Word-of-mouth advertising in the traditional sense used to be just that — customers telling friends and family about their experience with a brand or service. While traditional word-of-mouth still exists the acceleration of social media means the word can spread at a much faster rate, and reach a much bigger audience. With 92% of consumers trusting word-of-mouth recommendations above all other advertising, this is an untapped market with huge potential for brand expansion.
Successful word-of-mouth campaigns rely on people advocating for your brand. Here are four ways you can utilize this:
According to a recent survey, 89% of marketers said ROI from influencer marketing was comparable or better than any other marketing channels. Social media influencers have large (and often loyal) followings. Their audience trusts their recommendations which gives them huge purchasing power. Promotion of products or services through relevant and authentic influencers can, therefore, be a highly successful marketing technique.
Adidas is a great example of a brand who not only used influencers, they created them. During the 2008 Olympics, they sponsored China’s women’s volleyball team and wrote a dedicated blog that featured individual members. This, alongside videos and other creative marketing methods, got people rooting for the team, who were then directed to the blog, which turned the team members into influencers.
Following in the footsteps of Coca Cola, a community-led campaign is one of the best ways to stimulate word-of-mouth. “Share a Coke” was a global campaign that combined simplicity with exclusivity. By personalizing coke bottles, people were encouraged to buy when they discovered their name or a friend or family member’s. Creating a unique hashtag, such as #ShareaCoke, encourages social media sharing or in other words, word-of-mouth marketing.
Word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t always require a financial investment. Instead, invest time by responding to followers and showing them you care. Interact with people’s posts, be creative, and utilize your brand’s personality. Building this connection with your audience will create a positive, long-lasting impression.
Responsive messaging applies to negative comments too — by resolving complaints or negative queries, you will be a brand that goes the extra mile. You’re more likely to retain customers if you turn their bad experience into a good one.
As soon as you start rewarding your loyal customers, they become an advocate for your brand. Make them feel special by awarding exclusive offers or one-off deals, inspiring them to share their experience through word-of-mouth.
Consider Pinterest — when they first started out, they had just 3,000 users. To elevate their brand, they initiated a word-of-mouth campaign with their loyal followers, sharing ideas and listening to feedback. They capitalized on these solid relationships by asking followers to invite their friends and spread the word, which gained new customers.
Follow these tips to increase brand exposure through word-of-mouth. When well researched and executed, it is one of the best strategies for maintaining a loyal customer base and organically growing your business.