What is Digital Word of Mouth Marketing?

The social media era’s version of simple word of mouth is what’s today called Online Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM). It is also known as word of mouth advertising. For millennia, people have used word-of-mouth marketing to promote their products. Prior to the advent of marketing, it was usual practice to select a business or service provider based on recommendations from others.

The impact of word-of-mouth marketing is nothing unique, whether it’s utilised for marketing, sales, or something else. For ages, word of mouth has been the major means of discussing and describing all topics of importance all over the world.

However, while the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing hasn’t changed, the methods by which we use it have. Above all, the internet has dramatically changed how we use word-of-mouth messaging as a marketing tool. The age of digital word-of-mouth and influencer marketing is what’s new and in.

The transition to the digital word of mouth marketing

Consumers are significantly more likely to listen to the opinions of their friends, family, coworkers, and social peers than they are to listen to even the most polished or convincing marketing pitch.

However, in the last decade, the internet’s growth, combined with the exponential rise of social media use, has launched formerly private word-of-mouth exchanges into the public sphere.

Word Of Mouth Marketing Transparent - Free Transparent PNG Download - PNGkeyInstead of calling a colleague or going for coffee with a trusted friend, consumers (particularly Millennials) are turning to blogs, tweeting, and visiting consumer-advocacy websites to seek answers to purchase-related problems.

Consumers rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions for a variety of products. Even from strangers on the internet, these trusted remarks are an extremely significant element of the buying process.

Research suggests that consumers check internet reviews for local businesses in 82 per cent of cases, with 52 per cent of 18-54-year-olds claiming to ‘always’ read reviews.
Before deciding whether or not to trust a company, the average consumer reads ten reviews and spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews.

How to build your word of mouth marketing strategy?

Providing consumers with an unforgettable experience is sometimes enough than them shouting about you and suggesting others. You should stop hoping that others would tell their friends about you. In addition, specific tactics that actively encourage people to refer are being developed.

Let’s look at some ideas to assist you in developing your strategy:

1. Produce engaging social media content

Customers or even prospective customers sharing content that the company makes available is a big aspect of digital word-of-mouth marketing these days. In other words, it allows customers to easily tell their friends and family why they favour a product or service without having to exert any effort.

Teach your audience something that will make their lives easier and that is relevant to their issues and struggles. When it comes to content creation, find a distinctive approach and don’t be afraid to go down the route less travelled. Using people’s emotions to generate shares and get people talking about your company can be quite effective.

Remember that the finest content is comprehensive but also concise. Finally, consider which of the other will best appeal to your target audience. Choose between a video and a carousel depending on your target market.

2. Share customer testimonials/reviews

People trust testimonials and internet evaluations as much as personal recommendations, according to 79 per cent of respondents in a study.

Testimonials and reviews assist consumers to feel more comfortable doing business with you by assuring them of the performance, quality, and/or worth of your claims. After all, there’s a reason it’s called social proof.

Testimonials might be written or recorded, and they can be posted on your site or gathered from other sources. Repurpose your testimonials or reviews into your marketing after you have them.

3. Create a referral program

3,364 Referral Program Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStockOffering a system of referral benefits is a terrific approach to encourage satisfied customers to take the next step and suggest people to your company. According to Texas Tech research, 83 per cent of satisfied consumers are willing to recommend a product or service, but just 29 per cent actually do so.

A successful referral programme matches the following qualities:

1. It is simple and quick to spread the word.
2. It’s beneficial to both parties (with an incentive or other benefit)
3. Measures the success of your marketing activities.

Incentivising your referral program is of utmost importance. Rewards could include anything from a discount on your next/first order to a free gift. For referring a particular amount of people, they will receive a gift card with a certain amount as credit. Similarly, people could be paid directly for recommendations. For referring others, they can also get a bonus gift with their next order.

4. Employ effective social media marketing tactics

From creating a unique brand-centred hashtag to hosting a giveaway, be open to adopting multiple strategies at a single time. Hashtag marketing is one of the most essential aspects of social media marketing. Never fail to come up with a unique hashtag to help generate your own niche which the masses recognise with. Giveaways and other contest marketing strategies are excellent word-of-mouth marketing ideas for those just starting out. They allow you to organically reach a newer audience.

Most importantly, get social on social media. Engage with your customers. You’ll have a lot of interactions with your consumers as you grow your store. A great example is an incident involving Wendy’s and the most retweeted tweet. You might hit a home run one day if you can be positive, playful, and active with them all.

5. Encourage user-generated content

The importance of user-generated content is unprecedented.

An Instagram post showing someone using your product or a blog post on their website raving about your products are examples of user-generated content. Share consumer images on social media and on product sites. Also, remember to give them credit in the post!

By regularly measuring interactions, you can ensure that this form of marketing does not come across as word-of-mouth advertising.

6. Influence via influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is for you if you’re seeking a controllable word-of-mouth marketing strategy. Also, the nice part about word of mouth marketing is that you can pay to start a conversation about your product and possibly make some purchases.

