Word of Mouth Marketing Is the New Advertising
April 19, 2016 by Sococo Bob
“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
For today’s brands, Oscar Wilde’s words ring truer than ever.
WOM stands for ‘Word of Mouth’ marketing, one of the most valuable growing marketing trends in today’s uber connected world.
WOM is exactly what it sounds like. It’s people communicating the old fashioned way about positive experiences they’ve had with products, brands, or companies.
And while 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising, a mere 10% of consumers actually trust brands.
“Gee, that sounds easy and far cheaper than the thousands of dollars I’ve been pumping into Google ad-words and SEO. How can I harness this power of the mouth? How do I get my customers to go out there and do the talky-talk for me?”
Well, turns out you have to put in some work yourself. Let’s have a look at what it actually takes to increase your WOM.
Elevate Your CX
CX stands for ‘Customer Experience’. Gartner defines CX as, “the practice of designing for and reacting to customer interactions to meet and exceed customer expectations to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.”
With options abounding in the internet sphere, ease of customer journey is more important than ever. It is no longer enough to simply deliver a good product. With the route to that product becoming increasingly mechanized, you have to provide more than an average website last updated and designed in 2009.
The internet provides an entire world at the touch of your fingertips and it’s crucial that your part of the world not be little more accessible than Antarctica.
Remember That the Power Rests in the Hands of the Consumer
With institutional trust at an all-time low and options abounding, the balance of power is in the hands of the consumer more than ever before. With the rise of social media, word travels fast and it has become exceedingly difficult to brush mistakes under the rug. A single brand tweet can be retweeted thousands of times and seen by many thousands more. Customer service is now a spectator sport.
When consumers look to you for help on social media, the world may very well be watching. Instead of letting this get you down, however, see it as an opportunity to reach thousands of people for every one customer you successfully engage with. A single tweet can be powerful: tweet wisely.
What Makes People Talk?
So how do you become a company whose customers can’t stop saying your name? Are there magical ingredients to creating word of mouth? We think there are a few. Here are our ideas:
1 . Give People Something to Talk About
First of all, you have to provide your customers with an experience worth repeating. Now, this can fall into one of two categories, and it’s worth noting that, unlike your high school crush, bad attention is not necessarily better than no attention at all. People are not going to be inspired to chat to their neighbor in the grocery line over a subpar experience: only a stellar experience will do.
Ensure that customer facing employees, and all employees for that matter, are exceedingly well-trained. Nurture your employees so that they are able to nurture your customers in a transcendent way. Be sure you are selling a stellar product that truly accomplishes what it promises with no strings attached.
BA CX for your WOM.
2. Be Unique
People also aren’t going to be inspired to talk about an ordinary experience. What makes you different? This could be creative marketing ideas. Maybe you have a unique company culture or you have a unique take on a somewhat hum-drum product like Casper.
Don’t just be another drop of water in the ocean. Let your freak flag fly and risk the unusual.
3. Give People a Reason to Trust You
Conduct market research, predict trends, go on podcasts, get your well-researched words out there! Especially if you work in the B2B realm, this is pertinent.
Give people a reason to trust you. Educate your customers, and yourself in the process. Make discoveries and tell people about them. Be at the cutting edge of your industry. This will not only give your followers something to talk about, but it will inevitably improve your business.
4. Create a Spotless Reputation
Brand integrity is huge right now. As institutional trust hits an all-time low, consumers want to know more than ever that the brands they work with have integrity and make conscientious decisions. This can come in many forms: transparency with decision making, transparency about products / prices / sources, or environmental and charitable initiatives. If you’re able to find a way to restore the rainforest and your customers’ faith in humanity: do it to it.
This can also be demonstrated in simple ways like responding kindly and thoughtfully to customer service questions on social media or responding considerately to current events.
Remember that humans will always win out over brands. Give your company a human face and always remember that humans have an innate BS meter for robots.
5. Develop a Community of Brand Ambassadors
Is it better to be feared or loved? How does one create a league of loyal followers? By nurturing a passionate community that feels at home with your brand, you create passionate talkers who can sing your praises far and wide.
How to create such a community? Loyalty programs are one idea. You can host contests and events, both online and IRL.
Encourage dialogue! It’s as simple as adding, “What do you think?” At the end of your tweets and facebook posts. Encourage your customers to talk to you. They will instantly feel a part of the family since you respect their opinion. Who knows? They may even give you honest advice that can improve your business or products. Get people talking to you and one another. Once they’re used to articulating their feelings about you on social media, they won’t be able to stop.
Bear in mind that communities usually cater to a special niche. What makes communities exciting is that they are exclusive. You obviously don’t intentionally want to leave anyone out, but narrow your field of focus a bit. Don’t be afraid to target a specific kind of person who is likely to become passionate and involved in your brand and products.
Bottom line: make a niche group of people feel understood and they’ll pledge loyalty forever. Jeep gets it.
6. Successful Examples
So, who is doing this whole word of mouth thing right? Well, let’s talk about Craigslist. Their website sure isn’t fancy. Come to think of it, have you ever even seen an actual paid advertisement on Craigslist? Or an advertisement directing you to Craigslist? Their whole business was created and spread by developing an innately useful tool which spread easily by WOM.
Etsy, Jetblue, and Zappos are other brands that have their WOM game on lock.
Sococo: Give Your Customers Something to Talk About
Using a product like Sococo gives your customers something to talk about. First there’s the name… Cocoa? I love hot cocoa.
Second, there’s the product. Not only does it give your customers something to talk about (I was transported directly into someone else’s office with a simple, easy click of a button!) but it gives them someone to talk to. How’s that for being unique in the age of technology?
Make an Impression
Creating strong WOM requires more than just nice customer service. You have to make an impression that will engage and inspire people to share. So be bold, brave, and beautiful. Let your freak flag fly! Don’t be the wallflower you were at your junior prom.
Let Sococo give your customers something to talk about and, more importantly, a way to say it.
Originally published at www.sococo.com on April 19, 2016.