How to Encourage Word Of Mouth Marketing (WOMM): Transforming Your Customer Base Into A Marketing Army
The business battlefield is a treacherous environment full of cunning competitors, unforeseen challenges, economic pitfalls, and constantly shifting landscapes. In fact, it is estimated that one in five businesses will fail within their first 18 months.
Yikes. This harsh reality can turn even the most hardened marketing veteran into a quivering bundle of nerves.
However, we here at GrowthPanels have an ace in our arsenal. A concrete word-of-mouth marketing strategy is a surefire means to dominate the competition and strengthen your business.
But how do you encourage your satisfied customers to share their positive experiences? Well, we want to hand this invaluable information over to you right now.
Gather 'round, rookie, and get ready to jot down some notes because we are about to unveil our top-secret tricks of the trade, featuring some incredible word-of-mouth marketing examples. Within this blog, we will divulge how to enlist a personalized marketing battalion sourced straight from the ranks of your loyal customer base.
The power of word-of-mouth marketing
When it comes to promoting your business, traditional marketing methods can certainly do the trick. However, let's face it – marketing comes with a hefty price tag that can take a considerable bite out of your profit margins.
So, understandably, you will want to use the most effective and efficient marketing strategy available. A concrete word-of-mouth marketing campaign is the solution, and here is why:
- Authenticity: Consumers are tired of carefully curated content and flashy paid advertisements designed to part them with their hard-earned cash. Instead, 88% state that authenticity is what they crave. Genuine word-of-mouth recommendations make a brand seem more authentic and reliable.
- Cost-effective: Organic word-of-mouth marketing is a cost-effective strategy that packs one hell of a punch. While advertising campaigns can drain your budget in minutes, sparking conversations among satisfied customers costs you absolutely nothing. The ripple effect generated by this form of advertising can extend your reach far beyond what your marketing dollars could achieve alone.
- Consumer trust: It is a bitter fact to swallow that 75% of customers do not believe in our meticulously designed advertising spiel. This is a sizable issue, considering that 67% of consumers must trust a brand before making a purchase. Thankfully, Nielsen has shown that 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth referrals from their friends, colleagues, and family members more than any other type of advertising.
- Customer conversions: Around 43% of marketers are confident that embracing word-of-mouth marketing can lead to heightened sales. This type of marketing is believed to contribute to approximately 13% of worldwide sales, which translates to a mind-boggling $6 trillion. Even a modest 10% boost in word-of-mouth efforts could potentially result in businesses enjoying a sales boost ranging from 0.2% to 1.5%.
- Brand awareness: This form of marketing acts as a brand amplifier, spreading awareness of your company far and wide. In fact, a whopping 83% of marketers use word-of-mouth strategies for this very reason. Why is this important? A staggering 59% of consumers prefer to buy from familiar brands rather than rolling the dice on an unknown one.
- Social proof: Diving headfirst into an unknown purchasing decision can be downright daunting, especially given the current economic landscape. It is no surprise that a whopping 74% of shoppers have experienced buyer's remorse following an online transaction. This is where word-of-mouth advertising can come in, offering the social proof necessary to make well-informed and confident decisions. The knowledge that countless other individuals have had a positive experience with a brand can reassure any concerns or doubts.
Our top 3 tips for making your brand worth talking about
By now, I am entirely confident you are completely on board with the numerous benefits of word-of-mouth marketing and are eager to dive straight in. But pace yourself, young padawan; it is time to learn from the master.
Allow us to share our ancient wisdom on how to effectively encourage positive word-of-mouth marketing with these 3 highly-guarded top tips.
1. Ensure you have a quality product
I made the decision to upgrade my phone yesterday. Oh boy, was that a big mistake. I ended up purchasing the latest Nokoff 427, which boasted 'unrivaled performance' and 'state-of-the-art features’. Well, the reality is that the battery is dead within two hours, and the camera churns out blurry photos that look like this:
That abomination will not get me many matches on my dating profile. Rest assured, I have made it my personal mission to share my dismal experience with my friends, coworkers, family, and the postman. I have even gone the extra mile and left the following scathing Amazon product review:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you are selling absolute tat, then the only word-of-mouth marketing you are likely to receive is a slew of negative online reviews. This unfortunate publicity can be incredibly damaging, causing:
- Loss of trust: Negative word-of-mouth erodes trust in the brand, making potential customers skeptical about its offerings.
- Reduced sales: Stories of negative experiences discourage potential buyers, leading to decreased sales and revenue.
- Damaged reputation: Negative comments spread online, tarnishing the brand's reputation and credibility.
- Customer hesitation: People become hesitant to engage with a brand that others have had issues with, affecting customer acquisition.
- Loss of loyalty: Existing customers might reconsider their loyalty if they perceive a pattern of dissatisfaction.
So, to encourage positive word-of-mouth, it is crucial to make sure you have a great product from the get-go. This can achieved by:
- Thorough testing: Rigorously test your new product under various scenarios to identify and address any issues before launch. Consider beta testing with a select group of customers for real-world feedback.
- Clear messaging: Your marketing materials should accurately reflect your product's features and benefits. Misleading or exaggerated claims can lead to disappointment and negative word of mouth.
