In this article, I’ll describe exactly what word of mouth marketing is and share some compelling statistics on how effective it is. Next, I’m going to get down to business and walk you through how to set up WOM marketing for your ecommerce business.
What is word of mouth marketing?
Word of mouth marketing, often referred to as word of mouth advertising, is a marketing strategy based on personal recommendations. It’s been around since the dawn of time, although in traditional marketing these recommendations were really made by word of mouth.
The difference between traditional WOM advertising and word of mouth advertising today is the speed at which personal recommendations can be shared online. Now, most of those personal recommendations come from a social media influencer, an online reviewer, or a happy customer simply sharing their positive experience. And when done right, it can have massive effects (more on this in a minute).
Why is word of mouth marketing important?
So far, I’ve talked a lot about how praise from a happy customer can influence a potential customer’s buying decision. But he does much more than that. Word of mouth marketing can not only help you attract new customers, but it can also drive sales with existing customers.
- Brand loyalty is cheaper than finding new customers
It is five times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an existing one. By increasing your customer loyalty by just 5%, you can increase your profits by 75%. Customers acquired through WOMM spend 200% more than the average customer and make twice as many referrals themselves. And the way to get existing customers to buy from your online store is to provide them with a positive experience they can’t help but rave about.
- Trust in the brand is cheaper than placing ads.
Given that 94% of people ignore pre-roll ads, but a consumer is up to 50 times more likely to buy a product if it is recommended by close friends or family, it’s safe to say that many marketers are wasting their money on paid advertising.
3 Steps to Creating a Strong Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy
Before you jump into different word of mouth marketing tactics, it’s important to lay a solid foundation. Here are 8 steps to building your business with a firm WOM marketing strategy.
- Offer a quality product that solves a problem
The first, and perhaps the most overlooked, step in a word of mouth marketing strategy is to actually have a product or service that is worth praising. No marketing campaign can last longer than a bad product or a bad experience, so make sure what you are offering is something that your potential customer will actually like.
And if you don’t want to wait around collecting enough reviews to find out if the products you are offering are of good quality, test them for yourself. Then ask yourself these questions:
- Is it easy to use?
- Does it significantly improve my everyday life? How? ‘Or’ What?
- Will I continue to use it? Why or why not?
- Would I recommend it to my friends? Why or why not?
- How could this experience be improved?
Understanding your product intimately will help you better understand your target audience and improve your word of mouth marketing campaign.
- Provide impeccable customer support
Another crucial aspect to take into account when launching your WOM ad campaign is that even if you have the most amazing product ever BUT your brand is a pain to manage, customers will not be coming back to shop with you.
- Make a simple and transparent shopping experience on your online store
One of the easiest ways to convert a potential customer into a happy customer is to make the buying process as easy as possible. To improve the customer experience when shopping on your site, take a look at these factors:
- The layout of the website and its aesthetics
- site speed and page load time
- Shopping cart design and the number of steps to checkout
- Site architecture and the ease with which customers search for products
- General conversion rate optimization tips that can be used across your entire website