Make each moment original and be talked about!
The truth is, there are some things that are just simply more interesting and worth talking about than others. Many readers might believe the latest cell phone is much more interesting to talk about than a weed whacker. Sure, but that is only because you might be part of the targeted crowd that is more receptive, at this point in your life, to cell phones. Millions of dollars worth of weed whackers are sold each year, because despite the fact of a cell phone appealing more to you at the moment, a product that is such a necessity for everyone with a garden, such as a weed whacker, is much more suitable for a word-of-mouth campaign. It is a product that is needed by a selected consumer crowd, that likely trusts recommendations and spends time socializing and speaking about gardening. As word-of-mouth campaigns are also usually focused on long-term goals, this is a product that will likely thrive from this marketing tool.
Trust and the relationship
Marketing has many mediums – word-of-mouth is the most personal one and at the same time possibly the most powerful one, as it requires trust to the same degree that it requires a product or service worth talking about.
It is also aimed at a very targeted and selected crowd. This makes it so extremely effective, as thousands of people are not randomly included and targeted through costly campaigns, when only a few are even potential clients for the service or product. Resources are not invested to focus on potential customers, that are not even interested or affected by what you have to offer.
Relationships between a company or product and the customers, which are the base for word-of-mouth, develop over time. The information is targeted toward a crowd who trusts you and is interested in your opinion and choices. Engaging with your customers takes time. Word-of-mouth is not something meant to be put in effect for a campaign that will run for two weeks and should create a huge buzz within this period. You can implement the best print, paid ad on social media, or TV campaign, unless you get people talking about you and supply them with something worth talking about, your marketing campaign won’t be nearly as successful as you desire.
Word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t equal social media alone
Social media has grown tremendously during the past decade. Collecting followers and likes has become a new marketing goal for many companies. Customer opinions and recommendations are freely shared with everybody and products are praised or criticized publicly. While this can lead to a huge increase in sales quickly, it is important to remember – word-of-mouth is more than just social media.
If you decide to include social media into your word-of-mouth strategy, it could be helpful to focus on the media outlet important for you. Are you selling a service mainly relevant for 50+ year olds? Then Instagram may not be your perfect outlet. Focus on specialized groups on Facebook. Maybe you can reach your target crowd best by speaking at a conference or engage with like-minded people at a convention or social gatherings.
While word-of-mouth can be highly effective and beneficial for most companies, start-ups as well as established large corporations alike, there are a still very few areas where word-of-mouth campaigns might be a bit controversial. Small B2B customers and freelancers could find themselves in a request-for-service trap. Contrary to common belief, while small companies, freelancers and self-employed mostly depend on pretty much every customer or contract, word-of-mouth could lead to customers requesting services or buying products that do not fit their profile at all. A freelancer that builds amazing websites for a variety of small art galleries and cultural events is likely only interested in customers to benefit his portfolio as well. Word-of-mouth can lead to recommendations spreading through friends, associates or even a strategically misplaced ad. It could now be difficult to reject a request from a very popular or large client to build their, very generic, online presence. Rejecting the contract would probably lead to negative word-of-mouth. This could now lead to a situation, where a freelancer would find himself in a position to execute a job that does not fit the portfolio.
Find out more about how to be noticed and the core values of word-of-mouth strategies in our The HUB magazine here