Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach customers. Here’s how to make it work for you in 2020.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the holy grail of the marketing world. Customers love what you do and become brand ambassadors, recommending you to their family, friends, and broader networks. It’s completely free and has an amplification scale that’s hard to reach organically. And in a landscape full of sophisticated strategies and digital marketing, marketers can still take steps to ensure that word-of-mouth marketing is hard at work for their brands.
Focus on User-Generated Content
One of the best ways to turn word-of-mouth marketing into actionable marketing content is through user-generated content. These could be testimonials, videos, social media endorsements, and social campaigns. Create programs and opportunities that encourage your biggest fans to share their experience. Interview happy customers, and create case studies, testimonials, and bite-size quotes that can be shared throughout your branded materials.
Create a Referral Program
Are you incentivizing customers to refer people to you? A referral program can reward customers with discounts, comped products or services, or other benefits. Typically, the people who take part in these programs would have recommended you anyway, but you must catalyze participation and help turn word-of-mouth marketing into a trackable win-win.
Start with a Pilot Project
All too often, marketing teams launch multiple initiatives that get lukewarm results because they’re not focused on what they want to achieve. Define your goals and objectives. Take a hard look at your most important customers and high-priority prospects. What project is most likely to reach them? Start there, and then scale once you have success.
Use Marketing Technology to Build Trust
Whether you’re hiring influencers to go out on behalf of your brand or you’re getting brand advocates to post their happy customer experiences on social media, marketing technology can help. It’s important to build trust in influencer marketing. Technology helps because it can track actions, show analytics, deliver incentives, and provide templates and creative to make the process easier.
Today’s word-of-mouth marketing is less organic than it was 10 years ago, but it’s still a vital part of the marketing mix. Take the steps needed today to support a strong program that’s tied to your goals and strategically managed over the long term.