- Customer feedback: Actively seek and integrate customer feedback during the development phase. This ensures your product aligns with customer needs and expectations.
- User-friendly design: A user-friendly interface and intuitive design can enhance customer satisfaction by minimizing frustration.
- Anticipate common issues: Identify potential pain points customers might encounter and proactively address them through instructions, tutorials, or support resources.
- Consistent performance: A great product should consistently deliver on its promises. Inconsistent performance can lead to disappointment and negative word of mouth.
Example: The Phantom Menace toys
The year was 1999, and it seemed like the entire world was infected with Star Wars mania, all thanks to the eagerly anticipated release of The Phantom Menace.
Riding the wave of success from the previous trilogies' toy lines, the logical move was to double down on merchandise. But who would be the face of this bold marketing venture?
Oh dear. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the franchise will know that Jar Jar Binks was not to become a beloved character. Instead, his introduction unleashed a tidal wave of negative word-of-mouth amongst fans due to his grating personality, childish humor, and concerning racial connotations.
Jar Jar Binks was a misfire, but no one realized it until it was far too late. Numerous toys, including the unsettling lolly seen below, remained stagnant in discount bins, accumulating dust for months to come.
2. Constantly engage with consumers on social media
There are over 4.9 billion users across all social networks. That sounds like a lot, and it is.
Even if we took the population of India (1.4 billion), China (1.4 billion), and the United States (339 million), we would still be about 1.8 billion short of the total amount of social media users. In fact, it is about 61% of the entire world population.
Incredibly, this figure is set to grow, with some estimates suggesting that this number will reach an impressive 5.85 billion in 2027. Heck, even my Nana may eventually hop aboard the social media train and figure out the fine art of the selfie.
This digital landscape seems like the ideal marketing channel to drum up some word-of-mouth buzz. The following word-of-mouth marketing statistics seem to indicate that this is indeed true:
- 71% of consumers who have a positive customer experience on social media with a brand will recommend it to others.
- 75% of customers are more inclined to share positive content about a brand on social media when that brand establishes a meaningful connection with them.
- 90% of marketers claim that social media marketing has increased brand awareness.
- 75% of marketers have seen increased website traffic since using social media marketing.
- 66% of potential customers will view brands more positively if they respond to customer service inquiries on social media.
However, countless brands are still not unlocking the full potential of social media marketing.
At times, it can feel like consumers are talking to an empty room, with brands often failing to respond to user engagement or offer any meaningful content.
There are thousands of comment threads on social media posts and tweets that are left unanswered. In fact, it is estimated that 89% of all social media messages are never answered, even though most consumers (74%) expect a response within 24 hours.
However, to the 13% who expect a response within the first hour, we kindly would like to remind them we are super-marketers, not superhuman.
To kickstart your word-of-mouth campaign, we highly recommend that you utilize these incredible social media engagement techniques:
- Hashtags: Oh, the humble hashtag. Often overlooked by marketers, it can be a true source of word-of-mouth marketing power. In fact, utilizing branded hashtags could see brand awareness rise by an incredible 70%. #HashtagHustle
- Respond Promptly: In a world where we demand refunds if our pizza does not make it to us within an hour, it should not come as a shock that we also expect rapid replies to our social media interactions. Responding promptly to these interactions is a surefire means to boost word-of-mouth.
- Shoutouts: Every brand has that one special brand advocate, one who has every piece of merchandise and even a branded tattoo. It is time to show them some love with a shoutout that acknowledges their importance to your brand.
- Encourage discussion: Stir up some digital debate by posting content that will ignite lively discussion and opinions. Make sure to make your social media feed interactive. Ask tantalizing questions, launch polls, and demand feedback so that users can not resist jumping in with their two cents.
- Share user-generated content (UGC): If authenticity is what you desire, then turn the spotlight onto your happy customers. We recommend transforming your social media feed into an exclusive gallery showcasing their rave customer reviews, testimonials, videos, and even craft. 72% of brands claim that this type of content marketing enables them to connect better with consumers and build trust on social media.
- Run contests and giveaways: Who doesn’t love to win? Well, the 55 million Americans who enter online competitions seem to. These virtual contests ignite social media threads as participants tap, click, share, and comment for a chance to win a prize. Moreover, a whopping 62.13% of consumers are ready to spread the word about the competition, nudging friends, colleagues, or family members to jump into the action as well.
- Create shareable content: Here is the secret recipe to create shareable content: sprinkle in a touch of entertainment, scoop up some educational goodness, and generously heap on a spoonful of value. When consumers take a bite of this delicious content and discover its worth, they will not be able to resist passing it on to others.
Example: Domino's Pizza
What a remarkable comeback Domino’s has had. In 2009, the company was faced with:
- Backlash from viral videos depicting employees contaminating ingredients.
- Repercussions from a $79 million lawsuit against the numerous driver accidents caused by their 30-minute delivery guarantee.
- Total debt that exceeded $1.7 billion.
- Consumer dissatisfaction with the quality of their product, with some stating the crust tasted like cardboard, and the sauce was reminiscent of ketchup.
