With an effective word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing strategy, brands can organically reach more people and promote their products.
People come across hundreds of advertisements daily, but when they need to make a purchase decision, they often choose the product their family and friends suggested.
According to Semrush, 64% of marketers find it the most fruitful marketing tactic. Word-of-mouth marketing can drive five times more sales than paid ads.
These are the reasons more companies are getting interested in this marketing method. Continue reading to learn how to develop a killer WOM strategy for your brand.
What Is Word-of-Mouth Marketing?
Word-of-mouth marketing means actively influencing to generate organic word-of-mouth discussion about a brand or product. Simply put, marketers try to create something worth talking about so that people are encouraged to talk about it.
Before making a purchase, people want affirmation from reliable sources, usually family members, friends, and colleagues. This marketing strategy aims to start an exponential referral chain that continuously drives traffic and sales for the brand.
Word-of-mouth marketing and natural word-of-mouth references are different. In WOM marketing, the references are usually the result of a company’s campaign, promotion, or encouragement.
Some examples of WOM marketing are people telling others personally or via social media about new recipes to use tomato ketchup or being amazed by the unique style of serving food at a restaurant.
Also, this marketing does not end here. It is followed by a cascade of interactions. Here, the role of the company is to encourage others to talk — usually by providing them with a reason.
Types of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
It is the most common and organic type of WOM marketing. This type of marketing focuses on increasing the public visibility of the brand and making more people aware f the services you offer.
#2. Buzz or Viral Marketing
This WOM marketing aims to create a buzz around the products or promotions. Companies spark conversations on social media or in personal circles by making a viral promotion or campaign.
#3. Blogging and Online Marketing
Another type of word-of-mouth marketing can be done through blogs and video content. These self-published contents allow conversation on public forums where customers talk to each other about their experiences.
#4. Social Media Marketing
Since word-of-mouth marketing can reach customers both online and offline, social media is a popular channel to promote this marketing. It allows you to reach the target audience and integrate other types into this platform.
Companies must properly use their social channels to reach the maximum number of people. You can use different social media calendar tools to schedule your posts.
#5. Emotional Marketing
Emotional marketing uses emotional triggers to influence consumers. This word-of-mouth marketing type is usually image-based and based on recent news or events.
#6. Referral Marketing
Referral marketing is a kind of WOM marketing that offers incentives in exchange for promoting through word of mouth. It is a great way to encourage existing customers to share their feedback and opinion with others.
Importance of WOM Marketing
For any marketing strategy, word-of-mouth should have a crucial place. The reason is simple — one satisfied customer can encourage a group of prospective buyers to purchase the product they have referred.
The more you can influence them to make a recommendation, the higher your chance of having a larger customer base. The importance of WOM marketing is as follows:
You might be promoting your products through various online and offline channels. However, not all could be as effective as WOM marketing.
It involves real people speaking about your products and brand, so it does not even look like a traditional promotion to the audience. Nevertheless, it has a better impact on your potential customers.
More Sales and ROI
Companies can get more traffic or leads through the FOMO marketing strategy, but to turn them into customers and make more sales, they need WOM marketing. People rely on good reviews from the people they trust, which is why this marketing strategy can help you achieve your target sales and revenue.
Build Brand Trust
Making a new customer trust your brand is not easy. Relationship building takes time, and one-time purchases are often not the only thing a company is looking for. Word-of-mouth marketing ensures the reliability of your company to new customers. Once the trust is in place, you can maintain the relationship.
Build Customer Loyalty
While adding new customers to your customer base is getting more difficult and expensive, companies focus more on loyal customers. With a group of happy customers actively promoting your products, you can easily get more new patrons loyal to your brand.
How to Build a Word-of-Mouth
As mentioned, WOM marketing is not about leaving it up to chance that someone might spread good words about your products and brands. You need to have a defined strategy for WOM marketing to make people talk about your brand. Here are some steps for building a WOM strategy for your company:
#1. Set up the Right Triggers
Your products and services should contain X factors or triggers. These are usually memorable or exceptional feelings to make your existing customers talk about your business.
If you manage a restaurant, you can make it pet-friendly. Thus, pet lovers and pet owners will talk about your restaurant to like-minded people whom you can count as your target audience.
#2. Use Visual Triggers
Word-of-mount should not always be verbal. You can reach more people through vibrant visual experiences. Suppose your company manufactures cruelty-free cosmetics or green technology.
In that case, you can ask your customers to take photos with their pets or in natural landscapes and share those on social media.
#3. Develop or Do Unique Things
Standing out in a crowd is another way to ignite WOM marketing. You can do that by selling unique products, bending industry norms, or adapting new marketing or shipping styles. While selling eco-friendly products, you can use biodegradable packaging. It will trigger people to talk about your brand.
#4. Provoke Customers Emotionally
Emotion is the best way to make a place in their heart and speech! Marketers need to go the extra mile to make people emotionally attached to the products. For that, you can make invisible people present in your advertisement.
#5. Promote User-Generated Content (UGC)
In this era of social media, people prefer user generate content over branded promotions. As a brand, you can guide the customers to create and share content that will contain word-of-mount marketing.
Such content also helps you establish social proof. You can also ask happy customers to share their content with your brand hashtag, and the winners will get attractive prizes.
#6. Encourage Customers to Give Ratings and Reviews
Customer reviews and ratings are a key part of modern WOM marketing. You can create a feedback channel to collect testimonials such as social media reviews, emails, and surveys. You can promote rave ratings and reviews on your website and social media.
#7. Start the Referral Program
Another way to promote WOM marketing is to start a referral program. It will encourage happy customers to promote your brand for incentives. These could be discount coupons, gift cards, cash back, or gifts.
Inspiring WOM Marketing Examples
Netflix is an OTT platform that uses social media for WOM marketing. It creates memes out of its web series and posts them. These trigger the users to share their views on those web series. These user-generated contents work as a positive review for potential viewers.
Forever21 is an apparel brand that asked customers to share their outfit photos along with #F21xME. Thousands of people participated in this Instagram promotion, and the hashtag gave the brand the expected promotion without investing in influencer marketing.
Popular fast-food restaurant Wendy’s created a popular WOM marketing event on Twitter in 2017. They claimed to provide a customer one year of free chicken nugget service if a post gets retweeted 18 million times.
The post got retweeted more than 3 million times by now and gave Wendy’s the word-of-mouth promotion they were looking for.
To attract new customers, cloud storage company Dropbox offered a referral program for existing customers. According to it, a customer will get 500 MB of free space if they can invite a friend and make them install Dropbox.
Word-of-mouth marketing can enhance your brand promotion naturally. There are different types of WOM marketing that you can choose for your products.
Here, we discussed some successful WOM marketing strategy examples for you. Also, you can easily create one for your company using the steps mentioned above.
You may also want to read about other marketing strategies, such as guerilla marketing and trigger marketing.