Why Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy Is the Most Powerful Method for Growing Your Business

Sometimes, marketing can be a risky investment, especially true if you find that you try all the famous tools and strategies, but receive no results. Luckily, one of the most effective marketing strategies is practically free – and that’s word of mouth marketing.

Before making a decision to buy a product or service, people typically ask a family member or a friend for suggestions. They don’t rely on commercials. Word of mouth is the fastest way for people to get information. What is even more important, we perceive our friends’ and family’s experiences as the most trustworthy source of information.

Within the last few years, marketers have focused mostly on boosting the number of social media fans instead of connecting with them. Having a few hundred satisfied fans who love your products is far more effective than thousands who’ve only “liked” your website to win something.

WHY A WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING STRATEGY IS SO POWERFUL

Word of mouth marketing is the oldest and the most original social media platform. It is the most valuable form of marketing proven to drive the highest sales for companies. For this reason alone, no marketer shoulder overlook it.

Whether you are choosing a restaurant, smartphone or a hand cream, you will often highly value a suggestion from a close friend, neighbor or a co-worker. Why? Because traditional marketing strategies such as TV and newspaper ads aren’t as trustworthy as the actual people in your community.

Despite the numerous media platforms available nowadays, verbal communication about a certain product or brand is the best way to expand your business. Once a person passes the word about a certain product to their friends, they are much more likely to become loyal fans and regular consumers.

A word of mouth marketing strategy provides a long-term benefit for your business. When a consumer purchase is based on a prior referral, they often buy more in comparison with consumers who find products through conventional marketing. These consumers usually stick with your products or brand longer than others.

Moreover, when referred consumers communicate with their friends about your products and services, the value of the first referral spreads even more. Naturally, if these consumers are satisfied with your products, building a high quality brand should be your next business step.

Building your brand may be somewhat challenging if you are developing a small business. Brand building may prove demanding even if you have a franchise, especially if your competitors have already established their spot. Luckily, a good word of mouth marketing strategy can help consumers develop a positive feeling about your brand really quickly.

Once you establish your brand, a word of mouth, marketing strategy becomes a valuable method to expand your business and increase your profits. In comparison with the cost of a consistent conventional marketing campaign, which involves newspapers, radio and television, referrals are almost free.

BUILD UP YOUR WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING METHOD

You may have a great product to sell, but if consumers don’t know about it, you can’t turn it into profit. It is always a good idea to keep track of what people are saying about your products online, but there is a lot more to it than just creating your Twitter and Facebook profiles. Effective and successful word of mouth marketing requires serious thinking and lots of hard work.

Social platforms are the easiest way to get in direct communication with your target consumers. Due to the fact that social media has rapidly grown in the past few years, nowadays over seventy percent of all internet users use social media.

Almost forty percent of social media users, have shared brand-promoting content. This includes sharing information about a certain brand or product on their Facebook wall. Such content sharing is highly valuable since it inspires a great mass of people to talk about this brand or product, and eventually become consumers.

TARGET THE OPINION-MAKERS

The success of the word of mouth marketing method can increase even more if you take the time to win over the opinion-makers in your community. Opinion-makers are people who can influence a mass of people and shape the creation of opinions. This includes public figures, trendsetters, bloggers and journalists. They are the active voice in a community – and often speak out and give advice to others.

Since you want to reach as many people as possible, opinion-makers can be of great benefit for your business. They can help you build your brand successfully through word of mouth marketing. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make a list of the opinion-makers that appeal to your targeted audience and include them when promoting your brand.

MAKE AN IMPACT – BECOME A THOUGHT LEADER

Engaging the opinion-makers to promote your brand is great, but becoming a thought influencer is even better. You know what makes your business unique, so go ahead and tell people about it. Get the word of mouth process rolling by communicating with your audience.

You can reach your potential consumers through social media platforms, blogs or even at a conference. Choose the medium that supports your ideas best and establish a strategy to increase your influence in your community. Increasing your personal social influence will help you promote your brand more successfully.

WORD OF MOUTH IS THE KEY MARKETING STRATEGY

Word of mouth should be a key aspect of your marketing strategy. Many companies use a word of mouth marketing strategy, encouraging their happy customers to promote their products. It is crucial to provide consumers with a great product or service, so that they happily share their experience with others.

If consumers are satisfied with the quality of your products and services, they will be willing to share their experience with their close ones. Their family, friends, co-workers and even random people that read their tweets or blog posts, or ask them for advice, will certainly consider their suggestions.

