From conventional print advertising to more advanced SEO and digital marketing, businesses of all shapes and sizes are constantly on the lookout for newer ways to reach out and connect with customers.
When it comes to attracting new business, the idea that you have to spend money to make money definitely holds true, which also means spending money on advertising. Unfortunately, however, an overwhelming pressure to pour money into paid advertising often results in business owners neglecting one of the most influential and time-tested advertising methods: word of mouth.
Word of mouth advertising involves your customers spreading the word of your business to their friends and family. Regardless of whether this is done in person or online, word of mouth is by far one of the most effective advertising methods, with up to 92% of consumers (¹) trusting word of mouth recommendations above all other forms of advertising. What’s more, it’s practically free.
How to Grow Your Business through Word of Mouth Marketing
Offer a High-Quality Product or Service
Offering high-quality products or services tailored to your customers is without a doubt the best and easiest way to generate word of mouth recommendations. Give customers a reason to recommend you, and chances are they will. If you need a bit of help or want to ensure you’re on the ball, consider using tools like Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, and Google Consumer Surveys to survey your customers. Customer surveys are a great way to collect valuable customer insights and identify ways you can improve your offerings.
Provide a Great Customer Experience
Recent studies show that consumers crave experiences (²). In fact, it’s safe to say that customer experience is vital to the success of any 21st-century business. Going that extra mile to show your customers you care can have a tremendous impact on word of mouth referrals. There’s no need to overthink things, however, and even the smallest details can make a world of difference. For example, let’s say you open a new Greek restaurant. Setting up a small photo booth where customers can have their photo taken with a gorgeous Greek backdrop could encourage them to share their experience on social media and do wonders for your word of mouth marketing.
Identifying and rewarding loyal customers is another way to improve customer experience and word of mouth marketing. Let your customers know you appreciate their business and reward them for choosing you over your competitors. For instance, sporting goods stores might choose to offer their loyal customers a free annual ski tune-up or skate sharpening. It’s these small gestures that show customers they mean more to you than a quick sale, which, in turn, leads to more word of mouth recommendations.
Treat Your Online Presence as an Extension of Your Customer Service
Would you recommend a company that’s hard to get hold of or never gets back to you? We didn’t think so. Treat your website and social media accounts as another way to connect with your customers. Social media is becoming an increasingly popular way for consumers to reach out to brands, so make it a point to monitor your accounts and respond to questions and reviews. And don’t forget to share content with your audience! Spotlighting super fans on your social media accounts or featuring user-created content relevant to your brand can encourage social engagement and take your brand awareness to the next level.
If you’re looking for a way to boost your business without breaking the bank, consider putting more effort into your word of mouth strategy. Get in touch with the Three Marketers today for more on how implementing an effective word of mouth strategy can take your business to new heights.
- nielsen.com, Digital, 04-11-2012
- hubspot.net, GPShopper’s Retail Emotion Insight Report for Retailers, 2017