Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Should You Still Rely On It?
Have you ever tried to get people to talk about your brand? Is it important to you? Do you want them to do it? Word-of-mouth is very important and has helped many brands grow in difficult times, the correct approach for your marketing strategy could turn your consumers into brand lovers and increase the preference for your brand and it will be translated to sales.
Why is Word-of-Mouth so Important?
I bet you can answer this to yourself because I am sure at least once in your life you have reached out to one of your relatives, friends, or coworkers to make a purchase decision, and not even about the brand but about the things you are going to purchase. It happens mostly when you consider what you are getting as the special value.
Technology, and especially smartphones have created a culture to look for products online, but also to share those products with your contacts to see what they think about it, so word-of-mouth is not only an offline thing.
Another “big thing” these days is the influencers, Forbes has focused on the word-of-mouth tendency to talk about marketing strategies, and influencers are a big part of it. Most millennials look for these influencers to see what they have to say about a brand, not looking for the specific brand information itself. Lots of brands like Nike and Adidas have integrated the use of influencers to promote themselves.
How Can You Apply This Type of Marketing?
Maybe your brand is not what we could call new, maybe it has been in the market for a while now and you are not able to change your products or you just know your products are good but want to get more customers, so you are thinking about using the word-of-mouth strategy for raising your sales.
Word-of-mouth should be applied online and offline to give better results, and there are some tactics that you can apply for it.
A good strategy could be to try to encourage your current consumers to generate content themselves about your brand, maybe a "tell us why…" and it could be shared on your website and their social media so their friends can see it. They can also explain how your brand has served to solve a problem or has brought the benefits they were looking for. Another idea could be to create specific and attractive content that could be shared with your consumers.
Another idea –and you could have a love/hate relationship with this idea-, is that you can engage consumers on social media to get involved with your brand by creating a partnership with some influencers so they are part of your marketing team, you can also have some brand ambassadors that will help you go to the top.
How To Take it to the Top?
What do you think is the primary thing that makes consumers talk about brands? According to Jonah Berger, in his book Contagious, 6 principles make people talk about your brand. These are:
1. Triggers: Recommendations are everything.
2. Social currency: People will give advice just because it can increase their status among other ones by making them look smarter or with a better education.
3. Emotion: If your customers are more than that, if they are a type of brand lover then they are talking about it.
4. Stories: Your content must tell a story to have a better engagement with your audience, this way they will share your content.
5. Being practical: Brands that help solve problems are more recommended.
6. Public: Make your products and brand visible.
Lately, word-of-mouth has become the focus of marketing, you cannot let your brand rely only on word-of-mouth but you need to invest in it.
Word-of-mouth has a very specific benefit and it is that when people talk about a brand, they are talking about an interesting topic for themselves and the person they are talking to, which means it is easily targeted.
Another point is that personal recommendations are very important to strengthen trust with the consumer, it is very likely someone will trust a friend more than a brand and that is why word-of-mouth is in many occasions better than other types of marketing, actually in the book Contagious it is said that word-of-mouth is better than traditional advertising, media mentions and promotional events since this can bring more new customers than any other strategy.