A successful word of mouth marketing method promotes your business and convinces consumers to buy your products. By buying your products, people should be convinced that they are joining special ranks, and that your brand products or services will define their identity in a more positive way.

Whether planned or not, a word of mouth marketing strategy is well worth the effort. It is still considered the most powerful and influential type of marketing communication. If you put your energy into this effective marketing method, your company can become a beneficiary of word of mouth and build a successful brand. Remember that your brand is only as good as consumers claim it is.

Is “Content Marketing” the New “Promised Land”?

Content, Content, Content… it’s the new buzz word in marketing circles these days. Since Social Media isn’t living up to its claims for many companies, they are looking for the new “silver bullet”… which now happens to be “Content Marketing or Content Management.” Is it the new found Promised Land for marketing?

I would encourage you to think a bit broader and deeper when it comes to a discussion about Content Marketing. We have to remind ourselves that “Content Marketing” is actually just a “TOOL” with a Bigger Purpose if used correctly. Like many of the other traditional, digital, and social media “tools” already being used, this one can fit into the same category… unless you THINK DIFFERENTLY.

Start with the concept that generally, “Marketing ruins everything.” OK, I know this will get some people’s feathers ruffled and for others of you, you will say Amen, it is completely accurate. The point I want to make is that when marketing gets a hold of “a new thing (tool)” they tend to do two things to it… over use it and use it incorrectly. Content Marketing probably won’t be any different so it will follow the same path at some point in the future… unless you treat it differently.

If you think of Content Marketing as a “tool” you are missing the point and its value.

There are two concepts in marketing… “PUSH” and “PULL” marketing. All traditional marketing was designed as “Push”… shoving out lots of ads and other information to the audience. This worked amazingly well in the Industrial Revolution when there weren’t any other options for the consumer to hear about products and services. Ad agencies were born and raked in millions of dollars on the backs of this approach. It has essentially died when we left the Industrial Revolution behind and entered into the Internet/Digital Revolution.

Unfortunately, many people in marketing didn’t get this was happening right under their nose. Instead, they saw a whole bunch of new “tools” called Social Media show up that they thought were simply a new and improved way to “push” their information to the customer. They were wrong. The customer initially thought this was pretty cool and welcomed the new way of getting information… then marketing ruined it. They started shoving everything they could… faster and in more volume… than they ever had before. They thought this would work… it didn’t. It was still “push marketing” only using a different tool called Social Media instead of direct mail, TV, radio, magazines, billboards, and a host of other traditional media tools.

The audience grew up and learned how they wanted to receive information and it wasn’t by having billions of pieces thrown at them through every channel they were on… they learned where the “off switch” was and turned off this barrage of messaging. The numbers have been declining steadily and marketing is wondering why their audience doesn’t want to see their valuable ads and self-promotional information. They really never did…

Enter Content Marketing as a new way to “push” more information to the customer. It is new because it actually involves content… something of substance (written, video, podcast, etc.). The consumer is asking for this… they want to learn more but invest less time in consuming the information. Once again we are seeing most marketing groups seeing the next “Promised Land” and as such are shoving more and more “content” to their audience. The right concept… wrong execution.

The content isn’t RELEVANT, HELPFUL, or TIMELY for their audience… it is just once again voluminous amounts of information… much of what we can already get by doing a search. This is where marketing stands to “ruin content marketing” as they have done for so many other forms of media.

But there is a solution… “PULL MARKETING.”

Pull Marketing is all about the “customer WANTING the information you have because it is relevant, helpful, and timely and so they PULL it to them… when they want and how they want.” This is an entirely different way to think about marketing. It is marketing the customer actually wants in their life because it is VALUABLE to them.

CONTENT MARKETING is an absolutely amazing way to create an effective PULL MARKETING strategy and execute it in a way the customer will love. Now companies have the opportunity to truly understand their customers wants and needs and anticipate what will be helpful and relevant in their lives and then give this to them in a timely manner. When marketing adopts this mindset, they have crossed over from the old traditional “push” process and adopted a completely different strategy of “pull” into their strategy.

THIS WORKS… AND THE CUSTOMER IS BEGGING YOU FOR IT.

Content Marketing can be the next PROMISED LAND for your marketing and company efforts… if you adopt a “PULL MARKETING” strategy and erase the “PUSH” strategy from your brain. Content marketing is absolutely something that your audience will love and reward you for when developed with a PULL MARKETING STRATEGY. It is what they want… marketing just has to understand this and not screw it up again.

