Studies show that word-of-mouth (WOM) continues to be a powerful marketing tool. Research indicates 83% of consumers trust the recommendations of friends/family, 92% trust feedback from others (including strangers) and 20-50% of all purchases are influenced by WOM¹. Here are some proven word-of-mouth strategies that can help grow your business:
- Encourage user-generated content.
“Hashtag marketing” helps boost positive impressions, searchability of your content and conversations about your business:
- Encourage your customers to engage with your brand on social media, a primary way to find out about products/services.
- Create share-friendly content like contests, polls, fun quizzes; get customers to share this content and have them tag it with a hashtag.
- Advertising plays a role in word-of-mouth.
Research finds a relationship between advertising and WOM²:
- Twenty percent of WOM discussions refer to paid advertising in media, making advertising an “extension” of WOM.
- Conversations that are “advertising influenced” are more likely to involve recommendations to buy or try a product/service when compared with other WOM discussions.
- Add testimonials and reviews.
Testimonials and reviews are strong word-of-mouth messages:
- Look for reviews/testimonials on websites related to your business and bring them to your site/social feed.
- For credibility, link back to the original review and/or identify the source.
- Create sharing incentives.
People are more likely to post and share about your business when there’s something in it for them:
- Offer customers a discount if they tell others or post to social media about your products/services.
- It doesn’t only have to benefit customers – offer a compassionate incentive, such as a charitable donation.
Take active steps to get people engaged with your business and interact with consumers who like to share. Word-of-mouth is a powerful motivator for both sales and engagement, and can help build connections, customers and revenue.
Source: Forbes, reported by Kate Harrison; “Global Trust in Advertising” study by Nielsen¹; Advertising Research Foundation, reported in Journal of Advertising Research²