When we hear the phrase word of mouth (Word of mouth marketing), we often get reminded of something going around from mouth to mouth. But this not the destructive, home wrecker type of the word of mouth. This mouth-to-mouth turnaround will have an amazing and positive effect on any business. In other words, marketers and advertisers in this type of marketing create a debatable and valuable topic and then encourage people in the community to talk about it.
Word of mouth marketing at a glance
In word of mouth marketing, information is supposed to be exchanged through word of mouth! In this method, customers receive information about a product or service through conversation and the sharing process takes place. Any other verbal or theological medium is applicable in this regard.
Word of mouth marketing is done in both traditional and modern ways:
Traditional word-of-mouth marketing: This method of marketing has been practiced in the past, with people talking to each other and face-to-face conversations taking shape. This method was largely traditional. Various companies also used people as consultants to introduce the desired information to the client. In traditional WOMM marketing, information is supposed to be passed from one person to another with a focus on the suggestion.
Modern word-of-mouth marketing: Today, the word-of-mouth marketing approach has changed, the internet has taken off, and information about different products and companies can now be easily conveyed without face-to-face conversation. For example, social networks help disseminate information, products on social networks are approved by a company. Sharing conditions are provided for different links and all of these are effective. In modern word-of-mouth marketing, a series of planned actions take place that lead to a person’s satisfaction with the brand with the product. Influencer marketing on Instagram is one of the modern methods of word of mouth marketing that is very popular today.
What drives high-performance word-of-mouth marketing?
This method is based on the principle of trust. People trust what others say in the sense that when they say something positive about a product from a friend or a previous buyer, they are more likely to buy it.
Studies conducted by marketing professionals show that two factors of social values and motivational stimuli are effective in the power of word of mouth marketing performance.
Social values go back to the discussion of the desire to be unique. In other words, we want to be special. The desire to hear a secret subject conveys our need to belong to a particular group. On the other hand, the personal desire to acquire specific knowledge and information gives us a social value that we will seek to spread through words to other friends.
Thus, an easy way to encourage word-of-mouth discussions is to adopt strategies that use the social value factor in the form of presenting a specific and unique topic and information.
Motivational stimuli are also a natural social mechanism that recalls the image of a brand or product, even when we do not see an advertisement for it.
For example, imagine your friend talking about happy moments on Tuesdays at a cafe near your house. On Tuesdays, when your other friend talks to you about drinks at the cafe and spending time after work there, you remember that place with what you heard from your previous friend about special Tuesdays. In a way, Tuesday was the trigger for WOMM. In this case, verbal speech can be considered as a way to improve the strategy of engaging the current customer.
Word-of-mouth marketing and user-generated content
Another reason for the effectiveness of this marketing method is that marketing through user-generated content is very successful.
Verbal content in word-of-mouth advertising is voluntarily generated and shared by the customer. On the other hand, organic information or opinions about a product, company or brand are exchanged from one customer to another.
One of the most powerful types of user-generated content is asking customers to write reviews about the product and experience of using it, a way that facilitates word-of-mouth marketing.
Reading these comments by your potential customers will gain their trust; in this way, they are dealing with someone who is promoting your brand.
Adopting the most appropriate way to use productive content in your marketing strategy is very important in strengthening its impact.
Word of mouth marketing strategy
So far, we know what word of mouth marketing is; but how can it be used?
The simple answer is that you need to build stronger relationships with your customers. Here we will talk in more detail about word of mouth marketing strategy.
- Get to know yourself
- What is your brand and business about?
- What are your values?
- What do your products or services do?
- How do these things help people?
Awareness of these helps you to introduce your business to your audience and customers in a way that attracts their attention.
Awareness of competitors is an important step in being a pioneer. You need to know your industry well and be aware of all its issues and problems. It is important to know what your competitors are offering and what their solutions are to your customers’ needs.
- What can you do better than them?
- What is the difference between them and you and how can you use this difference?
- Is there a downside that you can invest in?
With the right analysis of competitors, you have the ability to know what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. This will help you to strengthen your word of mouth marketing strategy.
Identify your audience
One of the most important steps in launching a powerful word-of-mouth marketing strategy is getting to know your audience. Knowing the target audience precisely allows you to know what they are interested in and what they do not like. Then you can tailor your marketing strategy and services to their preferences.
