Word of Mouth Marketing 101
Sales and marketing is like love and marriage! However, as much as the two departments may play up each other’s inconsistencies, they really cannot work without each other. And the one area where sales and marketing fuse is when it comes to word of mouth marketing. For sales executives, a client referral can bring new and exciting business…and for marketers, word of mouth marketing provides a great way to reach out to new like-minded customers.
WHAT IS WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING ALL ABOUT
With word of mouth marketing, you encourage other people to share their opinion about your products. In this manner, you attract new customers from the same segment. And today, with internet and video, a well-crafted word of mouth marketing campaign can go viral and create a buzz like never before.
WHY IT WORKS
Compared to traditional advertising where you are talking about the virtues of your product or service and nudging people to buy it, word of mouth comes from a trusted source: the peer. Most consumers find that referrals and reviews are more trustworthy than glossy ad campaigns. And with the ease of shopping online today, millions of customers turn to product review sites to research before buying a product. If this can happen organically, then you know you have hit the sweet spot. But with all the information avenues available today, it may suit you to kick-start the process yourself. Give bloggers and other social media ‘celebrities’ the chance to try out your product, and have them talk about it to their followers.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT
Like we said- word of mouth marketing success can happen on it’s own, which is probably the best way, because then you know that your product is a real success. But to gain adequate momentum, you should also look at ways to spark that much needed buzz. You need to give people a reason to talk about your stuff, and then give them a space to do it.
* Work with an existing base. Every business has some sort of fan base- even startups know which customer profile to target. So start with an existing fan or customer base, and use them as your soundboard. People are more comfortable testing and trying out stuff for brands they trust…as well as products they can use and are genuinely interested in (in the case of startups.)
* Engage through social media. We can never say this enough: social media is the new big thing, and people from every possible demographic are using it. Social networking sites are the place to get the conversation started- and it has never been easier. Leverage social media, connect with people who have ‘liked’ Facebook page or retweeted your tweets. Give them a chance to talk about your product and share it with their list of friends and followers.
*Work directly with the customer. Another great way to promote word of mouth marketing is to have customers who buy your product write and share testimonials. Ask for permission to share their testimonials on your website. You can also put up written testimonials at your store, create video testimonials, and play them on your website or at your store, linking back to the customer.
With the innumerable ways to connect with your audience, sales has never been so much fun! Why not try out a few of these tips and see where it gets you?