The best advertising any company can hope to get is the kind they didn’t have to pay for. As our culture continues to overdose on advertisements and marketing on TV, the radio or the Internet, simply hearing from a trusted friend or colleague about a product or service is the closest thing most consumers get to the gospel truth about products or services. Short of just being lucky, how does a business get word-of-mouth advertising?
Believe it or not, getting good word-of-mouth advertising — so long as you have a solid product or service — isn’t entirely in the same camp as being struck by lightning. Whether you utilize the platform of a promotional products blog or create YouTube videos, generating and capitalizing on word-of-mouth marketing can be accomplished. Here are a handful of tips and methodologies to employ as you seek to set some tongues wagging on your behalf.
Human beings are complex, but some aspects of our behavior are rather predictable, and triggers that cause us to associate something with a different something is a dependable psychological trait. Triggers are cues, clues, words, phrases, images, sounds — anything that can be associated with your brand, product or service in such a way that it causes an association in a customer’s or potential customer’s mind. Having something on someone’s mind is a sure-fire way to poise it to move to the tip of their tongue. The more people can be triggered to think about a product, brand or idea, the more likely you are to get someone to talk about it.
The higher the emotions associated with something, the more likely it is that it will get shared. While joy and anger are the two emotions that most regularly lead to phrases, stories, ideas and the like being shared with others, any emotional attachment increases word-of-mouth likelihood. To that end, build marketing strategies that are emotional. If your demographic feels something about what you make or do, they’re more likely to tell others about it.
Even if you’re a company that sells sandwich boards, you’re more likely to effect genuine and honest word-of-mouth advertising if you don’t use those sandwich boards as your primary marketing strategy. Instead, craft and tell a story. People like and respond to narratives. Build a story within which your brand, services and products can exist. The more compelling the story, the more people will want to share it with others.
If you create articles, blogs or tweets that have real value for your customers and potential customers, they’re more likely to engage with that content, and if it’s something they can deem helpful or meaningful to others, they’re going to share it. Create meaningful content, and you can position yourself as a thought leader within your field by truly offering help, ideas, tactics, strategy and assistance. Don’t just be that guy who sells something; be the guy who knows what he’s talking about, too.
Social Media’s Social Currency
One of the most fascinating truisms about the Digital Age is that the digital ego is as concerned with presenting itself in a positive light as the familiar ego is. While our real-life persona might get displayed through the car we drive or the way we dress, the online persona is created and managed through the types of content that we share. If you create content that will make people look good when they share it, the odds increase that they will, and the same holds true in the real world, too.
Positive word-of-mouth advertising is easily the most effective and profitable kind of marketing that any business can get. While a bit of luck can’t hurt you, following these tips and keeping in mind these principles will help you build a campaign that is more likely to be one that people will want to share with others. Word-of-mouth advertising is the Holy Grail for companies, but just because you don’t always need to pay for it doesn’t mean you can’t attain it.
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