I suggest dividing your contacts into different groups so that you can get the best results. When you talk about the problems of a particular group, you give them the feeling that you have paid special attention to them. This is a great way to prepare your services according to their requests and in return, turn them into missionaries of your business.
People want things they can’t get, and this is exactly where this strategy comes into focus. Offering exclusive access to your products or services is an effective way to conduct word of mouth marketing. For example, when launching Gmail, Google only allowed people who were invited by friends or acquaintances to use Gmail. In a way, having Gmail made the audience feel special.
When it comes to introducing a product or service, ask influencers to try out your product or service instead of offering it to others. These influencers share their feedback and opinions with their audience, followers and enthusiasts, which makes that product or service go viral.
These tips are effective for having a word-of-mouth advertising strategy to promote a product or service. Monopoly increases people’s curiosity and demand.
What makes you unique?
For your brand to be truly significant, there must be something in your business that people will remember. You need to offer something special that people are interested in talking about with friends and family. If you are like your competitors, your audience may not even remember you.
Maybe you only produce a specific product or you have a specific culture in relation to customers. Know and invest in what makes your business unique so that people can recommend your story and brand to others.
Seek to create an active social network
72% of marketers use social media to build loyal followers. Having a loyal community on social media is one of the requirements of implementing word of mouth marketing strategies.
This is where you know your audience plays an important role. You need to know who your target audience is and where and how they are interested in being active online. They may be more active on platforms like Instagram than Twitter.
Once you find the best social network to reach your target audience, start connecting with them. Research how you can talk to them in a way that is natural. Can you joke with them? What is the tone of this type of audience?
Identify and communicate with influencers
According to research by Augure, 75% of marketers believe that working together and using influencers to generate sales leads is effective. 76% believe that one of the best ways to build loyalty is to use influencers.
Influencer advertising your brand is one of the best methods of word of mouth marketing or advertisement. This is because you reach your audience through people who influence their decisions.
Influencers can include all the people who are somehow approved in your industry; For example, they have a powerful social network or news website. Of course, keep in mind that you can also use influencers outside your industry that affect a large number of people.
Never use influencers who have a negative social image. This will backfire and thwart your word of mouth strategy.
Provide a human image of your brand
The more relevant people are to your brand, the more likely they are to recommend you to others. This is a wonderful development in word of mouth marketing tactics. To better connect with your audience, try to give your brand a human personality on social media. Let your customers feel that the brand or business they are associated with has a human personality.
Responding to comments and mentions is one of the best ways to show that your brand is human. Whether positive or negative, try to connect with your audience and customers.
Informing your audience about events and updates on your product is one of the best ways to stay in touch with them.
One of the most interesting experiences I had was when buying a laptop. I tweeted and polled to ask if I should buy a Macbook or a Surface and tagged both Microsoft and Apple. Unbelievably, the Microsoft account responded to my tweet and talked about the benefits of the Surface. It is quite clear which option I chose!
Invest in customer experience
Word-of-mouth marketing strategies grow with customer recommendations. The best way to get these recommendations is a positive and appropriate brand experience. People do not talk about the average customer experience. In fact, they will either talk about a very good experience or a bad experience. Try to offer the best services and products to them and then be sure to listen to their comments, suggestions and criticisms.
If you use these strategies properly, word of mouth will be a powerful tool to promote your brand. This type of marketing is even more important in B2B businesses. Decision makers rely more on the advice of acquaintances for their purchases.
Concepts and modeling of word of mouth marketing
It is good to know that it is not easy to study the concept and modeling of word of mouth marketing! Perhaps the easiest thing we can do is talk about something with anyone or start a conversation. However, the conversation of a large community of consumers with many different concerns cannot be easily controlled or even observed.
When serious research was done on the development of the concept of word of mouth marketing, many models developed behind the word-of-mouth strategy. These models ultimately include three general models extracted from all the practices observed in word of mouth marketing:
- In-consumption organic impact model
- Linear marketer impact model
- Harmonization network model
In-consumption organic impact model
When we are dealing with the simplest and most basic form of word-of-mouth marketing, we are in fact using an in-house organic impact model. In this model, organizations have no direct input about what is being said about their product. Only one consumer talks to another consumer about product experience or after-sales service experiences.
Word of mouth marketing is not necessarily controllable!
The main reason for this model of conversation is for potential customers to be warned or informed by the current customers of an organization’s products. This model is considered organic because it occurs naturally and is not planned by any part of a company’s advertising team. This type of word of mouth occurs only when transmitting consumer experiences from a product.
