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How to Build a Successful Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy

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Written by:Jyothiikaa Moorthy

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All of us are likely to try something if it's recommended to us by our family and friends. Be it a Netflix show or a new cafe; we always look for recommendations before trying something new.

Even the data supports this. A report from Nielson shows that 92% of people trust suggestions from their kin rather than relying on advertisements.

That is the power of word of mouth marketing. You gain trust from potential prospects without making any active effort at all. Sounds enticing, doesn't it?

We don't want you to pass on this marketing opportunity which is why we put together this guide to help you create a word of mouth marketing strategy for your brand to increase your reach and boost your sales.

Table of contents

What is word of mouth marketing?

Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is a type of marketing where rather than the brand promoting its products, it's the people who talk up the brand's products or services and recommend them to their friends and family.

This helps create a positive awareness amongst potential customers as they hear good things about your brand from people they know who had a good experience with your product/service.

Generally, it is done in real life through word of mouth, as the name suggests, but nowadays, people use social media and the internet to do it as well.

Benefits of word of mouth marketing

The reach of word of mouth is massive, and the following points show how they can benefit your business.

✅ Gain the trust of potential customers

You can gain the trust of so many potential customers because they have heard good things about your brand from friends, family, or people they trust. This would not have been that easy had you tried to promote your product through display ads or other promotional campaigns.

✅ Build brand awareness and reputation

And, even if people don't completely trust you yet, at least they are aware of your brand and product. Since your brand has been recommended to them by people they trust, they associate you in a positive way which helps you build a reputation of providing good quality products or services.

✅ Free advertising

In this type of marketing, your audience spreads the word about you on their social media, reviews your products, and talks about their experiences. This essentially means that you can promote your brand without spending any money doing so. So, you can boost your sales without spending any money on ads and rather use the money to improve your product and your customer experience. And investing in customer experience is important because if they have a bad experience, then the word of mouth aspect can quickly turn out bad and ruin your reputation.

✅ Build community and loyalty

With word of mouth marketing, people are rewarded if they recommend your brand to people they know, so they are more likely to stay loyal to your brand and even become repeat customers. This brand loyalty can also lead to you forming deep connections with them and forming a dedicated community/fan base.

"Advertising brings in customers, but word-of-mouth brings in the best customers." — Jonah Berger

Types of word of mouth marketing

There are primarily two types of word of mouth marketing:

• Organic word of mouth marketing

Organic WOMM happens when your customers are so happy and satisfied with your product or service that they share it with people close to them. This type of WOMM is also known as unknown WOM marketing, as you don't know how many people will come to know about your product.

Long story short, there is no real way to track it. There are no paper or digital trails. The classic word of mouth marketing comes under this type as it usually occurs organically due to customer satisfaction.

• Amplified word of mouth marketing

Amplified WOMM is when a brand intentionally encourages people to spread the word about your product or service through marketing campaigns. This type of WOMM can be called known word of mouth marketing as you can track how much impact you can create.

You can track your reach because you will usually give people a discount or referral code to give to people they recommend to, so you can track this code to see the impact of this type of WOMM. To amplify things further, many brands make it easier for customers to share links to their website, special promotions, and offers through the use of QR codes. This can be easily achieved through QR code generators.

How to build a successful word of mouth marketing strategy?

Alright, let's get started and discuss seven effective tactics you can use to develop a successful word of mouth marketing strategy.

• Engage with your customers

This is the first most basic step that you need to do to build a tight-knit community with your audience. Talk to your customers and listen and understand their problems, pain points, and behavior. The more you interact with your audience, the more they will connect with your brand. You can respond to them on social media, address their queries, acknowledge their feedback, and provide solutions. When you listen to them and bring out changes, they feel heard and trust your brand to do the right thing.

For example, Native used to provide deodorant with plastic packaging. But their customers started to ask them to provide a deodorant with eco-friendly packaging. The brand listened to their customers and produced a deodorant in cardboard packaging. It showed customers how much the brand cares about their opinions and helps them trust and rely on the brand to do good things.

