Virality is often times the first word that marketers think of when it comes to harnessing the power of word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM). While it would be nice for every single campaign to end up on Mashable or Buzzfeed, WOMM has invaluable impacts on your brand beyond one-time viral marketing campaigns. Here are three reasons why it’s important for your brand to invest in the power of word-of-mouth marketing:
By building trust with their customers, companies are simultaneously creating brand ambassadors that are willing to share products or services with their network. Jay Baer shared that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know directly, and anonymous reviewers have a 70% trust rate when they post online about a brand. Trust is a difficult thing to attain in the business world - and whether you are in the B2B or B2C industry - WOMM increases the odds that your customers will rely on you for all of their needs.
Zappos.com is one of the largest e-commerce websites in the world because they built their brand around trust and customer service. They rely heavily on the fact that their customers will share the amazing experience they had purchasing shoes from their website. “Our philosophy has been to take most of the money we would have spent on paid advertising and invest it into customer service and the customer experience instead, letting our customers do the marketing for us through word-of-mouth,” Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh wrote.
Gaining new customers for your business can be a challenge, but with a customer referral program it doesn't have to be. People that have been referred by a peer typically stay loyal to a brand longer than those that found the company by other means. According to Forbes, a study done by Goethe University revealed that customers recommended to the business were 18% more likely to stay with the organization than other customers. The article reiterates, “People tend to have a stronger attachment to an organization if their friends or acquaintances share a bond to the same establishment.”
GoPro’s Everything We Make campaign is the perfect example of how WOMM can create a steady stream of buzz around your brand. This campaign gave fans the opportunity to submit photos and be featured in GoPro marketing materials. 66% of consumers under the age of 34 are more likely to give a referral after receiving social recognition and Everything We Make amassed 150+ entries a day for two years. The chance to win GoPro products was just an added bonus.
According to GoPro, their original marketing goal was to create a series of marketing campaigns that are “always on” and constantly driving the buzz around their brand. WOMM doesn’t always have to be a trendy fad, it can be a slow and steady buzz that continuously engages with brand ambassadors.
Customers are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend, and in today’s digital world, word-of-mouth interactions are readily available through email, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t a new concept - but with the emergence of social media in the last decade - it’s more important than ever for brands to harness its influence.