There is no one consumers trust more than other customers of a brand. That is why word-of-mouth marketing is such an important piece of the marketing puzzle. This form of advertising allows previous customers to spread the word about your business’s products and/or services to other potential consumers based on their positive experiences.
Both organic and paid word-of-mouth marketing are effective additions to an advertising strategy. Whether it is happy customers spreading information about a positive experience or an influencer speaking to fans, this kind of marketing can be a powerful persuasive force. Have you considered adding it to your advertising arsenal?
The Power Behind Word-of-Mouth Marketing
There are a few ways that word-of-mouth marketing can be an effective part of a marketing plan: building a brand community, creating brand trust, and fostering brand loyalty. When people hear about a brand from their family, friends, or colleagues, it creates a more engaged fan base. Higher engagement rates translate to a more connected brand community that is more likely to buy and recommend the brand to others.
Along with this engagement comes heightened brand trust. A Nielsen study found 83% of respondents trust recommendations from friends and families. In addition, a similar study years prior saw 92% of individuals trust recommendations from people in general, even strangers.
Why is this important? Because trust in a brand fosters loyalty. Loyal customers are consistent, dedicated, and spread the word about a company and what it stands for. Moreover, devoted customers require less advertising for repeat conversions. They are more likely to spend more money and have a longer life cycle with a brand than a new customer. That’s why word-of-mouth marketing can be so effective.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategies
There are a variety of ways to utilize word-of-mouth marketing, but here are some of the best strategies to utilize:
Start a Referral Program
Referral programs allow customers to share their brand experiences with the people around them. Referrals make brands seem trustworthy and reliable. However, referral programs often won’t work without incentives for the referrer. Motivations could include giving credit when a referred customer purchases from their brand, or something else that incentivizes sharing with others.
Encourage User-Generated Content
User-generated content is, as the name suggests, created by a consumer about a brand or product. Your brand can offer perks to customers for creating and sharing pictures and videos on social media. Friendly competitions can also be a great way to get users engaged and creating content. Perhaps the person that gets the most likes or shares from their post wins a prize. Anything to get customers engaged and creating content about your brand is a great tactic.
Collect and Share Reviews
Reviews are one of the best word-of-mouth marketing methods that can be utilized as part of a marketing plan, so long as you are fostering positive reviews. Customer reviews reassure the quality and value of your product and make consumers more comfortable with your brand. In fact, searchers need, on average, 2-6 reviews to instill trust in a brand. Positive customer review leads to a higher chance of conversion from interested consumers. Encourage customers to leave reviews by placing a place for reviews on your website. Or, by asking your followers on social media to leave reviews.
Be Part of the Conversation
Engage with your audience. Did you know a study found that 66% of respondents are more likely to give a referral after they were acknowledged by a brand? Interacting with your customers can be as simple as replying to their comments on social media to thank them or answer questions. Or, consider sharing user-created content to your social pages to show them that you are invested in their content.
Should You Utilize Influencers and Ambassadors?
While the previous strategies listed are all organic forms of word-of-mouth marketing, paid avenues including utilizing influences and ambassadors is also a way to spread the word about your business.
Influencers are relatable people who are established in the social media realm with a strong following. Influences that fit into your industry and can advocate for your brand can be a trusted source of information to prospects. Influencers can spark interest in your product just by simply showing the product to their following.
Brand Advocates or Ambassadors
Brand advocates or ambassadors are people who promote your brand with a limited network. This could include employees, customers, or pillars within a niche community. When someone within an industry or community shows specific interest in a brand, even if they aren’t as popular as an influencer, their status as a reliable source of information can be a powerful tool of persuasion.
By utilizing influencers and ambassadors, brands can create an accelerated or heightened sense of community, trust, and loyalty because of the partnership. While it can be costly to utilize these kinds of word-of-mouth marketing, they can be effective means of branding for many businesses.
Let’s Execute Your Campaign
Media Venue is here to help you incorporate word-of-mouth marketing into your next campaign. Whether you utilize it to strengthen a traditional or digital campaign, we can help! A strong word-of-mouth strategy can be a great supplement to the marketing plan you already have in place or to a plan you are looking to execute. Contact us today to learn more!