No two businesses are the same, and finding the right marketing strategy for your business isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. That said, there are specific marketing techniques that prove effective across the board, with word-of-mouth marketing sitting high on the list. According to HubSpot, while 75% of consumers don’t actually trust advertising, an impressive 90% trust recommendations from friends and family. This puts word of mouth well above other traditional advertising methods, like programmatic ads.
Learn how to put earned media to use for your business with these word-of-mouth marketing strategies.
Put testimonials and reviews at the forefront.
Customer testimonials showcase how happy other customers are with your product or service—and they go a long way in building confidence with prospects. In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends, which highlights the importance of customer testimonials in supporting your business conversion goals. Consider highlighting positive reviews on the homepage of your website or on your social media pages to actively put them in front of prospects and help instill confidence in your business.
Build a referral program to incentivize sharing.
Research shows that over 80% of people seek out referrals from friends and family when considering a purchase, and using referrals as a key acquisition channel can drive 4x the average number of conversions in the long run. Building out a referral program encourages your existing customers to serve as your brand advocates in return for incentivized rewards, such as additional perks, personalized discounts, or swag.
Partner with influencers or thought leaders in your industry.
Every industry has its host of experts, and a great way to encourage word-of-mouth marketing is to tap into the network of influencers in your respective niche. Connect with influencers who could benefit from using your product or who would serve as strong advocates for your business, and propose a partnership strategy. This might be a paid promotion or incentivized engagement—e.g., offering influencers a discount for spreading the word about your business—or it could be a mutually beneficial partnership, like a joint podcast or video series. In addition to increasing brand awareness, thoughtful partnerships with the right influencers can help you reach more qualified leads, in turn boosting your conversion rate.
Share comprehensive guides and research.
When deciding what content to reshare online, a vast majority of people—around 94%, according to the New York Times—first think about how the content will be valuable to their followers. That’s why it’s important to create content that provides unique and actionable information to users in your industry. First off, this will increase your expertise and build your reputation as a thought leader in the space. Secondly, it will increase the likelihood of your existing audience—email subscribers, social media followers, etc.—amplifying that information across their own social channels to provide added value to their extended professional networks.
Create content that sparks conversations.
Social media users are often motivated to engage with and repromote content that not only catches their attention but gets them thinking and talking. Consider sharing an interesting statistic from your industry and asking people to react, or collecting your own data by polling your audience and then sharing the results. Get creative about how to engage with your audience, and use two-way conversations to drive awareness and expand your reach organically.