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What Is Word Of Mouth Marketing?
In the digital age, new marketing channels have exploded; a few years ago, influencer marketing didn't exist, nor did social media marketing, search engine marketing and programmatic display marketing. We had digital channels like email marketing; we had affiliate and referral marketing, and of course word of mouth marketing. However, these new channels that are often more data-driven have taken the lead in recent years.
Word of mouth marketing is a tough nut to crack, and the return is hard to measure, which is why other channels leapfrogged it in terms of the amount of budget and effort put behind it. Word of mouth marketing is also notoriously hard to control as it lives off the back of organic conversation.
World of mouth marketing lives effectively on the type of campaigns you run that can generate a buzz or, more importantly, on the service you provide. Treat customers well and give them an experience they cannot get anywhere else, and they will do all your promotion work for you.
Not only that, but their opinions carry far more weight with their network, which results in far higher conversion rates.
Why is Word-of-Mouth Marketing important?
Social media managers and SEOs will often talk about the potential organic reach of their channel, and sure there is a solid case for their argument. But there's one other organic channel that doesn't get as much love, which is word of mouth marketing.
To quote Michael Bolton, When a Brand loves its customers, it can't keep its mind off anything else. A brand that wants to leverage WOM marketing shows they care about customers and offer a great product.
When you achieve these two goals, the customers will take care of the marketing. They are more receptive to giving you value, such as providing reviews, testimonials and even cold lead outreach. They can easily share their experience and bring in new buyers.
Nielsen informs that 83% of customers who participated in its survey trust companies recommended by their family and friends. Experiences of other people with a specific brand often become sources of information for many consumers since they are more relatable and trustworthy.
Having that level of trust passed on to your brand can only be good for your business bottom line in the long run.
Benefits of Word-of-Mouth marketing.
When consumers are satisfied with a product can quickly popularise a company and bring benefits. I am sure you've been guilty of it yourself, you bought something or used a service, and they surprisingly exceeded your expectations. You would go out of your way to tell someone and always recommend this product or business should the topic come up in conversation.
You have a bias towards that product and service, and it shows, this is what WOM is all about and why it's so valuable, it's organic promotion.
Companies that apply word-of-mouth promotion obtain increased conversions, higher sales, and broader reach. All these factors together create a great incentive for high profits. The more people learn about your brand, whether from friends' posts or their direct recommendations, the higher will be brand awareness.
As a result, the higher the possibility of brand engagement with your other channels. That's right, WOM can amplify the marketing efforts on other media too. If your friend told you about X product and now you see it on a Facebook ad, you are more likely to engage with that content or even convert far faster than you would otherwise.
Now that you know the advantages, let's proceed to the next section to learn how to leverage word-of-mouth marketing.
Podcasting is a great way to get the discussion going instead of providing only written content. Podcasts allow you to share complex ideas in video or audio that can easily be shared by your audience. Instead of having to explain something to a friend; they can use your podcast as a reference tool.
Remember, not all customers are marketers; they may see the value in your brand but struggle to articulate it to others; podcasts are a great way to arm them with a weapon they can use to pitch their friends and family.
Interviews and testimonials
Creating conversational content and not so much a sales pitch is the ideal way to build a library that promotes word of mouth marketing. This could be through interviews with local podcasters, niche podcasters in a particular field or your local news organisations.
Alternatively, you could be the media outlet yourself and interview clients, staff, other thought leaders in your industry and build a series of content that is far more engaging than a direct sales pitch. Remember every show you appear on as a guest, and every person you host as a guest has a network of friends and family who are willing to tune in and listen to what they have to say.
Influencer marketing has grown in popularity as it can offer you a more informal approach to branding. These could be through product reviews, comedy skits that incorporate your product or lifestyle guides and tutorials.
These influencers can show the best in their products on the social media channels of influencers. This type of marketing is a perfect choice for those targetting a younger audience as statistics say that 49% of younger generation customers trust influencer recommendations. Nowadays, this type of marketing is one of the most effective because of the trust that opinion leaders have built up with their following.
The internet makes it easy to find necessary information about the brand or product when considering a purchase. One of the most important things consumers pay attention to is reviews.
They are social proof of a brand's quality.
As of 2020, nine out of ten customers read reviews before buying something. Thus, a brand should have a good reputation and customers satisfied with products or services. Customers are often influenced by good reviews, especially if it's from someone they know or trust.
Consider adding reviews on:
- Landing pages,
- Facebook pages,
- Web directories,
- Google my business page
- Or under the product pages on your site to ensure that visitors will see them.
People like to get something for free, and brands often give them such an opportunity. Very often, you can encounter various freebies on social media platforms from different businesses. This way, companies try to attract and engage new customers who probably already use the products or services of other brands.
The freebie is a chance for customers to sample your product or service at no cost and see if they would like to pay for it or for the additional features a paid member would receive. These freebie offerings open up your customer base to a more significant risk-free audience who are willing to take a chance and share your offer with others of the same temperament.
The size of your brand is not essential when it comes to giveaways that can bring some exposure to your company. Opening a giveaway will not only enable you to reach your target audience but increase your customer base as well. Your clients will share the news about your giveaway with their friends and family and encourage them to participate. This, in turn, will enable followers to show their activity and disseminate information about your brand.
Giveaways are especially effective when they are done consistently; this way, people become used to the monthly draw or weekly draw and regularly participate or encourage friends to participate, broadening your network and improving engagement rates.
A referral program is a great way to spark word of mouth if a consumer enjoys a particular product or service. They already love your brand, so they are willing to remain in your ecosystem. You can leverage this by offering some perks to your customers to drive interest and effectively promote your company. You can provide your regular customers with a financial reward or a free product to appreciate referring a friend.
Affiliates and brand ambassadors
Referrals are more for the casual user, but affiliate and brand ambassadors are for those super users who make the most of referral programs. Instead of having a simple referral program for these users, you can offer them tiered rewards and encourage them to drive more leads to your business with an active incentive.
Building a long-lasting brand
Turning traffic into sales is the daily battle all businesses face, but it should not be the end goal. We should never lose sight of the fact that when you provide excellent service that customers love, they become biased towards your brand and rope in others to do the same. This network effect can spread like wildfire, reducing your marketing costs in the process.
When you build a business with word of mouth marketing in mind, you create one that will last regardless of how much you spend on marketing or how your competitors outbid you for traffic. Customers will actively ignore efforts to be lured away as they have become loyal to your brand.
This is something no digital marketing channel can provide and why WOM should be the cornerstone of all your marketing efforts.
Are you looking to promote your business?
South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.
If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on small businesses.
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- 11 Mobile Card Payment Solutions For Small Businesses
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Tags: Word of Mouth Marketing