Word of Mouth is proven to be about seven times more influential than traditional advertising. People can downright distrust companies – so it makes sense that people trust their family and friends over paid advertisements. If there’s a positive buzz about your products or services, people are obviously more willing to buy them.
What is Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word-of-mouth marketing, otherwise known as WOM marketing, refers to the spreading of a company’s service or product through customer dialogue and conversations.
This is essentially free advertising for a business. Having existing customers share their experience with a business with other people creates a pipeline of potential customers.
Since people are more likely to trust their friends and family than an advertisement, word of mouth marketing provides companies with highly effective marketing without direct effort or investment.
Benefits of Word of Mouth Marketing
The best part about word of mouth advertising is that it’s absolutely free. But in today’s tech-driven communities, companies have trouble converting traditional word of mouth into “online word of mouth” consequently. People use online reviews to judge a product or service, we need to leverage positive word of mouth for positive reviews online.
One way to garner positive attention is to offer incentives to customers willing to post reviews. Furthermore, you could offer to submit them into sweepstakes for a great prize if they leave a review of your product or service online.
You could even give them a small freebie in exchange for their feedback and hope they leave a positive review. It’s a great tactic to solicit good feedback because the customer is going to be more inclined to leave a positive review if you sweeten their overall experience.
How to Start Word-of-Mouth Marketing (with Examples)
Let’s say you don’t have the capital to host sweepstakes or offer up goodies in exchange for customer reviews. It’s possible to ask a customer at the point-of-sale to submit a review about their experience. Oftentimes, word of mouth is the best strategy because the experience they had is fresh in their minds.
The downside of word of mouth is that if the questionnaire is too long or complicated, the person will probably decline your hopeful invitation of leaving a review. If you decide that a quick, “leave a star” rating scale is insufficient for your industry—and you require actual paragraphed feedback—you could send them an email.
This works either directly after their purchase or a few weeks afterward. Essentially, what you’re doing is “checking in” on their experience. Word of mouth marketing can be the most effective way to promote yourself to new consumers.
This is a non-intrusive ask that doesn’t cost your business anything. (Keep in mind, you’ll be able to leverage positive feedback on your company website as testimonials, too!) A possible downside of word of mouth marketing is if the customer had a negative experience, they’re now more willing to tell you about it and/or make a public negative review about your business.
People are frankly more outspoken online because they’re typing into a screen, rather than telling someone face-to-face or leaving a review inside the business at the point-of-sale.
Is There a Digital Version of Word-of-Mouth Marketing?
Yes, digital versions of word of mouth marketing are gaining in popularity due to the rise of Internet usage. Examples of online word-of-mouth marketing include forums and message boards where customers can share their experiences about a product or service with other people online.
Social media has also become the driving force behind digital WOM marketing. Since social platforms allow consumers to engage directly with brands, word of mouth (or in this case, word of keyword) allows the online reputation of a company to spread quickly with new potential customers.
Final Thoughts on WOM Marketing
In conclusion, you should take inventory on your business model, the industry you’re in, and what product/service you offer before soliciting positive reviews online.
Is it most effective for your business to receive many 5-star reviews?
Do you need customer testimonials for a new product?
Do you need detailed feedback for a complicated product?
Once you decide what type of feedback you desire, make it easy (or incentivize!) the customer to give you that feedback.
Friendly recommendations are common, useful and impactful, many businesses know this “popular secret”, it starts when a customer finds your stand, tests your product
and gets his/her mind blown by it. Next, he/she calls some friends and makes the suggestion, and so on.
Reputation marketing embarks with individuals and lands on the masses; happens with music, fashion, food and just everything you can think of.
Importance of a Strong Interpersonal/Community Driven Core Value
In the present day, word of mouth is just as important as it has always been, so it’ll be pivotal to know how to embrace a sense of social cohesion.
Creating your own community of followers can take your reputation marketing to optimized levels, it will secure a place in their minds and at the same time keep them asking for more. Here are some tips to start out:
● Answer social media comments on every platform you use.
● Take advantage of your inbox on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, many companies embrace these channels for customer attention only.
● Leave one of the hashtags for the name of your product or company, in the future you’ll see how more people find your services by using them.
● Ask questions to your target: How can you improve for them, which colors do they like, and more.
● Appealing content can be crucial: Live videos, takeovers, influencer marketing, others.
1 Bad Review Will Ruin 100 Good Ones
Reviews are more relevant now than before, it is really difficult for brands that cannot compete in this new world where customers are more aware of their judgment and how to use it.
Let’s see a case of study to investigate word of mouth marketing more in-depth: Electronic Arts make some of the most engaging video games worldwide, it is well cemented and connected, they seemed untouchable.
But on November 12th of the last year, one user on Reddit posted a comment ranting about overpricing and irresponsibility. This destroyed much of the online reputation that this company had built, and demonstrates the powerful impact that one person throughout the internet can have on an entire industry.
Positive Online Reputation = Word of Mouth Marketing
Efficient reputation marketing strategies can make a difference for you, and your business, not only by improving your credibility among customers and the competition but also by helping you sell, even more, thanks to various factors working in your favor, like brand monitoring, content creation, promotional strategies and more.
It may seem like a busy highway, but you don’t need to walk alone. A group of professionals can help you out with the best information and the most efficient tactics working on your behalf, while that focus and creativity you have can be emphatic on one point:
NetReputation.com has been advising clients for more than 4 years on how to enhance their reputation marketing strategies in a successful way.
Call 844-461-3632 to learn more.