Wrapping Up

A word of caution would be to make sure your closet is devoid of any skeletons. By being the one to break terrible news, you can get ahead of any potential negative publicity. Negative remarks should not be censored, instead, make sure that the beneficial information exceeds the negative.

In terms of viral potential and cost-effectiveness, only a few marketing methods can compete with WOMM. Additionally, when it comes to word of mouth marketing, it’s not only about getting people to talk about your brand, but it’s also about converting your buyer into a devoted follower.

Why should brands be interested in user-generated content?

In the modern era of commerce, there seems to exist an almost triangular chain of functioning. A brand invents and implements its well-planned marketing strategy which then generates a response from consumers. As a result, it benefits the company with increased sales. This is the usual triangular relationship. However, in recent years, the world of marketing has been revolutionised with a new type of content. This is how we have restructured the old triangular relation that always ceased to exist. This new type of content is called user-generated content (UGC).

“The next wave of the Web is going to be user-generated content.”

John Doerr, Venture Capitalist

Revolutionising marketing with user-generated content

In marketing, it refers to the content that is related to a brand but created by someone who is not officially working for the brand. User-generated content can take multiple forms like a review, a video, a social media update among many others. In simpler words, if it involves a brand and no employees or affiliates have contributed in its creation then it falls under this new type of content. This process puts a customer on the centre stage with the limelight on them. In this way, the triangular chain transforms into one where the customer is in the middle and focus of the entire process.

A brand produces its products or makes its service available to consumers. In the next step, these consumers market the product. This becomes a trustworthy marketing effort to attract potential customers. Consequently, it benefits a brand in terms of increase in sales and business.

A familiar example for this marketing is Coca Cola’s famous ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. The idea of adding names on bottles attracted a lot of consumers. However, the company employed an effective strategy to keep the momentum going.

Customers asked to share pictures of themselves with their personalised coke bottles on social media became a core strategy. As a result, customers became marketers.

But most importantly, it generated millions of revenue and presented a fresh image. This is why the particular campaign is regarded as one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time.

Principle of social proof

The main success factor of user-generated content is rooted in a psychological principle called ‘social proof’. According to this principle, people make decisions based on the behaviour of other people. A consumer will be more attracted to buy from a company when others are enjoying their products or services. This is because new customers lack experience. Additionally, consumers trust their fellow consumers more than the company.

Authentic content

Today marketers need to understand that customers are no longer passive who can be easily influenced by billboards or TV commercials. People today do thorough online research before making a purchasing decision. A single bad review can severely impact the image of a company and hence influence the customer’s final decision. Authenticity is important in the online world. Customers will choose brands that understand them and value their experience. Subsequently, user-generated content becomes the best strategy in this context.

Budget friendly

Consumers making content forms the basis of UGC. In most cases, this is unpaid though consumers have multiple reasons to participate in content creation. It can be sharing their experience of meeting similar people or winning a prize. Even if a prize is announced, the total cost of marketing will be more. In short, consumers practically run the campaign while the company can incur benefit from allotting a less budget to marketing.

High return on investment

User-generated content needs to be credited for one of the chief benefits that it provides, that is, high return on investment. A company needs to design and plan a UGC campaign. Consumers then implement the remaining marketing process.

Forming communities with user-generated content

User-generated content can form as a tool to unite audiences. In the usual marketing approach, the company and customers remain separate entities. Brands remain burdened to constantly make efforts to attract consumers. However, UGC solves these problems.

When consumers produce UGC, they come together and approve the brand. According to McMillan and Chavis’s theory called ‘Sense of Community’, four things encourage a community like feeling. Two of them are: influence and shared emotional connection.

With UGC, people feel like they have influence on decisions. Additionally, all the people who promote a brand share a common interest and emotion towards that particular product or service. This forms a community instead of a commercial brand. Hence, increasing brand loyalty and attracting potential customers.

Most Successful UGC Campaigns

By Netflix

The American content platform and production company includes creating buzz around the new releases as a crucial part of its social media strategy. Netflix promotes posts of fans with hashtags to promote the upcoming content. This introduces people to new content that is much talked about by their fellow audience members. Additionally, people get curious to watch such popular content.

In 2017, Stranger Things Season 2 earned popularity because nearly 1 million posts generated on Instagram with its hashtag. In addition to this, it also became the “most-Tweeted about streaming series”.

This type of marketing helps Netflix to engage, attract and build a loyal community of Netflix users.

By Adobe

The software company is one of the best examples for carrying a UGC campaign. The hashtag #AdobePerspective allows artists and content creators who use Adobe Suite to share their content and source work for free from users.

Adobe has the advantage of presenting the capabilities of its software. Additionally, it creates an engaging community. This is especially helpful to new users to understand the software.

Plan for the future

With the increasing competition in the market, the pressure to find creative ways to market products has also increased. In this case, user-generated content can be a good strategy to include in your plan.

Other than this, the best way to appeal to masses is to improve your brand image. This can be done by showing your active participation in the welfare of the customers. In short, purpose-driven marketing can be a way to show that you care and are beyond just a brand.

Contact us at Shaktiki today to create an impactful marketing strategy for your brand.