Word of Mouth Marketing: A Guide To Build WOM Marketing Strategy
Organic marketing is a term that has almost vanished from the marketing ecosystem. Growing social media platforms and their influence on billions of global users is the crucial reason behind it.
Nowadays, as a brand, if you want to attract consumers, then you would need to pay for your marketing. Reaching the audience organically and inviting them to your brand has become almost impossible.
Word-of-Mouth marketing is the only yet extremely effective way to attract and engage with your audience organically.
Definition of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is free-of-cost marketing where the users of a brand are encouraged to share their experiences with their friends, family, peers, etc. about a product/service or a brand.
Their activities with a brand trigger the experience-sharing by users. It is the most credible and reliable form of marketing which is driven by the authentic experiences of the users.
It is merely the art of strategically influencing the audience of a brand to spread positive conversations about the brand to other humans organically.
The idea is to give the audience something to discuss that is relevant to the brand and helps in enhancing the brand image.
Importance of Word of Mouth Marketing
For a brand, Having a positive Word-of-mouth about the brand is of prime importance. People tend to trust the words of other people when they are willing to make a purchase, especially online purchases.
These facts will give you an idea about the impact that word-of-mouth marketing has on the people.
- Over 70% of the consumers mention that word of mouth influences their buying decisions (Ogilvy Cannes Study)
- 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends & Family over the paid marketing (Nielsen)
- Word-of-mouth generates two times more sales over Paid ads
Specially on social media, word of mouth plays a key role in driving social shopping. It is a successful social commerce strategy that brands leverage to drive sales through UGC. If you are still unsure about word of mouth marketing then wait & read below.
Advantages Of Word Of Mouth Marketing
We have listed some benefits of word of mouth (WOM) marketing that can bring your focus on it.
1. Free-of-Cost Advertising
The significant part about WOM marketing is that you don’t have to make any investments in the advertising. It is all free-of-cost marketing that is organically generated by the users for your brand.
2. Develop Brand Loyalty
If the customers are happy and satisfied with the services provided by your brand, then only they will contribute to word-of-mouth marketing. Happy and satisfied customers will become loyal to your brands as well and will stay with the brand for the long-term.
3. Online Community
You can build an excellent online brand community through WOM marketing. These members of your brand community can act as your brand advocates on digital mediums.
The disadvantage of word of mouth marketing here can be that negative word-of-mouth about the brand can cause an adverse impact on community & results.
4. Build Brand’s Social Proof
When customers become your brand advocates, they will help you build trustworthiness, reliability, proof of authenticity, and credibility for your brand. It is crucial to have social proof to grow your brand and conversions.
5. Increase Your Conversions & Sales
Most important of all, you can increase eCommerce conversions and sales through positive WOM marketing. So, the facts prove that 9 out of 10 people turn to their friends & peers for a recommendation that influences their online purchase behavior.
Now that we have explored what is WOM Marketing and why it is essential and how word of mouth marketing benefits your brand. It is time to formulate a Word-of-mouth marketing strategy that can help you achieve all those and many more benefits.
How to Build a Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy
It is easy when you want to showcase something to your audience; you have diverse channels and solutions to do that. But triggering a conversation about something among the consumers is a prodigious task.
We have some amazing word of mouth marketing ideas that you can use to build impactful word-of-mouth marketing strategies.
1. Highlight Your USP
We have all seen that whenever an innovative or exciting product comes to the market, people start talking about it, do their research, access updates, and more.
Similarly, any trending topic becomes a talking point for people as people are hungry for conversations and opinion sharing.
You can use this to your advantage by highlighting or promoting your brand’s or product’s unique selling proposition. When customers will have experience with your brand, and they will notice the USP.
It will excite and instigate them to discuss or share it with their peers and friends.
2. Create Interesting “Viral” Campaigns
Viral marketing is a fake concept; you can not create a campaign, keeping in mind that it will go viral. But what you can do is integrate elements and trending topics into your campaign that enhance the chances of it going viral.
There is always something humorous, exciting, trending, or newsworthy topic that people are talking about personally or on their social profiles creating a tremendous amount of WOM Content.
While creating a marketing campaign or just casually on your social profiles, always integrate these trending topics. These will help you gain exposure to the audience and their invaluable engagement along with the powerful word-of-mouth marketing.
Word of Mouth(WOM) Marketing Example: GoPro’s Fireman Saves a Kitten
3. Visuals Trigger WOM
Visuals are the most engaging form of content available out there be it offline channels or social media. Especially Videos, they are the future of marketing.
