Finding new ways to drive more sales is getting more and more challenging for businesses nowadays. Competition is tight and fierce in almost all industries, and simple advertising strategies are not enough to differentiate you from others.
However, there is one powerful strategy that many businesses tend to neglect. It is the old-fashioned concept of word of mouth marketing.
What is Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word of mouth marketing is the process of spreading the marketing message of a business or brand by enticing customers to speak about it with their friends and peers. It is also sometimes referred to as word of mouth advertising.
These days, a large portion of word of mouth marketing happens by sharing social media content. Traditionally, word of mouth advertising was merely one person spreading a message to others via recommendations. But now, the term is used to describe both natural and targeted efforts of making customers share their experiences with a particular brand.
The world is so hyper-connected these days that even a single recommendation, or a single social media share, can greatly impact a business’s reach and leads. An effective word of mouth marketing strategy spreads a brand message to the largest audiences in the shortest time.
Many digital marketing tactics encourage users to share content with everyone in their network. Digital marketing enhances the impact of word of mouth advertising. Businesses know that this is a cost-effective method of building brand awareness. According to Nielsen, over 90% of people place more trust in a company recommended to them by their friends and family than one they hear about in an advertisement.
Organic versus Amplified Word of Mouth Marketing
There are two ways to implement an effective word of mouth marketing strategy. One is the organic way, while the other is done through paid advertising. There are overlaps, however, in these two ways. Your advertising campaigns will be more successful if you already have a good organic reach for your content. Similarly, if your ads get you a good number of leads, your organic reach will also grow at a more rapid pace over time.
Organic word of mouth marketing occurs when people naturally become advocates because they are happy with your service or satisfied with your product. Their satisfaction makes them feel proud of your brand and builds a desire to share their enthusiasm towards it.
Amplified word of mouth advertising happens when marketers and businesses launch campaigns to build brand awareness to accelerate the natural flow of word of mouth marketing. This amplified technique is very useful for penetrating new markets or building communities for enhanced customer engagement.
The ultimate goal of both forms of word of mouth advertising is to increase sales transactions. Thus if you want to create a word of mouth marketing strategy, the best way is to maintain your focus on improving the sales levels of your business.
Advantages of Word of Mouth Marketing
Why should even businesses be bothered about word of mouth advertising, now that they have so many other means of promoting their products and services? Let’s discuss some of the advantages of word of mouth marketing.
1. Grow Sales Without Spending on Ads
If you can get your audience to share your content through social media or other means, you can grow your sales without advertising. Many businesses run ads together with trying to get organic reach. Word of mouth marketing still benefits them by magnifying the reach of their ads. In other words, word of mouth advertising makes their campaigns more cost-effective.
2. Build a Brand Community
Word of mouth marketing helps you build a brand community. In most cases, this is an online community built in social media groups or forums on other platforms. This happens when people willingly want to share their experience about engaging with your brand. Members of such communities interact and talk about your products, which automatically promotes your brand. Having an online community where people talk about your products and services also enhances the online presence of your business.
For example, we at Strikingly have an online community called the Idea Forum, where our users share their experiences about using our website building platform.
Image taken from Strikingly
3. Get More Chances to Get Funding
Brands that have more loyalty on the part of their customers can get access to opportunities to get venture capital and angel funding. These are brands that have high customer lifetime value and can attract repeat purchases from their customers. A high CLV is considered to be one of the most critical aspects of a profitable business model. That’s why investors get attracted to such businesses. Word of mouth marketing can go a long way in increasing your customer lifetime value.
4. Create a Buzz
Word of mouth marketing surely causes a buzz to be created around a brand’s campaign. An effective word of mouth marketing strategy makes people want to shout out your products and services on social media and other media platforms. This is even more impactful than building sales funnels or allocating a huge amount of budget for advertising.
How to Create a Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy?
There are certain prerequisites to create a word of mouth marketing strategy that works.
1. Create an Epic Product or Experience
The first thing you need to do to make people want to share their experience about your product or service is to provide them with an awesome quality product or competently serve them. Your customers need to have an epic experience first, and only then they will be excited to talk about it with others. Getting your customers to recommend your product to their friends is almost impossible if they are not satisfied with it. In fact, unhappy customers might start doing the opposite. They might give negative reviews to your product and spark up negative publicity.
If you want to get true word of mouth marketing from your existing customer base, you need to make sure that every buyer in your shop is happy with their purchase and experience with your staff.
2. Sell Quality Products
This is more like a subcategory of our first point. The best word of mouth marketing happens when you actually exceed your customer’s expectations in terms of product quality. If you are selling through an online store, make sure your actual product matches up with the product photos you upload on the site, and its features match up with the product description you provide.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website
Failing to do this could lead to frustration among your customers. It is difficult to benefit from word of mouth advertising when your customers are already complaining about the quality of your products or services.
3. Process Your Orders Seamlessly
This is just as important as providing quality products. When you grow your business, you are likely to get more and more orders for your products. You need to manage these orders seamlessly without giving any customer a chance to complain. If a certain order cannot be delivered on time due to lack of stock or some other issues, make sure you notify the customer about the delay beforehand. Failing to do this could severely hurt your word of mouth marketing efforts.
If you build an online store on Strikingly to sell your products, we make it easier for you to handle your deliveries and keep track of your orders through our order management system. This system allows you to view the status of each of your orders through the Strikingly editor.
Image taken from Strikingly
4. Run Marketing Campaigns
No business can merely rely on word of mouth marketing alone. To drive customers to start talking about your brand, you need to run marketing campaigns that excite customers and incentivize them to recommend your brand to others.
Running an affiliate program is one way of doing this. In an affiliate program, you pay a commission of the sale to anyone who promotes your product and brings in a new buyer for you. We have an affiliate program on Strikingly as well.
Image taken from Strikingly
Another similar approach is referral marketing, whereby you award an existing customer for bringing in another customer for your business. Running paid advertisements can also help trigger your organic word of mouth marketing mechanism and encourage business referrals.
These were the few ways to fire up the word of mouth marketing for your business. We learned that it is not a good enough strategy if used as a stand-alone tactic for improving your sales, but it can greatly help if used with other marketing strategies.
Running a successful business is definitely no joke. You need to be aware of the market circumstances, the online tools and technologies available to stand out from the competition, and the internal operational mechanisms of your company.
If you want to make maintaining the online presence of your business easier, build a professional website to showcase your products and services on Strikingly. Our ready-to-use templates will capture the attention of your prospects, and customer support staff will be available 24/7 to resolve any technical issues you might face.
We have many happy users from different parts of the world, and they help us in our word of mouth marketing about our amazing platform by writing testimonials that you can view by visiting our website.