Word of mouth marketing is one of the most significant ways for both small and medium businesses and for large businesses and organizations alike. This is a traditional method that still works today, although it has become more sophisticated and has become more modern.
So how can businesses earn with this marketing method in the present era? All information here.
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What is word of mouth marketing?
There are a wide variety of marketing and promotion methods for businesses: search engine marketing (including organic SEO and sponsored advertising), social network marketing (organic and sponsored), content marketing (blogs, podcasts, newsletters, etc.), marketing through influencers and opinion leaders, Alongside these marketing methods, there is also word-of-mouth marketing.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective way to recruit new leads. Numerous studies have been done to prove this. For example, a 2012 Nielsen survey of 28,000 consumers from 56 countries showed that 92% of consumers believe and trust family and friends’ recommendations. When compared to ads on search engines or social networks, consumers seem to believe them only 40% and 36%, respectively.
Word of mouth marketing is a very old and dedicated method of communication, long before the methods mentioned in the previous paragraph. In the past even before the Internet, television and even the newspapers, businesses marketed themselves, mostly through word of mouth. They served customers, and when friends and acquaintances of those customers were interested in services or products – they could recommend because of experience, from their mouth to the friend’s ear.
By the way.. it works even today! If your customer is happy today, he will be happy to refer you friends, family, and friends – who are a relevant target audience for your business. Those target audiences can come to you to purchase a service or product – just because of that friend or acquaintance. Why should they? The reason is the trust they give to information they have been given close or sold.
What are the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing?
There are several advantages that you need to know about word-of-mouth marketing:
- Without a financial investment – while almost all other marketing methods require money to market your business, in the case of word-of-mouth marketing you do not have to pay money to have your customer recommend you to friends and family.
- Save time – set up an advertising campaign? Build a website? Promote on Google / Facebook? This is a work that takes quite a while (regardless of whether it is done within the organization (In-House) or by an outside party – it requires time allocation).
- Social proof – Customers are always looking for proof of people who have used the product, who have something to express. This word-of-mouth marketing is social proof of your business ambassador (the same satisfied customer), preferably over a testimonial appearing as an incidental site.
- Without any special effort – to provide an excellent solution that suits your customer so that he will be satisfied is your job and it must be part of you. What about the rest? You do not need more than that.
- A springboard at the beginning – Customers who recommend customers are particularly important and critical at the start of the business.
- Can be leveraged – Viral Marketing? Media buzz? PR? Everything can be created as a result of your customer’s recommendation, especially on the online communication channels.
- Can be combined with other methods – you can easily combine word-of-mouth marketing with other methods. For example, integrating with social networks can lead to a situation where the customer shares a conversation with you, responds with positive reviews, recommends to the community, and more.
- It does not require intervention – most cases are organic, the customer does so and advises others without the intervention of the business (salesperson or other entity).
Disadvantages word-of-mouth marketing
This marketing method has less good sides and it is important to know them:
- Requires propulsion – you can not drive a car without moving it, this also for word-of-mouth marketing. There is an organic way that does not require an intervention of the business owner. However, in most cases, if you do not ask your customers to recommend you or review them, they will not or will do so in later stages.
- Bad advertising – There is also bad advertising, not only not beneficial but also detrimental to the business owner. While a satisfied customer will bring 5 customers, an unhappy customer will avoid bringing 50 customers. Negative reviews can be harmful to your business owner and it’s important to remember.
- Communicates with a pyramid – recognize a pyramid? Network Marketing? Quite a few of them are crooks who steal money. This is a marketing method in which one consumer causes another consumer to enter under him, under the commissions he derives from him and to reach an excess and not a deficit, he must bring several friends, and so on. Sadly, word-of-mouth marketing is one of the ways that are used to leverage a pyramid marketing/network marketing method. The customer is also often cautious.
Word of mouth marketing strategies
Sounds good and appropriate, so how do you do it actually?
1. Request recommendations from an existing customer
The first and most basic, oldest and probably most effective way is to ask an existing customer to recommend you to a friend or acquaintance. You can simply tell them, “I would be happy if you would recommend me to friends,” but it’s better to avoid something too general.
If you are a renovation contractor and your client has friends who are moving towards a new apartment, office or business? Ask them for the phone of that friend or acquaintance, and ask the customer to tell to that friend. This is also true for various consulting services, professional services, products that are not services and more. In general, it is suitable for all businesses.
Did the client refer you to a friend or relative? Give him excellent service: also to get a recommendation from the new customer, but also and more importantly – that your existing client will not be hurt as a result of bad events that may happen. Which can lead to a quarrel between you and the customer, between the two customers and in general significant damage.
Have you closed a deal? Give your existing customer a gift – not money and not discount on the service – a gift. This way he will remember you more and know that he will be rewarded in the future.
2. Affiliate marketing to customers
Affiliate marketing is a marketing tool in itself that gives a commission on each referral/deal of a new customer. Does not have to do this, but only for your customers. The goal is giving a commission to existing customers when they recommend you to new customers.
This means that your client will earn a certain commission each time a client closes a deal with you. It is important not to give too low a sum, that it will look laugh, and not give too much amount – it will result in less desirable results (except costs).
This method is less preferable to the first, where it is organic and does not require financial investment. By the way, you do not have to give a commission, you can give bonus points or discount on the service – everything you feel is right for your business.
3. User-generated content
User-generated content is content that the user himself writes about, expresses an opinion or recommendation, displays the features of the product or service, and essentially advertises you. The same can be a blogger, someone who has a social network or someone else.
In order for this to happen, the product should usually be given as a gift. If, for example, you sell shoes, clothing, a technological or electrical product, or any other product – you can give it as a gift. Of course, not every product can be a gift, if you sell a new car… not sure you can give it as a gift (but we will be happy to receive a new car as a gift :)), in which case you can allow him to test drive, Give him an accompanying gift.
You can make it more efficient, and give different credit points, including coupons, to that blogger, so that he can further promote.
4. Opinion leaders / Influencers
People like to follow people who inspire them, give them insights or make them feel positive. Opinion leaders or influencers – are people who provoke reactions, collaborations, likes, and various actions according to their recommendation. In fact, they have a great impact on their following audience.
Typically, influencers will do so if they receive any monetary value for the post, sometimes they can be offered the product themselves without financial investment. You can also turn to micro-influencers, those who have quite a few followers, but not hundreds of thousands, millions and tens of millions of followers.
By the way, if they are your customers – they may do it without monetary compensation (although it is important to give them a return, at least a gift). It is also possible to work a barter method or commission.
Encourage customers to provide you with positive reviews or feedback on social networks, the website, or Google for my business. These are platforms that can be rated and reviewed and recommended for business and services. Also, ask them to share the review on their private page to get more widely distributed and to show their friends that they’ve rated your business. This is a fairly simple operation, loyal customers will do it with fun and love.
6. Blog with valuable content
A blog is a marketing channel for all intents and purposes. Beyond the desire to write about content relevant to your business, you can also write content to help customers understand how to use your product or service. Beyond that, the topic should be of great value to the customer, you can add the option to share the post on social networks.
Very simply, a customer who finds an article or a guide on how to use your product, that brings value to it, can share it and show their friends, what they are interested in and how to start a conversation with friends.
Word-of-mouth marketing is a necessary and important marketing method. Word-of-mouth marketing can save you a lot of money advertising and marketing your product, you can reduce your advertising or marketing budget to reach those goals.
Be good with your customers, they will be happy to share with their friends, to help their friends, to show their friends that they know something and a kind of personal fulfillment for them, they can be excellent ambassadors for you. In addition, they can also protect you from instances when other people write something less positive about you.