Companies are investing heavily in marketing. For example, in the US, in 2019, companies spent approximately $55 billion on paid search advertising (Google Ads, Facebook Ads etc.). 

One of the most important forms of marketing that can’t be overlooked is Word-of-Mouth Marketing. While it has changed over the years, it’s still one of the best and most cost-effective ways to market your business and to create brand loyalty. In this guide, we will cover the following topics:

  • What is word of mouth marketing?
  • The importance of word of mouth marketing
  • The benefits of word of mouth marketing
  • How you can implement it
  • Word of mouth marketing ideas 

What is word of mouth marketing? 

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is when a consumer’s interest in a company’s product or service is recognised in their daily conversations. At its core, WOMM is free advertising caused by positive customer experiences – usually something that goes beyond their expectations. 

WOMM can be encouraged through different PR activities by businesses or by creating opportunities for consumers to talk to other consumers about the product or service. WOMM also includes social media marketing, viral marketing and affiliate marketing. Modern WOMM is when a brand concentrates on encouraging customers to talk about their product or service. 

Why is word of mouth marketing important?

WOMM is one of the most valuable forms of marketing; it is the one type of marketing that consumers trust above all else. A massive 92% of consumers said they would trust family and friends’ recommendations over any form of marketing. Unfortunately, many companies leave it up to chance, but the truth is that you don’t have to. 

Advantages of word of mouth marketing

  • Brand loyalty: Word of mouth is crucial for brand loyalty and customer retention. According to Hubspot, it can cost as much as 5-times more to acquire a new customer rather than keep one. A positive WOMM campaign keeps customers coming back, and more importantly, they help promote your brand and refer it to more new customers.   
  • Trust: As mentioned above, 92% trust family and friends more than ads. This trust in other people translates to online reviews as well. 71% of people surveyed said they trust online reviews over ads. A positive online review could be the difference between your product or service being bought or not. 
  • Creating excitement: You might have the best sales funnel and the best marketing campaign, but if nobody is talking about your brand on social media or referring friends, there’s no genuine excitement around what you’re offering. You can manufacture buzz by working with affiliate marketers, influencers or getting featured in popular publications.  

How you can implement word of mouth marketing

  1. Sell high-quality products or services

Without a high-quality product or service, providing a great customer experience is nearly impossible. You don’t want the bulk of your business to be managing returns and churning out refunds. 

To sell high-quality products and services, you must know how to find the materials needed and make sure they are up to scratch. A good end-to-end experience is really important. For example, customers are much more likely to come back to a restaurant where the food is fresh and delicious, the prices are reasonable and the service is excellent. 

  1. Create a frictionless order process

How often have you decided not to buy a product or service because the website was difficult to navigate? Probably at least once. Creating a simple buying experience is especially important for e-commerce sales. With more people shopping online and using their phones to buy what they want, you must create an experience that people enjoy. Studies have shown that improving User Experience (UX) could lead to a massive 400% increase in conversion rates.   

  1. Increase efficiency

The customer experience isn’t over when the sale is completed; you must deliver that product efficiently and on time. 57% of customers are less likely to use an online retailer again if delivery is late, which is why it’s so important to manage your inventory efficiently and to meet customers’ expectations and needs. If anything does go wrong, you will need to answer any queries or concerns quickly.

  1. Going above and beyond

There’s no one size fits all way of going above and beyond for your customers. There are plenty of ways to show gratitude and put a smile on a customer’s face. If you’re a smaller company, you can write a hand-written “Thank you” note, which is a nice change from an automated email. If you’re a larger company, you can afford to give discounts, loyalty points or small gifts with your delivery.     

Word-of-mouth marketing ideas

There are many different ways that you can encourage consumers to talk about your business. Here are some ideas:

  • Brand values: Tie your brand to a good cause and show how you support it in your advertising. Some brands do this really well and create a loyal audience of consumers and followers on social media. For example, the footwear brand . TOMS invests one-third of its profits to grassroots organisations. 
  • Encourage user-generated content (UGC): This is another powerful way to encourage consumers to talk about your brand. UGC is basically when users on different social media platforms show themselves using your product or service. For example, if you’re a clothing brand, you could ask users to use a hashtag to notify your brand, and they might receive a prize for how they wear your brand with an outfit.
  • Reviews: Encourage customers to leave good reviews. You can do this by giving an incentive such as a discount or voucher. If you get lots of good reviews for your product or service, you need to make them prominent and easy to find. A recent survey said that approximately 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. So whether you’re an e-commerce company or a local restaurant, good reviews are crucial to creating a good reputation and social proof for your business.

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