An effective marketing strategy is vital for any business. When paid advertisements, billboards and brochures were all the rage back in the day, there was a mad scramble to get the best, albeit affordable, designs to get mass attention. Nowadays, social media is at the forefront of marketing that everything and anything which it encompasses seems to be a necessity for businesses to use.
The one thing that past and present marketing strategies have in common is the tools which business owners use in order to grab the attention of consumers and ensure that their brands are the first thing that comes to mind for their target market. In other words, word of mouth is vital in every marketing effort. In a recent study by Google, 94% of Word of Mouth conversations are still predominant.
But what is word of mouth marketing really all about? According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, this type of marketing is giving consumers a reason to talk about your products and services.
Here are some ways to be actively involved in word of mouth marketing:
- Inform people about your products and services and how it can benefit consumers.
- Connect with people who are most likely to spread the word about your business, your company and your brand.
- Share information that’s relative to your products and services.
- Do market research so that you are aware of the latest trends in your industry.
- Your customers are the voice of your business. That said, you have to take note of their suggestions, comments and complaints to improve your business.
- Do not use unethical ways to improve the reputation of your brand. Your customers have a mind of their own and coercing them to patronize your company is not a good idea.
- Consider giving your customers samples, coupons and a chance to share their own opinions so that they can personally endorse your products.
- Remember that if your reputation is tainted, it’s going to take a whole lot of hard work to get it back to where it was before. You have to take care of your reputation because it would be the basis for your customers to give you referrals.
When you think about it, engaging in meaningful conversations online and offline is an efficient way to leave an imprint which is what word of mouth is all about. Building a network and delivering useful messages leaves you in your contact’s good graces. In my opinion, there is no real secret to business success. After all, word of mouth is not really a secret. It is already well known, the tricky part is learning how to use word of mouth marketing effectively.
Although there are a lot of good points to word of mouth marketing, there are some downsides also. One thing that can frustrate business owners is the lack of control you have on what people may say about your business. And once those opinions hit the internet, they can’t be unsaid and can leave negatives images in people’s minds about your business.
So just how do you encourage customers to talk kindly about your business? Well, here are 5 keys to getting better word of mouth. Once you understand its dynamics better, you’re likely to have some good success with it.
We’d love to hear some examples of how you and your business may have been affected by word of mouth, whether it may be positive or negative. Do you have any stories to share with us?