Word of Mouth Marketing: Top Strategies for Small Businesses

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Do you know what is the best form of marketing? It’s the one and only “Word of Mouth Marketing” or “WOMM”. Of all the ways to promote your product or brand, the most effective is customer-to-customer word-of-mouth marketing.

Even when social media was not a thing, word of mouth was the only way to share and market valuable brand information. That’s why we say that WOMM includes the oldest and still most effective way of marketing. Some of the prominent benefits of WOMM include:

  • Free marketing,
  • Increased sales, as well as
  • A growing brand reputation at a faster rate.

We all know that word of mouth is important but we don’t realize how important, or how to accomplish this correctly. Sometimes we don’t realize that there is so much more to it than depending on our customer’s goodwill.

If not handled appropriately, word of mouth can backfire on the brand’s reputation also. Hence, we need to have a plan around our word-of-mouth strategy.

Are you looking for more ways to showcase just how good your products and services are? Perhaps you have heard how effective word-of-mouth marketing is and want to display your customer advocacy for future customers.

If any of that sparks interest, we’re here to give you a scoop on how to boost your word-of-mouth marketing effectively.

I have listed down the top 11 strategies and pro tips to ace up your word of marketing.

What is Word of Mouth Marketing?

Simply put, word-of-mouth marketing is all about getting people to talk about your product, brand, or business. Most marketing experts agree that it is the best form of marketing.

It typically refers to a deliberate strategy by a company’s marketing department to get people to talk about your product or service. The idea here ultimately is for your current customers to recruit the next generation of customers on your behalf.

The term word of mouth on its own refers to people recommending a product simply because they liked it. And not because somebody encouraged them to do so. An example of this is online shopping.

Suppose you want to buy a Canon camera on the internet, in this case, you would like to consider the views of other customers who have purchased the same model from the same company.

Here, indirectly, the opinions of other people you do not know also perform the function of “word of mouth marketing”.

People often confuse the term with word-of-mouth advertising. But it’s a paid form. In word-of-mouth marketing, the people recommending the product or service are not being paid. Nearly 90% of B2B sales are influenced by word of mouth.

While fewer than 1% of companies have an actual word-of-mouth strategy. Around 92% of users believe recommendations from friends over advertisements. No doubt, WOMM helps businesses to generate 2X more sales than paid advertisements.

Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t as hard as it looks. The post provides proven strategies you can use to help spread your message. But before jumping on to the strategies and tips, let us first understand how WOMM actually helps.

How Does Word-of-Mouth Marketing Help?

Do you ever wonder why everyone these days is trying to optimize to rank higher on Google or to be popular on Facebook and Instagram? This is because that’s how they believe they’re going to grow their business.

92% of all users trust recommendations from their closest friends and family over any other form of advertising. Moreover, about 62% of customers look for online reviews and ratings before making a purchase.

Advertising, personal communication, and social media are all great ways to get information to your various audiences.

However, they are the word of marketers, and that word isn’t always trusted because there’s an inherent conflict of interest. So why does the word-of-mouth strategy work so well? Well, there are three reasons for this:

  • Firstly, people perceive other customers, even when they are complete strangers, to be more trustworthy than marketers.
  • Secondly, other customers are perceived as more knowledgeable about the product and its strengths and weaknesses from the buyer’s side. They truly know if and when it works well, and when it doesn’t.
  • Finally, word of mouth is better for your organization because now your prospects come to you more informed and more convinced that you can fulfill their needs. They’ve been, in a sense, vetted or screened via deeper conversations with former customers that resulted in their desire to seek you out.

However, there’s something you need to know on your side too: our customer-to-customer word of mouth must be positive.

Creating an excellent customer experience while ensuring those experiences are recognized by your customers to share their experiences with others.

11 Word of Mouth Marketing Tricks for a Successful Strategy

While word-of-mouth marketing can seem like the cherry on time, it can be more crucial than a benefit to your business if not done the right way.

Word-of-mouth marketing is great, provided it is done the right way. Here are some of the tricks or do’s and don’ts of Word of Mouth Marketing.

1. User-Generated Content

User-generated content or UGC is basically content created for or about a brand by anyone other than the brand itself.