• Create a great experience for your customers

People are not likely to refer your business to their friends and family when they have had a mediocre or poor experience using your products or services. So, give people a reason to talk about you, and to do that, you can:

  • Create good quality products

  • Provide value by addressing your audience's pain points

  • Put your customers first

  • Improve UX of your products

  • Provide satisfactory customer support

  • Put out informative and educational content showing your subject matter expertise to educate your audience, etc.

When you create an amazing experience for your audience, that's when you'll get them to recommend your brand to someone else.

• Ask for ratings and reviews

Now, some people might like you, but they don't actively make an effort to write a positive review, so you can politely remind them to leave a review. Ratings and reviews help show people that you are a credible brand and your product or service is promising.

And reviews are very powerful as nearly 88% of people say that they trust reviews online written by other customers as much as opinions from people they know. Now, some people might be hesitant to leave a review, so you can send them an email with discounts to encourage them to leave a review.

If you are still not seeing good feedback submissions, you can try sending out AMP emails so that people can provide the feedback within the email itself, like how Razorpay has done in the example below.

Razorpay form fill

• Create a referral program

The referral program is a classic word of mouth marketing technique to get people to recommend your product or service to someone and get a discount on the product for themselves.

In the example below, Skillshare provides a referral code and link that people can send to their contacts, and when the other person pays for the membership, both will get a discount on the premium membership.

Referral program

• Incentivize people to post about your brand on social media

Social media is key these days for WOMM, so encourage people to show how they use your product or review it on their social media channels. These social media posts essentially create a buzz around your brand and product that'll get more people curious and wanting to try it out.

You can encourage them to post and use a particular hashtag, then share the user-generated content on your social media with your followers, as in the example below. It will encourage more people to post as there is a chance that you might see and repost it.

user generated content

• Connect with influencers

You can contact influencers in your niche, social media stars, or industry leaders and provide them with your product or service in return for promoting your brand. To make sure you get the best results, make sure you choose influencers who are authentic, relevant to your brand niche, have an established reputation, and have a good relationship with their audience.

• Ask employees to advocate for your brand

Your employees are low-key potential influencers for your brand as they most likely know many people in the field and their personal lives. So, create an employee advocacy program and incentivize them to introduce your brand to people they know.

How to monitor word of mouth marketing?

Word of mouth marketing can be one of the trickiest types of marketing as you can not get a clear number to indicate the success or failure of the campaign. Especially in organic WOMM, you can't track the success of actual word of mouth recommendations.

There is a way you can get an idea of it, but it doesn't cover the total reach of organic WOMM. And that way is to ask new customers how they came to know about you. Yes, simple as that.

Now, for amplified WOM marketing, there are a few ways you can track its success.

  • Firstly, you can use tools like woobox, Smile.io, to track how many referrals you have gotten.

  • You can also use your website providers like Wix, Squarespace, or an e-commerce marketplace like Etsy to track your referral code or link and see how many people have used it.

  • You can go to the hashtag you have told people to use while sharing posts with your product and see how many posts there are, how much engagement they have, how popular it is. This helps you get a broad idea of how many people know about your brand.

But do keep in mind that the ways mentioned above will only give you an idea of how much people know about you; it doesn't give you exact numbers.

Get them talking

Word of mouth marketing strategy will achieve your business goals like child's play. But what's a marketing strategy without a bunch of high-conversion email campaigns? Yes, it's the missing piece of your revenue puzzle. To have a marketing strategy that fuels your business, check out our email marketing plan tried and tested by marketers to generate massive ROI. Capture those potential leads now!

What you should do next

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  3. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.

✍️ Author -Jyothiikaa Moorthy

Jyothiikaa has one year of experience creating content strategies for growing startups and B2B companies. Her expertise lies in email marketing and email design.

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