In this increasingly competitive business world, having a stunning web design and exceptional content is no longer enough for you to stand out. Ad spaces are getting more expensive, so it’s important to be extremely smart about where you spend your money on.
One of the simplest ways you can cut back on advertising costs is by taking advantage of word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). Thanks to the internet and social media, WOMM is easier now than ever.
What are some of the advantages of Word-of-Mouth Marketing?
- Lower ad spend. The beauty with WOMM is that it is free. You simply have to provide an exceptional service, and your customers will do the marketing for you.
- Higher engagement. With word-of-mouth marketing, you are building a community of highly-engaged fans. Instead of getting fly-by-night customers, you obtain ones that keep coming back.
- More funding. Because you are getting loyal customers with WOMM, you tend to lower the cost of customer acquisition and increase their lifetime value. This is very important if you’re looking to attract venture and angel investors in the future.
If you’re ready to focus on word-of-mouth marketing for your next campaign, here are some tips to help you do it successfully.
1. Invest in User Experience
Before you can even start working on your WOM strategies, you’d want to invest in topnotch customer experience first. After all, customers don’t talk about average experiences, they only talk about the positive and the negative ones.
According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other type of advertising. With a stat that powerful, you’d want to get your customers raving about your product at all times. However, it is hard to convince people to refer their family and friends if their experience was average, so you’d want to go above and beyond every customer’s expectations to ensure that the experience will be share-worthy in a positive way.
Aside from selling quality products and service, you want to meet your customer’s needs in every department. Factors such as timely responses and fast shipping are just a few qualities a customer expects when doing business with you.
2. Obtain User-Generated Content
Often, user-generated content receives more engagement than posts which are purely promotional. It adds a human touch that helps build trust towards your brand.
User-generated content is an important tool for marketers to learn because it helps you develop a deep connection with your audience, driving them to promote your product or service even without you asking for it. It allows you to leverage on your customers’ loyalty and turn them into brand advocates.
Ways to encourage your audience to generate content:
- Run contests.
- Use hashtags. This allows you to easily identify user-generated content.
- Ask questions. Asking questions encourages user engagement, and creates a sense of community amongst your audience.
- Support a cause. By being involved in a cause that your target audience also supports, it allows you to tap into their emotions and ultimately connect with them on a deeper level.
3. Find the Right Social Media Channel
A deeply-engaged community in social media is essential for a successful word-of-mouth campaign. You’ll need to know where your customers are and how they like to communicate online. You’ll find that some people prefer spending a lot of time on platforms like Pinterest or Instagram rather than Facebook or Twitter, so you need to do a bit of research to find where your target audience is.
While you’re at it, be sure to respond promptly to questions and comments, whether positive or negative. Acknowledging your audience adds personality to your brand, and also shows your customers that you actually care about them.
Below is an example of a great response by Cadbury.
4. Create Buzz
For people to get talking about your brand, you need to bring them something worth sharing with their friends and families. To achieve this, you need to think outside the box and step up your marketing game.
Perhaps one of the best examples for this is Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign. The company effectively prompted consumers to use the #ShareaCoke hashtag and upload their own photos and stories. It was a whole level of advertising in that it created a stronger connection between Coca Cola and its consumers and encouraged a lot of user-generated content. Ultimately, the consumers themselves ended up doing the advertising work for Coca Cola although it didn’t seem like it.
Photo Credit: Coca-colacompany.com
5. Collect Enough Customer Reviews
Did you know that only 33% of businesses are collecting reviews? Unfortunately, this leaves the remaining 77% losing out on a lot of sales.
If you don’t believe it, check out these stats from the 2017 Customer Review Survey by BrightLocal.
- 85% of buyers trust reviews online as much as personal recommendations from family and friends.
- 49% are looking for at least a 4-star rating before deciding to choose a particular business.
- It requires an average of 7 reviews before a customer trust a business.
Today’s savvy consumers are looking beyond the testimonials you post on your website. In fact, they take utmost care in looking for online reviews to get an insight of how your business operates before they do business with you.
Because manipulative reviews are rampant on Yelp and Google, it’s important to pay close attention to less-traveled customer complaint sites such as My3Cents and Hissing Kitty. Having your presence in these third-party platforms gives your customers the impression that you’re not hiding anything. Moreover, it allows you to track complaints before they escalate.
6. Reward Your Customers
Sometimes, your customers may need a little push. You must give them reasons to actually want to share your product or service with others, and you can usually achieve that when you offer something in return. Here are some simple rewards you can offer your customers that could drive them to talk about your product or service.
- Offer discounts
- Feature their content on your site or newsletters and share them on social media
- Give an award
- Mention them in your comments
- Invite them to guest blog on your site
- Offer a referral program
7. Reach Out to Influencers
According to a joint research by Annalect and Twitter, influencers affect about 49% of customers when it comes to making purchase decisions. Moreover, 40% of customers admit to buying a product after seeing an influencer use them.
When choosing your influencer, it’s important to pick someone who has at least 10,000 followers. However, aside from choosing someone who is very popular, you’d want to pick someone who has integrity.
Ways to find influencers:
- Know where they are
- Feature their products or services on your website or social media posts
- Spark a conversation
- Quote them
- Allow them to test your products for free
- Support a mutual cause
This is one great example of using influencer effectively.
When done correctly, WOMM can be one of the best tools you can use to raise awareness about your brand. By applying our 7 tips, you’ll be able to reach a larger audience and ultimately increase sales and customer retention.