These content creators can be the consumer’s internal employees, contractors, vendors, or anyone familiar with the brand. It’s transforming the way people create and consume content.

86% of millennials feel UGC is a good indicator of a brand’s quality or service. The UGC can help the organization to raise sales by 20%.

You can always plan different strategies to promote more advantageous user-generated content. In the end, if you are constantly exceeding your customer’s expectations, the UGC will occur naturally.

Pro tips to encourage users to generate content effectively:

  • Create unique hashtags: This will help you and the users to easily find all the content related to your brand.
  • Incentivize: Providing a freebie, hosting giveaways, or a special discount, or incentivizing any other offer to encourage your customers to share pictures and videos using your products and services.
  • Go social on social platforms: Online marketing is one of the most popular ways to connect with users. In addition, it’s a cost-effective method to openly reach and share UGC to attract potential audiences. According to SDL, around 58% of customers happen to share their positive experiences on social media.

2. Customer Testimonial Ads

People tend to trust other people more than any company that just popped up for them. Even if you’re a well-established company and have been around the block for a while, you’re new to them. That’s why trust is the key here. And what’s better than customer testimonials?

Simply putting testimonials makes you trustworthy. Providing great customer service review examples to your audience can easily earn their trust. 79% of users trust random online reviews or testimonials as much as personal recommendations.

In addition, 33% of businesses are actively putting efforts into seeking and collecting authentic customer reviews.

It proves that all the hype with fancy visuals and self-indulgent ad copy can actually be accomplished by customers that actually know and have experienced your brand firsthand.

However, you need to remember that allowing them to share their experiences is totally different from telling them what to say. Conclusively, testimonials can either be written or recorded in the form of a video.

Pro tips to get customer testimonials:

  • Ask for a review once the customer has had time to experience your services.
  • Do include an online form open to collect customer reviews where it makes sense.
  • Do ask for reviews in your email newsletter that customers have opted into.
  • Connect through an email after a customer support resolution. But don’t be intrusive or send promotional emails.
  • Suggestion box can help.
  • Starting a contest where users can co-create the content in their own way.
  • Don’t ask for reviews while they’re onboarding or haven’t spent enough time with your business.

3. Make an Outstanding First Expression

Offering customers an epic first impression by simply fulfilling their expectations with your products is the easiest way to get them to rave about you. A study says that 58% of customers abandoned a website because of a single poor customer experience.

To make the whole word-of-mouth thing a hit, you first, have to work on your side. Focus on the quality of your products. Give your users products or services that fulfill their objectives effectively.

Pro tips to ace your first impressions:

  • Must provide what’s advertised: Your product should deliver what the advertisements say for it. Do not add any false promises in your product description.
  • Put extra effort: You can always add a small freebie or even a sweet thank you note with their purchase to show some extra effort. A negative average experience will not encourage them to connect with your brand at a personal level.
  • Smooth site UX: Your website should provide a seamless order process to your customers. Only 1. 53% of website visits turn into a purchase. Offer users rich functionality and a simple learning curve to scroll your website. For example, if they want to search for a particular color or want a specific price range, they can simply filter out their preferences with advanced UX features.
  • Make things easy for them: Allow your customer to filter out the items on the basis of their specification. For instance, providing high-quality pictures and videos of the product.
  • Make sure you provide amazing service, staff, and support: It’s your duty to make it easy for your customers to get in touch with your brand in case of any mishap. For instance, you can always provide a 24/7 chatbot to resolve their issues instantly.
  • Offer great customer service: Providing great service to your customers helps in building a close connection with the brand. Some great customer service examples are adding a personal touch, responding quickly to your customers, simple return policies, and more.

4. Create Word-of-Mouth Triggers

Creating triggers really helps brands to make people talk about them. These are little cues that act as a memorable experience for your customers even without actual advertising. Now this might be a little tricky but once figured out correctly it majorly helps the WOMM game.

For instance, a big and trendy example of this would be “instagrammable” cafes where users can find aesthetically pleasing environments that encourage them to share their photos or videos.

You can effectively create your own triggers both visual or written by focusing on finding something that people will remember when they talk about you.

