Uncovering new ways to spike eCommerce sales is getting more challenging by the day as competition gets tougher. Simply having an existence won't work any longer. Even a user-friendly web store is not enough to generate sales these days.
You need to stand out with smart strategies and one of them, though as classic as time itself, is word-of-mouth marketing. It is often the underdog in marketing strategies but what goes farther and wider than words themselves?
Let’s check out what word-of-mouth marketing means and how you can implement it.
Word of Mouth Marketing: Definition
Traditionally, WOM marketing involved spreading recommendations from one person to another about a company or a product. Modern WOM marketing, however, is both the naturally occurring instances of customer satisfaction experiences as well as target efforts on social media. Today’s world is hyper-connected and a single recommendation can reach thousands of people leading to a greater impact. Many marketing tactics and practices encourage natural word of mouth. Trust encouraged by social media can go a long way to generating intention to buy which is why trust is a significant factor in the eCommerce busines. Ecommerce brands have grown by having Youtube influencers talk about them, by creating a Facebook group, and by getting on podcasts. These are all part of the modern world’s WOM marketing.
Word of Mouth Marketing: Strategies
Making a perfect WOM marketing campaign requires a strategy with greater thought. Instead of holding on to the hope that people will tell their friends about you, you need to move towards creating specific strategies that will actively encourage people to refer to your company or your product. Let’s have a look at some ideas that will help you to build your own WOM marketing strategy.
1. Set Up Word of Mouth Triggers
Word of mouth triggers must be your ‘X factor’. It will make your company or brand stand out from other similar offices in the industry. Word of mouth triggers means giving your customers something to remember. It could be a feeling, thought, or an experience that they won't get anywhere else. Consumers must be left feeling almost forced to talk about your brand to others.
2. Use Visual Triggers
An example of a visual trigger is Disney with its theme park, Disneyland. They have created a spectacular visual experience that makes people take pictures and share them on their social media handles. But when it comes to websites, it could be trickier to create visual triggers. However, you could try to create a website that is visually attractive and unique; so stunning that people simply have to share it. If your company has an Instagram handle, you could try posting pictures with a theme so that your grid looks visually pleasing and prompts people to share it. For websites, create an ease-of-use navigation system with conversions. IKEA is yet another word of mouth marketing example of a brand using visual triggers. They were one of the first members to bring in Augmented Reality (AR) to create an online buzz while launching their AR app.
3. Create Something Unique
Out of the box ideas are a unique way of triggering people into spreading the word about your brand or product. It does not mean that you must totally reinvent the wheel. It could be that you create marketing strategies in your business that are totally different from anyone else’s in your industry. You could even resell an old product in a new distinguished way like selling a shaving razor via a subscription to a monthly grooming package.
4. Emotional Provocation
Tapping on people’s emotions is a very powerful way to generate shares and get people to talk about your brand, business or product. This WOM marketing can be done by taking an idea you believe in branding your company closer to it on each of your social commerce networks including your websites. For instance, the slogan for Android was “Be Together. Not The Same” which was propelled by their “Friends Furever” video.
5. Encourage User-generated Content
Creative content generated by followers, customers, and users can turn out to be a shareable, engaging, and powerful marketing strategy than run of the mill company photos and updates. Have your audience engage in two-way communication so that they feel encouraged to talk about your brand on social media. This will effectively make them endorse and refer you to their followers and friends. Another way to encourage word of mouth marketing through user-generated content is by offering discounts for posts that meet certain criteria. You could also run an ongoing social media competition or giveaways with your own unique hashtag. Promote this hashtag wherever possible so that when customers avail of your service, they can post your service online tagging you in them with their hashtags.
6. Push Reviews and Ratings Hard
Customers always read reviews before availing of service online or otherwise. They trust the personal recommendations and at least a 4-star rating. This means you need to collect and display honest reviews of your service in as many places as possible such as social media posts, in your store, on websites, on marketplaces, and anywhere else you think your potential customers could be logging into.
7. Create an Official Referral Program
A referral program may not trump a bad experience for your consumers but presenting frequent referral rewards can be a great way to prompt happy consumers into taking a step toward introducing others to your services. Rewards could be anything such as,
- Discount off first or next order
- gift cards for referring to a certain number of people
- Straight up paying people for referrals
- Bonus gifts with the next order for referring
8. Know Your Customer LTV
You need to know and keep a track of your customer metrics and numbers, especially the average lifetime value. There is no point in rewarding $40 when your average customer only has a lifetime value of $20; that is just throwing away your money. This is the reason why reward programs particularly lend themselves well to subscription businesses or services that see high customer retention. Knowing your numbers well means knowing how much you can afford to spend as a reward.
The Bottom Line: Word of Mouth Marketing
Word of mouth marketing and advertising is a monumentally strong player in the growth of your retail business. However, it is imperative to start with the fundamentals of WOM marketing. Irrespective of the number of marketing consultants you hire, eCommerce events you attend, or modern growth hacks you try, you cannot provide quality customer experience or run a tight-knit operation without employing clever strategies. Hope our page helped you in getting you started.