Advertising is one of the best ways to generate sales and increase brand awareness. One of the most effective ways of achieving these objectives is word of mouth marketing. Let’s look at what this method is and how you can use it to help your business grow.
Definition: What Is Word of Mouth Advertising?
Word of mouth is one of the oldest and most useful ways of marketing your business. It relies on your customers recommending your company to their friends and family. Traditionally, this occurred in face-to-face conversations. Today, it’s increasingly happening over social media. For example, they might post a glowing review of your business online. Now that we know the basic principles underlying word of mouth let’s look at some of the benefits that this form of marketing can deliver.
The Ultimate Social Media
Word of mouth is the original form of social media. It relies on people having conversations about your brand. If one person tells their friendship group about a fantastic experience they had at your company, the message will spread. Their friendship group will pass on the story to friends of friends. These conversations are especially meaningful because of research stating that most customers place much trust in the recommendations they get from friends and family.
Today, this form of advertising is primarily done over social media platforms, as people leave reviews on businesses that they enjoyed. For example, restaurant owners will understand the benefits of having a flattering picture of their food on the feed of an Influencer.
The More People Talking About Your Products,the More People Are Buying!
As we mentioned, personal recommendations are the best ways to convince people to try a new business. Also, when people start talking about your business, it can create buzz, which is a term used to describe the amount of excitement around your products. The more interest you can generate, the more products you will be able to sell.
Organic vs. Amplified Word of Mouth
There are two main ways of generating word of mouth. Organic word of mouth occurs naturally. People have a great experience at your business, so they want to tell their friends and family about it. This form of advertising is completely free. Amplified word of mouth refers to incentives that you create to get people talking about their experience. For example, you might want to offer a discount when customers refer people to the business since it can produce great results. But before committing to this campaign, you want to make sure that you are already offering an excellent service. If you aren’t, you could be wasting time and resources on an ineffective campaign.
You Can Also Use Publicity Stunts
Though they can be fraught with risk, publicity stunts can deliver exceptionalresults. They will be able to introduce your brand to a broadaudience and get people talking about your company. However, it’s best to plan these stunts well in advance, which will ensure that you avoid making mistakes and damaging your brand’s reputation.
Importance of Word of Mouth Advertising to Long Term Business Success
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what word of mouth advertising is and how it works. But it’s important to remember that this method works best when used as a long-term strategy. If you can implement this technique successfully, it will continue to produce results for years to come. There are several statistics to back up this claim. For example, most Millennials state word of mouth is the most important consideration that they have when deciding whether to shop with a company or not. Also, people place much trust in the online reviews that they read. On average, it can take between two to six studies for them to feel more positively about a business. For this reason, it’s essential that you continue to invest in providing the best possible experience for your customers.
Effectiveness of Word of Mouth Advertising
While you might believe that this is a highly effective way of generating sales, is it more effective than other forms of advertising? Let’s look at some of the things you should know about this method of marketing.
Results You Can Expect
When done well, word of mouth advertising can produce exceptional results. While it will have an impact on sales, it will have a more significant effect on the way that people view your brand. Applied consistently over time, you will be able to use word of mouth to build brand loyalty. The more social currency that you can create, the easier it will become for you to sell to your audience.
Profitability vs. Traditional Marketing
When compared to traditional marketing efforts, this form of marketing is highly effective. A conventional marketing strategy will require a significant investment, as you produce advertising materials. Once done, it will only produce results for a short period. Then, you will need to create a new campaign. In comparison, word of mouth marketing requires a smaller investment, and it will be able to produce lasting results.
Examples of Successful Campaigns
Often the best way to see the value of word of mouth marketing is through an example. In recent times, these efforts tend to involve viral videos. These get spread around by fans, generating genuine interest in the company and the message. One of the most famous examples of this effect is from Volvo, with an iconic ad featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between their trucks. When it released, the video went viral, as people shared it online with their friends and family. Currently, it has over 93 million views on YouTube.
How to Create Your First Word of Mouth Advertising Campaign
Now that you know what word of mouth is, and some of the benefits it can provide, you might want to try this marketing strategy for yourself. Let’s look at a few steps that you might want to follow.
