92 percent of all consumers say they trust earned advertising, such as word of mouth and recommendations from their friends and family, over all other types of advertising. It’s a statistic that proves just how effective word of mouth marketing can be in creating brand awareness. No other marketing strategy comes close when it comes to earning consumer trust.
But what exactly is word of mouth advertising? Why should you focus on this marketing approach when trying to expand your customer base? More importantly, what strategies can you put in place to make word of mouth advertising work for you?
These are some of the issues we discuss in this comprehensive guide. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word of mouth marketing describes a situation where a consumer’s interest in your product or service gets reflected in their day-to-day conversations. Essentially, it is advertising that’s triggered by a consumer’s experiences, especially when your product or something you did goes beyond their expectations. Word of mouth advertising includes:
- Physical dialogues
- Social media conversations
- Viral content sharing
Companies with a robust word of mouth marketing campaign reap huge benefits. We look at some of them in the next section.
Why Should You Be Investing in Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word of mouth advertising can be the holy grail of a company’s marketing campaign. Here are three ways this advertising approach can benefit your business.
It Gives You Free Publicity
One of the best things about earned marketing is that it is essentially free. When consumers talk to their friends and family about how great your product or service is, they don’t charge you. The positive message they share, however, benefits your business.
Of course, you can still offer referral incentives to your existing clients. But even then, your business only incurs a cost after you get a new customer.
Recommendations Are Credible
For most people, a message regarding a brand, a product, or a service from someone they trust carries a lot more weight than a paid message from an advertiser. It’s the reason you should strive to build closer relationships with your current, happy customers.
Word of Mouth Messages Are More Market-Efficient
When you advertise on radio, TV, print, or billboards, you reach all audiences, some of who may not be in your target market. In other words, you’re paying to market to people who are out of your intended audience. This is different from word of mouth advertising, where your clients recommend you to other people who are interested in the products and services you offer.
How Can You Implement a Robust Word of Mouth Marketing Campaign?
With the clear benefits associated with word of mouth marketing, chances are you’d like to make it part of your overall marketing plan. Let’s look at a few smart ways you can go about it.
Begin With Your Personnel
There’s hardly someone more suited to promote your company than people who already know all there is to know regarding your business. Your employees are the heartbeat of your company and the easiest channel through which you can kickstart your word of mouth advertising campaign.
A happy workforce will always be ready to talk to people outside your company about your company. They’ll be happy to share their thoughts and feelings about you on social media and other platforms. All you have to do is help them take the initial step by providing the best working environment.
Offer Something Customers Want to Talk About
Train your employees on how to interact with your clients so that they can inspire them to share their good experiences with others. Generally, consumers are more likely to talk about experiences that were more than just “OK.”
One of the best things you can do to elevate the customer experience in your company is to offer phenomenal customer service. Don’t forget that people generally like to share messages that reinforce a particular image about themselves on social media. Therefore, look for creative ways to tailor customer interactions, so they are more sharable on such platforms.
Generate Emotional Responses
Perhaps the biggest reason word of mouth marketing is so popular is that people, by nature, love to share their experiences and thoughts with other people. The most effective marketing strategies take advantage of this fact.
Look for ways to create an emotional response in your clients, and they’ll definitely want to tell others about you. Just make sure that the emotional responses you evoke are positive. One way to do so is by offering other-worldly customer service like we pointed out before.
Develop a Referral Program
Establishing a referral program is a proactive way to give your word of mouth advertising efforts an extra push. Most consumers who follow you on social media and share your content do so in the hopes of getting some sort of bonus or reward.
That said, you shouldn’t try to bribe people to post nice things about your brand. When done the right way, a referral program makes the idea of word of mouth more attractive to both your employees and your customers.
One example of motivating your employees is telling them that they’ll receive a free meal or a gift once they’ve brought in a certain number of new customers. For existing customers, you can promise a discount or something they consider appealing every time they refer a new customer.
Work With Industry Influencers
An influencer is an individual with a strong following and who has the power to influence the behavior or beliefs of their followers. Because of their firmly established reputation, influencers are the most valuable people you can work with when it comes to word of mouth marketing.
But how do you connect with influencers in your industry? One way is to let them try your services or products for free.
Once you’ve established a good relationship with a few influencers, you can quote them in your content, such as press releases. Go online to discover more about how to write great press releases.
Make the Most of Word of Mouth Advertising
Whether you intend to expand your company’s reach or want to grow your brand awareness on a limited budget, word of mouth marketing can prove beneficial. At a time when the vast majority of consumers rely on information from other people when making purchasing decisions, it’s time to invest more in this proven advertising strategy.
Would you like to read more great content on how to market your business? Please keep visiting our blog.