Everyone needs a reliable source of information. And in today’s digital age, you can find them on social media, Google, community forums and other online spaces. But all these sources have one thing in common: word of mouth or WOM.
If someone you trust or even strangers with similar issues and interests make a recommendation about something, you’re likely to consider it. That’s why word-of-mouth marketing is still so important in 2023.
So how can you get the people talking in the era of click-and-share? Let’s explore WOM in marketing and how it can help you today.
What Is Word of Mouth Marketing?
In the past, word of mouth was the primary way to promote products and services. People would talk about their experiences, and others would find out through conversations, letters or even gossip.
“Reputation management and word of mouth are similar, with WOM being more natural and organic,” said Tim Clarke, Rize’s Senior Reputation Manager.
“Companies must pay attention to both because consumers trust word-of-mouth testimonials the most.”
Historically, WOM marketing was used by businesses to reach potential customers, but it was also used by individuals who wanted to spread the word about something they believed in, such as:
- Political or religious views
- Social causes and initiatives
- Charities or nonprofit organizations
However, Clarke advises that you shouldn’t take a controversial position to protect yourself from negative backlash.
It’s the Digital Age. Do I Still Need WOM in Marketing?
Digital word of mouth advertising is still the same concept but adapted to online channels.
In fact, word of mouth marketing examples surround you today! Just look at a brand’s Facebook comment section, Twitter thread and YouTube reviews. All of these are WOM marketing in action.
Here are some examples of word of mouth advertising strategies today:
- Review generation: Many brands encourage customers to leave positive reviews on their services or products. This can range from leaving a review on Amazon, Yelp or Google.
- Referral programs: By offering incentives such as discounts or rewards for referrals, businesses can increase WOM marketing.
- Content sharing: By creating shareable content, businesses can encourage their customers to talk about them on social media or other platforms.
Determining what is word of mouth marketing and how it fits into your strategy is a question that you must answer. This is because, even today, it impacts your reputation, customer relationships and, ultimately, bottom line.
Word of Mouth Marketing Strategies You Can Use
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your word-of-mouth marketing game, here’s a quick list of tactics and word of mouth marketing examples you can use.
1. Cultivate Customer Relationships Through Positive Experiences
Good word about your business starts with doing good work. And we’re not just talking about the outcome of your project or offer. Some people may excel at their jobs but not necessarily at giving their clients a smooth and stress-free experience.
That’s why you must be aware of how you treat your clients throughout your project, from onboarding to completion.
Look at this pest control company, offering free quotes and various services for their clients. Their active customer support and review response team allows them to address public-facing issues and keep their customers satisfied:
Screenshots from Homerun Pest and Termite Control
These efforts paid off since most people chose them because of their reviews. In fact, just seven months after starting its review generation campaign, this company increased its review count by 60% and improved its Google Reviews rating to 4.92.
2. Organize Events and Contests
Another excellent word of mouth marketing strategy is online events, such as:
- Giveaways: Give away prizes to your customers as a reward for their loyalty or for completing specific actions.
- Discounts and Special Offers: Offer discounts or special deals on products/services.
- Contests: Hold contests that encourage users to share their experiences with others. The prize could be anything from free product samples to cash rewards.
There are several word of mouth marketing benefits from holding events and contests, such as better brand engagement, increased website traffic and higher customer loyalty. In fact, you can tie your contests with special occasions and holidays. This way, you get free word of mouth advertising while staying relevant.
3. Produce Video Testimonials
One thing that makes what is word of mouth marketing unique today is video, and Clarke suggests you take full advantage of that.
You won’t have to hire a celebrity and pay for air time on your local channel to prove that your offering works. Now, you can help your clients produce authentic video testimonials highlighting their experience with your business.
This is great for establishing credibility since people would see that you serve and provide results for real people.
“Using video more than text to make it more interesting is my main advice,” Clarke said.
An online reputation management company typically offers this word of mouth marketing strategy to make your reviews more dynamic and engaging. Here’s what a video testimonial feature would look like:
Image from Rize Video Testimonial Service
This interface is simple and convenient enough that your clients would have less resistance to sharing their thoughts on-screen. If you need an instant word of mouth promotion, an easy-to-use video testimonial solution like the one above is an excellent option.
4. Embrace Authentic Customer Reviews
While word of mouth reviews are essential, you can only really generate them if people choose you. To establish that initial trust, you need written reviews. Luckily, there are several platforms where people can leave their reviews, including:
- Facebook Ratings and Reviews
You can also display customer reviews on your website through a widget or a page. Here’s what it looks like on a flood relocation company.
Screenshot from Dependable RELO/Suddath
This allowed the company to generate 126 new reviews in just six months:
Case study: Daryl Flood Relocation and Logistics
5. Work With an Online Reputation Management Company
These word of mouth marketing strategies would only be effective if you have professional reputation managers backing you up. Word of mouth marketing benefits from online reputation management services since you take control of how others view you.
For instance, if you send your email campaigns to your leads and customers, you can also include a link for them to leave a review about your business on trusted sites like Google or Yelp.
These processes can be automated with website widgets and even full-service reputation management software.
An energy company leveraged online reputation management services to increase its reviews from just 11 on September 30, 2018, to 603 on February 28, 2019.
Case study: Pogo Energy
Because of this, the company finally translated private word of mouth reviews into customer feedback that the public could see and trust.
6. Be Creative and Memorable With Your Campaigns
Creativity is a fool-proof word of mouth marketing strategy. It helps you stand out and become the talk of the town, earning you more leads and sales.
But don’t get too wily and reckless with your word of mouth promotion campaigns. One misstep could lead to a PR disaster. As Clarke advises, you shouldn’t take a controversial position on issues since this can backfire and cause negative publicity.
After running your campaign, you can launch and manage a survey to get a pulse on what they think about it and get insights for your next campaign.
There are many survey campaign tools available today, and some of them have easy-to-use dashboards that provide an overview of audience sentiment.
Image from Rize Survey Campaign Management
You should also monitor your reviews and conversations to see if your campaigns are making a difference, good or bad.
Rize: Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing Amplifier
Yes, WOM in marketing is challenging, but it helps to know that there are tools and strategies available to help you succeed. These word of mouth marketing examples are just some of the many that exist, but they all have one thing in common – they’re effective!
And, if you’re looking for someone to handle your reputation while you enhance your word of mouth promotion, Rize can help. We offer a full suite of online reputation management services that eliminate the hassle of cultivating your brand’s reputation online.
From monitoring responses to increasing your social media followers, generating reviews and beyond, we ensure your online presence is secure and successful.
Contact our team to get started!