Did you know that your existing customers can market your business for free?
This is the potential in word of mouth marketing. 93% of consumers trust friends and family over other types of advertising. This makes your existing customer base a big marketing asset.
Many businesses can spend millions of dollars on advertising. Despite this, the potential of existing customers to market brands goes ignored.
There are many other ways to make your existing user base work for you. Still, few are as fruitful and cost-effective as word of mouth advertising. Read on to know how you can use this powerful marketing tool for your business.
What’s Word of Mouth Advertising?
Word of mouth marketing happens when consumers have enough interest and satisfaction. This is then reflected in their everyday dialogues. It’s the simple dynamic of word of mouth in the arena of social media.
Today’s world’s hyper-connectedness means one recommendation can have a large effect. Businesses can then encourage and influence organic discussions online. These campaigns can increase the visibility and desirability of a product or service.
Word of mouth marketing can happen in two ways.
Organic word of mouth is a natural consequence of satisfied customers. They become eager to share their support and enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, amplified word of mouth happens through campaigns like using influencer marketing. They’re designed to encourage and accelerate the natural word of mouth process.
Why Is It So Effective?
Word of mouth marketing is so effective because its foundation is trust. As mentioned, people trust their social circles when to comes to products or services.
However, underneath this dynamic are two driving factors. These are social currency and triggers. Social currency and triggers are what fuels word of mouth marketing.
Social currency bases itself on the idea of exclusivity. People like to feel special. This is what makes high-end products like the iPhone so appealing.
Businesses can use the social currency factor as a trigger to drive their brand further. They can offer exclusive information to attract consumer interest.
For example, a restaurant can have a secret menu on a particular day of the week, say Wednesday. Inform some customers about this secret menu, and they’ll also tell their friends. Wednesday can then become a trigger for the word of mouth process.
How to Create Your Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy
While the word of mouth process seems straightforward, executing it isn’t a simple walk in the park. You’ll need to work on your brand, which also requires a creative element. Here’s what to do and what to avoid.
Sell an Excellent Product or Service
You can’t create a buzz if your customers aren’t happy over an inferior product or service. Providing quality products and services is a crucial prerequisite.
Encouraging word of mouth while neglecting your products’ quality would be futile. In the worst case, you’ll receive negative buzz about your brand. If you want your customers to market your business for you, then create a positive experience first.
Make Your Brand Interesting
Having an excellent product or service may not be enough. You must also ensure that your brand is engaging. Nobody’s going to talk about a brand or product that seems mundane and boring.
You can have a compelling story that makes your brand personal and relatable. Stories can be more appealing than the technical specifications of your products. They’ll also spread faster and are perfect for word of mouth marketing.
You can highlight personal aspects of your business, like being a family-owned firm. If you have an advocacy, emphasize this in your marketing. These can set you apart and do you good for word of mouth recommendations.
Engage Your Customers and Encourage Feedback
Engage your customers to make them feel like company insiders. If they feel like they have a say in your business, you’ll gain more of their trust. Accomplishing this will make it likelier for your customers to talk good about you.
You can share with them lists of upcoming events, teasers for new products, and ask for their opinions. Make them feel involved in the creation or evolution of your brand. If your customers feel like they have a stake in your business, the more they’ll want you to succeed.
Spread Your Product or Service as Much as You Can
Make sure to put your products in your customers’ hands. You’ll want to be as visible as you can. If you want word of mouth to spread, people must be using your products or services.
Beats Headphones were so popular was because celebrities were using them. You can have free giveaways, testers, or use leverage networks. Avail of every avenue to do this.
Don’t Be Pushy
When engaging your customers, you don’t need to be afraid of asking them to spread the word for you. However, do so in a graceful manner. Don’t push them too hard.
Avoid spamming your customers. Instead of telling them to use your product, tell them why they should be using it. Give incentives, don’t impose.
You do this with an excellent product or service whose quality is the talking point.
Don’t Expect Too Much From Your Customers
Word of mouth marketing has the best effect if it’s natural. Sure, amplified word of mouth speeds it up. However, the interactions between people must remain organic.
Focus on creating quality products and allow them to speak for themselves. The customers will decide if they’ll market your brand for you.
Don’t Expect It to Work Overnight
Since the best word of mouth marketing is natural, it will take time. Don’t rush it. Set your sights on the long term and build your brand and customers’ trust.
Build Your Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy Now
Word of mouth marketing is a useful tool to make your customers market your business for you. Remember, sell a great product or service first. Only then can you encourage the talk.
Want to know more marketing strategies for your business? Read our other guides and discover how to get the best results from your marketing efforts.