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How to Increase Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Does your business actively seek out and encourage customer reviews? Do you make it easy for clients to say nice things about you? Have you devoted marketing dollars toward cultivating word of mouth? If you’ve answered “no” to any or all of these, you’re leaving a significant amount of money on the table.
Here’s what you’re missing.
People trust online reviews. They listen to what their friends and family say about the brands they frequent. A full 87% of respondents in a recent Brightlocal survey said they use online business reviews when making purchase decisions. More importantly, they trust them.
You know what they don’t trust? Standard advertising channels. A withering 96% of people report at least moderate distrust of traditional advertising messages. That’s not to say that traditional advertising isn’t useful. Well-crafted advertisements are still viewed favorably. But online reviews and other forms of word-of-mouth advertising are accepted as truthful far more readily.
Maybe you put some effort into gathering reviews a few years ago and now you’re coasting on the results? You should rethink that strategy. 73% of people reported that they don’t give much weight to reviews older than a month.
All this means that you should be putting significant effort into increasing your word-of-mouth marketing and that work should be continuous. In the average consumer’s eyes, you’re only as good as your most recent reviews. What can you do to increase your word-of-mouth marketing? Read on.
SEE ALSO: The Importance of Online Reviews (And How to Get Them)
MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO LEAVE A REVIEW
The best way to gather a lot of positive reviews quickly and consistently is to ask for them! Most satisfied customers would be happy to sing your praises, but they might not think to do it unless asked. Make a habit of asking for a review or referral each time you interact, whether in person, through email, social media, or other channels.
Once you have them thinking about a review, make it easy to follow through. Offer access points through your social media channels, your website, Google My Business page, and online review sites like Yelp. Place links for each of these channels on your website. You might even consider adding a QR code on your business card and other print collateral that directs your customer’s phone to a review collection hub.
Why Competition Is a Good Thing
INCENTIVIZE CUSTOMER REFERRALS
In the last section, we mentioned that most satisfied customers would be happy to pass your name along, if only you asked. That’s a bit romantic, if we’re being honest. Of course they’d WANT to help out, but many will forget without external motivation.
The truth is, it’s always easier to get someone to do something for you if you give them something in return. You can incent people to follow through with their intentions by offering discounts, giveaways, or other prizes in exchange for referrals.
Promote your referral program wherever your customers spend time. In-store, email, chat, and social are all valid options.
How to Get More Referrals
ACTIVELY PROMOTE CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS
Testimonials are valuable social proof, and they’re far more persuasive than traditional advertising channels. Why? Because people know advertisers spin their messages. They have a vested interest in self-promotion.
Testimonials, on the other hand, are seen as pure, honest reactions from real users. They provide proof of the advertiser’s claims. For example, your claim of excellent customer service gets a real shot in the arm when real people talk about compelling examples of it from their experience.
BUILD A COMMUNITY
It’s human nature to seek approval and group acceptance. People have an intrinsic need to belong. Put this to work for your brand by building a community of people interested in what you offer.
Build a social media presence and stack it high with brand personality. Reach out to interested individuals and establish a following. Create content that’s interesting to your target market and distribute it across the social sphere. When you can, help out, answer questions, provide support, and entertain. Make your fans into brand devotees, and you’ll have a massive platform for word-of-mouth marketing.
PICK AN ISSUE AND TAKE A STAND
Increasingly, the population is wearing their beliefs on their sleeves, taking to social media to champion their chosen causes. Savvy marketers can take advantage of this by turning their beliefs into a rallying cry.
Consider TOMS, the venerable shoe retailer. They took a strong stand in support of the less fortunate, making it their mission to supply a free pair of shoes to someone in need for every purchase. Consumers that shared their passion became loyal customers, happy to spread the word of the company and their virtuous goal.
You can generate significant word-of-mouth by finding a cause or ideal to fight for. Just be sure you’re a true believer and that you follow through with your promises. If your audience suspects you of masquerading for attention, the public backlash could be fairly severe.
OFFER RIDICULOUSLY GOOD SERVICE
After you’ve done what you can to encourage people to talk about you, give them a reason to shout your name from the hills. There’s no amount of cajoling or incentives that will put your name on people’s keyboards and lips if your products are subpar or if your service is forgettable.
On the other hand, when you go out of your way to dazzle your patrons with stellar customer service and industry-leading offerings, they’ll have no choice but talk about you. You’ll make an impression that will stick with them, and your name will naturally bubble up in their conversations, both online and off.
This last one is how we run our business every day at Simply Noted. We pride ourselves on our service, technology, and results. We offer the finest machine-written cards and customer service to match.
Our handwriting robots employ a sophisticated AI to drive real ballpoint pens to create hyper-realistic handwritten notes and cards. If you’ve used our service, you love us, and if you love us, you talk about us to your friends. We’ve built our business on the strength of our offerings, and word-of-mouth has been an important component. Find out how Simply Noted handwritten cards and word-of-mouth marketing could benefit your business!