Word of mouth marketing is arguably the best form of marketing you can get. Why? Because it theoretically makes sense. Key marketing principles outline that trust and credibility play a major part in decision making. So, when friends, family members, colleagues or people we follow online tell us they believe in a Company or enjoy using a product, we are more likely to consider that service or product in our decision making.
According to Nielsen, 83% of consumers trust what their friends and family recommend. Word of mouth can be as simple as a friend telling another friend about a hairdresser they visited and liked over dinner, or can also include electronic word of mouth, like online reviews. Having positive word of mouth is one thing, however, knowing how to effectively leverage your positive word of mouth is something that can have a lasting effect on your brand sentiment and sales.
Here are four ways you can leverage your positive word of mouth:
1. Social Media
Your customers are probably talking about you on social media, so why not talk about yourself? Once customers have left reviews or comments on how much they like your products or services, share the reviews on your social media channels. Depending on your marketing strategy and where someone is in your customer journey, you could use these review snippets to build trust with potential customers, or to encourage prospects to take the final step and purchase with you!
2. Ask for reviews
Once you know someone is happy with your service or product, ask them to review your site online. It can be as simple as following up a positive phone call with an email to the link of your Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Trust Pilot or whichever review platform you use.
The easiest way to do this is through marketing automation tools, so you don’t even have to think about it!
Make sure you keep your website updated regularly with testimonials and reviews. You can use plugins and add-ons to your web platform, depending on what you use to run your website.
This will also assist you in your SEO efforts, as your site will be updated on a regular occasion. Plus, visitors will spend more time on site reading your content if others say you are good at what you do!
If one of the people who leave you a review have a strong social following, encourage them to share the brand on their page. Influencer marketing remains a key element of social media marketing across all platforms.
You can find influencers through social media directly, or you can use a platform that connects influencers with brands. Read about it on Tribe Growth‘s website.
How to ensure good word of mouth
You know what to do with it, but how do you generate positive word of mouth?
1- provide quality services and products
It seems obvious, but, it is important to note. There is absolutely no point in spending money or trying to get more customers if your current product or service isn’t delivering on customer expectations.
There is no bigger let down than purchasing something that doesn’t last, or doesn’t do the job you bought it for. Often, ensuring quality product goes beyond marketing itself, you will need to look at internal operations and vendors such as your suppliers, materials and so on.
2- customer experience
Spend time smoothing out the pre, mid, and post-sales process to ensure there are no hidden hurdles. Listen to your customers via social media or email and take on board their feedback! Have you ever experienced wanting to purchase a product but the path to purchase is so confusing that you just abandoned the cart and bought somewhere else?
Try and use analytics you have available to see where bottlenecks in the process are. Look at these regularly and continually make adjustments.
3- Exceed expectations
What is something your business provides that someone else doesn’t? Why is it memorable? Why would someone tell someone about you without being asked? Some ideas include:
- social media shoutouts
- loyalty programs
- the feeling of being part of a community
- excellent staff
- a personal touch
- unexpected follow-ups
- ongoing communication or engagement if they allow it
- be proactive
- the product or service is just so good that they have no choice but to tell everyone!
4- encourage user generate content
What is user generated content?
User-generated content (UGC) is any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands. And brands will often share UGC on their own social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels.https://blog.hootsuite.com/user-generated-content-ugc/
Why you should use it?
User-generated content (UGC) is seen as authentic and genuine. It is content created by your target market, so will more than likely appeal to the rest of your target market too. Another major positive of user-generated content is that you don’t have to spend as much money on having photos taken! However, please note, that you will want to check the quality of the UGC before using it in your marketing.