If you Google word of mouth marketing the big statistic emblazoned everywhere is that 92% of consumers will believe what their friends and family tell them over every other type of marketing.
That’s why it works. It’s simple. We know who we believe and we know who we don’t. If your mum tells you it’s brilliant, then who’s going to argue? If your best friend says it changed their life, you want in on some of that life-changing action too.
There are a plethora of further statistics to back up why listening to real people’s opinion’s are more important than questioning if we’re being brainwashed by advertising but that’s for another day, we’ve got better things to talk about here.
The numbers you really need to monitor are the ones that tell you how well those areas are working for you. Data data data. It’s so important to use everything you learn from your marketing ROI report in order to resolve your weak areas and to amplify your strengths. If you have the data that proves that magical marketing moment, why wouldn’t you milk it for everything it’s worth?
Do we still talk to each other in this wonderful digital age?
More than ever. We just do it differently.
Word of mouth used to mean what we talk about in the pub, or at the school gates, or at work, play or in the queue for the bus. Now we do most of our talking with our fingers instead of our mouths over social media and the word of mouth marketers understand that that’s where it can take a brand from obscure to immense.
At Ghost Marketing we understand the importance of boosting brand awareness and sales using WOM techniques. Here are a few ways you can do it too:
1. User-Generated Content
The whole idea of WOM marketing is to get your customers to do the selling for you. What you have to do is give them opportunities to have something to shout about.
If your product is so infinitely wonderful they’ll do it organically: they’ll post it all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and everywhere else because they love their new acquisition so much.
But to make sure they keep marketing your product you need to seek out all of those mentions and share your customer’s posts. They’ll feel like part of the family then and that’s only going to make them do it more.
Other ways to encourage UGC is to provide incentives. Run competitions offering prizes, giveaways, discounts or vouchers. Get those hashtags working for you and start driving your customer’s friends to your website.
2. Hammer Those Hashtags – Become A Social Media Master
Don’t give your customers the choice in hashtags, you’ll end up with thousands of variations, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but to be trending at the top of the pile you want to concentrate all your traffic into your single best opportunity to be seen. If you’re creating a promotion or just pushing your brand then make sure your hashtag stands proud. You want everyone to share it so make sure you brainwash them by putting it in front of them at every opportunity. They’ll start adding it to their posts without even thinking about it.
It’s all about brand awareness, and the hashtag is a killer tool to boost it.
3. Promote Rating Your Products On Your Own Site
If you sell directly to your public then you’re missing a trick if you don’t have a rating system for all of your products. You can double up your sales strength here by backing up your own information of how brilliant your product is with a rating and review section where your product buying public will preach to the rest of the product buying public just what an amazing thing you’re selling.
If you really like statistics then how about 63% of visitors are more likely to buy from an ecommerce site containing reviews or ratings. This leads to an 18% increase in sales because those reviews are trusted 12 times more than the brand’s own descriptions. So although there are merits to paying a professional to write your website copy there’s even more to teasing the public into writing some for you too.
4. Don’t Just Encourage Customer Reviews – Share Them!
It’s a must to get your customers to tell everyone else just how brilliant your product is, and if you can get them to rate your product at every opportunity then just think of all that believe in your product working for you before you even pay for an advert.
There are so many avenues available — think; Amazon, Google, Trip Advisor, Trustpilot, and especially on your own website. Everywhere your product is rated and reviewed get your customers to make it count.
Once you’ve got the 5-star ratings gathering momentum (and sales!) don’t just sit there looking proud, share them yourself on every avenue you have available. Post them on your own social media outlets, create review slideshows, reward the best of them and encourage a constant flow. You can create your own marketing from all of these trusted sources. They don’t have to be a one-hit wonder, keep them working over and again.
There are a host of product review sites that are ideal for sharing the good WOM you’ve achieved. Seek them out and start sharing on them too.
5. Offer Incentives, Freebies or Giveaways
Any incentive to encourage customers to talk about how wonderful your product is good marketing. Generally, people are conditioned by the value that we don’t get anything for nothing, so if you give a customer something for free, or for something as simple as a referral or a review, then they’re more than likely to sing about it than ever.
You should be gathering data in order to stay in touch with every customer and possible lead so use these contacts to send them a birthday discount code, a voucher for their next order, tell them when they make their tenth purchase from your site they get their next one half price; you’re not giving anything away, you’re just encouraging them to buy more by snipping a little bit off the profit.
Oh, and then get them to smash it all over facebook… Share share share!
6. Create A Referral Programme or An Affiliate Network
Referrals and affiliate networks are great. Every one of your customers is an opportunity to employ another sales agent for peanuts. If you can get them to persuade their friends to buy from you too then reward them for it and they’ll do it again. You can offer good old-fashioned money as their reward, or vouchers, products, price reductions, VIP rates and more.
There are sites you can use to set up referral and affiliate schemes to automate the process for your new agents. If they really catch the bug they’ll start to post their unique links or how they can bolster their rewards on to their social media timelines, they’ll message their friends. It’s all WOM marketing working for you and at a very low cost too.
7. Connect With Industry Influencers And Thought Leaders
We’ve covered how people believe their friends and family yet another huge area of trust is in the people who are specialists in our area of sales, and of course, in celebrities.
If the world’s greatest cyclists say that your pedals are the best then that’s enough for Joe Public. If Tiger Woods is using your golf balls then why shouldn’t you? And if Jennifer Aniston is using your brand of shampoo? Who wouldn’t want hair like that?
Endorsements, influencers and experts. They are all great WOM marketing because of the trust we have in who’s delivering the message. If you can make those connections and relationships, if you can get the real industry players or celebrities to use or say how great your product is, then people will talk about it, they’ll believe it, and hopefully, that’s going to be enough to drive traffic and sales higher than ever.
8. Offer A Unique, Shareworthy Experience – And Create A Viral Epidemic
This is the holy grail of WOM marketing. The elusive viral campaign. What’s the secret behind creating that one piece of magic that everyone can’t resist sharing that drives your brand into the stratosphere and makes every customer out there want a piece of your action?
It needs to be unbelievable, amazing, hilarious or harrowing. Everything that makes us feel something big is something we’ll quite likely want to share. We are emotional beings and that’s how we make connections; with each other, and with the names we buy from.
What’s the secret of creating unforgettable experiences for your customers? It’s different for every brand, it has to relate and it has to hook. It’s up to you to figure out the rest.