Market & Sell

The Importance of Electronic Word-of-Mouth Marketing

5 min
Ponies in various colors on a white piece of paper.

Can you remember the last time you had an excellent service experience and just had to talk about it to your friends and colleagues?

You were promoting the company with what we call “Word of Mouth” marketing.

We always tend to express our satisfaction or disappointment with products. And people trust other people and the experiences they have to report. And they are more likely to buy if they hear something positive.

According to AdWeek, 85% of website visitors find content generated from users more influential than brand photos or videos! This is why Word of Mouth marketing is one of the most potent marketing strategies.

How Word-of-Mouth Benefits your Brand

There are two main reasons why Word-of-Mouth can prove beneficial for you:

1. Υou can reach a wider audience than you are currently reaching

Let’s say you’ve found ten bloggers; each of them has a network with a thousand people in it and are passionate about your product. Every time they share about your company, people in their network would know about it, and that’s a total of 10,000 of people knowing more about you.

This is why affiliate and referral marketing strategy is a must-have for your business.
Word of mouth could take more time than simple advertising. It much depends on getting people to share the information and how soon they would do it.

2. You can make people feel safer to buy

Advertisements are created to look good, and people know that. When information comes from our friends, we hear a complete review that’s straight to the point, and because of that we more likely would believe them. HubSpot claims that 90% of consumers trust mostly their friends for buying decisions.

How Word-of-Mouth Works

Researchers, Jalilvanda, Esfahani and Samiei described in their study (2011) the Word of Mouth mechanism. Word-of-mouth consumers imitate each other following a social paradigm. Consumers share information and opinions that direct buyers towards and away from specific products, brands, and services.

Word of mouth allows consumers to obtain information related to goods and services from a large, geographically dispersed group of people, who have experience with relevant products or services.

The model below shows how consumers get convinced to adopt buying decisions. It considers argument quality (information quality) as the central influence. The model shows that getting the most relevant and comprehensive information to customers results in higher information adoption.

world of mouth marketing graph
The information adoption model by Sussman and Siegal (2003)

Once your repeat customers become to refer to your brand, they give you new customers. These are the customers that are more loyal and become more long-term. In the long run, a lot of them would talk about you even more, and this is a cycle that goes on and on.

How to Use Word of Mouth Marketing

You could gain thousands of followers, but that’s not going to matter if you don’t connect with them and stay active. What you want to aim for here is the people that would support your brand.

What are the steps to generating Word-of-Mouth?

There are certain things you can consider:

1Be there to give value, not to sell

Be there to serve people and to help them with their problems generously. Serving people generously means being prepared to lead by example. Selling to them is secondary. Help others first. That is how you help yourself.
One way to achieve that is by providing excellent content and customer education. Putting out great content regularly makes people want to come back to you again and again. By creating the right content, you can position yourself as an expert in the field.

2Offer exceptional customer service

Meeting and surprassing the expectations of the customer is essential. If you don’t, you can damage your business reputation. People like to be loyal to companies that provide fantastic customer service.

Treat each interaction as if you were face-to-face with that person.

Show them how happy you are to have them in your company. Be approachable and friendly and listen well to what they have to say. It is guaranteed that the customer will help you boost your image through word of mouth.

3Ask your clients for reviews

User-generated content is content created by your audience for your audience. It is a useful tool to boost word-of-mouth on social media and other digital platforms. User-generated content will catch the attention of other users and facilitate organic conversations about your brand.

For example, the online consumer review involves positive or negative statements made by consumers about a product for sale. 72% of consumers say reading positive customer reviews increase their trust in business; (BrightLocal).

Testimonial Review Example

Use multiple customer reviews. See, for example, how we used user testimonials about LearnWorlds platform to create a blog post. Make sure that you read all strict legal limitations on what you as a business owner can do to encourage people to provide reviews.

4Offer rewards for referrals

Give people an incentive to talk about you and your products. It is essential that you learn about affiliate and referral programs. Consider adding a program or bonus to your automated email sequence. Then, the Word-of-Mouth will start to take off.

Reward customers who give referrals or become your affiliates. More than 50% of people say they’re likely to provide a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition, or access to an exclusive loyalty program (source).

5Use social media

Companies that are successful with word-of-mouth marketing usually have a strong social media presence online. Posting regularly on social media lends itself to people talking about you.

According to Market Force 81% of people said they’re influenced by what their friends share on social media. You can tease upcoming products, run a contest or use branded hashtags to engage more people.

So, by now, we see why encouraging enthusiastic word of mouth marketing is worth the effort. Consumers perceive online opinions to be as trustworthy as brand web sites. Word of mouth impacts not only the receiver’s perceived value of a company’s products but also their loyalty intentions, ultimately impacting product acceptance. First, we must make sure we create a company culture that focuses on improving the customer experience.

With the exponential growth of communication, spontaneous, viral dialogue becomes even more evident and can be shared and evaluated by many people at the same time. With the low cost of access and information exchange, Word of Mouth can appear in an unprecedented large scale, potentially creating new dynamics in the market.

Further reading you might find interesting:

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Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.