- Plummeting revenue that reached a low of $1.404 billion.
However, in 2023, business is back to booming, with a net worth of $13.55 billion. But how did this turnaround happen? One reason for this success was that the company decided to embrace social media.
One glance at their X or Facebook pages will show you that Domino’s means business on social media. Want to know their secret sauce? This is how they domino-nate social networks:
- Have taken on a humorous brand persona that constantly makes jokes.
- Posts multiple times daily and responds instantly to countless comments.
- Actively responds to criticism and negative feedback.
- Constantly asks questions, runs polls, and organizes competitions to engage with consumers.
- Focuses on current events, including important dates, news, and sports results.
Have their social media marketing efforts worked? Just take a look at these engagement metrics on this post.
Still not convinced? We like to think this comment from a user summarizes the impact that social media can have on word of mouth.
3. Incentivize your audience
Take a moment to imagine this: you are a child at your best friend's birthday party. It is time for musical statues, and you are dancing your little heart out.
But suddenly, you realize... there's no incentive for winning. What's the point of elbowing your way to victory if there's no prize at the end of this sham?
Now, imagine the same scenario but your friend says, "the winner gets a bubble blower.”
In an instant, you have transformed into a miniaturized Rambo, circling the chairs like a whirlwind of destruction. Why? All in the name of those glorious bubbles.
That was one awkward 16th birthday party. But it does prove an important point: people are more likely to perform a task for an incentive.
By offering incentives, you ignite a spark within your customers. These rewards act as a catalyst, motivating consumers to actively engage in conversations, discussions, and endorsements that revolve around your products or services. In fact, 90% of consumers claim they are much more likely to engage with a brand if it provides a reward.
Now, it is important to note that you can’t just offer any old rubbish as a reward. Here are a few examples of incredible incentives to reward customer loyalty:
- Discounts and coupons: Everyone loves a good deal. Offer exclusive discounts or coupons on purchases, encouraging customers to share their experience.
- Limited-edition products: Offer special, limited-edition products that are exclusively available to those who engage in word of mouth.
- Affiliate programs: Reward customers, influencers, bloggers, or brands with a commission for each sale or lead they generate through their promotional efforts.
- Freebies or samples: Providing free gifts or samples can pique interest and make customers excited to talk about their experience.
- Exclusive access: Offer early access to new products, services, or features to customers who engage and share.
- Loyalty programs: Reward loyal customers with points, rewards, or special status levels for their engagement and referrals. It is estimated that 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand if it has a good customer loyalty program.
- Referral programs: Provide rewards or discounts to customers who refer friends, family, or colleagues to your business. It is believed that individuals acquired by referral marketing are four times more likely to refer other new customers.
- Collaboration: Involve customers in decision-making processes, such as naming new products or contributing to creative projects.
- Gamification: Turn engagement into a game with points, badges, or levels, motivating customers to participate and compete. It is estimated that gamification can boost engagement by a staggering 48%.
We here at GrowthPanel are fully aware that creating an affiliate program can be a difficult and stressful task. In fact, it can sometimes lead to even the best marketers doing this:
There are countless boundaries facing businesses when kickstarting an affiliate program, including:
- Technical setup: Implementing the tracking mechanisms, generating unique affiliate links, and ensuring accurate attribution of sales can be complex.
- Resource investment: Running an affiliate program requires time, effort, and resources to monitor the system.
- Finding quality affiliates: Identifying and recruiting affiliates who are aligned with your brand and capable of driving meaningful sales can be challenging.
- Commission structure: Offering too little commission might discourage potential affiliates while offering too much could impact your profit margins.
- Tracking accuracy: Ensuring accurate tracking of sales and commissions is crucial, as technical issues could lead to disputes with affiliates and erode trust in the program.
- Payouts: Managing timely and accurate commission payouts can be complicated, especially as your affiliate program scales.
- Tracking multiple channels: If you are running multiple marketing channels alongside an affiliate program, attributing sales accurately across all these channels can be complex.
We empathize with you, dear customer. It has become our mission to develop a platform that enables users to effortlessly launch an affiliate program.
The incredible news is that we have succeeded. GrowthPanels is the easiest means to incentivize your customers to perform tasks and reward brand loyalty.
Whether you are a small e-commerce business or a sales mega-corporation, this innovative process can be done in three simple steps:
- Sign up to GrowthPanels for free.
- Choose the tasks you want users to accomplish and set the amount you are willing to offer for each.
- Embed it on your website or web application and tell your users about it.
When was the last time a company handed you a large sum of money for absolutely nothing?
Never, we imagine, but our remarkable service is about to buck that trend. GrowthPanels will help you generate an extra $5,000 in annual recurring revenue for free.
Check out our affordable pricing plan below to get started turning your users into a word-of-mouth marketing machine.
Recruiting an army of brand ambassadors
Look, when it comes to encouraging word-of-mouth, it is not about being a ruthless dictator demanding customers to take action. It is more about establishing real emotional connections with consumers through quality products, interactions, and reward schemes.
So, take a moment to reflect on your marketing strategy. Yes, you may have a decent-sized consumer base, but have you WOM their hearts?