There are many ways to market your business; one method is the word-of-mouth marketing strategy. As the name suggests, word-of-mouth (WOM) is when a customer advocates and expresses interest in the company’s offerings as a part of their daily dialogue.
Before discussing building an effective WOM strategy, we must understand when and why we use it. This strategy works for products/services that involve the sentiment of trust. For instance, you are more likely to visit a restaurant recommended by your friend than the one recommended by a billboard. When any offer is recommended by someone we trust, it becomes more credible as a good experience now backs it.
This brings us to the most critical element of building an effective WOM strategy: creating a good experience for your user or customer.
Creating a Good Experience
While you’ve spent enough time and resources building a quality product/service, offering a standout user experience is essential. Once you have a fair understanding of who your ideal users are, it’s recommended to research their behavior. Based on their attitude towards similar offerings, you can now create an unforgettable first experience that overshoots your customer’s expectations. The experience provides a seamless journey from the first encounter to the after-sales services. You can make an impression by adding small elements like a personalized note or a gift as appreciation for supporting your business. You may also add a small background story about what your brand stands for. All small elements combined with a sensory unboxing experience make your customers rave about you.
Note: Make customers the center of your business. Go above and beyond to build your cult of loyal consumers. Value consumer feedback and act on it. Being heard by a brand creates a sense of trust and belongingness.
To create a spark for your word-of-mouth marketing, a great strategy is to collaborate with influences.
Collaborating With Influencers
In this era of social media, we have a lot of data floating around. So much data contributes to the dilemma of decision-making for the consumer. It’s difficult for an average user to differentiate between information and misinformation. This is where influencers play a vital role. Every influencer has created a social image or a brand for themselves based on their choice of media. They have a community (a set of user personas) that trusts them because they can relate to them or have been following their journey and have built faith in the influencer’s expertise. Thus, identifying the right influencers helps you associate your brand with their personalities and lifestyle. This promotes brand awareness and sways consumers into making quick purchasing decisions.
An association with the influencers can be done by offering referral discounts, sending out free products, hosting influencer events, or even hiring a brand ambassador, depending on the company’s budget.
Once your word-of-mouth marketing strategy is in place, the next step is to create triggers.
Creating visual or sensory triggers ensures that you are a part of their daily dialogue by creating memorable experiences or feelings. Triggers are your ‘X Factor.’
If your offering can make the consumer feel something, half your job is done. Create “ASMR-worthy” unboxing experiences that make your customers want to record and share them. The small elements of a custom note or a surprise gift help you build an army of loyal customers. This strategy also helps create a “Fear of missing out” for the people in their circle, generating more demand for the brand.
Another great way to trigger is by creating a campaign. A #campaign or a #challenge works great to raise a spark or create a trend amongst a community audience. It can be anything from a cause that concerns your ideal consumers or a flashback memory to which they can relate. Once your brand can offer a conversation starter, you’ve successfully created a recall in their minds.
While a WOM strategy works great for making your consumer feel like a part of your brand, it’s also essential to know your budgetary constraints. Every offering has an expected Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). This refers to the revenue a single consumer brings over their relationship with your business. This is an important metric to set a budget for customer acquisition. For instance, if a customer typically spends $100, all your marketing initiatives collectively should be at most this amount; otherwise, you will lose money.