Let’s face it: Consumers don’t trust companies as much as they trust people. In fact, 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. For this reason, 64 percent of marketing executives believe word-of-mouth marketing to be the most effective form of marketing. Yet, only 6 percent of them claim to have mastered it.
So, what is word-of-mouth marketing? Why is it so important? And how do you master it? Let’s find out!
What is word-of-mouth marketing?
Word-of-mouth marketing is marketing done by consumers. It occurs when your customers spread the word about your company. Word-of-mouth marketing can be done through personal recommendations, customer reviews, social media posts, online articles, and more.
There are two types of word-of-mouth marketing: organic and amplified. Organic word-of-mouth marketing occurs when customers naturally share and discuss information related to your business. This happens when your company casually comes up in a conversation between two friends or is recommended to someone whose needs you can fulfill. On the other hand, amplified word-of-mouth marketing happens when a company incentivizes or encourages customers to discuss its brand. This happens when companies ask consumers to review their products or to post about their brand under a certain hashtag.
Why is word-of-mouth marketing so important?
Word-of-mouth marketing is important for many reasons. For starters, word-of-mouth marketing builds trust and credibility in your company. This is because consumers trust people like themselves over companies they haven’t heard of. When consumers can see that their friends and family have had a good experience with a certain company, they will be much more likely to pick that one over its competitors. Even if consumers can only see that strangers have had a good experience with a company, that will still help them feel more confident about making purchases. If so many people are raving about a product or service, then it must be good, right?
Consumers will often look for word-of-mouth marketing when choosing a brand to purchase from. They do this by reading customer reviews, asking friends for recommendations, and researching what people have said about the company. According to Podium, 93 percent of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. If there are no reviews or other signs that your company is trustworthy, then many customers won’t feel comfortable buying your product.
Word-of-mouth marketing is also the cheapest form of marketing. Tesla invests almost nothing in advertising. Rather, all of their marketing is done through word of mouth. Have you ever seen an ad for Tesla? Probably not. You know what a Tesla is, though, right? The company has created a product so innovative and remarkable that people can’t help but talk about it. This natural chatter and PR is all the marketing that the product needs, saving millions of dollars on marketing a year. By creating truly remarkable products, you can save money on your marketing campaigns.
How do I master word-of-mouth marketing?
Although marketers cannot produce word-of-mouth marketing themselves, they can promote it, and they should!
The best way to sell something is by making it so remarkable that people can’t help but tell their friends about it. However, we can’t all sell products as innovative as Tesla’s! In reality, we will probably have to use some techniques to promote talk about our products or services.
Customer reviews are often the first thing that people look for when evaluating a product or service. Of course, you can’t write reviews yourself. But you can reach out to people who have purchased from you and invite them to write one. Many companies include a slip of paper asking for reviews in their product packaging. Others will send out an email linking to their review site. Whatever method you use, make sure to ask customers to leave an honest review about their experience.
Once you have a compilation of reviews, be sure to use them to your advantage! Highlight them on your website or post them on your social media, where everyone can see for themselves what great experiences people have had with your company.
Social media offers many opportunities for word-of-mouth marketing. Just having likes, follows, and comments is an indication of how many people like your company. That’s why it’s so important to build out your profiles. Even more important than that, though, is user-generated content: content created by people other than you. A post about your company from another person is much more valuable than a post about yourself. If you can get a discussion going about your company on social media, that is gold.
One way to do this is through branded hashtags. Many companies have a hashtag that they ask people to use when they post about their company. The company can then search through all of the posts with this hashtag and repost the content to their own page, where everyone can see it.
To further incentivize posts about their company, some companies have competitions. GoPro is an excellent example of a company that has seen success using this technique. The brand has an ongoing competition where it asks its followers to submit photos they took on their GoPro cameras. Every day, GoPro selects a favorite photo and shares it on their social accounts. The photographer who took this winning photo then receives cash, gear, and global exposure. These incentives are more than enough to accomplish GoPro’s objective and encourage discussion around its brand.
Referral programs are another great way to promote word-of-mouth marketing. With a referral program, when someone invites a friend to use your product or service, and that friend does, then the person who invited them gets some kind of reward. This reward can be cash, company products, discounts, or whatever you want. Referral programs are a great way to encourage personal recommendations between friends who may be interested in your company.
In conclusion, word-of-mouth marketing is an effective way to build trust around your brand and save money on marketing. By inviting customers to review your products, post on social media, and refer their friends, you can see great results. If you need help implementing any of these trends, try reaching out to a third party. Here at Stage Marketing, we offer services that can help you improve your word-of-mouth marketing. Contact us now!