1. Make Sure That You’re Ready
The point of the campaign is to create a positive impression of your company. For this reason, you should only start the campaign once you are confident that you can create a pleasant experience. Some of the biggest backfires in history had occurred when brands tried these campaigns without laying the groundwork first, which created angry customers and destroyed their social capital.
2. Do Something That Will Create Buzz
The first step of this campaign is to do something that will get people excited. The most important thing about this step is choosing something with the potential to go viral. For this reason, you have to think of something that is out of the ordinary. The best idea should be able to get someone interested as soon as it is mentioned. Also, you will need to choose something that will appeal to a broad range of people. The catalyst you use will depend on your chosen industry. For example, you might want to start donating a portion of your sales to charity.
3. Get People Involved
You also want to make sure to encourage people to get involved with the cause. There are a few ways you can do this. For example, you might want to have a specific hashtag that you want them to use. This method is one of the most effective ways to encourage user-generated content. Alternatively, you want them to purchase a specific product. The easier it is for people to participate, the more willing your audience will be to take part in the activity.
4. Keep the Engagement Going
You should make sure that you have ways to keep people engaged with the campaign. The longer they stay involved, the more they will discuss marketing with others. There are a few ways that you can do this, depending on the campaign. For example, if you were raising money for charity, you could provide regular updates on how much you’ve generated, which tells people that they are having an impact and keeps them invested with the campaign.
5. Get Feedback
The final and most crucial part of the campaign is to gather feedback from your customers, which will allow you to make future campaigns more effective. For example, you might have tried to get people to sign up for an email list, keeping them updated about the campaign. However, website analytics reveals that most people didn’t complete the sign-up, which could indicate the form was too complicated.
Expert Tips to Amplify The Buzz Around Your Company
Running a campaign like this will allow you to get people interested in your company. To get the best effects, though, you need to be able to turn up the buzz, which will help spread awareness of the campaign, getting even more people involved. There are a few ways you can do this. First, you might want to create a press release and send it to newspapers. Each day, thousands of people read the papers. A press release is one of the best ways to get a favorable article published. Also, you might want to reach out to influencers on social media.
In some cases, you might want to send them a free sample of your product. If they like it, they will tell their fans about it. This recommendation will be viewed by the thousands of people who follow that influencer. Finally, you might want to encourage user-generated content. For example, you might want to monitor the comments that people are making about you and re-post the best content, which will show your audience that you listen to them, creating more brand engagement.
Word of Mouth Advertising Ideas by Industry
There are multiple types of campaigns that you can try, depending on your industry. To show this, and provide inspiration, let’s look at some successful word of mouth campaigns.
Restaurant Industry: Great Northern Brewing Company
This recent Australian campaign generated plenty of positive news coverage, as well as an outpouring of public support. This company donated 1,000 kegs of beer to pubs around Australia. By purchasing a beer in one of these locations, people were able to support farmers, going through a drought, and it was a great way to introduce their product to people who ordinarily wouldn’t drink it.
Bakery: Zeno Group
Another great campaign was performed by Zeno Group. They decided to give free coffee to people who were working on the Black Friday Holiday. They made sure that they got plenty of engagement on their social media, requiring people to “Like” their page before they go get the offer. Once done, people could choose multiple options to receive their free coffee, which resulted in them generating much buzz on social media. It’s estimated that they received around 125 million impressions in just two weeks.
Finally, one of the most famous examples of the power of word of mouth is the growth of Dropbox. This company provides cloud storage. They were initially limited to a small base of users. To drive growth, they decided to create a referral program, which encouraged people to talk about the service with their friends and family members. Also, they made it easier to share files, and it inspired a community to be built around the service. Through this campaign, they were able to grow from a user base of under 100,000 to over 4 million in less than four years, which shows the power of word of mouth marketing when it’s applied correctly.
Customers create the foundations of any business. Word of mouth marketing allows you to tap into the power of this group. By creating an excellent product or service, they will want to tell their friends and family about it. As we discussed, this remains one of the best ways to grow your business and build your social currency. Hopefully, you now have the skills required to implement this in your own business to experience these results for yourself.