What will you do as the leader of your company… the business owner and CEO? Will you allow your marketing to be done the old traditional way and lose the immense value in front of you that you could benefit from by using a “PULL CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY?” I believe the leadership team needs to direct the marketing function to be more OBSESSED with their CUSTOMERS and give them the ability to create a powerful PULL MARKETING strategy… using CONTENT as the core. Today leadership teams need to be more involved in marketing than ever before.

Today it can help to significantly solidify your brand, create true differentiation, and endear your customers to you in ways your competition can’t… this is where marketing and customer obsession can become your true competitive advantage. When this happens, Content Marketing can become the new PROMISED LAND for your company… and your customers will reward you both with business and much more WORD-OF-MOUTH… and we all know this is the ultimate success for marketing and the organization overall.

Will you adopt and drive a PUSH or PULL strategy as a leader of your company? This is an excellent time and opportunity to put your company in front of the pack of competitors.

How Do You Promote Your Business? Answer: Promotional Marketing

You know that you need great marketing to get your company and its product and services in front of your target market or ideal customer. Creating an effective promotional marketing program will lead customers right to your door, website, inbox, or phone and entice them to purchase what you have to offer.

What is Promotional Marketing?

Promotional marketing is one aspect of your marketing program and includes the specifics of how you’re going to entice customers to take action. The advantage of a promotion is to create some buzz for your business or enterprise, to get your business to be noticed for standing apart from competition and to get your business noticed by your target market – as many people as possible.

Some businesses take promotional marketing to the next level by using promotional products (also known as advertising specialties, swag, or giveaways). What makes this type of marketing so effective is its ability to influence customer behavior, to encourage action, to create goodwill, and to be remembered long after the promotional event. Promotional marketing, if done well, has a lasting benefit beyond other forms of advertising.

Who Uses Promotional Marketing?

Every business can use promotional marketing. A company offering a bonus, gift, or additional benefits with a customer’s normal purchase is benefitting from using promotional marketing techniques.

How can we get more customers into our store? TV commercials, print ads and direct mail offers are the most common methods to offer the promotion to the target market. Think of the mailer envelopes that arrive at your home, filled with coupons and special deals. A restaurant, for example, may have TV commercials that offer a free drink with a lunch order. Or, cosmetic companies offer a free gift with purchase or a department store advertises a 50% off sale for a select type of item. The promotion calls attention to that extra element or benefit, which companies hope will encourage customers to visit who otherwise wouldn’t.

Other companies utilize a technique known as point-of-sale marketing. This helps increase the sales of products of sales that may be difficult to sell on an individual basis. For example, mobile phone companies may offer peripheral items like chargers and headsets at a reduced price if they purchase a cell phone with that item. (“Buy a phone, get a headset for half price.”) Since the customer is already there and has committed to the larger purchase (the phone), they are more likely to buy the extra item because they are enticed by the savings.

Creating Your Promotional Marketing Program

Step #1 – What is the Plan?

Careful thought and planning is the first step of making the promotion effective. What is the objective? What results are you looking for? Increasing revenues, building brand awareness, or launching a new product are just a few strategic goals of promotional marketing. Your business can also promote from within with team building, employee recognition, or safety awareness programs.

Step #2 – Who is the Target?

Before you begin, you’ll have to identify your target audience. Who is the ideal customer? Who is best suited to buy what you have to offer? What are their needs, and how can your products and/or services meet them? Then generate your sales materials with this target audience in mind. The goal of any promotional marketing program is to make people buy your product or service by creating an appealing proposition that requires timely action. You may want to come up with different messages depending on which communication methods you’re using. Remember that this is a work-in-progress, so don’t be afraid to change your strategies depending on what is working and what isn’t.

Step #3 – How to Make the Promotional Offer?

There are dozens of ways to actually get your message out, including social media, internet marketing, custom web landing pages, promotional products, and direct mail. Remember that your target audience will dictate the method of advertising. For example, if your target market is those over age 65, you may want to rely more heavily on direct mail or a print ad; however, if your market is under age 25, you’re definitely going to want to take advantage of newer technology methods, such as online marketing, social media, and text messaging.

Step #4 – What are the Results?

In order to judge the promotional campaign, it is critical to measure the program. How many did you offer to? How many actually used the offer? How much new sales revenue was generated from the offer? Without measuring the promotion, there is no way to improve and set the bar higher to make the next promotion better. Promotions are a way to test the market. Does your promotion generate more sales with a discount, a free gift, or bonus? Promoting your business helps generate excitement about a current service or launching a new product.