What are the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing?
This first benefit of word-of-mouth marketing (also called ‘wom marketing’ or ‘WOMM’) is that it’s free or a very low-cost marketing strategy. While it’s highly economical, it can go a long way to growing your brand and increasing sales. In most cases, implementing this form of marketing is not complicated so it won’t necessarily take a lot of time and use up business resources.
Thinking about the products and services you use, how many of them did you learn about through word-of-mouth marketing? We are all influenced by the opinion of others, whether we know them or not. So why not use this to your advantage?
Forms of word-of-mouth marketing
There are many ways to implement word-of-mouth marketing. Here we’ll look at some of the things you can do to get people to promote your products or services through word of mouth.
Share customer testimonials, reviews and ratings
Social proof is one of the keys to persuasion, so don’t let satisfied customers go to waste. If they love your business and what you offer, have a way to capture this feedback. The key is to make it easy for customers to submit their opinions about your business. If you have a Google My Business page, your customers can submit reviews. If reviews and testimonials or not forthcoming, you could ask customers to submit reviews. One way to achieve this is to email your best clients with a request to leave a review at your Google My Business page. In addition, you can use a range of other review sites to get testimonials and reviews.
Besides the standard Google review, you can also use review sites such as Trustpilot. This will enable you to get customer reviews and display them on your website.
If your business offers a more complex product or service, you might want to get a lengthy testimonial which could be a full-page letter. This will enable your customer to explain how you help them solve their problem.
Video is another option for sharing reviews and testimonials. You don’t have to hire a professional to get customer feedback on video. You can simply film customers providing feedback with a smartphone when they visit your location. You could also create an incentive or contest to get user-generated content, including videos.
Create incentives for your customers to share visual content
Following from the previous point, your customers can share much more than reviews. Pictures, gifs and videos of your product or the results of your service will go a long way to enhance your word-of-mouth marketing. A free gift for the best image or video can serve as an incentive to get participation. When happy customers highlight the benefits of your product or service on social networks, you are leveraging the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
Create a referral campaign to enhance word-of-mouth marketing
People often purchase products and services based on referrals. Remember that each of your customers has friends, family members and colleagues who will need what you offer at some time. Recommendations from friends are a great influence, so why not access this large market with a referral program. Promote referrals by offering some type of incentive for referrals. This could be a gift, discount or some other offer. So instead of focusing marketing campaigns on finding new customers outside of your current networks, working on getting referrals from your satisfied customers who can influence the purchase decisions of people they know.
Gain an advantage with exceptional customer experience
Customer service has become a basic consumer expectation. In today’s crowded market, customer experience is how you can stand out and boost your word-of-mouth marketing. While both are important, customer service is a component of customer experience (CX). Customer experience is defined as the totality of all contact between the customer and business. This includes how the customer discovers your business, and researches, buys and uses your product or service. In short, it’s how the customer interacts with a business at all stages. If you provide great customer service, your customers will start spreading the word about your brand or products and services.
Get on the good side of industry influencers and thought leaders
While word-of-mouth marketing is usually generated by customers, getting leaders and influencers to speak positively about your business is an effective technique. This type of endorsement will often require some form a payment, so it can be defined as word-of-mouth advertising.
Be active on social media
In the past, word-of-mouth consisted of people telling others verbally about their positive experiences dealing with a company and the benefits of its products and services. Today, social media makes it possible for customers to express their opinions to a large audience. In order to take advantage of positive feedback, you need a social media presence so that customers can use it as a way to recommend your business. This could be as simple as setting up a company Facebook page. Learn more in A Small Business Guide to Social Media.
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