Word-of-mouth marketing, also referred to as WOMM, is a powerful marketing tactic to generate more sales and brand awareness. However, as the online world evolves, WOMM has also gone beyond one-on-one conversations and further comprises online posts, tags, and tweets.
For a minute, just think about the items you purchased in the past. For example, have you purchased your kitchen stuff because some of your friends talked about them? Or you booked a hotel because a co-worker tweeted about enjoying their stay?
That is the potential of word-of-mouth marketing. People love to share their experiences that outperform their expectations, and eventually, they become brand advocates and spread the information to their network - both online and offline.
Moreover, today, most people rely on recommendations from family, colleagues, and even strangers to make buying decisions. According to Nielsen, approx 83% of customers say they believe the recommendations of family and friends; 66% state they also trust the opinion of others online.
Several companies employ word-of-mouth marketing strategies to get business leads, boost conversations, and increase their brand value.
Let's move forward and look at 10 effective word of mouth strategies that will help you succeed.
10 Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategies
1. Engage with storytelling
Stories are one of the most compelling ways to spread information from person to person. Great stories encourage, push, and are easily memorable. Thus brands that have compelling stories grab the customers' attention and build genuine connections.
Sharing stories that resonate with your targeted audience adds a human touch to your brand. For example, you can share a story about your journey, mission, or unique value proposition. Whatever it is, your customers (or a potential buyer of your company) have to understand why you do what you do and, most importantly, why they should consider it. By storytelling, you can present this message in a way that spurs them to share with others.
2. Create Social Media Communities for Users.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the perfect way to build a social community. When people are a part of a community, they can go there consistently. They will interact with other users and share their views. Moreover, they will be more likely to share content and love to spread the word for a brand within their business network.
3. Create Loyalty and Referral Programs
Today, people love to recommend their favourite brand, and if you reward them for recommending you, they will be glad. Referral programs allow customers to spread the word out about your brand. Further, it enables them to go beyond leaving reviews to actively luring substantial leads. As a result, it encourages you to acquire new prospects at a lower cost.
Moreover, loyal customers recognized and rewarded for their support are likely to purchase more and share their experiences with friends, family, and colleagues with a loyalty program.
Although incentives prompt action, keep in mind that building a positive experience matters. When your current customers are pleased and satisfied, they will be more likely to share your brand with others.
4. Create Exclusivity
People consider items with limited quantities as they believe they are valuable - obtaining and sharing information about these items showcases them as knowledgeable. Therefore exclusivity remains a valuable social currency. Allowing exclusive access to your products or services will help people to purchase and tell others.
How word of mouth really works | Chris Cowan
5. Work With Influencers and Thought Leaders.
Influencers and industry experts act as brand amplifiers. They own a loyal community of followers who rely on their recommendations. Again, as per the statistics, 49% of consumers trust influencer recommendations, and this number is supposed to rise with the rise and growth of social media platforms.
Working with influencers lets you reach a wider audience, generating more positive word-of-mouth for your business. Further, considering micro-influencers is a good idea as they have better engagement rates.
6. Offer Value
Interaction and giving value are significant to word-of-mouth marketing. Your products and services should meet assured benefits and address customers' requirements. It helps to grow customer relationships and build trustworthiness.
On the other hand, providing products that do not fulfil customer expectations can lead to customer disappointment, negative word-of-mouth and further leads to a bad reputation.
Related: How to Increase Your Business' Value as a Brand
7. Get Lots of Reviews and Showcase Them.
Users tend to favour overwhelmingly genuine reviews to branded content or even otherwise unbiased editorial sites. Several users don't see reviews with a sharp eye: They view just hundreds or thousands and then check out a fast sampling of them, including some 5-star and 1-star ones.
8. Deliver an Outstanding Customer Experience
Every customer demands quality service. Thus, delivering what they need, when, and how they want it. Of course, most companies satisfy these expectations. But, since this is usual practice, no one discusses it.
But what if you exceed the expectations of your customers? How will they respond if you provide better than anticipated with a quick response, bonuses (e.g., handwritten letters, coupons, gifts), after-sales support, and empathy? In addition, they would be pleased to share their experience with others, leading to positive word-of-mouth.
Customer service isn't part of word-of-mouth marketing, but it plays a huge role; therefore, it deserves special mention.
People tend to favour brands that provide them with exceptional customer service experiences. If their experience is good, then they will share positive WOMM or vice versa.
9. Adding User-Generated Content (UGC)
Satisfied customers typically generate text, videos, pictures, reviews, etc. - to showcase their preferred products or services. These posts are user-generated content (UGC), which can influence a wider audience. UGC helps you improve engagement, build trust, and increase brand awareness. In addition, it builds a sense of community around your brand.
As users share their preferred products and services, they encourage word-of-mouth that leads to strengthening brand credibility in your potential customer's minds. As per the statistics, 90% of consumers state that UGC alters their buying decisions more than search results and promotional emails.
10. Leveraging Affiliate Networks
Affiliate marketing lets you boost your word-of-mouth marketing. You own several options you can experiment with. First, you can make customers sign up for the affiliate program. Then, after a customer has bought from your store, you can request them to refer their friends and receive a percentage for the sale if their friend uses their referral link.
Second, you can seek niche bloggers. You can invite them to write articles about your products and brand. They can incorporate affiliate links that enable them to monetize the post.
While you're giving a monetary incentive, the reality is the risk is low as you only have to pay a commission if a sale is made. Also, even when sales aren't performed, brand awareness is being produced by affiliates to make more people familiar with your brand further.
In this post, we have seen 10 effective word of mouth marketing strategies. All these strategies are tried and tested and help brands to spread the word out. WOMM is a compelling way to attract targeted audiences; thus, don't forget to leverage it precisely.
Shivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals, which provides referral marketing software that allows businesses to attract new customers from existing customers through referral campaigns.