Using exciting and creative visual content can help you attract a massive audience to your content, and as it is interesting, people will share it more and more.
Not just that, when you have amazing content on your website and social profiles, people will explore & share more due to engaging visual vibrancy especially with UGC that can help you drive positive WOM marketing about your brand.
4. Sentimental Storytelling
As discussed, consumers share their experience with others and what better way to drive WOM marketing than to tap into consumer sentiments through storytelling that can create an emotional experience.
When consumers come across campaigns that tap into their sentiments, they share it and talk about it wherever possible.
Create campaigns that tell a story and can connect with the audience emotionally. Social media is the best channel to do so that it can generate positive WOM and possibilities for exposure & engagement.
5. Encourage & Promote User-Generated Content
User generated content is a revamped term for WOM marketing. With the inception of digital media, UGC has become an impactful Word-of-mouth.
The more you have positive user-generated content on your eCommerce website or social media profiles. The higher chances you have for user-engagement and conversions.
As a part of your WOM campaign, encourage users to share their ideas, opinions, and experiences on digital media, and tag the brand using hashtags or profiles.
You can promote your word of mouth marketing by using platform like Taggshop which offers shoppable UGC galleries and customer review feeds that brands can publish on their website to build trust, showcase authenticity, and inspire more sales successfully.
It is an excellent word of mouth marketing strategy to build user trust, loyalty, and simultaneously drive conversions.
6. Reap in Influencers
The influencer industry is an immensely successful and influential one with a stronghold over its massive audience. The critical aspect is that the audience trusts the words of influencers about brands and products.
You can identify the key influencers from your product category or brand’s industry and ask them to share their reviews, opinions, and experience about the products/brand to their audience.
All the big brands make use of influencers, especially the gadgets industry. For example, – brands like Apple, Samsung, Google provide their gadgets to influencers regularly.
Credible influencers sharing positive words about your brand can help you tremendously with benefits like conversions and sales.
7. Rewards Program
What is it that customers love from the brands?
- Rewards & Points
When brands offer something to the consumers as rewards, the consumers feel rewarded and gratified that encourages them to share with others the special feeling.
It can be associated with the sharing of user-generated content that will help your brand to get more exposure and awareness. Also, an excellent brand image can be built through WOM marketing by happy customers.
Examples Of Successful WOM Marketing Campaigns
1. Reebok CrossFit Shoes
You must have heard about the word ‘CrossFit’ as a form of exercise before Reebok introduced its new range of CrossFit shoes which were an asset for the athletes to boost their performance.
But the question is, what led to the growth of Reebok from a basic fitness shoe company to a big name in the industry for athlete’s activities?
Word-Of-Mouth marketing did it all!
Reebok introduced this range to the audience in the carved out niche market i.e. athletes, along with a specific message which was somewhat like, “buy these shoes and challenge yourself to increase your performance.”
The feedback of the athletes who wore the shoes during activities was exciting and worked as word-of-mouth for the brand to drive sales.
By tracking viewer’s interest and understanding what they love to watch and what grabs their attention for long, Netflix has not only started recommending shows to its viewers but also has started creating new shows that can be watched by them with immense interest.
It recognized and utilized the term “Binge Watching” by creating the Netflix original series that evoked the sentiments of its viewers and promoted it with the help of its influencers.
Netflix used the reviews by its viewers on social media sites to prompt interest in others. Also, it showcased its viewer’s excitement about the upcoming series to land new customers and grow globally.
3. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
One of the most famous WOM marketing campaigns was ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Ice Bucket Challenge, 2014. It was a fundraiser campaign, presented in the form of a challenge which encouraged people to pour a bucket full of ice-cold water.
Attendees had to capture the moment in the form of images and videos and upload them on social media. Furthermore, they were asked to nominate their friends and families to participate in the event.
This campaign got its fame with the word-of-mouth advertising so much that even celebrities participated in this challenge and nominated their friends.
This challenge helped the organization raise a huge amount of funds which amounted to $115 million in 8 week period.
Future of Word-of-Mouth
Ultimately the success of your WOM marketing campaign relies on the experiences and intentions of the consumers.
So your goal should be to deliver an excellent consumer experience through maximum touch-points that fulfill the needs and requirements of the consumers.
What turns a business into a BRAND is when its customers are willing to take credibility and responsibility for its products/services. That is when the magic of word-of-mouth marketing happens.
Have a Consumer-focused approach, and your customers will build your brand for you.