Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is known to be the most valuable form of marketing, and…it doesn’t cost any money. It’s one of the most credible forms of advertising because a person puts their reputation on the line every time they make a recommendation and that person has nothing to gain but the appreciation of those who are listening. Are you doing what you can to reap the benefits of this free resource?
What Triggers Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word-of-mouth is triggered when a customer experiences something far beyond what was expected. According to Nielsen, over 92% of people value the recommendations of their families and friends over…anything else. It’s a highly desired outcome for any business owner, and can appear to be elusive, but it’s not!
The crux of any issues companies might be having regarding WOMM (or lack of it) is because for the last few years, marketers have been focused on “collecting” instead of “connecting.” Paul Jankowski (Marketshares) says, “Only when the role of offline and online word of mouth is understood and treated as a vital strategic asset can brands in today’s consumer marketplace expect to achieve industry-leading return on investment from their marketing investment.”
This is an easy fix, however. Vertical Response offers three highly effective strategies for WOMM:
1. Having a good founding story increases word of mouth marketing.
What is your marketing narrative? Everyone likes to know how something gets started. It creates an instant connection if they can picture the story of your origins.
2. Treat your customers like gold.
Don’t sacrifice current customers for the sake of wooing new ones by offering the new ones better rates or better incentives. Encourage both new business and loyalty by offering deals to established clients who stick with you.
3. Find ways to show that you care for your current customers or clients.
Zappos employees surprise customers with overnight upgrades. Blue Apron gives new subscribers two free meals! Starbucks offers surprise free drinks. What can you offer to clients that would be unexpected and of value to them?
Additional Word of Mouth Marketing Nuggets of Wisdom
- Be honest, and be nice. Always. Always! This will take you farther than you’ve ever imagined.
- Don’t be afraid to stand out. If you have some ‘out there’ ideas–go for it. Blending in can be detrimental to your business.
- Be a thought leader – lead the charge! Set the standards, don’t follow them. Feel free to turn “that’s the way we always do it” on its head.
- Empower your people. WordStream offers a piece of advice that really packs a punch: “The best word of mouth marketing power brands convince consumers that by buying their product, they’re making a personal statement and joining special ranks. Die-hard devotees may even refer to favorite brands as “family” as certain products or services become part of a customer’s identity.” (Think of Jeep, Apple, Star Trek, Star Wars…CrossFit.)
Really, what it comes down to is way more interaction with your audience. Listen to your customers, and then, apply their feedback–maybe even single individuals out and sing their praises on social media for prompting a change or new feature. That could prompt other people to want the spotlight on them and reach out to you–and here you have another relationship building opportunity. It’s all beneficial!
All set? Before you go, remember this: Word of mouth marketing isn’t limited to the verbal sphere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, blog posts, testimonials, and community forums are fertile grounds, so get yourself on over there.