5. Referral Program

Referral marketing simply means encouraging your satisfied customers to advocate on behalf of your product in exchange for some valuable incentives. It helps to spread the word easily and quickly. Social media can act as a great referral channel.

You may have heard about this term as referring to a friend and winning extra points or cashback. It’s a brilliant way to grow your sales, especially in eCommerce.

Rewards can be in any form like a discount, some cashback, a coupon, or free gifts. Furthermore, you can always measure and compare the results of your campaign.

6. Industry Influencer Marketing

Getting your product or service reviewed by a credible influencer can strongly help your business to attract more customers. As the name suggests, leading influencers with a strong following have the power to influence the minds of people with certain products.

73% of brands have allocated a separate budget for influencer marketing. 49% of users say that they trust the recommendation by their favorite influencers. Hence, word-of-mouth marketing from these personalities has a huge scope for growth.

Pro tips to appeal to them to promote your products:

  • Send them PR packages and let them try out your product.
  • Feature them prominently.
  • You can even hire a brand ambassador for your product who will act as the face of the brand.

7. Don’t Hesitate to Solve Challenges

It’s okay if you mess up with some orders. Not everyone is perfect out there. But it’s not okay if you do nothing to show your customers that it was actually a mistake and it won’t happen next time.

Not everyone’s gonna be happy with your product. But if you listen to them and you make the corrections it shows that you care for them.

This will eventually make those upset customers transform into loyal customers. Whether it’s a late delivery or a wrong delivery, try to solve your mistakes and reach out to your customers.

When you take appropriate steps to solve your action, customers see those efforts and communicate with others about those as well.

8. Product Ratings on your Site

Giving your customers the ability to review and rate their experience makes them think that their opinion really matters.

63% of users are more likely to make a purchase from a website that has ratings and reviews in it. Therefore, ask for reviews and ratings regularly, and don’t wait for things to go well.

Pro tips to increase ratings:

  • Use feedback to pay back your customers: That means responding to their reviews or comments. For instance, telling them thank you messages for their subscriptions. These things show that you actually care for them and support them.
  • You need to be open: You have to allow for the good and the bad when it comes to reviews. Nothing is all five stars. If all the reviews or comments on a website are only five stars and everything sounds great, people start to suspect the page. Authentic reviews help to generate sales by 16%. Moreover, these reviews help the organization to grow from that. Along with that, customers always demand honesty from your product or service.

9. Offer an Incentive

Go above and beyond with unexpected customer gestures. Surprise with freebies, and host giveaways.

These unexpected surprises give a big smile to your customers, therefore providing them with a big reason to praise your product or service in front of their friends and families.

Certainly, this way you can skyrocket your word-of-mouth marketing game. People always are willing to do something extra if they receive some sort of value in exchange.

10. Connect Emotionally

Connecting emotionally provides an immensely strong way to generate share. According to a study conducted by IBM, 40% of users want to do business with an organization that aligns with their values.

In addition, big influencers and companies also want to collaborate and support brands with a worthy cause.

This helps you to connect them emotionally while inspiring them to indulge with your name. To give an example, Mamaearth has a mission to promote healthy people and a healthy environment.

They have started a campaign where they plant a tree on behalf of their customers on every purchase they make from their brand.

11. Share your Story

People often respond more if they feel connected with your brand. Your customers would love to listen to the story behind your brand.

Share with them how you started, and what your mission and values are. If communicated effectively, people tend to share their stories with others as well.

Ending Thoughts

Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely effective if the seller has managed to cultivate strong customer loyalty. This way you will find it much easier to get them to talk about your product or service.

Luckily, WOMM is even easier in today’s world, thanks to the innovation of social media and the internet. In the end, clearly, we can say that word-of-mouth marketing can be highly impactful when done carefully.

Furthermore, it offers a comparatively inexpensive way of improving brand reputation in the customers’ eyes. The article provides the best strategies to help your small businesses.

However, before starting the process, the ultimate step is to focus on inventing an ultimate product that makes an impact.

About the Author!

Atul Naithani is an SEO Executive at CronJ, a Software development Company that helps businesses to develop web apps, mobile apps, blockchain solutions, and other custom software based on their needs. Atul is experienced in digital marketing and SEO.

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