be truly distinctive. You can do this in several ways like-
- An unusual product
- An exceptional company culture
- Creative marketing concepts
For instance, some years back an Indian firm introduced innovative handkerchiefs- naturally-dyed, aromatic, and anti-bacterial ones. This was widely talked about. The reason behind this was the unusual nature of the product.
Likewise, unique company cultures like that of GLBC (Great Little Box Company) also attract a lot of word-of-mouth. It rewards employees who find ways to save the firm’s funds. For instance, once an employee was rewarded $2,000 for suggesting to the company that re-adjusting the position of a cardboard cutting machine could save money.
3. Encourage User-Generated Content
The content created and shared by users about brands and products is referred to as User Generated Content (UGC). These can be blogs, videos, comments, GIFs, testimonials, reviews, pictures, etc. Often buyers perceive UGC as a measure of a brand’s quality and trust it due to its genuineness.
You can give customers a discount, a gift, or an added feature to motivate them to share UGC. Request them to create and share content related to your brand on social media. Have a unique hashtag to identify your UGC. Also, display testimonials of happy customers on your landing pages.
4. Enable Product Ratings On Your Site
Studies say that people make a purchasing decision only after going through a product’s ratings and reviews. Often people buy only if a product has a 4 star or 5-star rating. So, provide good quality products and empower your customers to rate or review the purchased products/services directly on your site.
Besides providing valuable insights into your products or services, these also improve your site’s SEO. For, reviewers repeatedly keep using your keywords in their comments. Your site would also benefit from bad reviews as these render credibility to your brand. For, people perceive sites with both good and bad reviews to be authentic over those that have glorifying reviews alone.
5. Partner with influencers
Some people have a strong online and social media following. Their recommendations can persuade and manipulate their viewers. So, partner with relevant influencers to talk about your brand on social media like Facebook and YouTube. You can get them to do this in several ways.
- Pay Them Outright: Though expensive, this allows you to have a 5-star certain amount of control over what the influencer posts about your brand.
- Send Them Your Products For Free: This may or may not work as it is the influencer’s personal decision on whether or not to talk about your products in their posts.
- Connect With A Noble Cause: Influencers often like to show their support for certain causes. You can take advantage of this to gain word-of-mouth exposure for your brand. For instance, if your brand sells organic products, partner with an influencer who supports organic living.
Word-of-mouth advertising and marketing can have a powerful influence in creating brand awareness, generating brand trust, building your customer base, increasing sales, and increasing revenue for your business. However, you need to have a strong strategy with a great foundation to get it right. Do use the strategies discussed by us to ensure this.