Connecting with your target audience can be difficult, and there are countless ways of doing it. Small or medium-sized businesses (SMB) can choose anything, from digital media marketing to out-of-home. However, one strategy that gets overlooked (especially in our technology-driven lives) is word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.
WOM marketing is brand promotion driven by customer experiences and stories. It can include reviews on social media, photos, or possibly the most important — recommendations from trusted friends and family members. How often have you recommended a restaurant to a friend or even a technician to fix something in your sibling’s house? If you’re a good friend, hopefully, you have done this quite a few times.
Now, think of the impact your recommendation could have. You tell your best friend about a restaurant, they try it and love it. The next thing you know, your best friend is telling her boss, who is telling her sister, and the buzz surrounding the restaurant booms. As an SMB, you do not want to miss this opportunity.
Why does WOM marketing matter?
Word-of-mouth marketing is crucial for connecting with prospective customers because people trust others more than they trust ads on any platform. In fact, according to Nielsen, 92 percent of people trusted recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of marketing when spending their money.
WOM marketing is not just friends telling friends but can include reviews on social media. In this modern age, consumers head online to check reviews of products and organizations before investing their time and money. If the reviews for your business are good, you should expect to see a correlation with more customers coming in.
Benefits of WOM
A significant benefit to using WOM marketing is that it’s free. While you might already have a marketing budget set aside for 2022, WOM marketing is based on the customer’s experience. Ensure you provide exceptional products or deals to increase the likelihood that a customer will enjoy what your business offers. If either one allows your business to make a connection with a new customer, you’re on your way to successfully using WOM.
Providing a service or product to a customer and creating a positive experience can also have a lasting impact. They can become customers who return regularly and bring their core group. As mentioned above, most people will trust a recommendation from their friends and family above any other type of marketing. Therefore, providing service that makes customers want to recommend you is extraordinarily impactful.
How a business can use WOM marketing
Now we get to the most important part — how your SMB can use word-of-mouth marketing. While WOM marketing may not happen immediately, you can help build it over time. First, you could try incentivizing customers to leave reviews or post their user-generated content online and tag the business. The incentive could be a complimentary dessert or ten percent off their final price, which will help improve your reviews and ranking. Another tactic could include loyalty cards. When a customer comes into your business and purchases something, you can give them a stamp on their card until they inevitably earn the goodie for returning the service. Finally, you could offer another deal to people who recommend your business to others. If the new customer signs up or purchases something from your business, you can give the original customer a referral fee or a reward. This will help continue brand loyalty and hopefully get the new customer to recommend your business.
WOM marketing is a powerful tool for any business, and your SMB could thrive by utilizing the ideas listed above. Growing into the well-known, thriving business, we know it can be.