Finding new creative strategies to boost sales for your business is challenging, as competition is intense. Merely having an online presence, a well-designed website or a visually pleasing eCommerce store is not enough to make you stand out from your competitors.
But companies keep forgetting the most convincing approach that usually gets neglected: Word of mouth marketing (or WOMM).
Word of Mouth: Organic or Amplified?
Word of mouth marketing, also known as word-of-mouth advertising is considered the online version of traditional word-of-mouth methods of getting new business.
This study from Nielsen states that 92% of people are inclined to trust recommendations from close friends rather than any other type of advertising. Also, research into WOMM has confirmed its efficiency in increasing conversion rates.
Organic Word of Mouth and Amplified Word of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing occurs through two methods: organically and through marketing campaigns.
These two types of WOMM are known as:
- Organic word of mouth happens when consumers become advocates because they are well-pleased with the company’s product or service and want to share their support and enthusiasm with others.
- Amplified word of mouth is what happens when marketers use specific marketing campaigns intended to promote or expedite WOM with current or new customers.
The two can inherently overlap because a strong WOM marketing strategy will lead to improved organic WOM. At the same time, if your business already enjoys a fair amount of organic WOM, marketing campaigns will be more effective.
In this article, we will focus on specific strategies for setting up a steady flow of referral consumers.
Ideas For Building Your Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy
Designing an outstanding experience for customers is sometimes sufficient to get them talking about your brand and start referring your business to others.
However, truly leveraging word-of-mouth marketing strategies requires more thought and implementation.
The vast majority of businesses try their best to give good service and then hope that customers will tell other people about them. In today’s internet-based society, you have to move past expecting the buyers to tell their friends about you and focus on strategies that proactively encourage consumers to refer others to you.
So, take a look at few ideas to inspire you to design your WOMM strategies:
1. Create Word of Mouth Triggers
Your X factor is the element that makes your company distinguish itself from the other competitors in your industry and/or community.
This implies providing your customers with something memorable. It could be anything like an experience, concept, or feeling they can’t get or aren’t getting anywhere else. This almost compels people, in a good way, for people to start talking about you with others.
2. Include Visual Triggers
Try and create remarkable visual experiences for customers to take photos and share with other people. Universal Studios does a great job with this with both the amazing rides as well as the roaming characters.
When it comes to your online presence, it can become a bit more complicated to design visual triggers.
Create a website so astonishing and unique that users just need to share it. Keep in mind that the loading speed and the accessibility of your website are also important aspects.
IKEA is a great illustration of a company that uses visual triggers to initiate word-of-mouth business. They were among the first retailers to adopt Augmented Reality on a large scale and this implementation led to a huge online buzz when they launched their AR app.
The video has more than 1.4 million views on YouTube and was shared across other platforms because viewers were visually stunned.
3. Create Something Unique
Designing something different, with a unique concept is another way to convince people into getting the word out in the world about your business. But that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel.
A good strategy would be to advertise your brand differently from any other player in your field. Or you could reinvent an old, successful product and advertise it through a new approach.
4. Provide Emotional Incentives
Tapping into consumers’ emotions is essential for increasing shares and compelling buyers to talk about your brand.
This can be done by adopting a charity you believe in and adding it to your company brand. Include it in your social commerce networks, your website, and anywhere it could create some buzz.
5. Promote User-Generated Content
If you want to produce powerful, engaging, and shareable copy, not just the regular company updates and photos, you should leverage content generated by users, customers, or followers.
In fact, as an Adweek study shows, 85% of consumers find visual user-generated content more powerful than carefully picked brand photos or videos.
Engaging your community in an interactive discussion can encourage them to start talking about your business on social media, more precisely to endorsing and referring your brand to their friends and followers.
To further encourage them, provide discounts for posts that fit certain criteria, or run an ongoing social media contest and ask participants to use your hashtags or tag you in their posts.
6. Analyze Your Ratings and Reviews
Even if not every consumer will refer you to tons of friends, they can still enjoy their experience with your brand. And surely you could leverage their feedback to convince others to try your product.
According to ReviewHero Pro:
- 95% of people search for businesses to use online.
- 84% of consumers rely on online reviews as much as on recommendations.
- 49% of consumers look for at least a four-star evaluation before they choose a product.
That means gathering and visibly showcasing candid reviews of your service and products everywhere possible, from marketplaces, websites, in-store, social media posts, and all the places you can think of.
If users are willing to talk about your brand, make sure your prospects know about it because candid feedback and organic word of mouth from your current customers are essential.
7. Design an Ongoing Referral Structure
A bad customer experience is hard to overcome and a referral program may not be enough. But providing systematic referral requests is a great way to turn content customers into active ones by taking the next step and introducing prospects to your business.
The study by Texas Tech revealed that 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer products and services. But, only 29% actually do.
To give your business a competitive edge, lightly nudge consumers towards taking action on referrals.
If you want to develop your business, word-of-mouth marketing can be an incredibly strong strategy.
But it’s crucial to start with the basics.
If you can’t offer a high-quality experience for your buyers and run a stable company, then you’ll fail somewhere along the way.
Make sure you focus on delivering an awesome customer experience, as this is the most important factor of your success. Once you have that, create an online strategy that will help others talk about your business for everyone to see.
If you need some guidance to create social media buzz and skyrocket your referral sales, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!