Before there was television, social media, or even newspapers, there was word-of-mouth advertising which was used to share information.
Whether you realize it or not, you give or receive word-of-mouth recommendations every day by saying, “You should really check out this new clothing brand,” or, “Try that new restaurant across town!” This simple, yet effective, method of marketing and advertising has been around for a while and is still helping businesses today, although it has begun to adapt to the digital world we live in.
Word-of-mouth doesn’t necessarily mean recommending something face-to-face to someone. It can come in the form of a text, a direct message on social media, a letter, or in a traditional conversation. Communication is faster and easier than ever, so it is easier for advice and recommendations to spread, and it is very important for businesses to take advantage of and realize the impact of word-of-mouth advertising.
Mastering Word-of-Mouth Marketing
The Nielsen Corporation, a company that focuses on market research, conducted a study that produced some extraordinary statistics that prove why it is beneficial for businesses to focus so much on word-of-mouth marketing, which is often shortened to WOMM. The study says that over ninety percent of people agree that a recommendation from a friend or family member is the form of advertisement they are most likely to trust.
This means that only eight percent of people would prefer to receive any other kind of advertisement, so it is incredibly important for businesses to master WOMM. However, the same study revealed that only six percent of businesses felt they had truly mastered the advertising strategy, a shockingly low number. There are a couple of ways to improve this number, including getting more involved with and engaging with your consumer base.
Start Something Special
If a company wants to get people talking about them, they need to do something special to create excitement about their product or service. This way, dedicated consumers will tell their friends and family about the promotion, competition, or new product, which will send more potential buyers your way. As is the case with most marketing methods, knowing the consumer base will give you a leg up. It doesn’t even have to be a change in the kind of good or service you offer. Sometimes extraordinary customer service or hospitality that shows your company really cares about the people it serves will make all the difference.
Encourage and Incorporate Your Consumers
WOMM relies partly on the company, and partly on the consumers. The business needs to give people a reason to talk, but from there, it is up to the consumers to spread the message. To increase the impact of word-of-mouth advertising, engage with your customers and incorporate them into a new promotion or challenge. Two great examples of this are Lays’ Do Us a Flavor contest, and Coke’s Share a Coke With Friends promotion. The chip company asked fans to create a new flavor and submit it to them, receiving wild creations such as New York reuben, chicken and waffles, sriracha, everything bagel, and fried green tomato. As for Coke, they labeled their soda bottles with hundreds of popular names, and encouraged people around the country to find their own name on a bottle, along with one of their friends’.
As the campaign became increasingly popular, Coke created a customization option, which reached even more people with unique and unordinary names. Both Do Us a Flavor and Share a Coke With Friends have been incredibly successful, mainly because they have incorporated customers and encouraged them to get involved with the company. When this happens, customers are more likely to engage and to spread the word to other friends and family members. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most, if not the most, important and trusted forms of advertising in the business world.
As social media and other forms of digital communication continue to dominate our lives, giving recommendations, leaving reviews, and spreading the word about a company to someone else is becoming even easier than it ever was. It is so important for companies to master WOMM, to set themselves apart from the competition in some way, and to try to engage with their consumer base as much as possible to ensure they are spreading the word.
This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.