While word of mouth marketing is undoubtedly powerful, choosing the right strategies for your business may pose a challenge. This article aims to show you a few of the best methods you could use to increase word of mouth activity from your customers.
Before taking steps to focus on word of mouth marketing, you need to make sure there is a solid foundation in place. Even the most amazing marketing campaign will struggle to make an impact if consumers simply don’t like or trust your brand. That’s why every word of mouth marketing campaign should begin with a thorough look at your current offerings and customers. Is there anything you could do better? Anything you could do to separate yourself from your competitors and make your business the one people recommend to their friends?
You also need to realize that word of mouth marketing isn’t an exact science. It can be very difficult to predict consumer behavior. All you can do is make sure the aforementioned foundation is in place, and then implement the following strategies to get some word of mouth going:
Adjust your advertising
If you want people talking about your brand, your advertising needs to reflect it. This is why you see so many funny commercials on TV. Even though they do nothing to directly increase sales, they get people talking and create positive associations around the brand. Depending on your business, however, you may want to keep some of your traditional sales-focused advertising too, and try to find a balance between both types.
Use events to get people talking
Let’s say you’re an online store and you’re about to add a whole new series of products. You basically have two options: you can just go ahead and add them, then send out a newsletter telling your customers about it. This will do nothing for word of mouth activity. Your other option is turning this into an event. You set a launch date, and do your best to get people hyped up for the launch. If you do this correctly, people will start talking and word will spread about your launch. Of course, for this to work there needs to be something really unique or interesting about the new products.
Consider adding a referral scheme
“Refer a friend” schemes can be very successful in increasing word of mouth activity, but they come with the built-in downside of being less trusted by consumers simply based on the fact that an incentive is offered. Still, they can be an excellent source for a steady stream of customers and sales.
If people aren’t talking, start the conversion yourself
If you’re trying to get some word of mouth activity going online, you may have to get the discussion going yourself. It is, however, extremely important that you don’t go around posting fake “reviews” or things like that, as people will most likely see right through it. Instead, one idea might be finding communities related to your business and using your expertise to help out. Soon enough people will start recognizing you, and your business will become better known and talked about in the process.
Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Every business is different, and you never know what will work best for you unless you’re willing to try (and sometimes fail and try again and again). Unless you’re being actively dishonest with customers, the worst that can happen is that an initiative fails to gain any traction, in which case it’s simply back to the drawing board!