According to a survey by MediaBistro, 74% of customers said their purchasing decisions are influenced by word-of-mouth. Another survey by BrightLocal has it that 88% of people trust online reviews just as they trust recommendations from friends and family members. These two surveys tell us that, even if you have figured out other marketing channels bringing you customers regularly, word-of-mouth marketing can’t be ignored.
Besides, people are getting tired of alternative marketing mediums like outbound marketing because it’s quite intrusive. For this reason, if you want to increase revenue generation for your business, you have to prioritize word-of-mouth marketing.
Many people assume that word-of-mouth marketing is strictly the marketing in which happy customers talk (with the mouth) to people in their circle about a product or a service they enjoyed. This used to be correct before the invention of the internet and social media. In today’s world, this marketing involves the old definition and now covers customers’ testimonies on social media, review websites and online forums, etc.
How to Market Your Business with Word-of-Mouth
Without asking people to talk about your business offering, some of them are probably doing it already. However, if you want to reap the full benefits of this marketing strategy, you have to take some deliberate steps. These steps revolve around offering exceptional products or services, making your employees loyal, and delivering an excellent customer service experience.
Once you are ready to do these three things that word-of-mouth marketing revolves around, follow the steps below to set the strategy in motion.
- Provide something worth talking about
For word-of-mouth marketing to work for your business, you must first of all provide something amazing that can be talked about. This amazing thing can be a unique product or service; it can also be remarkable customer service or after-sales support. If your business offering is average or just OK, customers wouldn’t see a reason to share their experience with anybody.
In the same vein, if your offering is terrible, customers would tell everybody that cares to listen about how bad your product or service is. So, to make customers recommend your business to people close to them, provide positive value that’s worth talking about.
- Make it emotional
In 2013, Keller Fay Group published research that shows that brands that inspire higher emotional intensity with their audience receive 3 times as much word-of-mouth marketing as their less-emotional counterparts. Based on this research, if you want to increase your brand awareness and revenue, you must evoke emotions while serving your customers – of course, this emotion must be positive.
If you evoke a negative emotion while dealing with your customers, you will as well get 3 times word-of-mouth “demarketing.”
- Turn employees to brand advocate
The end goal of word-of-mouth marketing is to make happy customers your brand advocate, but the patron of your brand advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing must be your employees. You need to do this because they are the people that know everything about your product or service. So, sharing their experiences about how your business offering solves customers’ problems is a good start.
To make your employees willingly promote your business, pay them their work’s worth and add other employee perks. Also make them understand what the company stands for, and encourage them to share the good news about the company with their friends and family.
- Ask people to say good things about your business
If you don’t ask your employees and customers to share their good experience with your business, many of them wouldn’t do it. Therefore, for every happy customer that engages your business, ask for the experience to be shared with the world by talking about your business and sharing posts about it on social media.
While you can’t guarantee the talking and social media posting, a quick win can be asking them to give you a good rating on Google My Business (GMB) and Facebook. So, immediately the business deal is completed and your happy customer is still feeling satisfied, forward the rating page link of your business’s GMB and Facebook to them.
Their ratings and social media thoughts (if they decide to share on social media) can serve as good user-generated contents that you can reshare on your business social media accounts.
- Be active and engage your community
Now and then, there would be online conversations about your industry and your brand. For the conversations to go in your favour and for customers to keep talking about your brand, you need to participate in them. If a customer shares his or her wonderful experience with your brand on social media, go to the post and comment on it.
Aside from this, other things you can do to encourage online conservations about your brand include hosting contests and organizing online and offline events. Your community engagement shouldn’t only be online. Your brand representative must also take an active part in local events where your target audience is likely to attend.
- Introduce a referral programme
To scale your word-of-mouth marketing, a referral programme is something you should consider. The idea of this programme is that people get a reward for convincing other people to patronize your business. Rewards for a referral programme can be discount, credit to the bank account, vouchers, gift cards, etc.
In summary, word-of-mouth marketing can be the easiest way to increase revenue and build a loyal fan base. But to make that happen, you must offer a quality product or service, make your customers feel like a king, and treat your employees like a queen. Then ask them to be your marketers, and they’ll do it with all their hearts.