Word-of-mouth marketing, also called WOM, WOMM, is still the most powerful marketing tool for most businesses.
According to a recent “Global Trust in Advertising”study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. 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.
Researchers also found a 10% increase in word-of-mouth (off and online) translated into a sales lifts between 0.2-1.5%. And it also help to grow brand at a faster rate for its viral marketing element.
However, only 33% of businesses are actively seeking out and collecting reviews and few companies have strategies to get the most value from word-of-mouth marketing. Here are some word-of-mouth marketing strategies that you can refer to grow your business.
1.Encourage User-generated Content
UGC is content created and shared by consumers about brands or products. It’s honest, builds trust, and gives marketers extra collateral to work with. Content generated by your users, customers and followers can be much more powerful, engaging and shareable than run of the mill company updates and photos. So encourage your customers to engage more with your brand and service on social media and build an engaged social community .
You can create share-friendly content like contests, polls, and fun quizzes. Then, get customers to share your contest or quiz, and have them tag it with a shareable hashtag. You can also encourage word of mouth by getting customers to create content and showcase your user-generated content prominently on your website or main profile. For example, post customer photos on your social media or on your product pages and credit them in the post . You should offer incentives, such as a free gift, discount, or feature, for customers creating and sharing pics, videos, and GIFs on social media.
Furthermore, create contests and giveaways on your store is also a good idea to encourage user-generated content. You can give away a free product on your store and have entries that require customers to share the giveaway on social media for a chance to win the prize. It helps you reach a newer audience organically.
2.Ask For Testimonials And Reviews
Testimonials and reviews work as effective word of mouth strategies. They help customers reassure the performance, quality, and value of your claims and make consumers feel more comfortable doing business with you. Get in the habit of asking for them and post testimonials or reviews which can be a great way of pulling word-of-mouth recommendations onto your site or social feed.
You can post them on dedicated site page, homepage & landing pages, relevant product/service pages, lead generation content, etc, wherever they will be visible to the public and seed a positive image of your business. About reviews, you can use Shopify apps like Product Reviews Addon to automate the collection of product reviews on your store.
3.Set Up Word of Mouth Triggers
A word of mouth trigger is the thing that makes your business stand out from any other in your industry or space.
You can set up a trigger by giving your customers something memorable. An unique, share-worthy experience, thought or feeling they can’t get anywhere else. It is the easiest way to generate word-of-mouth marketing in this digital age. If you give your consumers something memorable they cannot get anywhere else, they’ll want to share it with their friends and loved ones whether or not you ask them to. There are some brand that do it well and you can refer to, such as ClassPass, LuLuLemon, Dollar Shave Club.
You can also set up a trigger by creating something totally different and out of the box. It could be that you market your business in a way that’s totally different to anyone else in your space. Or that you take an old product and sell it in a completely new way. Dollar Shave Club is a fantastic example of both of these ideas.
In addition, you can set up a trigger by tapping into people’s emotions. It can be very powerful for generating shares and getting people to talk about your business and can be done by taking something you believe in and tying your company brand closely to it on your social commerce networks, your website and anywhere you can.
4.Create a Referral Program
Create a referral program can help you increase the success of your word of mouth marketing campaigns. Texas Tech research has indicated that 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer a product or service but only 29% actually do.
A good referral program makes spreading the word easy and quick and measures the results of your campaigns. And offer systematic referral rewards is a great way to nudge happy customers into actually taking that step and introducing others to your business. Rewards could be anything, including discount off next/first order, $X gift card for referring a certain number of people, straight up paying people for referrals, bonus gifts with next order for referring people, etc. You can use Shopify apps like Smile.io and Referral Candy to easily build a referral program on your online store.
5.Connect With Influencer
Influencers are individuals with a strong following and power to influence the beliefs and behavior of those in it. It could be anyone from bloggers and social media stars to industry leads and existing customers. It’s better to pick influencers who are relevant, popular, engaged, and authentic for good word-of-mouth marketing strategies. Because of their already established reputation, word-of-mouth marketing from an influencer is undoubtedly the most valuable. 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions.
You can pay an influencer to feature your products on their social media. Since you’re paying them, you can have some control over what they post, when they post and how they post it. You can also take some measures to appeal to influencers. For example, quote them in your content, feature them or their products or services prominently, let them try your product/services for free, etc.