Did you know that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising and that approximately 20 to 50% of purchases are the result of a word-of-mouth recommendation? Think about your own personal shopping habits: do you often rely on or trust the opinions of others when making a purchasing decision? I know I personally do.
Word-of-mouth marketing is a strategy in which a company uses happy, positive, and satisfied customers to promote their brand. Similarly, companies can create buzz-worthy content surrounding their brand in an attempt to get their target audience communicating…and ultimately purchasing their products or services. Word-of-mouth marketing is far more than just casual conversation. With advances in technology, and practically everyone being on the world wide web, word-of-mouth marketing can now be found in Tweets/Twitter mentions, customer testimonials, reviews, social media posts, forums, blogging/vlogging, etcetera. Want to place an increased emphasis on your word-of-mouth marketing efforts? Consider any of the following six strategies:
- Get your brand in front of the right people. Figure out who your target market consists of and do what it takes to get your brand/product/service in front of someone who can positively get your message out there. An influencer is someone who is extremely active on social media, likely has a blog/vlog and a large following. Many makeup companies send their products to “YouTube beauty gurus” with large followings in order to effectively reach a mass portion of their target market inexpensively. The influencer simply posts a video/photo using the product, provides a review, first impression, etcetera and immediately people will start talking. Influencers are a great way to increase brand awareness because, as mentioned, individuals trust unbiased, third-party reviews from industry experts.
- Provide out-of-this-world customer service. Unfortunately, poor customer service seems to be the norm for a lot of companies. If your company is consistently providing great customer service before, during, and after each purchase, people will remember it…and talk about it!
- Be social. Utilize social media platforms that make the most sense for your brand. You can easily create a tight-knit social community by actively engaging with individuals on social media. Host contests, create giveaways, offer exclusive deals, and more. When customers feel part of a community, the brand ultimately becomes an extension of them.
- Be unique. Individuals remember things best when they heighten certain emotions. Think of creative, out-of-the-box marketing ideas that make people feel something. Think of the Dove Real Beauty campaign; the brand was able to create content surrounding a sensitive but meaningful issue affecting society. The company’s ads featuring a sketch artist drawing portraits of female volunteers in two different scenarios (one sketch of how the volunteers viewed themselves, and the second of how others viewed the volunteers) went viral with over 114 million views. If your company culture is passionate about something, let it shine through in your messaging and be proud of it.
- Maintain your reputation. Remember that your reputation is always on the line. Think before you post anything surrounding your brand and consider how things can be perceived by the public. For more tips on how to manage your brand’s online reputation, check out this post.
- Make it easy for customers to leave reviews/feedback. There’s nothing more frustrating than being asked by a company to leave a review about a recently purchased product only having to navigate through never ending menus or questions. Keep it simple; don’t ask too many questions and consider an easy review system such as a simple star-rating.
Word-of-mouth marketing may be a difficult undertaking at first, but being persistent can generate massive awareness around your brand which will ultimately lead to the sales you desire! Good luck!