Ask the most successful small businesses how they have achieved success in the internet age and the answer may surprise you. Word of Mouth (WOM) advertising is significantly more effective than other traditional business development methods. WOM speaks to your customer service and quality of products: 84 percent of consumers rely on recommendations from friends or family making it the most trusted form of advertising.
Word of mouth is a fantastic way to get new clients because after receiving the recommendation from a third party, a consumer has more or less made his mind up to use your services irrespective of the price. He will see you as an expert in your niche and more important, he will trust your abilities.
As with other forms of marketing, WOM takes time and effort, but the end result could be spectacular. Below are some ways in which you can increase your WOM referrals and enjoy a boost in your revenues.
If you fail to get a customer, it is often because of your failure to close the “credibility gap” that exists. One of the best methods of bridging this gap is by creating a consistent brand. Top brands clearly convey their core product and show what sets them apart from their rivals.
Customers will only refer your business to friends and relatives if they believe your business will provide everyone else with the same positive experience. Unfortunately, without branding, there is a danger that customers will not trust your business despite enjoying your products or services simply because you remain an unknown quantity.
Branding allows you to stand out in the minds of customers, provides your business with a personality relatable to consumers and it drives customer loyalty. A simple strategy is to develop a recognizable logo using colors synonymous with your company. Ensure your marketing campaign consists of a consistent branding message; doing this increases your exposure and closes the aforementioned credibility gap.
Increase Your Online Presence
If you don’t have a company website and a major social media presence, you’re selling yourself short. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest have hundreds of millions of users and are quick, easy and inexpensive ways to get your branding message across.
Utilize the power of local SEO by getting added to the local listings of Google +; this provides customers with your contact information and address, yet another way to boost credibility. When comments are made by users, try to respond as soon as possible.
Additionally, you may find that WOM reviews of your services are written by previous and present customers; there are few better ways to see your reputation boosted than through the positive feedback of real people. Another great way to engage with customers is to create puzzles or challenges on your social media pages.
Use your new exposure to be seen as a leader in your field. Every single day, there are millions of internet searches made by people seeking information. Remember, everyone wants to work with an expert, so gain a reputation as such and watch your customer base soar.
Create Word of Mouth Referral Programs
Few things help customers become brand ambassadors better than freebies because let’s face it; everyone loves free stuff! There are a plethora of ways in which you can do this including credits for referrals, discounts, access to exclusive content, products or free samples.
These referral programs are great for persuading new customers to join up and for existing customers to stay loyal. Modern businesses are often guilty of ignoring loyal customers, which is a huge mistake. They are the very heart of your enterprise; show how much you care about them and they could become evangelists for your brand. Just a few of these ambassadors equates to your own personal marketing department, so make sure they are looked after!
Word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways to close the credibility gap and expand your brand. In order to succeed, you need to convince customers that your brand is the best and they, in turn, will begin referring friends and family. In theory, just one satisfied customer could lead to dozens of referrals, so don’t delay, start your WOM marketing campaign today!
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