Word of Mouth
Marketing Strategies 101
Word of mouth marketing strategies are the least expensive and least time-consuming form of advertisement. It happens every time a customer recommends your goods or services to someone else, resulting in a new lead for your business. Word of mouth marketing occurs more than you think.
However, do not solely rely on your customers to mention your business in casual conversation. Here are three of my favorite strategies to help you kick-start your campaign.
Refer a Friend Program
People love incentives, as well as the idea of getting something for free. Establish a Refer a Friend Program to give your customers a reason to talk about your company. These types of programs are different between storefront and e-commerce businesses, but the idea is still the same. Reward your customers when they recommend your business to a friend who makes a purchase. There are several ways to structure your program, and be creative with it.
If you own a storefront, create Refer a Friend cards to distribute to your customers. The front is a basic business card while the back has room for referrers to write their name, email address, and telephone number. When you receive a card from a referred customer, apply the reward to the referrer's account such as free gift money off toward their next purchase.
As an e-commerce merchant, word of mouth marketing strategies are a little more tricky, but definitely manageable. Create a webpage explaining how your Refer a Friend Program works. Explain that in order to benefit from the program, they need to register for a customer account. When a referred customer fills out the payments page, they have the option to enter the email address for the friend who referred them to your online store. The customer account associated with the referrer's email address will receive a special reward.
When you like a page on Facebook, it appears in your news stream for all of your friends to see. As a business owner, you should use this feature to your advantage. Advertise on your website that for a free gift or a discount on your next purchase, "Like us on Facebook." Social networking is very influential, so when Henry sees that Justin liked a page on Facebook, he will want to check it out too. Henry looks at your Facebook page, loves the goods you are selling and the great deals you offer and likes your page. Susan sees that Henry likes your page, and wants to check it out too . . . It is an endless cycle!
When a lead asks for a review of a product or service you are trying to sell to them, whom do you think they are more likely to believe you or another paying customer? Testimonials are a great way to market the reputation of your company. Do not be afraid or too humble to share all of the wonderful things your happy customers are saying about you; they may make all the difference and many times will close the sale.
Not only are testimonials honest, but they are also a completely free form of word of mouth marketing strategies. People say nice things about you and your business all the time, so take their testimonials and quote them on your site for the world to see.
Do not limit your strategies to the three I have listed above. What are some of your favorite word of mouth marketing strategies? How do you create a buzz about your business?
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