Word of Mouth marketing (aka WOM Marketing): You would think that in the digitized era we live in, it would be a thing of the past. Actually, this couldn’t be farther from the truth, as the best brands in the world rely heavily on word of mouth marketing for their products’ success and their customers’ satisfaction ratings. It is considered to be still, an invaluable means of attaining and, most importantly, maintaining customers over a long period of time. Of course, social media enable it and enhance its effectiveness more than ever before. Word of mouth advertising was and still is among the most powerful ways to market your brand, indirectly!
According to a Nielsen report in 2015, a smashing 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends over any other form of advertising. Yet, companies and marketers don’t fully capitalize on word of mouth power in the last few years. In most cases, they’re trying so hard to build their social media audience, that miss the point altogether.
Having a really big audience can serve you nothing if that audience isn’t engaged. In order for clients to be engaged they need incentives, they need a reason try out your product/service for themselves.
Now, let’s go back a little bit and discuss all the reasons why you need to take word of mouth seriously, master it and capitalize on it. In this article we’re going to give you all the info you need to boost your freelancing career by taking advantage of word of mouth as marketing tool.
Why it’s important
As we mentioned above, employing word of mouth marketing strategy is an excellent way to attract clients; hence it’s one of the most powerful tools you can get, basically for free. Also, word of mouth is the greatest indicator of your customer service quality! Especially in demanding industries like retail, where even a minor incident can create a ripple effect and destroy reputation and credibility.
But in order to have one, you have to give it all your best in the other; by that we mean that word of mouth promotion cannot be effective unless you give it your best when it comes to customer service. And it’s only reasonable that this applies; a happy customer will definitely recommend you and your work to someone they know. Ιn a previous article, we mentioned simple techniques for excellent customer service, you might want to take a look there, too!
Forget the 4 P’s – Go for the 3 E’s
If you’ve ever taken a Marketing course you probably remember the 4 cornerstones of a successful marketing mix – Price, Product, Promotion, and Place. While this approach can be effective, your freelancing career will never reach its full potential unless you focus on your customers.
Νow let us explain how things are done in 2017 by mentioning all the ways you can follow to drive all the buzz around your products, regardless of your company’s size (it’ll get bigger, anyway!), your sales up until now and your industry.
Now, we’ve mentioned this one before; An engaged audience requires your engagement as well. You need to be available in your social media accounts. This is where mostly everything happens right now. You probably already have a Facebook ad running and you certainly have people stopping by, commenting or asking questions. So, interact with everyone who’s interested or has something to say about their experience with your company!
Respond promptly and take all comments into account. Show your followers you really care and they’ll appreciate it, return for more and recommend you to someone else!
Εquip you customers with ammo to shoot anyone who doesn’t prefer you!
Just kidding, hold your horses people!
Give your followers/customers something to talk about – in simple words, ignite an interesting conversation. And then, ignite one more and so on! This could be other customers’ comments on your products and customer service. A funny story of a mix-up that happened and ended with you jumping in to save the day! A safe way to do this is give them inside information on your industry or a sneak-peek of what’s coming up next. It can literally be anything, you just got to own it and be something you know your consumers will respond to. Word of mouth in the form of ‘shares’ and ‘comments’ will take it from there, for you!
Also, you can equip them with incentives. Set up a referral program so an existing customer can refer a friend – then give them both a bonus discount! Or, create a giveaway competition on social media, where people can share your giveaway goodies and win.
Give your customers different ways to talk about you and share their experience. Show them how important their ideas, suggestions and opinions are to you. Help them find ways to share those things within their circles and move their conversations around. Successful brands oftentimes resort to a public invitation for a new product or add new features to already existing ones.
Take us, here at Elorus, for example. Everyone can post an idea of a feature they’d like to see live in the application, in our Elorus Community forum. We collect all those ideas from time to time, choose the ones that have been upvoted by the majority and add them to Elorus. This is a process that has helped us evolve and adapt to our customers’ needs. And customers recognize our efforts and talk about Elorus to their friends and business partners – word of mouth marketing means a great deal to us!
People that were referred to you by other customers are 4 times more likely to choose you, over a competitor they know nothing about. Social media are your friends here, so you want to harness their influence to spread the word on your products/services. And never forget that, happy customers will always return for more and they’ll most likely bring someone else along, too!