Word of Mouth Marketing Strategies
In today’s modern era, people do their own research before making any buying decision. They look for reviews of the product, ask around for opinions, take advice from influencers they trust, and even spend hours comparing with other similar products. People prefer originality and tend to trust more on suggestions made by their friends and family members. This is the essence of “word of mouth” in the world of marketing.
Word Of Mouth (WOM) is a face-to-face mode of communication between customers where they share their opinion about a product/ a brand/ an event or any organization. Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is thus a free advertisement initiated by a customer, arising out of his positive experience with a brand.
People have always talked about their experiences of using a product/service or a brand. They talk over various modes of communication like through face to face, telephone calls, blogs, emails, and many more.
The role of word of mouth has been evolving with the emergence of social media platforms. It has had a great impact on the way businesses are promoting themselves. You may find word of mouth everywhere around you, at home, in sports/ social clubs, on social media, and even on television. The words can have a positive as well as a negative impact on the brand.
Due to the fast-growing word of mouth on social media, businesses are now trying to focus more on digital marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing. They can hear out to people and know their brand’s strengths & weaknesses and the cause of their popularity. So word of mouth creates many opportunities for businesses to grow incredibly and go far beyond imagination.
Word of Mouth Marketing is not only focussed around getting customers to talk about your brand. But also focuses on the brand to make the customer their die-hard fan. It is therefore an effective, easy, low-cost marketing method for business. So in today’s article, we shall discuss what word of mouth marketing is, its benefits for marketers, strategies, and some popular examples.
Word of Mouth Marketing:
WOMM revolves around online and offline marketing because people share their views through different channels of communication. If a customer is talking about your brand without any provocation, it means that the customer values your brand. So invest your time in nurturing and strengthening your bond with your existing customer and try to attract more customers with this brand value.
Word of Mouth leads to a lessened sales cycle, improved branding, new customers, and much more. Before the arrival of social media, word of mouth was utilized effectively for sharing valuable information. This form of marketing is not new to the world. 92% of people trust on recommendations from their well-known people and more on advertisements. Sales of products/ services increase 2X using WOM as compared to paid ads.
Word of Mouth marketing is a verbal endorsement in the form of good words about the business, etc. made by a customer. In today’s digital era, word-of-mouth marketing can be found in the form of Facebook likes, customer testimonials, blog posts, reviews on eCommerce websites, tweets on Twitter, message forums, or even in old school chit-chats.
Types of Word of Mouth Marketing:
Word of mouth occurs in 2 types, i.e., organic and inorganic.
- Organic word of mouth – Occurs naturally when people themselves tend to become advocates for the brand, because of their positive experiences and because they carry a natural desire to support and share the brand among their friends and relatives.
- Inorganic/ amplified word of mouth – Occurs when the business owners launch campaigns to accelerate their marketing within their existing or new communities.
Word of Mouth Marketing and Word of Mouth Advertisement are similar terms with a thin line of difference between them.
- Word of Mouth Marketing is a way of promoting the brand through images, videos, vlogs, etc. This is a free form of marketing and can lead to increase in sales without the involvement of your staff. Here the brand has no control over what a customer shares with his surrounding.
- On the other hand, Word of Mouth Advertising involves payment to an influencer. It is a type of paid advertisement where the brand can control the kind of content to be shared with the public.
Benefits of word of mouth marketing:
- Establish brand trustworthiness – Businesses realize that their loyal customers will lead to positive word of mouth about their products and services. So they must focus on building customer loyalty.
- Is authentic – When a company initiates word of mouth marketing, it creates a community of people around trust and authenticity. Building a community of dedicated customers works wonders when you plan to launch a new product. A brand evangelist will buy often, speak highly about your brand on online and offline platforms and thus give you better ROI for the time you spent on your marketing strategies.
- Builds a group of brand advocates – A happy customer will always support and promote your brand well offline as well online. Such a customer will happily advocate your business among his friends and family. The more loyal customers you collect, the more will be your brand value, thus increasing customer retention.
- Cost-effective – WOMM is a free mode of promoting your brand. Even the campaigns run by WOMM are far low-cost compared to the campaigns run through TV or online marketing campaigns. Even for the customer, it costs nothing to spread a word of mouth about your company. Thus the word of mouth marketing is growing phenomenally.
- Is an uncontrolled form of marketing – Compared to traditional marketing, word of mouth marketing cannot be controlled by a company. But you can manage your brand reputation and brand value so as to avoid any obstacles. If you manage to maintain the quality of your products and the overall user experience, then you can very well control the way people speak about your company.
- Your brand will grow faster – The WOMM has an element of getting viral in it. A customer can get your brand to become viral based on his experience with your brand. With the growth of your brand, you may find people tagging more friends on your social media pages. A popular customer can create a buzz in the market about your brand. So WOMM is a faster way of growth for a brand as compared to other social media marketing modes.
- Word of Mouth marketing is a powerful method to build your customer base and your brand as a whole. To be able to use WOMM effectively, you should first establish a good relationship with your customers. Word on your analytics to find out more about your target audiences. Create campaigns based on your findings and focus on the needs of your customers so as to gain their trust over your brand. You can also select the appropriate social media monitoring tools to track your user engagement. Such tools will convert your available data into marketing elements and thus increase sales.
