The Tyro Blog

14 December 2022 - 6 min read

Business Strategies

What is word-of-mouth marketing and why do I need it? 

There’s no getting around the fact that if you’ve got a business, you’ve got to market it. 

One of the most valuable ways to generate brand and product awareness is via word-of-mouth marketing.  

In this article we cover how word-of-mouth marketing can benefit your business, and practical tips to maximise your word-of-mouth marketing efforts.

What is word-of-mouth marketing?

Word-of-mouth marketing (otherwise known as ‘WOM marketing’) occurs when a consumer organically shares a positive experience with their peers about a product or service. Essentially, it’s free marketing triggered by the impressions, feelings, and thoughts of buyers.

Types of WOM marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing can occur both in-person and online. Physical WOM marketing looks like conversations with friends, family members and colleagues, while online WOM marketing takes the shape of content across all kinds of platforms. 

Examples of online WOM marketing include: 

  • blogging 
  • viral marketing 
  • affiliate marketing 
  • influencer marketing 
  • user-generated content 
  • reviews and testimonials

Benefits of word-of-mouth marketing

Having a positive word of mouth is vital for a strong brand image. Below are some of the other advantages that WOM marketing can bring.

It’s free

Since word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t involve any monetary investment into advertising, it’s a cost-effective way to get people talking about your brand. This can be extremely beneficial as a small-to-medium business wanting to keep costs to a minimum.

It creates trust

In a world saturated with advertisements, people can sometimes be skeptical about buying from brands with persistent promotions, as they don’t know who to trust. However, when recommended a product or service from people they know, it’s another story. Oftentimes, people prefer buying from brands that people around them are vouching for. According to Nielsen’s 2021 Trust in Advertising report, 88 per cent of respondents trust recommendations from people they know more than any other channel.  

WOM marketing helps to establish awareness around your brand which can, in turn, boost trust. The higher levels of trust, the more likely your target audience are to consider buying from your brand, leading to more sales overtime.

It develops brand loyalty

When a product or service has a track record of being reliable, consumers feel inclined to share their experience with others so they too can reap the rewards of the brand. Having happy, satisfied customers to sing your praises can lead to a community of loyal customers who keep coming back to do business with you.

It builds your brand’s social proof 

When customers become your brand advocates, they’ll help build brand authenticity and credibility. Social proof is crucial to growing your brand and conversions, and, ultimately, increasing the longevity of your business. 

It helps to increases conversion and sales 

As with any kind of marketing, WOM marketing can help to generate more business, which is always a win. The more conversions you make and the more sales you bring in, the more you can put back into your business. 

Ways to increase word-of-mouth marketing 

Now that you know why WOM marketing is so good for business, let’s talk about how to boost yours. Here’s seven ways to increase word of mouth in marketing: 

Create something worth talking about 

It may sound self-explanatory, but for word-of-mouth marketing to work there’ll need to be something special about your brand that people will want to share. So, make sure you’re serving up something special and offering a top-notch experience at all touchpoints. 

Encourage reviews 

Positive customer reviews offer concrete proof of a brand’s trustworthiness and can give potential buyers the confidence they need to go ahead with their purchase. 

Since reviews are so powerful, you should make an effort to encourage your customers to leave them – whether on your website, social media, or Google reviews – so prospects can quickly and easily see what people are saying and make the move to buy. 

Reach out to influencers 

Influencers are well-trusted personalities with the power to reach up to millions of people with one post. Having an influencer talk about your brand will get it on a global stage and allow you to tap into an entirely new audience. So consider connecting and collaborating with them as part of your word-of-mouth marketing strategy. This could involve sending them your product/s and asking them to share their honest reviews, opinions, or experiences. 

Boost user-generated content 

The more people engaged with your brand, the better. A great way to generate brand engagement is by promoting user-generated content: original content posted by users on social media. Examples include quizzes, polls, filters, contests, and shareable hashtags. At the end of the day, all of this social activity adds up to invaluable business exposure. 

Highlight exclusivity 

People are more likely to talk about something if it’s exclusive or unique. If you give customers something they won’t find elsewhere, they’ll share their experience with others, which ultimately generates more buzz around your brand and generates interest in what you’re offering. 

Create sharing incentives

Consumers are more likely to post about your business and share your products and services if they can get something out of it. Incentives can include anything from a special discount if they refer their friends to your business or a free gift if they publish a post on social media. 

Offer a rewards program 

Another word-of-mouth marketing strategy is offering a rewards program that gives back to your customers. Loyalty is essential to brand longevity, and when customers feel valued and more than just a dollar sign, they’ll want to share that with others and get them onto the same benefits that they love so much. 

Wrap-up

Marketing by word of mouth is an effective way to get your brand on peoples’ lips. By implementing the above strategies, and always prioritising the customer experience, you’ll be well on your way to operating a brand that people can’t stop talking about.