Linear marketer impact model
As research in this area progressed, marketers realized the importance of influential consumers. According to the position of influential consumers, the linear retrieval effectiveness model was adapted from this concept. The linear retrieval model examines the mechanisms which influential consumers discuss the usefulness of purchasing a product with other potential customers in.
This model assures organizations that persuasive sources of influence are accurately and successfully delivering the message, the value and advice of the organization. Marketers have found this model to be an effective word-of-mouth marketing model and have found that using this model reduces the chances of spreading negative opinions and perceptions about a particular product of a business.
Harmonization network model
Some marketers refer to this model as Peer to Peer Seeding. This model simplifies the conversation between customers about the product by adding information about a particular product. This word-of-mouth marketing model focuses more on the online activities of blogs and virtual communities as a resource for conveying product messages. The network harmonization model gives marketers the opportunity to manage word-of-mouth actions online.
Product Seeding is a clear example of how marketers use the harmonization network model for word-of-mouth marketing. By Seeding, marketers can use a variety of techniques and methods to manage and engineer word of mouth.
You may also have wondered how this type of conversation can be engineered. In the indirect method, it is enough for marketers on social networks and other media spaces to start conversations with a marketing buzz. Increasing the number of conversations and comments about a product can intensify this hype. The direct method for seeding in this model of marketing is to target a number of selected customers and provide them with specific product access. By doing so, selected customers can express their feelings about these products through blogs or online virtual communities.
Learn from other successful brands
Applying the processes used in these examples is beneficial for any company looking to build a word-of-mouth marketing infrastructure for its brand.
Examining the successful ideas of other brands is very important in word of mouth marketing; so for a word-of-mouth marketing campaign, get help from the ideas used by brands that have been successful in this regard.
Four unique examples of word of mouth marketing
Toms: causing commotion by doing a benevolent act
Undoubtedly, you are well aware that the Toms brand, a manufacturer of casual footwear, has succeeded due to the widespread popularity of their one-to-one business model. When one of Toms’ shoes was bought, a shoe was also bought and donated to a child in need.
The model was implemented based on a customer-centric charity model, which resulted in Toms facing a horrific volume of purchases (over $ 600 million) in 2014. You have to keep in mind that the cost of producing the company’s shoes is very low, and it can be said that all the charitable expenses of this company are insignificant in comparison to its profit.
Chipotle: Word-of-mouth fuss with storytelling
Chipotle is a brand with a chain of restaurants that source their food from organic products. To spread the brand’s word of mouth, Chipotle released a compelling video of a dark, gloomy, machine-driven world with an Apple app.
According to research, the video and the app had over six hundred and fourteen million media impressions, resulting in a stunning word of mouth marketing for Chipotle.
Have a coca with your friends! Multi-channel word-of-mouth marketing
Coca-Cola’s advertising campaign asked consumers to participate in the campaign by sharing a soda bottle with friends on social media. The campaign even helped customers create events with bottles they made.
Harry Potter: A Perfect Example of Successful Word-of-mouth Marketing
The marketing story of Harry Potter is just as magical as Hogwarts School. Perhaps the whole technique of success of Toms or Coca-Cola can be summed up in one subtle and clever technique; But Harry Potter and its marketing has been the fruit of several key features of an ongoing marketing. Techniques that can turn this brand into a word of mouth marketing legend and keep it a classic in the world of mouth marketing.
There are few strategies in terms of economics and virality in word of mouth. Using the right strategy alone can help a company make more money, but it does not happen on its own. Word Of Mouth Marketing requires smart and meaningful customer engagement and requires a two-way partnership.
Keep in mind that the strategies above are more effective communication methods that persuade the customer to become a brand ambassador, instead of just being techniques.
But one more thing: a few tips for a successful word-of-mouth marketing
(Short footnote for those who do not have the time to read the entire article and have scrolled down as usual):
- Identify and consider your top customers.
- Introduce a unique product with a competitive core.
- Ask your customers for reviews and ratings until everything goes well.
- Use social media as a reference channel.
- Have a shared and engaging experience in your product or service.
- Strengthen anything that builds trust between you and your customers.
- Give your products to influential people and introduce their products in return.
- Make commotion in your marketing.
- Use tools to automate the workflow.
- Make sure you have unparalleled (not perfect) service, staff and support.
- Check feedback to improve your support and products at all times.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article!