Word of Mouth Marketing - A new emphasis on the oldest form of marketing…
This is the first in a series of three word of mouth marketing articles. The first will discuss the reasons for considering a word of mouth marketing strategy; the second will discuss the topic of creating a funnel to capture WOM; and the third will give you some great insights into why people talk, what they talk about, and how you can generate more word of mouth from and for your business. At the conclusion of these three articles you’ll be well equipped to save thousands in traditional advertising, and confidently adopt a word of mouth marketing strategy to lift your business to a new level.
Why would a business cut back on traditional advertising and invest more into Word of Mouth Marketing?
Advertising used to serve a very beneficial function: it kept us informed of what was new, what was better and what was well priced. The reason advertising avoidance is now at an all-time high is not only because we are fed up with being interrupted and distracted by unwanted, irrelevant messages; but ultimately because we now have ways and means to get this information where we need it, when we need it.
The other challenge is trust. Trust of advertising messages is at an all-time low, with only 14% of people saying they trust advertising, compared with the 90% of people who trust peer-to-peer recommendations: word of mouth. You can see why e-marketer reports that two thirds of all economic activity in is now influenced by word of mouth!
If WOMM has been around for a long time, why should it be a focus now?
You’re absolutely right. Word of mouth marketing has been around since cavemen roamed the earth. It doesn’t take much of a stretch to imagine one caveman telling another about a popular hunting area (…and so on and so on), ultimately turning that site into the most popular hunting ground in their cave community.
It worked then, and it still works powerfully now. The difference today? Technology has increased our social connectivity, making it easier than ever to get consumers to do your marketing for you. A post that takes just a few minutes for a fan of your business to write will be seen by hundreds of friends who trust them, and can rapidly travel out to yet thousands more.
The fact is Word of Mouth is now the most sought-after content on the internet. Social Media platforms (now the number 1 source of traffic on the net) like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Youtube, and Linkedin are all driven entirely by user content, shared experiences… word of mouth. The statistics for each of these sites are mind boggling – you can browse them listed at the end of this article.
The world’s largest travel site, Trip Advisor, is entirely based on user reviews, (over 170 million shared opinions); Amazon, the world’s largest online e-tailer is also famous for its user reviews; and Yelp, a largely American-based site, gets more than 88 million visits a month looking for user reviews.
And what those reviews say matters. Restaurants with 3.5 stars on Yelp are 63% more likely to be full then those with just 3 stars – a half star difference. According to Reevoo stats, (another online reviews site), 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
Don’t be fooled, this phenomenon is not just the domain of the big brands. 64% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews (iPerceptions). Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from the business itself (eMarketer).
Fuelling conversations and driving passion will make a huge difference to your brand.
Some people think that word of mouth is a bit like the weather: reasonably important, but not much they can do about it. Many others think that it's just about good customer service - but it's not. Don't get me wrong - good customer service is critical for the success of any business, but you can’t expect happy customers to instinctively write online reviews about you. It takes a little bit more than good customer service to guarantee converting experiences into reviews.
If you aren’t convinced that you should at least explore proven, successful word of mouth marketing strategies after reading about the immense untapped potential of this opportunity then, like the proverbial ostrich, you’re sticking your head in the sand.
But don’t worry – because in our next article you’ll learn just how easy and effective it is to adopt a strategy that will get your word of mouth amped up to the max.