In spite of advancements in digital marketing and an infinite number of ways to connect with your audience, the oldest and most basic form of marketing remains the most effective: word of mouth. Here’s why it’s so important for brands to infiltrate the conversations of their customers, and how to make your product a hot topic.Why is Word of Mouth Advertising so Important?
Let’s be honest—traditional advertising doesn’t always work. Many consumers are tired of being bombarded with marketing messages day after day. Then, they’re quick to notice if there’s a discrepancy between promise and reality, and they’re not so quick to forgive.
Now, we’re not suggesting you do away with your current marketing methods. In fact, many times a traditional TV ad can spearhead a word of mouth campaign—just think of the impact Super Bowl commercials have. But the fact remains that 84 percent of consumers trust recommendations from their family, friends, and peer networks over all other kinds of marketing. To regain the attention and confidence of your audience, it’s time to put your faith back in word of mouth advertising.
How to Get Your Customers Talking
The key to encouraging customers to speak positively about your brand is to create authentic, honest, person-to-person messaging. Here’s how.
Don’t ignore the importance of offline networks
There’s no doubt that digital marketing is valuable. It allows you to communicate with your customers in real time and find out how they’re feeling anywhere, anytime.
However, you can’t focus solely on online advertising and ignore what’s happening offline. After all, this is where valuable, tangible interactions take place between friends, family members, and co-workers. It may be more difficult to measure and report these interactions, but they need your attention nonetheless.
Advertise with online and offline influencers
Partnering with social media influencers is worthwhile when the relationship is natural and genuine, but your strategy shouldn’t begin and end online. To leverage word of mouth, you must also incorporate offline influencers, including activists, artists, talent agency partners, and startup founders that have more clout offline than on.
These people have groups of tight-knit followers that turn to them for opinions and advice. Associating with these individuals can prove more beneficial than manufacturing phony relationships with social media stars.
Determine how to measure results from word of mouth advertising
When judging the effectiveness of your marketing budget, it’s easy to analyze social media interactions, user reviews, and Nielsen ratings. Quantifying word of mouth has been difficult, if not impossible—until recently.
Today, businesses are using key factors such as authority, expertise, thought leadership, and social impact to develop a system of measuring word of mouth. This way, it can be predicted and recognized for the successes it generates.
Clearly, word of mouth deserves its own marketing plan, strategy, and measuring system. For help connecting with consumers on a deep level and generating more conversations around your brand, please contact John Manlove Marketing & Communications at 281-487-6767.