As marketers, we know the power that word of mouth marketing has in influencing consumer purchase decisions. We’ve all asked a trusted friend or family member for their advice if they’ve had experience purchasing and using a particular product. If we don’t know anyone personally, then we look for reviews from previous purchasers who’ve shared a similar experience to our own to see if the product will work for us. A review from a purchase we know and trust, or from a person we who we see as similar to ourselves is a powerful motivator when it comes to purchase decisions.
Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy in how and where they search for information about products and brands. They don’t necessarily respond to the age-old advertising and marketing strategies of the past, especially since the number of marketing messages a consumer receives on a daily basis has increased dramatically over the past few decades (thank you, Internet). This is why word of mouth marketing is still so important in any marketer’s toolbox, and it can be easier now than ever before (also thank you, Internet).
But the issue here is that word of mouth marketing is just that, it’s word of mouth shared by the consumers of a product. Consumers need to be talking about your product or brand first before it can influence another consumers’ purchase decision. As a brand, here’s a few strategies to increase your word of mouth and get your loyal customers talking about your product.
You know what they say about things that you want, sometimes all you need to do is ask. By encouraging your customers to share photos, videos, or their experience using your product or interacting with your brand, it’s likely that they would love to do so. Running a photo or video contest on your social media channels and encouraging customers to use a hashtag specific to your brand are two great ways to get your customers talking about your brand.
You not only want to encourage and enable customers to share their experience or reviews on social media, but on your website as well. Potential customers may look to these ratings and reviews when deciding whether or not to purchase and having numerous product reviews will help them make a more informed decision.
This may seem obvious, but sharing the user-generated content that your customers create is an important step in maximizing your word of mouth. For some customers, having the brand share the content they’ve created can be incentive enough. Don’t let their efforts go unnoticed and your loyal customers will feel acknowledged and encouraged to create more.
Potentially the most time and resource intensive strategy, but could yield the highest results is implementing a referral system where your existing customers are incentivized for bringing in new customers. These customers are effectively selling your product and receiving a small incentive in return.
There are many ways to get customers talking about your brand or product, and with the age of social media, customers are sharing their experiences willingly. If you want your customers to share their positive experiences with your brand in hopes of attracting new customers, focusing on these word of mouth marketing strategies is the way to go. By encouraging your customers to share content and reviews with incentives or implementing a referral program, it’s only a matter of time before they start talking about your brand.