Think about what you did over the weekend and the type of conversations you had after it. Almost all our interactions with friends, family and colleagues have to do with sharing our experiences. Whether it was a new restaurant or a movie, we tell our close network what we liked or disliked about it.
We are influenced by the feedback and recommendations they provide while trying to enforce our own experience onto others. We share what our network has told us about a particular business, and this goes on resulting in a real-life messenger service.
What we have just talked about is the word of mouth marketing (WOMM) – the organic and natural spread of information through networks. It is the best free and powerful promotional tool you can have. Let’s talk about why your business needs WOMM and learn how to attract more customers using it.
Word of mouth in the digital age
It is getting increasingly difficult to differentiate between authentic and fake reviews online. Almost all brands and businesses have public-facing review platforms across social media, search engines, maps, websites and ads. What is missing is the authority. 90% of people are more likely to trust and buy from a brand after taking the recommendation of a friend, rather than from a stranger or an ad.
Word of mouth marketing is all the more important in today’s digital age where people are seeking meaningful connections in between the onslaught of bots, paid reviews and advertisements. Let’s look at some key components as to why WOMM should be taken seriously by your business.
It doesn’t stop
Word of mouth marketing is not a one-off thing. Both good and bad news spread quickly and vastly and you need to make sure you can control as much of it as possible. Ultimately, you have to trust that what you’re putting out there gets spread in the most beneficial way possible.
Word of mouth marketing is never-ending. If one person has a great experience at a restaurant, and they go on to tell their family and friends, who then spread the word even further, that is already one full network of people reached without you doing anything but provide exceptional service. Just 1,000 customers can lead to 500,000 conversions. A small way you can take control of this is by setting positive triggers during your customer interaction, enabling them to go off into the world with a shareable story that puts you in the limelight. Go out of your way to fix a small problem or make your customer feel special.
It’s not traditional selling
Many consumers fast-forward through adverts if they can because they don’t like being treated like guinea pigs of the mass media or just another statistic in your selling strategy. They would rather spend more time and effort digging through actual reviews from real people, rather than believe what a paid ad tells them. Word of mouth not only saves on your marketing costs but also provides you with a powerful selling tool you don’t have to monitor at all times. Word of mouth works successfully in bringing in new customers who have already been targeted through their own trusted resource.
Your brand becomes trustworthy
Word of mouth marketing means that your brand is being recommended by real people over your competitors. Customers are choosing to talk about your products and services, pushing your name to the forefront. This makes your business trustworthy and reliable, with less room for your rivals. According to HubSpot, more than two-thirds of people don’t believe in adverts but would blindly trust a brand that was recommended by friends and family. WOMM enables you to build a loyal community following that is aware, rather than just being a commodity lost to an overload of commercialism.
Deliver, encourage, wait
For the word of mouth marketing to be successful for your business, remember to deliver something memorable and shareable. Your customers need to talk about you to get WOMM started for you. Deliver uniqueness, make them feel special, trigger a conversation point. Encourage your customers to share their experiences, both good and bad. Tapping into their emotions and giving them an outlet provokes them to engage. Stay up to date with user-generated content through social media, events and feedback channels. Set up channels for real reviews and then wait.
Successful WOMM takes patience, and if you’re just starting out, it can take time to grow. Look for trends and patterns that will help you. Are most of your sharer’s young women? Are there key social events that you need to tap into, to reach your targeted audience? Providing your set of organic patrons with what they are looking for will ensure that they take your brand to the next level. Successful word of mouth marketing is just the result of you doing a great job.