What is word-of-mouth marketing?
Why is word of mouth marketing important for my business?
How can I get people talking about my business?
From search engine marketing to advertising on third-party websites, there are plenty of ways for your business to spend money on reaching new customers.
Reaching your audience this way is called paid marketing. Word of mouth marketing, on the other hand, means getting your audience and customers to talk about your business to friends, acquaintances – anyone at all, really.
As hard as your paid marketing works, 92% of customers tend to prefer real people’s real, unpaid opinions.
These days, word of mouth can spread online or offline.
Your customers might recommend your business when someone asks them for advice, or they might love your business so much that they bring up how great it is unprovoked.
While there’s no secret trick to get people to talk about your business, there are many practices that can increase the chances of people talking about your business to others in a positive way.
One of the best and simplest ways to generate word of mouth marketing for your business is having a quality product or service.
Think about steps you can take to go above and beyond the expectations of your customers and give them a product or service that they’ll remember, or better yet, feel the need to tell others about.
A startup that sells reusable, eco-friendly dental floss might wrap their product in environmentally-friendly packaging that fits their mission, whereas a diner can put extra care into how their food is plated and presented to customers.
Next, provide customers with the best customer service, and you’ll make your business memorable for the right reasons.
Turn every visit to your store, website, or app into a positive one through friendly, knowledgeable, and patient help in-store and informative product descriptions and a straightforward checkout process on your site or app.
Great customer service pays off, as it gives customers a reason to recommend your business to people they talk to. Bad customer service, on the other hand, generates the kind of word of mouth you don’t want.
Think of ways to make customers’ experiences positive and memorable even if they don’t purchase anything. The dental floss startup, for example, might do a pop-up shop with a photobooth for customers to show off their smiles.
If you have a physical store, you might consider offering a neat but cheap giveaway that anyone who comes to your store can take away with them, even if they don’t make a purchase.
Identify your best customers, like the ones who visit your store most often or spend the most there, and put in some extra effort to delight and please them.
Do something special to let loyal customers know you recognize and appreciate their business. For instance, a bike store might honor a customer who’s given them lots of business over a year with a free bike tune-up or some free accessories.
These actions can help customers feel like their relationship with your business is more than just transactional, leading to more genuine and long-lasting word-of-mouth marketing.
You can further these personal relationships with your customers through your social media and email marketing.
Find ways to ask your customers for opinions and feedback. Are there conversations that you can have with customers online, or conversations you can start amongst them? Be sure to keep things organic and not forced.
Your online presence should also act as an extension of your business’s customer service. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you when they have questions or need customer service support.
Social media is one of the main places people spread word of mouth online. Look into what platforms your audience uses and what kind of content they share.
From there, you can strategize to create social media content your audience will actually want to share with friends and followers.
Studies have shown that visual content is over 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than text only. Use images and video in your posts, making sure to stay in line with your brand style guides while avoiding stock images.
It’ll take some testing to learn what content your audience likes sharing, and it’s better to fail and learn than to struggle to create the perfect content. Don’t spend your whole budget on one video or tire yourself trying to think of a perfect idea.
Just as you reward loyal customers in-store, you can spotlight super fans on social media and feature user-generated content, and retweet or share customers’ content that is relevant to your brand.
BE AUTHENTIC Above all, don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Your audience can tell when you’re being fake, no matter how much you spend or what your ad agency tells you – be genuine and authentic, and people will respond well.
When it comes to ads, you might think they are just for driving immediate sales, but you can also use ads to raise awareness about your business and more.
Make sure your digital marketing, social media, and print ads deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person. Sometimes it’s about selling, and sometimes it’s simply about entertaining or intriguing your audience.
Get people talking by making your advertising interesting and out of the ordinary. For instance, the dental floss startup might launch a fake fashion line of clothes crocheted with floss to show a typically boring product in a new light.