WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING COMES TO LIGHT
Since 1940s, advertising has been present around the world. It has expanded from traditional methods such as prints and radio into digital platforms such as search engines, social media and websites.
Have you ever wondered how businesses survived before the rise of traditional methods? Let us take a look at the power of word of mouth marketing (WOMM):
WHAT IS WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING (WOMM)?
Let’s imagine we are living in a small town before the first television was made. How did we know where to get the freshest fish in the market?
The answer is through word of mouth!
Let’s say I spread the news to 5 people who are interested, and they recommend it to another 5. That makes 10 outreach! People will start to visit the stores. The owners will get more sales without any actual form of advertising. How lucky!
From the example above, we see the effect of WOMM. It refers to the passing of recommendations from one satisfied customer to another. Effectively, the customers are spreading the good word for businesses. It is the most traditional yet credible form of advertising that still exists today!
HOW DOES WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING BENEFIT BUSINESSES
What exactly is so great about WOMM? The following are findings from a research conducted by Nielsen:
- 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know
- Consumers are 4x more likely to purchase when recommended by their friends
- WOMM generates twice the sales compared to paid advertisements
WOMM is an effective strategy that gets people to talk about a brand. It allows businesses to increase their brand awareness at a low cost.
In addition, WOMM is a more targeted form of marketing as consumers are unlikely to recommend unrelated stuff to each other.
For example, when consumers come across a cosmetic brand that worked wonders. He or she is more likely to share it with their friends who are interested in cosmetic. However, he or she will not share with friends who do not apply makeup at all.
A recommendation from a close friend/ favorite online personality VS Facebook advertisements that share wondrous claims.
Which would you likely to believe? It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?
STRATEGIES THAT BUSINESSES CAN LEVERAGE ON TO ENHANCE WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING
Simply relying on consumers to pass on your brand at their own pace will not produce results. Brands should consider the following strategies to enhance the effectiveness of their WOMM:
- Construct an Active Social Platform
WOMM has expanded from physical recommendations to digital networks. Online reviews can influence one’s purchase decision. Thus, brands should construct active social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram for consumers to talk about the brand.
The platforms should allow consumers to leave online reviews or ratings that casts products in good light. According to a research, up to 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase after looking at reviews/ratings. The reviews can also be 12x more trustable than brand descriptions!
On the other hand, brands need to reflect and improve if there are any bad reviews. A simple gesture such as sharing or liking a social page can be effective too! Did you know that Eventbrite earns about $2.52 for every Facebook link shared? That’s right Eventbrite, you’re on the right track!
- Focus on Engagement
Businesses should not only focus on increasing their social media numbers. Instead, businesses should focus more on engagement. Engagement draws consumers closer to the brand. This results in them being more passionate about sharing the brand with others.
Businesses should never take consumers’ opinions for granted. If there are comments, be it good or bad, time must be taken to reply. When there are supporters who put in a good word, appreciation must be shown. When a mistake has been revealed, an initiative must be shown in correcting the mistake.
Overall, it is important to build trust with consumers and give them a reason to share opinions about the brand.
- Be Worthy of Good Reviews
It does not make sense for one to share positive reviews about a brand that sucks. Thus, a brand must have something constructive for others to spread.
No one will love a brand that does not deserve it. Businesses should be as authentic as possible and work towards building a reputable brand image. As they always say: “You get what you work for”.
Although WOMM has many benefits, it does not mean that businesses should not use other forms of advertising methods. In fact, traditional and digital advertising still plays an important role in marketing.
The learning point is that while businesses focus on other forms of advertising, they should never lose sight of the long-established WOMM. It is possible to attain rewarding outcomes from such simple gestures. After all, recommendations between one another occurs everyday! Do not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing.