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Digital Sales & Marketing World 2021

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They Ask, You Answer
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Learn the principles of the They Ask, You Answer by taking our most popular course, taught by Marcus Sheridan himself.

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“One of the 11 Marketing Books every CMO should read.” — Forbes

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7 must-have word-of-mouth marketing strategies [Infographic]

7 must-have word-of-mouth marketing strategies [Infographic] Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

April 7th, 2018 min read

SO -- Have you heard about that awesome new lead gen tactic?

Ok, I’ve got nothing right now, but I bet I got your attention.

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) is a powerful asset in our line of work. It not only piques people’s interest, but as the name implies, it gets people talking.

About 62% of consumers search online for reviews and information before purchasing a product and a whopping 90% believe brand recommendations from friends.

With game-changing numbers like those, it’s important not to neglect the importance of reviews, ratings, and recommendations when it comes to planning your organization’s marketing strategy.

How do you do that exactly?

One of our amazing designers, Marcella Jalbert, and I put together this detailed inforgraphic sharing 7 actionable strategies you can use to implement word-of-mouth marketing into your strategy.

Check out the full infographic below and let me know what strategies you’ve tried in the comments section below!

word-of-mouth-marketing-infographic---compressed.jpg

Long before social media or even the written word, word-of-mouth was our go-to for sharing and learning valuable information. That’s why word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is one of the oldest, and still, most effective, forms of marketing.

  • 75% of people don’t believe advertisements, but 92% believe brand recommendations from friends.
  • People are 4x more likely to buy when referred by friends
  • WOM generates 2x more sales than paid ads
  • Only 33% of businesses are actively seeking & collecting reviews

Luckily, WOM is easier than ever thanks to the internet!

7 ways to implement word-of-mouth marketing in your strategy

1. Encourage user-generated content (UGC)  

UGC is content created and shared by consumers about brands or products. It’s honest, builds trust, and gives marketers extra collateral to work with.

  • 86% of millennials say UGC is a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service.
  • UGC videos can increase sales effectiveness by 20%
  • Millennials 5.4 hours a day with content created by their peers

How can you get users to generate content?

  1. Have a unique hashtag to identify content created by customers
  2. Incentivize creating and sharing pics, videos, and gifs on social media. Offer a free gift, discount, or feature.
  3. Create a sense of community. Showcase your user-generated content prominently on your website or main profile

Brands that do it well:

2. Share customer testimonials/reviews

79% of people trust testimonials and online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

They help reassure the performance, quality, and/or value of your claims and make consumers feel more comfortable doing business with you. There’s a reason they call it social proof after all.

Testimonials can be written or video and can be hosted on your website or pulled from others. Depending on your industry, some popular review sites include:

  • Yelp
  • Angie's List
  • Houzz
  • G2 Crowd
  • Clutch.co

Once you have your testimonials or reviews, repurpose them into your marketing:

  • Dedicated site page
  • Homepage & landing pages
  • Relevant product/service pages
  • Lead generation content

3. Get product ratings on your site

Depending on your business model, you may want to give people the ability to rate or review specific products, services, etc. directly on your site.

This is especially useful for eCommerce or if you’re a tech company that sells several products.

  • 63% of visitors are more likely to buy when a website has reviews/ratings
  • Reviews can produce an 18% increase in sales
  • Customer reviews are 12x more trusted than descriptions from the brand

Brands that do it well:

  • Amazon
  • Apple: iTunes/App Store
  • NewEgg

Popular rating tools:

  • BazaarVoice
  • GIGYA

4. Offer an incentive:

Giving your customers a reason to share with others can skyrocket your word-of-mouth marketing as well.

Big or small, people are always more willing and likely to do something if they receive some sort of value in return. So, consider giving your consumers a discount or free gift in exchange for referrals.

Brands that do it well:

  • Trello: Free Trello Gold
  • Dropbox: Free Storage Space
  • Blue Apron: Credit for Blue Apron Products

5. Create a referral program

You can take this a step further by creating a formal referral program. A good referral program:

  • Makes spreading the word easy and quick
  • Makes it worthwhile for both parties (with an incentive or other benefit)
  • Measures the results of your campaigns

Top Referral Tools:

  • ReferralCandy
  • Friendbuy
  • LoyaltyLion
  • Influitive
  • Woobox

6. Connect with industry influencers and thought leaders

Influencers are exactly what their name suggests; individuals with a strong following and power to influence the beliefs and behavior of those in it.

Because of their already established reputation, word-of-mouth marketing from an influencer is undoubtedly the most valuable.

  • 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube.
  • 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions.
  • 73% of marketers say that they have allocated budget for influencer marketing.

How to Appeal to Influencers

  • Quote them in your content
  • Feature them or their products/services prominently
  • Let them try your product/services for free

7. Offer a unique, shareworthy experience

At the end of the day, the easiest way to generate word-of-mouth marketing in this digital age is to offer a unique, share-worthy experience.

If you give your consumers something memorable they cannot get anywhere else, they’ll want to share it with their friends and loved ones whether or not you ask them to.

Brands that do it well:

  • ClassPass
  • LuLuLemon
  • Dollar Shave Club

Quick word-of-mouth wins:

  • Identify and nurture your top customers
  • Ask for reviews/ratings when things are going well; don’t wait!
  • Use social media as a referral channel
  • Go above and beyond with unexpected customer service gestures
  • Use tools to automate the process
  • Make sure you have amazing service, staff, and support
  • Crowdsource feedback to make staff and support improvements
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