Nearly 72% of consumers use this method to learn about new products and services.
If you have yet to implement a word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing strategy into your conversion strategy, it's time to get started. WOM marketing is a great way to organically grab new consumers' attention while boosting your brand's credibility.
Just like it sounds, WOM marketing is when people spread the word about a company and its products, either encouraging or discouraging others from buying its products or services. It's a type of social proof that can either harm or help a business based on what people say. The better overall experience your brand provides customers, the more beneficial WOM marketing will be for your business.
WOM marketing is the most popular means of sharing news between friends and family – Pew Research reports that 72% of consumers use this method to learn about the latest news, trends and current events, as well as what they thought about a particular product or service, which is why it's such an effective method to increase the visibility of your business.
Why invest in a WOM marketing strategy?
You might be wondering if WOM marketing is worth all the hype surrounding it. Consumers trust the opinions of friends and family more than anyone or anything else (borne out by the study cited above), so you can use this tactic to optimize your strategy.
For one thing, WOM marketing builds brand loyalty and trust. It demonstrates that you're a legitimate business that provides quality products (or a quality service), and that message is one that people can stand behind. Most consumers don't have the luxury of throwing money at whatever they want, so proving your worth as a brand before a customer makes a purchase is of major importance.
In this article, I explain how to improve your WOM marketing strategy, including how you can
- offer top-notch customer service;
- allow customers to easily review your brand and its products; and
- incorporate user-generated content to boost credibility.
Let's explore three different ways you can implement WOM marketing into your conversion strategy for overall better performance and happier customers.
How to implement WOM marketing into your overall marketing plan (without spending any money)
1. Offer excellent customer service
Too many businesses place a greater emphasis on how to market their products rather than gaining the trust of the consumer. Without your customer base, your business is just another company trying to make a sale. You need to put the customer first if your brand stands any chance against the competition.
It's important to consider where your customer service is lacking and what can be improved to enhance your overall WOM strategy. Your customers are what make your brand either a success or a failure, and the way you cater to their needs and interests will determine which direction your business goes in (upward or downward).
Always center any business strategy around your target audience. Think about how you can address their pain points, solve their problems and help them with whatever issues they encounter. It's important to respond quickly to customers when they reach out to you, whether that's through your website, social media or email. The faster you respond, the better customer service experience you'll provide.
You can also provide a heightened customer service experience by personalizing your strategy. Data and analytics provided by your website and email list provides users' names, email addresses, and other important information. You can greet users by name, send them product recommendations based on what they've purchased previously and then ask them to leave a review.
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Don't forget to use social media to monitor customer inquiries and respond to customer comments or complaints. If users see that you ignore your audience on social media, especially the negative comments, it makes it look like your brand has something to hide. Always respond back to see what you can do to make the customer happy and solve their problems.
2. Let customers easily leave reviews
When you want to check out a new restaurant or shop you've never been to, what's the first thing you do to gauge what type of experience it will be? Most people search out online reviews. Reviews prove extremely helpful in telling consumers what they can expect from that business and whether or not they'd enjoy that product (or service).
According to BrightLocal, 86% of consumers read online reviews, so it's essential that they're part of your WOM marketing strategy. Make it easy for customers to leave a review.
Even a negative review isn't necessarily a bad thing for your company. Even the most top-notch, well-known businesses receive negative feedback because it's impossible to please everybody. This shows you're legitimate as a brand. It's especially important for e-commerce businesses to display ratings on their website so users have instant access to legitimate information regarding their products and services. It also goes a long way with consumers if you respond to negative reviews.
3. Incorporate user-generated content
User-generated content is anything – a selfie, a tweet, video – made by your audience that has to do with your brand. User-generated content gives others a glimpse about what other consumers are saying about your brand.
There are several ways you can encourage user-generated content. One tip is to create a branded hashtag on popular platforms like Instagram and Twitter that are specific to your business. This allows your target market to associate anything under that hashtag with your brand. When they post something, you can simply visit the hashtag to see it.
Another tip is to compile different graphics, videos, and other content and display it on your website to show new visitors that people love your brand so much they have created their own take on it. This also gives new consumers a chance to see how others use your products and what it has done for them.
If you have yet to implement a WOM marketing strategy into your conversion strategy, it's time to get started. It's a great way to organically grab new visitors' attention while boosting your brand's credibility.
Everyone looks to the opinions of friends, family, and other customers to see what's worth their coin and what isn't. WOM marketing is one of the most widely used methods to gain honest feedback about a brand or business and its products and services.
If your business fails to provide this information to its audience, you can bet your customer base won't grow nearly as much as it potentially could.
How will you improve your word of mouth marketing strategy?