So, have you heard about that awesome, super fantastic communication platform for small businesses?
Have I got your attention? I bet you want to know more about this truly awesome business communication platform.
That’s word of mouth marketing (lovingly nicknamed WOMM).
Consumers trust their friends, and this is why word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing assets you have in your line of work.
Do word of mouth the right way, and you’ll become the most beloved and talked about brand, with customers sharing stories about the wow moments they experienced with your business.
What is more beautiful about word of mouth marketing is that it costs you nothing. Word of mouth is free advertising triggered by the brand experiences you create, making it more valuable than any billboard.
Wondering how to harness the power of word of mouth for your business? This post breaks down exactly what word of mouth marketing is, why you need a word of mouth strategy ASAP, and a 5-step foolproof method to get more people talking about your brand.
Table of contents:
- Word of mouth marketing: Why it matters now more than ever
- 5 steps to kick-start your word of mouth marketing
1. Word of Mouth Marketing: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever
I don’t think I really need to explain what word of mouth marketing is and why it is incredibly vital for any brand – it’s kind of a key success factor in marketing that is twice as effective as paid advertising.
But in case you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of word of mouth marketing and why you need it to drive sales, bear with me for a few minutes.
In layman’s terms, word of mouth is a marketing strategy based on personal recommendations.
Word of mouth is not new. In fact, it is as old as human communication.
Traditionally, word of mouth is based on verbal endorsements and happens when consumers talk about a brand to their friends and family.
It is a natural phenomenon that occurs when people get together and exchange their thoughts about the weather, latest news and gossip, children, pets, food, sports, jobs and, of course, their favourite products and services.
However, word of mouth has evolved with the arrival of the digital world. Today, you can find it in:
- Online communities
- Blog posts
- Customer testimonials
- Google My Business reviews, Yelp! reviews and similar review platforms
- Facebook likes and unlikes
- Brand mentions
Remember, in today’s hyper-connected world, word of mouth travels faster than the speed of light.
Needless to say, negative word of mouth can spell doom for your brand and has the power to damage the reputation you have built for years.
On the other hand, positive word of mouth is cost-effective, builds trust and loyalty and creates long-term value.
To wrap it up, let’s see some marketing stats that will reveal the importance of word of mouth within your marketing strategy:
- 83% of consumers say word-of-mouth influences their purchases (PR Daily)
- 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals (HubSpot)
- 23% of people talk about their favourite brand with friends and family daily (Semrush)
- 77% of consumers always or regularly read online reviews when looking for local businesses (BrightLocal)
- 83% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and families (Nielsen)
- 72% of people use word of mouth to get news from friends and family (Pew Research Center)
As you can see from these statistics, drumming up excitement around your brand so that customers can’t wait to tell more people about it is an incredibly powerful marketing strategy.
And you know the best part?
There are simple steps you can take to put word of mouth into overdrive.
So, let’s explore some effective tips that can show you how to create a credible, measurable and impactful word of mouth strategy.
2. 5 Steps to Kick-Start Your Word of Mouth Marketing
- Leverage user-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content created and shared by individual people about brands, such as posts, videos, images, etc.
Needless to say, using your fans’ and followers’ content to spark buzz and bolster your brand message is the bread and butter of social media marketing.
Rally the masses by offering rewards and discounts for posting photos and videos about their experiences with your brand. You may also want to promote an online contest for fans to build content for your product.
User-generated content drives immediate and ongoing word of mouth, especially when showcasing it on your website or social media profiles.
- Tap into influencers
Social and digital influencers have the power to affect purchase decisions, and for good reason.
They are tough leaders within their social circles and have a large fanbase trusting their expertise and meaningful insights.
Though influencer marketing has become mainstream over the past years, many small businesses have yet to try it.
Do you want to get your brand in front of influencers? Start by finding an influencer who suits your brand and reach out to them.
Put on your bravest face, make it clear about what kind of collaboration you’re looking for, and show how your brand aligns with their content.
Avoid beating around the bush by providing too many details or generic pitches. Focus on the juicy deets of your campaign without overwhelming them with a wall of text, and I guarantee you will grab their attention.
- Showcase your company culture
What makes your brand unique and stand out from your competitors? Show off your company culture to spark buzz, excitement, and free advertising for your brand.
However, if you’re running a remote business, building and maintaining a positive culture can be challenging.
With no office vibe, water cooler chat, and hip coffee, you need to rely on different strategies to showcase your company culture, drive customer engagement and, ultimately, generate word of mouth.
Don’t fall into the trap of creating lifeless social media profiles for your brand with nothing but stock images and dull content. Nobody spreads word of mouth about a faceless, nameless, boring brand.
Use social media to give consumers a behind-the-scenes look at the people behind your company, humanise your brand, and spread the word about your unique culture.
If you’re operating remotely, a professional virtual office will help you enhance your company reputation, build a strong remote culture, and strike the right balance between the human side of your business and professionalism when engaging consumers on social media.
- Share customer testimonials
Sharing customer testimonials is an effective way to build credibility and get people talking about your business while increasing the likelihood that potential customers will choose you over your competitors.
Let’s say you’ve done the hard part – you’ve collected positive testimonials from your happy customers.
Once you have your testimonials or reviews, you can incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
There are many places you can share your customer testimonials to increase your online visibility and develop a memorable brand identity.
For example, you can put testimonials on your homepage, share them on social media, or create a customer testimonial page (such as B2B HQ’s testimonial page). Or, you could potentially use customer testimonials in case studies or email campaigns.
Remember, social proof is a powerful and effective phenomenon. That’s why incorporating great testimonials from real customers into your marketing efforts will provide solid credibility for your sales promises.
- Create share-worthy brand experiences
As Sam Walton once said, “the goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.”
When you sit back and think about this simple yet powerful statement, it is critical to understand that the brand experience you create can build an emotional connection with your audience and, ultimately, light the spark that leads to a wildfire marketing campaign.
Give your audience a reason to rave about your brand (outside of a one of a kind product), such as personalised content or unique customer service experience.
Make sure you establish a successful customer-first strategy by keeping in touch with customers and staying top of mind. Inform them on specials, provide meaningful content, and send them coupons.
Keep a pulse on what your clients want and always provide a personalised customer experience. This will not only keep them loyal, but it will get them talking about you.
Conclusion: Although we all know that pretty much everyone is tuning into peer recommendations, word of mouth remains an untapped strategy for some small businesses.
However, word of mouth is a monumentally powerful yet cost-effective way to build positive feelings about your brand and create a loyal fanbase.
If you, too, want to build trust and boost sales without spending on ads, your next move is to share what you’ve learned here and to take action.
Looking for cost-effective ways to provide a stellar service that sets you apart from the pack and gets customers talking about your brand? We at B2B HQ would be happy to help you make your remote business stand out. Our flexible office packages will provide you with the space and address you need to deliver great customer service and experience, enhance trust, and, ultimately, drive customer conversations and get your audience talking about your business.