Arlen Robinson is the co-founder and VP of Business Development at OSI Affiliate Software. He is also the host of The Ecommerce Marketing Podcast where he discusses marketing strategies with experts from all over the world.
The eCommerce landscape is getting more competitive. Creating an online store has now become easier because of all the tools available to the public. This means that anyone who has a product to sell can now have their own online store that can be created in a few clicks. However, creating an e-commerce website is only one part of the business success journey. You also need to promote your store. This can be done easily with word-of-mouth marketing.
What is Word-of-Mouth Marketing?
They say that word travels fast. Even in the old days when there are no media, information is still passed from one person to another. The reason for this is word-of-mouth. Every person has the ability to communicate with another and this allows them to pass the word easily. Due to this, news can travel from one person to another and spread into a bigger social circle.
The same can happen online. News can travel fast from one person to another. And it is not done through voice. It can even be done through online content. News about something can be passed on social media and anyone from any part of the world can learn about it. Ecommerce businesses can take advantage of this by encouraging word-of-mouth marketing for their products and services.
Word of mouth marketing examples can vary. It can come from a simple review from your customer. It can be a detailed blog post about your products and services. It can also include social posts about your products and services. The result is that it can encourage new people to find your brand and use your products and services.
Why Word-of-Mouth Marketing Works for Ecommerce
Some of the biggest brands that grew in the eCommerce industry are done through word-of-mouth. While you may try other forms of marketing, it will not be as effective. The reason behind this is this is the only form of marketing that has the greatest capacity to grow and you can scale it up at a lower cost.
Here are some of the main benefits of this form of marketing.
It Works Because It is Based on Trust
When you promote a new product to another person, you will need to gain that person’s trust. He doesn’t know you and he needs to get to know you first. The reason for this is that he has to believe what you are saying, He can only believe you if he trusts you.
In word-of-mouth marketing, trust is taken out of the equation. This is because this is done by people who have already established relationships with the person who they are promoting the brand to. When this is done, the brand, product or service is shared with a family member or friend. The relationship is established and trust is already there. The result of these promotions often leads to sales because of the level of trust that is already present between the promoter and the invited.
It Works with Hot Leads
As mentioned, word-of-mouth marketing is effective because it works with leads that are hot. These are people who have the highest chance to convert. Unlike cold calling where you are randomly targeting someone hoping that they can convert into a sale. This form of marketing already looks for hot leads that can convert into a sale. And because of that, it works.
Higher Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value is based on how long a customer is willing to transact with your brand. If a customer is said to have a greater lifetime value, it means that he or she is willing to work with your brand for a longer period of time. This means that you gain lifelong customers instead of one-time sales. This has far more value to a business for the profits that you can generate from this type of customer is greater.
Low Implementation Cost
You’ll also like this form of marketing because it is not that expensive. Unlike Facebook or Google advertising where you have to spend thousands of dollars to get a sale, this only leverages the people who are already buying from you and relying on them to promote your products and services for you. This gives you free promotion. This means that you no longer need to constantly justify your brand and products to other people. They will promote it for you.
How to Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing in your Business
Knowing what word-of-mouth marketing can do for your business may have led you to think of ways on how you can have it. Well, it ultimately depends on your customers. You cannot force it. Your customers should promote you out of their own free will.
Here are some tips or steps that you can take to encourage this type of marketing in your business.
STEP 1: Get to Know Your Audience Persona
Personas are created to have a clear picture of the audience’s demographics and other characteristics. This is designed so that the business owner cannot only understand the user. He also knows the user’s likes and dislikes as well as his behavior. Fortunately, designing an audience persona is easy. All you need to do is imagine your ideal prospective customer. From there, you can start creating your audience persona. You can list the likes, dislikes and basic characteristics of your target audience. You can also look at hobbies as well as basic needs. This will help you get a clear picture of your audience.
STEP 2: Have a Message That Can Be Shared By a Community
Marketing today should be done for more than just getting a sale. It should be done to form a community. Brand building is no longer limited to the brand’s logo and products and services. It also includes the characteristics of the people that support it. This is the community and it embodies the brand and how it acquires new customers.
It is also important to focus on community building if you want to encourage word-of-mouth marketing in your business. As your community grows larger, you’ll have people who will immediately support you no matter what happens. They will promote your brand for you even if you don’t pay them.
