You can have an very unique and innovative product that solves a major problem people have but if nobody knows about it, your business is doomed. Every business owner knows how important it is to keep tabs on what people are saying about them and their brand on and off line but not every business owner knows how to insert themselves into the conversations. Do you?
Word of mouth marketing or WOMM is not only the oldest form of marketing but it also has has been identified as the most valuable form of marketing and the one that consumers prefer above all others. The reason people prefer this type of marketing can be summed up in one word: Trust. The average consumer is much more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend over a company. For example, if you are thinking of buying a new vehicle, you’re more likely to listen to what a friend recommends based on his or her experience than that TV ad you watched.
This is why you, as a business owner, cannot ignore this type of marketing as it can do wonders for gaining exposure, building your brand and driving sales. But how do you conduct word of mouth marketing anyway? Let’s think back for a moment to when you took those marketing courses in college. Surely you remember learning the importance of the four P’s of traditional marketing which are Price, Product, Promotion and Place. Well now you need to concentrate on the three E’s of word of mouth marketing which stand for Engage, Equip and Empower. Here is what each entails.
In order to be effective in word of mouth marketing, you must engage with people. This involves listening to what your target market has to say and being a part of the conversations about your brand. There are all types of ways to engage with your target market including blogging, posting on social media, taking part in discussion boards and attending local events.
Equipping your audience involves making sure that it’s super easy for your target market to share your content. In other words, you must equip the people making up your target market with the tools they need in order to share your content. When your content is sharable, you are encouraging people to talk about your business and what you sell. This is why you need to provide people with the tools they will need in order to share your content such as social media buttons on your website & blog.
Empowerment consists of providing your audience with the information or resources they need in order to become your brand advocates. This can be done in many ways. One example would be for you to give a group of people a free product to try in exchange for their spoken or written experience that tells others about your product. When you empower people to advocate for your business, you can both drive organic traffic and get your business out there so that you become well known within your industry.