Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is considered to be one of the most desired forms of marketing. The trust, referrals, and overall brand building buzz you gain by customers spreading the good word to prospects is immeasurable. Some products, services, and experiences naturally produce chatter, but there are definitely ways your company can stimulate word of mouth and create buzz.
Here are five keys to get your customers talking about you and your organization:
1) Ask them – the best word of mouth starts with “word of listen.” Call your customers and ask why they buy, why they stick around, and why they tell others about you. You might be surprised by what you hear. (Hint: it’s usually not what you have in your new marketing brochure.) You have a much better chance of attracting the right customers and the right buzz if you clearly understand what your existing customers value about doing business with you. This goes for online and social media listening as well – what are they saying on Facebook, blog comments, and Twitter?
2) Teach them – often great word of mouth just happens, but sometimes you may need to help it along. One way to do this is to teach your customers how to know your ideal client profile. Help them to know what a prospect in need might say when looking for your products, and how to describe how your company is different. Another great way is to teach your best customers how to write reviews on Yelp, Insider Pages and Google Places rating sites.
3) Include them – Create a discussion group of select customers and ask them to advise you once a quarter or so on new marketing and business initiatives. (Reward them for this in some way as well.) This can include advising on everything from a product extension to the look and feel of your web site redesign. Members of your this group will become natural ambassadors for the brand.
4) Feature them – Letting a customer testimonial or success story go untold is downright criminal in WOMM circles. Record customer testimonials on your smartphone or get a handheld video camera and start doing video interviews with customers to record their success stories. These “real life” bits of content are gold and turn your featured customers into talking referral billboards for your brand. Want to take this idea up a notch? Hold a customer party and film a dozen or so at one time in a great atmosphere – this alone will get your customers talking.
5) Surprise them - few things get people talking faster than surprising them. This can include doing something unexpected to just giving them more than they bargained for. Think about a time someone did something special and out-of-the-blue for you. I’ll bet you’re still talking about.
One thing to remember is that you’ve got to do good work, do something that somebody appreciates, and create an experience worth talking about, but then, prime the pump and leverage all that greatness.