A guest blog by Deepti Jain (Senior Content Writer at Aeroleads)
You may not like it — but today’s customers are spending less time listening to what your sales rep is saying and more time reading reviews and listening to one another.
This is where word-of-mouth marketing comes into the game.
Because let’s face it: the times are gone when you could easily persuade your prospects. Now the customers are much more smarter than you think.
In fact, over 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine.
In simple terms, no one makes the final purchase straight away without some sort of research.
Moreover, statistics prove that word-of-mouth marketing is the most common way people get news from friends and family.
Now the question is — how will you get your customers to refer to your services?
In this article, we will talk about some of the most important tips to maximize your word-of-mouth marketing.
1. Influencer Marketing
Everyone is talking about influencer marketing these days. Makes one wonder… is all the buzz worth it?
Does it even work?
Yes, it does!
Just consider Gary Vaynerchuk, for instance.
These are some influencers that you just can’t escape on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and so forth.
They have tons of followers and their posts get thousands of shares, likes and comments.
All in all, people like them and take their words seriously.
Please note that they are influencers in the B2B and entrepreneurial world.
You can find similar influencers in every subject area, niche, and product.
But if you are just starting out with your business, it would be difficult to get hold of someone as high-profile as Gary Vaynerchuk.
This is not to say that you can’t enjoy the benefits of influencer marketing.
The key is to connect with influencers that are in your reach.
For instance, you may not be able to connect with someone like Gary, but you can still connect with an influencer who has lesser number of followers.
After all, you are just a startup, right? You have to start somewhere and grow strength by strength.
The important thing is to connect with the right influencer — not just a grossly popular one.
Even if an influencer has a large audience, but doesn’t match your product image, then you won’t benefit anything from their influence.
2. Leverage Social Media
If you are running a word-of-mouth marketing campaign, then you simply cannot ignore social media.
You need to engage your prospects, so that they share your posts in huge numbers.
Your goal should be to pique your audience’s interest.
To do that, you need to do a few things, including:
- Keep track of your audience’s messages, comments and your mentions
- Engage with them on regular basis
- Reply to their comments
- Post creative content across all your social media channels
Let’s take this example from Wendy’s Twitter account.
They are so active on Twitter that when one of their customers tweeted asking how many retweets he would need to get free nuggets, they instantly replied asking for a whopping 18 million retweets.
While he couldn’t even get close to 18 million retweets, the tweet still went viral.
Imagine if Wendy’s wasn’t so active on Twitter. They would have never gotten so many word-of-mouth retweets.
As it happened, Wendy’s enjoyed tons of social media coverage — without spending even a dime.
So it pays to be active on social media.
Wendy’s is not new to this. Their social media page is pretty darn great and hence amassing a lot of word-of-mouth campaigns from their audience.
3. Send freebies to your loyal customers
Want to get guaranteed word-of-mouth referrals?
Then embrace the free giveaway format.
People love free stuff. And some even like to show their gratitude on social media.
See for yourself how Sephora leverages this concept.
Now, you might think that Sephora is a huge company, and you are barely starting.
How can you afford to give away free stuff?
But when did I say that you have to offer something expensive?
The thing is, you have to get exposure and it all depends on how you approach this giveaway process.
Just see how Gary Vaynerchuk does it.
His #60secondclub campaign rewards people when they turn on the notifications for his content.
He doesn’t offer anything over the top — instead, he offers a free book or T-shirt to people who comment on his posts.
You can try out various ways to offer freebies.
For instance, you can start a contest and then offer free prizes to the top contestants.
4. Create a referral program
Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are a part of the same Venn diagram.
The bigger your referral program is, the larger will be your word-of-mouth marketing campaign’s outreach.
But how will you get referrals from your customers?
First, it is important that your customer is happy with your product and customer service. Because if the customers themselves aren’t happy, why would they refer you to their acquaintances?
Secondly, you have to focus on the blend of two important things: user participation and optimization.
For instance, you can offer a discount coupon to your customer on each referral. Better yet, as a token of appreciation, offer a reward to both the referrer and the referee.
5. Leverage User Generated Content
As your brand starts to grow, your users will start sharing user-generated content.
“What’s that?” you ask.
Well it’s the content your users create. It could be a simple post that includes your product or a blog post talking about your brand.
But what if you are a fresh brand?
Not many people know about you, nor are your existing users bent on sharing about you?
In this case, you will have to give them a nudge yourself.
You can either encourage them to post something by introducing a special hashtag, and then reposting the user generated posts on your own page.
Have a look at how Wayfair, an online furniture store, skyrocketed their word-of-mouth marketing campaign using user generated content.
Using the hashtag #WayfairAtHome, Wayfair encouraged their users to post their home interiors featuring Wayfair products.
Wayfair made sure that they post each user generated post on their own social media page as well.
Have a look at their Instagram page — it got inundated with their customers’ posts.
Apart from this, you can also encourage your customers to share user generated content by offering incentives like free samples, gift cards, and more.
6. Get Testimonials and Reviews
Testimonials and reviews are one of the greatest word-of-mouth marketing techniques. And they are decidedly simple to get.
Just offer a great service to your customers and politely ask them to offer a review or testimonial. They wouldn’t think twice before giving you a spectacular review.
Now, the next step is to integrate these reviews and testimonials in your website.
Once your prospects read these reviews and testimonials, they will be more inclined to buy your services.
Apart from this, you can also write down case studies talking about how you helped a particular brand and how they benefited from your services.
7. Use Affiliate Networks
Affiliate marketing can do wonders for your word-of-mouth marketing campaign too.
You just have to connect with a popular blogger or influencer in your niche and ask them to review your product. Make sure that you offer your product for free to the influencer for them to take this task seriously.
Now, once you contact them, they will write blogs and articles about your product and add a link redirecting to your product. You have to offer an incentive for every sale that comes from their affiliate link.
The best part about this is the low risk when it comes to offering an incentive because you are only liable to pay an incentive when someone makes the final purchase from the link.
Also, even if you don’t get many sales from the affiliate links, you are still getting plenty of exposure, which is a great advantage.
Summing it all up…
I’ve listed and explained some of the most helpful and tested word-of-mouth marketing tips. Given that you leverage them seriously, these tips can help you tremendously.
It will not only help you increase your sales but also help you garner massive attention from your audience. Initially, you may have to invest in your word-of-mouth marketing campaign, but the outcome will be well worth the effort and expenditure.
A little about Deepti:
Deepti Jain is Senior Content Writer at Aeroleads. If you're looking to find email addresses and phone numbers using a Chrome plugin, Aeroleads is what you need.
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