Building a successful business often requires years or even decades of dedication and hard work to fully establish the brand and products or services you provide. One of the most important elements of maintaining a successful business one you have launched it involves marketing. Without marketing, spreading the word of a business becomes increasingly difficult, especially when you want to branch out from local consumers.
With the use of word-of-mouth marketing, maximize both your online and offline reach as you spread the word of your brand and business and what it has to offer for the world. Having a complete understanding of word-of-mouth marketing and how to make it work for you is a way to truly stand out once you begin developing digital and local marketing strategies and campaigns. By understanding your target audience and creating an effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy, unlock your potential when it comes to scaling your business and spreading the word of your brand all around the world.
What is Word of Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing, or WOM, is a form of marketing that is extremely cost-effective and typically only requires individuals to tell their own family members, friends, and colleagues about a business or brand they have recently discovered. WOM marketing is one way to gain referrals and recommendations, as most consumers prefer to discover new businesses, brands, and professionals they trust from their own family, friends, and those they work with each day.
Some of the ways word-of-mouth marketing works when appealing to any specific target or demographic you have in mind include:
- Excitement: If an individual is excited about your website or the type of products, information, or services you provide, they are much more likely to spread the word about your business to other individuals they know.
- Need: If there is a need or high demand for the information, product, or service you offer, it is much easier to garner the attention of others while word-of-mouth marketing occurs organically.
- Enjoyment: If a business is capable of creating products, services, or content that is simply enjoyable to its intended audience, it is much easier to spread the word of said business or brand. When others find joy and amusement out of the products or services you offer, they are much more likely to share their discovery with those they care about most in their everyday lives.
Benefits of WOM Marketing
Choosing to implement WOM, or word-of-mouth marketing into your own brand strategy is highly recommended. WOM is one of the quickest ways to spread the word of a business or brand regardless of how competitive or saturated a preferred industry or market is at any time. With the right product, service, or overall demand for your brand, maximize your reach both online and locally, allowing you more opportunities to gain loyal fans and followers.
Some of the most notable word-of-mouth marketing strategies that are extremely beneficial for both new and established businesses include:
- Giveaways and Free Promotions
- Exclusive Promotions and Deals
- Flash Sales
- Building a Personal Relationship With Consumers
- Brand Transparency
- Allowing Choice for Fans and Loyal Customers
Stats Proving The Value Of WOM Marketing
- 83% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services . [Nielsen]
- 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. [Ogilvy Cannes]
- 72% of people get news from friends and family. [Pew Research Center]
- 68% of people trust online opinions from other consumers. [Nielsen]
- Consumers discuss specific brands casually 90x per week. [HubSpot]
- 91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making their buying decision. [USM]
- 61% of IT buyers report that colleague recommendations are the most important factor when making a purchase decision. [BtoB Magazine]
- 56% of B2B purchasers look to offline word-of-mouth as a source of information and advice. [BaseOne]
- Word-of-mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%. [MarketShare]
- Researchers found a 10% increase in word-of-mouth translated into a sales lifts between 0.2 – 1.5%. [MarketShare/ Keller Fay Group]
- 43% of social media users report buying a product after sharing or favoriting it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. [VisionCritical]
- Over half of purchases inspired by social media sharing occur within 1 week of sharing or favoriting. [VisionCritical]
- 79% of people say their primary reason for “liking” a company’s Facebook page is to get discounts. [Market Force]
- 81% of people said they’re influenced by what their friends share on social media. [Market Force]
- 18% of engaged conversation on social networks were positive reviews of the brand. [Mention]
- 66% of respondents under the age of 34 are likely to give a referral after receiving social recognition. [Software Advice]
- 39% of respondents say monetary or material incentives greatly increase their chances of referring a brand. [Software Advice]
- 64% of WOMMA survey respondents agree that word-of-mouth marketing is more effective than traditional marketing. [WOMMA]
- 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions. [Twitter]
- 50% of marketers have incorporated word-of-mouth marketing into their traditional marketing campaigns. [WOMMA]
- 82% use word-of-mouth marketing to increase their brand awareness. [WOMMA]
The Basics of Developing A WOM Strategy
When you want a word-of-mouth marketing that works and is suitable for your audience, there are a few questions to ask yourself, such as:
- Who are the individuals I want to reach with my business and the products or services I offer?
