“Word of mouth marketing is a ‘free’ advertising technique used to generate discussions about and recommendations for a brand, product, or business. It has become inherently viral over the years.”
Essentially, getting people to talk about your brand, product, or business is the goal of this type of marketing.
Traditionally, word of mouth marketing was spread from one person to another based on recommendation. The modern version of it describes both targeted efforts and naturally occurring instances where users share their satisfaction with a brand.
In today’s hyper-connected world, a single recommendation can have a far greater impact – leading to word of mouth marketing strategies to capitalize on the opportunity.
Modern word of mouth marketing happens in 2 ways: organically and through the use of marketing and advertising campaigns.
These two types of word of mouth marketing are called and defined as:
- Organic word of mouth
Organic word of mouth marketing occurs naturally when people are happy with the product or service and have a natural desire to share their support and enthusiasm.
- Amplified word of mouth marketing
Amplified word of mouth marketing occurs when businesses launch campaigns designed to promote business exposure, encourage or accelerate word of mouth in existing or new communities.
Word of Mouth Marketing advantages
Before printing and broadcasting transformed communications, people relied on word-of-mouth to tell others about their goods.
Today, without a doubt word of mouth marketing is the easiest way to spread the word about your business organically. Many companies employ word-of-mouth marketing tactics to build their customer base.
Let’s have a closer look at what are the advantages of word of mouth for small business owners:
Building your brand is critical, but it’s really difficult to stand out in the crowded online space, especially if you are running solo. Using word-of-mouth marketing helps build positive feelings about your products and services, and that helps build your company’s brand.
People trust friends, family (and even strangers) more than they do ads. Trust is an integral part of word of mouth marketing. It means your brand is being recommended in the most trustworthy context possible. People trust and are more likely to buy from brands and businesses recommended by friends.
Encouraging and facilitating word-of-mouth marketing helps you establish a higher degree of trust by relying on influential customers willing to talk about your company.
A positive word of mouth marketing strategy keeps customers coming back. And referring other customers who also keep coming back. And refer more customers…
Generates Long-Term Value and Repeat Business
- Traditional advertisements work on the principle of reaching as many potential customers as possible in the hopes that a few will be intrigued and try the advertised products.
- By contrast, a single satisfied customer might only tell a few close friends about a positive experience with a business, but a strong recommendation from a friend is more likely than an advertisement to make a lasting positive impression.
- Customers who purchase your products or services based on a referral are more likely to buy more than people who find your company through traditional marketing methods.
- If referred customers are happy with your service, they will refer their friends and family, which will grow the value of the first referral exponentially.
Grows Sales with Low Costs
Compared to the thousands of dollars required to run a consistent ad campaign in print, on television, or on radio, word-of-mouth marketing is a relatively inexpensive marketing tool to increase your business. Customers satisfied with the product or service will tell their friends and family about you and your business without any extra incentives.
- Word of mouth marketing can provide additional sales, even if a company doesn’t spend money on advertising.
- It’s especially useful for small and local businesses, which may have limited advertising budgets.
- Today a simple comment online can be shared and commented upon and has the ability to reach millions of people in a few seconds.
Builds a community of trust, not just a network of buyers:
- Word of mouth marketing works to build a loyal and engaged fan base rather than one-off buying customers.
- Higher engaged customers buy more often and recommend their friends more often, extending your return on time spent on the strategy and generating a high customer lifetime loyalty.
More funding, more freedom:
Brands with high customer lifetime loyalty and therefore repeat purchases receive more angel and venture funding.
The reason for that is because Customer Acquisition Cost to Lifetime Value (CAC to LTV), is one of the most important aspects of a solid business model in the early days of a company’s lifecycle.
What can a small business do?
“Transform your word-of-mouth marketing strategy from passive to driven by using a range of tactics designed to engage your customers and get them talking about you and your amazing business.”
It is really difficult to get people talking about your service in a meaningful way. The good news is you can increase your sales and earn profit from one of the most underrated marketing strategies – word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth plays a great role in bringing you as many clients as you want. What can you do to make word of mouth work for you, especially if your business is small and online? Here are a few tactics that have been found to work:
- Create unique identity
Have a great story about you and your business: how you started, why you believe in what you do – something that others will want to hear and retell others.
- Offer great product partnered with exceptional customer service
Make sure you offer a product or service that people are asking for and respond to all customer questions in a quick and effective way.
- Build trust, solid reputation and a good name for yourself
Trust is an integral part of word of mouth marketing. People need to trust you to be able to recommend your services.
- Keep your loyal community engaged
- Know your people, remember names, engage online.
- Turn any interaction with customers into an opportunity to gain word of mouth.
- Turn complaints into praise.
- Actively ask happy customers to tell friends & family or leave great reviews.
- Give more than expected
Appreciate loyalty and show appreciation. That might mean throwing in some little freebies or upgrading a level of service – by way of saying thanks.
- Become known as a go-to expert in your community
Share free expert tips and recommendations, create useful shareable content, like your expert tips and recommendations, that people will want to share.
Build shared value partnerships and co-promotion events bringing together clients, vendors, and business partners.
How powerful is word of mouth marketing?
Let’s have a look at some of the statistics to comprehend the significance and power of this strategy:
- Neilson report says 92% of consumers rely on suggestions from friends and family more than advertising;
- About 74 percent of consumers determine word of mouth marketing as their influencer when making purchasing decisions;
- According to the Referral Rock report, marketers rate the quality of word of mouth lead to be 4.28 on the 5 point scale;
- 20% to 50% of purchases are the result of a word-of-mouth recommendation [AdAge];
- Beyond friends and family, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts;
- And 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions;
- According to the National Law Review, it can cost five times more to acquire a new customer than keep a current one;
- And Bain & Co estimate that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost a company’s profitability by 75%;
- HubSpot shows that 75% of people don’t believe adverts, yet 90% trust suggestions from family and friends, and 70% trust consumer reviews;
- Word of mouth increases brand loyalty; a study from the Wharton School of Business found that referred customers are between 16% to 24% more loyal on average;
“it’s all about who knows you…”
Growing a brand is a lot of hard work and it takes time. A lot of time. You’re constantly posting, liking, commenting, following, until you reach a sizable audience.
Today, word of mouth marketing can be found in likes on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram. In reviews on Amazon, Yelp, Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, and similar. In blog posts, forums, testimonials, and brand mentions.
But…There’s a smarter way to grow and that’s with ZippyCrowd, the first online recommendation tool that digitizes word of mouth online. With ZippyCrowd, recommendations come from people you know and trust.
They save you time and money, connect you to the right people, creating otherwise unavailable opportunities.