In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on having a strong online presence as the main method of acquiring new customers. That’s why marketing campaigns on social media platforms and other online avenues are the thing. And while such methods are undoubtedly effective at getting businesses new customers, they are not the only ones. Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is a method that’s often neglected. However, it can be just as effective as the other methods. For example, if you discover Web 2.0 Ranker testimonials, you’ll notice that their customers’ way of talking about the company is positive.
Such testimonials constitute word-of-mouth marketing. They are very effective, sometimes much more than other advertising avenues.
Word-of-mouth marketing is an organic, proven way of promoting a product or service. This is done through word of mouth literally or through other channels of communication.
Why Does Word of Mouth Marketing Work?
The idea behind any marketing campaign is that people will trust your message enough to take action. This has always been the case since time immemorial. Technology has made this so much easier, enabling companies and brands to communicate with a large number of people effectively. However, social proof is always at play. People will trust what their friends and family say over most marketers and advertisements.
This is the major reason why word-of-mouth marketing has always been effective. It taps into the concept of social proof– a phenomenon in which people copy and see the actions of their peers as the right ones.
You are more likely to trust a friend’s recommendation than that of a salesman you’ve never met. You’ll likely choose products or services that your family members favor over those you know nothing about. These are all manifestations of social proof (and word-of-mouth marketing) to some degree.
Types of Word of Mouth Marketing
There are several types of word-of-mouth marketing. These include:
i)Social media marketing: This includes using a bunch of social networks to engage with consumers.
ii) Referral marketing: Here, a business offers its customers incentives for referring others to their products or services. Such incentives could be in the form of discounts or free gifts.
iii) Emotional marketing: This utilizes human emotions and certain imagery to get people to purchase a product or consider a particular service.
iv) Blogging: This is an effective way for businesses to develop customer trust and connection. It utilizes written content or videos to get an advertisement across.
v) Viral marketing: Here, select individuals spread the word about a product or service until a large enough number of people become aware of it. This can build over time or overnight.
vi) Publicity: This means developing increasing visibility and awareness about a product or service while managing media attention.
How Do You Make it Work?
Word of Mouth marketing can be a very potent tool for bringing in new customers and retaining existing ones. Here are some ways you can leverage it for the benefit of your brand or business.
Create Personas to Keep You Informed
You should always be looking for ways to solve your customers’ problems. A good way to do this is by creating a persona that exemplifies your target audience. This will help you identify specific pain points to which your audience needs a solution. By addressing such specific pain points, you’ll win their hearts and loyalty. Such an audience will then become your brand ambassador, spreading the word about how effective you are at solving their specific problems.
Be Knowledgeable About Your Product, Business, and Industry
You want to be a thought leader– someone whose voice is taken to be influential in a particular industry or niche. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by being very knowledgeable about your own business, products, services, and industry at large. Nearly every industry has some hot issues that tend to be controversial. To build trust, you need to have a clear stance on such issues. This means addressing such issues in a way that makes you seem like an authority on this issue (and the industry in general). A common result of such clarity of action is that people will spread the word about your business and products. Learn about solutions to improve your revenue
Influencers are a big thing these days. They can spread the word about your business or product much faster than a lot of other outlets. While influencers are mostly celebrities or those that have built a reputation in a particular niche, local influencers also exist.
When identifying influencers, go beyond your circle or social community. A typical influencer has a large media following or is always in the public eye. By bringing such people on board, you can leverage their reach to spread the word about your product or service.
When introducing a product or service, it can be beneficial to not let everyone have access to it, at least initially. You only invite highly connected individuals and influencers to such a launch. Such individuals will help you gauge the potential long-term success of your product while offering meaningful feedback.
Each one of them can then invite their social community to try the product or service, thereby making it more likely to go viral.