How many times do we rely on recommendations from our friends, colleagues, family and even strangers to buy a new car, try a latest toothpaste brand, or maybe a new ice cream flavor? The fact is we make our purchases on other’s experiences and endorsements more than usual. Word-of-mouth reviews were pretty straightforward before technology changed the means of human interaction. We are connected with different people from all over the world who post their experiences with various products on the internet.
Businesses and marketers who understand the significance of such endorsements or recommendations are the one who use word-of-mouth marketing, the most influential form of information that customers rely on. Word-of-mouth marketing on a digital platform is not about creating and spreading messages but it involves conveying real human experiences to the masses. People tend to believe reviews about a product or service from a neutral source than brands yapping about their own goodness. In this article I’ll discuss some techniques for small businesses to optimize their word-of-mouth marketing.
Identify & Connect with Influencers
Influencers in the digital world are people with a good social media following, strong online presence by means of a blog, or are in a position to promote your brand or message to others. What matters is you approach the right people who can relate to your brand. For instance, if you are selling infant nutrient, your influencers would not just be mothers, but mother who are doctors by profession. If you target the right influencers you will be in a better position to spread your message because people trust a third person more than they trust a brand.
Add a Bit of Human Emotion
Adding some emotion to the message is one strategy that businesses use to make their marketing effort more impactful. For word-of-mouth marketing your target must not be just to spread the message but staying in conversation. Short videos or documentaries with strong emotional messages are ideal because they grab the attention of larger audience and spread the cause. Make-a-wish Foundation is an organization dedicated to granting wishes of children suffering from life-threatening ailment, and launched Batkid, the largest staged event ever hosted via word-of-mouth marketing.
Involve Communities to Build Engagement
Communities work best when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. The idea is to share something interesting and informative among target consumers. Discussion forums, Q/A sessions and program/ event hosting are all part of online community building. People never forget about Red Bull, for instance, because we commonly see their branded vehicles generating buzz, sponsoring adventure events, talent shows, student awareness programs, etc. Another important thing to do is to bring people of common interest together to amplify engagement.
Retain Existing Customers with Superior Customer Service
The best way to retain your existing clients is by offering top-class customer support and aftersales services. Your existing customers are most important for your word-of-mouth marketing, because if they are satisfied with what you offer them they will endorse your brand. A recent report identified the probability of selling to existing customer is around 60% to 70% which drops down from 5% to 20% for new customers. Therefore, do not fix your focus only on achieving new customers but think about how you can create value for existing customers.
It’s Al About Customer Reviews
Verily, word-of-mouth marketing is all about customer review and recommendations. So, make it easier for your existing and potential customers to share their thoughts about your brand, company, product or service. As a business, you should consider simplifying the review process whether it’s con your website, social media, online forum or any other channel. There may be instances where customers come up with complaints, negative feedbacks or even obscene comments, how you counter them is what matters. Stay positive and take full responsibility of your brand.