As far as I’m concerned, word of mouth marketing is THE most powerful marketing strategy out there. Have you heard of it? Just like personal branding, even if you don’t know you’re doing it, you probably are.
Word of mouth has been around forever. It’s pretty much just people talking about, and sharing opinions about, stuff. It’s a conversation among consumers.
The ‘marketing’ in word of mouth marketing happens when a business joins in that consumer conversation with intent. It’s about encouraging consumers to talk about you, in a totally above-board, non-fake, honest, and (hopefully) non-douchey way.
When I say you should totally check out that new restaurant’s Facebook page, it’s word of mouth. If I’m saying it because I got a 50% off coupon because I liked their Facey page and you can get one if you like ‘em too, that’s word of mouth marketing at work.
Why would you want your business to be the topic of conversation anyway? Because a recommendation for or against – or even just a comment that plants a seed for later recall about – your biz from my buddy is waaay more credible and powerful to me forming opinions about, and remembering your biz, than any form of paid advertising you could do. That’s the magic of 3rd party endorsement.
For most businesses, the worst thing that could happen isn’t people hating on you. It’s no one giving a shit about you. Distant cricket chirps as tumbleweeds roll by are definitely the scariest sound of all.
Word of mouth marketing is perfect for small business and solopreneurs (dumb word, but you get what I mean) because of its super low barriers to entry and easy trackability (thank you internet!). Also, I bet you sometimes tell your friends about your experiences with businesses or share stuff that caught your attention that your bro’s would be interested in. From that perspective, you’re already an expert in word of mouth marketing.
Here’s 4 Qs to ask yo’self if you want to rock word of mouth marketing:
1. Would my ideal client tell their friend about this?
Awesome service. A ridiculously good deal. A crazy competition. If you want your tribe to talk you’ve gotta give them something worth talking about. Nobody talks to anybody about boring shit. Whatever you do, please PLEASE be interesting. Give people a reason to talk.
2. How can I make my idea more portable?
Be helpful and make it super easy for your crew to have conversations about you. Be clear: about your marketing message and about the action you’d like people to take. Think creating a simple one line sentence that sums up your message / obvious share buttons / easy-to-share email invitations etc.
3. What can I do to make people excited to share?
Happiness rules. People will always rave about incredible customer service. Be responsive. Solve problems. Exceed people’s needs. Make it a habit to go above and beyond.
4. How can I make peeps proud to be associated with my biz?
Would you put your name on the line for a company you didn’t trust? Hell no. Me neither. No one’s gonna say nice stuff about brands they don’t trust. Do what you say you’re gonna do, be ethical, and be respectful every.single.day. Remember, one of the ways people express their values is through whom they do business with. Demonstrate that your values are aligned to those of your ideal client and be someone peeps wanna be publicly connected with.
Pump up the ‘talk-ability’ (my newest word) of your biz and your tribe’ll be shouting your name from the rooftops in no time.
Now I’d love to hear from you so we can all learn together.
01. Tell us: Do you use word of mouth marketing in your business?
02. Share 1 way you make it easy for your clients to share your marketing message with their friends?