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Over the years, word-of-mouth marketing has proved itself as the most cost-effective and fruitful way to generate new leads. In today’s time, traditional forms of outbound marketing have become increasingly tired. Therefore the recommendation of a friend or customer can be far more compelling than traditional methods such as advertisements or TV commercials.
Word of mouth marketing (WOM) acts as an organic way of marketing and plays a crucial role in the buying cycle. In this cut-throat competitive era, customers are more likely to search for details online before making a purchase; it’s also one of the most authentic ways to create loyalty for your company. In fact:
- 88% of people believe online reviews just as much as suggestions from personal contacts when choosing what to purchase and who to buy from
- 74% of customers admit that word of mouth acts as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions
- Around 91% of B2B buyers said that their buying decisions usually get influenced by word of mouth marketing
Now, it’s time to learn how word-of-mouth marketing can boost sales.
First, you need to develop stronger connections with your consumers rather than just talking “at” them.
Word of mouth marketing is actually a byproduct of loyal employees, faithful customers, and enthusiastic fans. The more you can persuade people that your company deserves their support, the more likely you will improve your reach.
Today, ad-blockers are becoming more obvious online, banner blindness bothers the world, and customers search for new techniques to ignore these kinds of selling tactics; word-of-mouth advertising could be the key to opening an ever-growing audience.
Start with Your Employees
No one better promotes your brand better than those people who understand everything about your business. Those people are the company’s employees.
Employees are the backbone of any growing company and one of the most accessible avenues through which you can start working with your word-of-mouth marketing efforts. If you have a friendly and happy workplace for you and your employees, they’ll be delighted to share their thoughts and emotions through social media and other mediums. All you have to do is support them in making the first step.
Empower Employees and Customers
If you need your employees and customers to become the word of mouth advocates for your brand, you have to make the process as easy and straightforward for them as possible. While some brands choose to incentivize the sharing process with the hope of free vouchers and gifts, you can just as quickly make WOMM more likely by simply making it easy for people to talk about you.
Give people multiple ways to share their feelings by giving links to a review form in emails or urging people to tell you their thoughts on social media. Whenever someone posts a comment on your blog, have a social button that enables them to share that comment through their networks.
Sometimes all it takes to boost a referral is a little simplicity. Don’t be shy to ask your employees and customers to take part in the conversation too.
Create an Emotional Response
One of the main reasons word of mouth advertising still exists is that people love to share their thoughts and experiences with other people. With that in mind, it makes sense that generating an emotional response in your audience would be more likely to stimulate WOM sharing.
According to research by Keller Fay Group research, brands that stimulate higher emotional intensity in their connections with their audience get three times as much word of mouth marketing as their less-emotional counterparts. The key to real WOM is to make sure that the emotional reactions you cause are as positive as possible.
Give Something, Talking About
While updating your representatives on their advocacy options, make sure they understand precisely how to communicate with your customers to encourage other word-of-mouth marketing forms. In general, people are more prone to share positive experiences. After all, no one desires to talk about an “OK” experience.
If your employees regularly provide fantastic customer service, your clients are more likely to react by creating reviews and referrals for your brand. Simultaneously, research shows that people on Facebook are more likely to share content that strengthens a particular image of themselves or makes them look valid. Now, it’s time for you to consider how you can tailor your customer communications to make them more shareable.
Engage-Become a Part of their Conversation
Do you want to make sure that your customers are continually talking about your company? Then become a part of the discussion. Make sure that you engage with your audience and listen to what they’re saying in your industry. Also, strive to create your presence in your fans’ lives.
Remember, people love to get recognized on social media by their preferred brands. About 66% of respondents in a study said they were more likely to produce a referral after being recognized by a brand. So, seek out your audience, talk at events they’ll be attending, and address them on their favorite social channels.
Launch a Referral Program
Finally, if you aspire to give your word-of-mouth marketing strategy an extra push, then consider launching a referral program. Seeing as 79% of people state that the main reason they choose to “like” a brand’s social page is in beliefs of getting additional discounts, rewarding people when they share positive information about your brands with their friends is an excellent way to boost your brand.
While you shouldn’t need to bribe people to tell nice things about your company consistently, a referral program can make the purpose of WOM more appealing to both your customers and your employees. For instance, from an advocacy standpoint, you could tell your staff that once they’ve reached a certain quota for referring people to your brand, they’ll get a free meal or gift.
When it comes to driving your customers, you can show people that they’ll get a discount, credit for their account, or something else that they’d think to be appealing whenever they refer a friend.
Rounding It All Up
Whether you want to increase brand awareness on a budget or want to increase your company’s reach, word-of-mouth marketing could be the most compelling and cost-effective way to achieve your goals. Take the right strategy to WOM. You can boost everyone from your loyal employees to your most relevant customers to tell other people about your organization and improve your chances for extra sales. Even considering using referral program software to keep a check on referrals is a good option.
In a world that’s now more digitally and psychologically connected than ever before, word of mouth advertising is the key to low cost and high-reward lead generation.
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