The Holy Grail for a Marketer is to get a consumer to know that what they are saying is real. The most powerful method to accomplish this is through word of mouth.
It's the single, most important benefit that comes from word of mouth methods of advertising.
I mean, who would you rather trust? Your friend or the voice-over from a television advertisement?
With word of mouth, studies have shown, people simply believe the message. For this reason, any type of business can benefit from effective word of mouth advertising.
How does it work?
Pretty much anyone on the web has heard of Gmail - Google's powerful email account system that provides its wonderful search engine over the top. But did you know that very little money was spent in promoting it?
In fact, the marketing technique that was used was almost exclusively word of mouth.
If you were one of the few fortunate ones to have gotten a Gmail account in the early days, you were also given a limited number of accounts that you could share with anyone you liked. This simple technique built up a huge desire to have one because unless you were invited, you couldn't just get an account.
In turn, it create a buzz, and a certain desire that if you didn't have a Gmail account; you wanted one. And, Gmail went on to become one of the most in demand email accounts to have, with little to no advertising dollars spent on it.
So, how can you take this example of word of mouth and use it in your own business? Can you give away a service? A reward for referrals? Or even just provide superior service to your clients so in turn you can deliver to them enough to talk about to create the demand?
Here are 8 ways to encourage word of mouth.
- Personal Shopper
Get to know what each of your customers is really like and find products you know they want to buy.
- Luxurious Experience as a Standard
Create a luxurious environment that customers can escape into for retail therapy.
- Gift with Purchase
Look at your customer. Smile, say thankyou and hand them an inexpensive but useful gift every time they buy from you.
- Membership with Value
Create a community for your customers that get them to socialise around your product.
- Emotional Stories
Tell customers stories about the products or services you sell - and how they changed someone's life.
- Empower with Information
Give your customers interesting and factual information about your products or services - ratings, environmental impacts and reviews.
- Take Away Entertainment
Add value by producing how-to guides, tips and tricks and other useful information products such as booklets, ecourses, audio books or podcasts.
- Package Deals
Convert something complicated into a concept that's simple for your customer to understand, buy and talk about.
The great thing about using word of mouth strategies is that once they're in place, you can leverage them for traditional marketing channels such as direct mail, magazine and newspaper advertising to attract even more people.
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