Talk Business: Word of Mouth Marketing | Notice

Word of mouth is known to us all, but now is the time to make it work as part of your marketing strategy.

Word of mouth (WOMM) marketing gives people a reason to talk about your products and provides them with tools to ensure conversations happen.

This concept is gaining more and more importance with the growing presence of consumers sharing their opinions online, be it social networks or online communities. In order to ensure successful word of mouth, you need to find the right people to talk about your product, create messages that will spread, provide them with the tools to share information, participate in conversations and measure results. Since word of mouth is such a powerful factor in consumer decisions, it is important to harness it and make it work to your advantage.

In today’s world, consumers are overloaded with information. When you are interested in a product, there are countless resources online to find information or opinions about a brand that interests you. WOMM provides these consumers with the means to get their message across, but also suggests messages they can deliver. Word of mouth marketing is all about listening to your customers, engaging them and giving them a voice

Implementing the steps below will help ensure that WOMM is an integral part of your marketing strategy and planning process.

• Step 1, Identify Speakers – Find the “Speakers” aka “Influencers”. Examples of talkers include bloggers who cover your topics, volunteers, and enthusiastic customers.

• Step 2, Create Topics: Talk with simple messages and fun topics. Create simple ideas and concepts that people can start talking about. These are the messages you want to broadcast. Keep it simple and make it easy for people to spread the word.

• Step 3, Develop the Tools: Know your tools and spread your message widely. Marketers need to provide the infrastructure, techniques and technologies to get the message out. The tools you provide will help spread the message further. Examples include emails, blogs, website share buttons, online communities, friend notification forms, and free samples.

• Step 4, participate: the importance of participation for positive growth. Engage your audience by participating. Join the conversation. Respond to their messages, accept comments online, and answer the phone. You need to open the door to word of mouth conversations to build long-term relationships.

• Step 5, Track and Measure: Tracking from a social media metrics dashboard is very valuable. Due to the emergence of many online communities and blogs, all conversations are written down which makes them much easier to measure. These conversations allow you to see what people really think about your brand.

David Stob is a business consultant at the Small Business Development Center at the University of Georgia.

About Deborah Wilson

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