STEP 3: Give a Memorable Experience to the Customer
Your customers cannot promote you if they can’t even remember you. Recognition and recall are equally important when it comes to encouraging word-of-mouth marketing in your business. You need your potential customers to not only know your brand. They must remember it when they need to recommend something to other people.
The key to being remembered is an experience. Customers don’t really remember the product or service that you give them. What they remember is how they felt when they worked with you. This experience can then transform into a story and this is what gets shared with other people.
STEP 4: Give Them Something Worth Sharing
More than their personal experience with your brand, you can also create a twist or story around your brand that can be remembered by your prospects. I have seen how brands how carefully
crafted shareable videos or commercials so that their brand can be remembered easily. Products need not be retail items. There are even commercials for insurance products and it works. The key is to give the prospect a story that’s worth sharing. It is about giving them a story that they can associate with your brand. It doesn’t need to be direct but it should evoke emotion and should be easily remembered.
To make your content easy to share, you should create a referral or affiliate program. This can be as easy as using a WooCommerce affiliate plugin or referral software. Brands like Best Drums Set Labs did this with success.
Word-of-mouth marketing can still have its disadvantages. While it is obvious how it can help your business, you still have to take these disadvantages into consideration when you choose to implement it in your brand marketing.
Remember, that this works because of the high level of trust between the person who is promoting the brand to the people that they are promoting the product to. However, it is important for you to remember that the trust is on the person and not on your brand. This means that if the person starts disliking your brand, their referrals will do the same. This is the reason why you should strive to provide excellent service consistently.
You really cannot predict the results of your word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. While it is easy to launch, you don’t know if it will produce good results. The reason for this is because this is dependent on a variety of factors. It depends on your product, customer service, and community. All of these will contribute to the success of your marketing campaign.
Also, there is freedom of choice. While there is trust between the referrer and the referral, the referral is still free to choose. They are not robots who just follow recommendations. They are still free to make their own choices. This is the reason why you should have a superior product before you even attempt to do this.
Another problem that can come from this form of marketing is unmet expectations. When a referrer promotes a brand, they usually show the good sides of the product or service to prospective customers. When they do this, they create expectations. However, there can be a problem when these expectations are not met. This often results in abandonment. This is when the products don’t live up to the expectations created by the campaign. To stop shopping cart
abandonment, you should have a good product before you start your campaign. Also, services should also be at par or even exceed customer expectations.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing Tips
How can you encourage more people to tell their family and friends about your products? Here are some tips.
1 – Create Something Worth Sharing
Word-of-mouth marketing can only begin if your customers have something worthy to share. This can be because your product is unique or their experience with you is so commendable that it is worth sharing. This is the reason why going another mile always pays in loads. This means that every effort that you expand on your customer is naturally paid in the long run. A company doing an awesome job at referral marketing is hunting bow Labs which helps companies to find hunting bows.
2 – Ask for Reviews
Another way to initiate conversations about your brand is to ask for reviews. You can do this in two ways. First, you can do it by just soliciting reviews through your website or social media profile. Another way to do this is to approach bloggers or influencers to do this for you. You can ask if you can send a product to them and they can review it in their own time.
3 – Create Social Media Events
Another way to get shares is to host social media events. This can be as simple as a contest or giveaway or it can be a unique webinar. It should be highly relevant to your target market and they should be able to have a reason to share your event with their family and friends. The great thing about using social media channels is the ease of sharing. Unlike sharing a blog post that requires them to visit the website and share, all they need to do in social posts is to click the Share button and it can immediately get shared with their family and friends.
4 – Create Offline Events
Events should not be exclusively done online. It can also be done offline. You can invite people to an offline meetup, host training or hold a conference in your niche. This will be talked about in your niche and people will be talking about you.
5 – Work with Influencers
An easier way to encourage word-of-mouth marketing is to utilize influencers. Influencers are called as such because they have a considerable amount of followers who are willing to take action on their content. If you can get several influencers to promote your brand, you can have word-of-mouth marketing that is twice as powerful.
Word-of-mouth marketing truly has so many benefits to businesses. Not utilizing it is like leaving money on the table. Be sure to implement one of the strategies listed here so that you can market your website without the need to pay for each lead. It is an automated way of promoting your site sans the cost.
Omnistar provides affiliate software for growing businesses of all sizes. Any organization looking to increase their customer base can use Omnistar to set up and manage their own referral program. Designed for referral marketing beginners and experts alike, Omnistar helps businesses to realize the marketing potential of their existing customers. The referral software provides growing business with all the tools they need to create and manage their own referral program.