Let us face the hard fact: Word of Mouth or WOM has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54% (according to MarketShare). Customers are likely to go for a product recommended by a friend. When specific case studies were analyzed, researchers found a 10% increase of WOM translated into sales between 0.2 – 1.5%. 84% of consumers have reported always or sometimes taking action based on personal recommendations. This is Word of Mouth at its best.
Word of Mouth is also likely the number 1 influencer in customers’ purchasing decisions about clothes, packaged goods, travel and electronics, and financial products. According to Vision Critical, 43% of social media users report buying a product after sharing or “favorite” it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Over half of purchases inspired by social media sharing occur within 1 week of sharing or favorite, and 80% of purchases resulting from social media shares occur within 3 weeks of sharing.
Typically, Cosmetic Products Top the List, Followed by Restaurants and Nightclubs
These are the top most-researched businesses before a customer gives it a try. They are not likely to go to a place where no one’s ever been and likely stay off that and instead go for a recommended business.
How to Attract Customers that Turn to WOM?
According to Market Force, 9% of people say their primary reason for “liking” a company’s Facebook page is to get discounts. 81% of them also said they’re influenced by what their friends share on social media.
Offering your customers discounts via FB Likes is not the most favored form of advertising, as it’s clear that people like your page only to get certain discounts. Studies show that WOM exponentially increases when there is involvement from the company; if you offer something unique and personal. Offer them the gift of “you.”Make it special for your customers.
According to a study, brands that inspire a higher emotional intensity receive 3x as much WOM as less emotionally-connected brands. The same academic study that found these results, also found that highly differentiated brands have greater levels of WOM as these brands allow consumers to share their own sense of uniqueness. (Courtesy: Journal of Marketing Research)
Customers are generally more likely to give a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition, or access to an exclusive loyalty program. As elucidated earlier, make it unique for your customers in order for better Word of Mouth advertising.
Word Of Mouth: Only Good for Large Businesses? Or Small Businesses as Well?
Despite the rise of social media, many recommendations still happen offline, with people sharing their experiences with friends over the phone or face-to-face. This is classic Word of mouth.
On the surface, word-of-mouth marketing may seem to be leaning towards large, established companies, but this isn’t entirely true.
Small businesses have a huge advantage over large companies in word-of-mouth marketing because the distance between the company owner and customers is much smaller.
There’s an opportunity for customers to have a relationship with the management, and hence it becomes easier to customize offers, to give personal attention. These are things that tend to raise the level of satisfaction that the customers have and also raise their willingness to advocate for the business.
Following are a Few WOM Strategies that you can Employ for Your Business
- You can start an email campaign where you encourage your subscribers to forward a message to their friends.
- A referral campaign where your readers can send new customers your way; each referral forwarded by your customer earns them reward points.
- Create shareable content on your website.
- An ad campaign designed to generate conversation; an intriguing message or a thought-provoking video.
The important thing to remember here is that typically, all word-of-mouth campaigns have in common is a strategy of encouraging customer recommendations and conversation.
End says: Treat your customers like gold. Find ways to show that you care for your current customers and treat them like royalty.
Sometimes all you need is it’s just providing a really good service and making it convenient for your customers. Put quality over quantity and you will find your business growing. People are usually thrilled to pass on information about good experiences. And that’s what word-of-mouth marketing is all about.
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