- How does my target audience typically discover new businesses and brands?
- What is likely to excite my target audience and the demographics I want to reach online?
- Are my current marketing strategies exciting enough and incentivizing enough to increase the overall engagement of my prospective customers?
- How can I incentivize my followers and loyal customers to spread the word of my business and brand while also offering them something in return?
Once you understand who you want to target and why, you can then move forward with implementing the strategies that are best for your users and prospective customers.
10 Word of Mouth Strategies
Once you are ready to move forward with your word-of-mouth marketing campaign and you want to begin showcasing the products and services you have available, there are a few strategies to keep in mind. Some of the most useful strategies and techniques to put to use while you are in the midst of spreading the word of your business and brand virally include:
Choose an Authentic Voice
Choosing the right voice for any business and brand is essential. If you choose a voice that seems fake, too corporate, or too unprofessional, captivating your audience will become even more challenging. Consider the audience you want to reach while developing a voice for your brand. Choose a voice that is not only familiar to your audience, but one that also resonates with the way they communicate with one another.
Host Contests Using Social Media
Host contests using social media platforms to attract new followers and to increase engagement on current updates and campaign materials you have promoted.
Launch a Product Giveaway
Giving away free product has always been a big hit for many entrepreneurs, whether they are running small businesses or managing mega-corporations. Giving away products you typically sell or offer is a great way to garner the interest of users on social media while gaining new followers and driving traffic to your official website. Any time you host a new product giveaway or contest, be sure to require that the individual who is interested in entering is following you on social media first.
Develop Unique Marketing Campaigns to Increase Engagement
Craft unique marketing campaigns that involve imagery, animations, and even messages that are unique and interesting. Avoid using traditional marketing tactics, especially if you have yet to fully establish your business and brand in both the online and offline eCommerce world.
Share Exclusive Promotions in Your Email Newsletter
Using an official email newsletter is highly recommended for all businesses. Share exclusive discount and promotional codes via email while also incentivizing your current subscribers to tell friends and family about the discounts they receive, resulting in even more subscribers. Using an email subscription newsletter is a great way to build a base following for
a new business or brand in any market.
Ask for Reviews From Satisfied Customers
Whenever you receive positive feedback from a client or a customer you have helped with your business, ask them for a view or testimonial. Asking directly for reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients is one of the quickest ways to build a positive and professional reputation in the niche market or industry you represent.
Share Product Ratings Publicly on Your Website
Showing off ratings of your products is another way to quickly gain the trust of new visitors who may be unfamiliar with your brand. When users have access to product reviews, even if they are not 5/5 products, they are much more inclined to place their trust in a company.
Showcase Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Highlighting positive reviews and testimonials is another way to gain momentum with a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. Use some of the best reviews and testimonials that are verified within email newsletters you send, within blogs you share, and even on your brand’s social media page updates. Spreading the word of a business and brand requires hard work and a commitment to showing your audience that you are trustworthy and that you have their best interests in mind. Use social media and A/B testing to determine the best course of action when promoting various reviews, testimonials, and promotional materials.
Launch a Referral and Rewards Program
Referral and reward programs are not only exciting, but they also provide your loyal shoppers with even more incentive to refer and recommend their very own friends and co-workers to your business and brand.
Offer a Unique Experience That is Difficult to Replicate
Providing online visitors and loyal customers with a unique brand or business experience is one way to take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing. When an individual has an experience with a company that is unique, mind-blowing, or out of this world, they are much more likely to tell their own family members and friends about their experience.
Marketing and generating profits go hand-in-hand when working as an entrepreneur. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or launching your own small business for the very first time, an effective and relevant marketing strategy is key. Understanding the basic elements of word-of-mouth marketing and use WOM marketing to garner new followers, customers, and sales, is a great way to begin scaling your business without waiting decades for the potential opportunity.