Word Of Mouth Marketing strategies:
- Establish brand trust – Trust is a key element which affects the customer-brand relationship. Your customer’s trust in your brand will affect your brand value and brand reputation. So always try to build and boost your customer’s trust upon your brand. You can quickly replace a faulty product received by your customer for free. Also, try different ways to make your customers extra happy by providing them with attractive discounts, and building your brand reputation with thoughtful initiatives.
- Define your brand – Distinguish your brand from that of your competitor so that the customer finds you unique. Do not try to copy strategies and methods used by your competitor. Use words which promptly describe your brand. Share messages through emails, campaigns, etc. with well-defined language relevant to your brand.
- Establish effective customer service – Many brands provide great services but lack a good customer service experience. So first of all create a team of reliable agents who can provide the best customer service. Such agents shall be available across different channels, mobile, chats, social media, or emails. Also, train the agents in different tactics to provide quick solutions and make the customers feel satisfied. Train the users to provide customer service with a spark of humour in it. This in turn shall create a strong bond between your brand and the customer and thus create a positive experience.
- Advertise your background – Nowadays customers just don’t buy products, They also like to know the background of the brand they are getting associated with. Define your values clearly so that the customer can link such values with their own.
- Provide a medium to the customers – People cannot share a word about your brand if they don’t have a proper medium to share. Social media pages, testimonial sites, and case studies are some effective mediums where customers can share their experiences with the world.
- Motivate your customer – Some customers need a push to spread the word about your brand. You may offer incentives to such customers so as to motivate them. Reward your customers for different levels of engagement. Reward them for every post/ for retweeting your posts.
- Bring in insane ideas – Insane ideas incorporated with brand relevance will get people talking every now and then about your brand. For instance, look at the ways Red Bull promotes its brand using insane and out-of-the-box ideas. Such advertisements involve dangerous and fast stunts like jumping off from one plane to another in mid-air or skydiving from the edge of space. The motive behind such dangerous activities is to go more and more viral. Not everyone can invest in such dangerous stunts. The point here is to execute innovative and creative ideas to get viral in the market. You can even think of sending surprise goodies to your customers at their special events or providing video customer service instead of simple calls or chats.
- Encourage your customers to post or share reviews – Online reviews posted on your social media pages/ your product page, are very essential for a brand to grow. An online product review builds social proof. Tools like Arrivala help you automatically post customer reviews positive and negative, directly onto your website.
- Be interactive – Joining conversations over different channels generate higher opportunities for word of mouth marketing. Creating/sharing social media posts/ conducting effective campaigns/ creating hashtag campaigns and others are a few platforms where you can create effective conversations to drive in more traffic.
- Influencer marketing – Pay an influencer to create a buzz around your products/ services on their social media channels. You can have control over the posts shared by the influencer. Though it is not an organic form of marketing as you force the customer to speak about you.
- Get social – As your brand grows, so will you have more and more interactions with your customers. You have to be in touch with all of them. The best way is to be connected with your existing and prospective customers through various social media channels.
Tips for successful word of mouth marketing:
- Define your goals
- Set up the X factor, i.e. the unique element which makes you different from other industries around you
- Create a unique website using visual triggers to create word of mouth.
- Create buzz around through social media channels.
- Find your top customers and build an everlasting relationship with them.
- Ask for review and feedback on your products/ services.
- Show kind gestures towards your valued customers.
- Use automated processes with the help of automation tools.
- Training your customer service team to be more interactive and provide quick solutions.
Most Successful Word of Mouth Marketing Examples:
Coca-cola: It runs campaigns around the world for getting viral in the popular drink niche. “2014 Share a Coke” campaign saw huge success. It asked customers to find and share images of bottles with common names on them using the hashtag “#ShareaCoke”.
Dropbox: An online storage company which has effectively used the word of mouth marketing strategies to attract huge audiences. In its campaign, it offered an extra 500MB of storage space to new users and referrals that drew attention.
Netflix: A popular platform to show original videos to the users and also recommend videos as per the customer’s interest. It has successfully created a group of influencers who show their love for the brand on various social media channels. This free publicity has helped the brand grow exponentially over its online competitors like Amazon Prime, YouTube, and others. In its 2020 global campaign, “One story away”, it aimed at the power of storytelling. The campaign began with a short video clip featuring clips from popular Netflix shows like Strange Things, Kingdom, Over the Moon, and many more.
Lush: The beauty brand Lush offers products not tested on animals. It fights for social and environmental causes and has been able to collect followers with the same belief. Such followers are active on various social media platforms and have successfully generated sales using unique content and promotion gifts.
A powerful word of mouth marketing campaign can enhance your brand recognition and generate higher sales. Social media is a strong platform for businesses to grow. Encourage your clients to share images of their purchased items, share reviews on them, and tag friends on their social media posts. If these tiny steps are taken on a regular interval then your word of mouth marketing strategies will help your business reach heights.
Hiring mass marketing consultants or conducting e-commerce conferences are hardly going to matter. What matters is the quality of products you provide your customers with and the overall shopping experience for your customers. Along with these steps, using WOMM strategies will yield the best possible benefits. People can not stop buzzing around about your products and your brand.
FAQs Related to Word of Mouth Marketing Strategies:
Is word of mouth marketing a traditional form of marketing?
Yes, WOM marketing is a traditional strategy of marketing. Today people are able to make their voices heard more efficiently with the help of social media platforms. Thus the effect of WOM marketing has increased tremendously.
Is WOM a good source of marketing?
Yes, word of mouth is an effective source for marketing a business, because people tend to believe more in the words of their friends and families rather than the statistical data provided to them.