Word-of-mouth (WoM) marketing is one of the oldest – and most effective – forms of marketing. In fact, 72 percent of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Meaning that a majority of your leads are dependent on reviews – from people they know and online users – to steer them in the right direction. Businesses can’t afford to neglect the importance of reviews, ratings and recommendations when it comes to planning your organization’s marketing strategy. Here are a few tactics to help you build your word of mouth network.
Gather & Share Customer Testimonials
Authenticity is everything when it comes to a great testimonial – a study run by Cohn & Wolf found that 63 percent of consumers said they’d rather buy from a company they consider to be authentic over a competitor. Testimonials support claims about the performance, quality and value of your services and make prospects feel more comfortable doing business with you. So, how do you get more testimonials? Just ask. The best time to ask for a referral is right after you have successfully finished a project, or you’ve reached a milestone with the client. When people are happy with your work, it makes sense that they’d be more likely to agree to a testimonial. Once you’ve gathered your testimonials, show them off – all of your sales, marketing and PR materials are fair game.
- Media & Press Kits
Encourage User-Generated Content
In today’s social media-driven environment, user-generated content is everywhere in the form of pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts and everything in between. This is content that is created and shared by the consumer about brands, products and services. It’s a way for customers to share their experiences through social media and adds another layer of trust.
- Ask customers to share photos of your products in use
- Create a hashtag to give customers the opportunity to share experiences
- Attend conference events and tradeshows and run a social media scavenger hunt
Overall, the most important part is that you interact or reach out to them and respond to social posts. Interacting with happy clients will help keep them happy, and they’ll be more likely to continue to share a positive sentiment on and offline.
Build a Referral Partner Program
The last, and most impactful, word-of-mouth strategy is referral marketing. Referral marketing is based on one friend sharing information with another about a company. Unlike other WoM strategies, a referral marketing program tracks conversion rates to help you fully understand where your new customers are coming from.
In short, a successful referral program takes care of three important things:
- It offers an incentive that’s worthwhile for all parties: there’s an incentive for the client, you get a new customer and the new customer gets your great service.
- Your campaign should make spreading the word easy and quick with simple CTA buttons and landing pages.
- You measure the results of your campaign to uncover what’s working and what needs improvement.
The biggest secret to building your word of mouth network is no secret at all – you have to offer an experience and partnership that’s worth talking about. You can’t just say you outshine your competitors and deliver a true partnership – you have to do it. Referrals aren’t given easily – that’s why they’re so impactful. If you don’t take the time to establish credibility, you’re not going to get the referral. You have to give your clients something so memorable that they’ll want to share it with their friends and colleagues whether you ask them to or not. Contact us to learn how Marketopia can help you develop a WoM marketing strategy that gets people talking.