You may realize that there are certain things you do that have led customers to share you with their friends. You might notice that just by having a good attitude and a little knowledge about what you’re selling can work in your favor. You may have also noticed that putting in a little extra effort has provided you with a few good online reviews, which have also boosted your referrals.
There are other things you can do to be referable.
Establish a foundation for word-of-mouth advertising
Before you can begin focusing on word-of-mouth marketing, you need to set up a strong foundation. This means creating a base so that word of mouth can occur. Here are a few tips on setting up a sturdy foundation.
The dirty secret
You should focus on giving good customer service because it is the most important thing for your business. If you do not have good customer service, your business will suffer. If people are not happy with your service, they will not tell other people about your business and you will not get new customers.
Good customer service is important because it makes people more likely to recommend you to others. If you want people to spend their social currency (time, energy, and money) on you, you have to give them a good reason to do so. When your great product and unbeatable customer service go hand-in-hand, people feel much more confident about recommending you to others.
To be successful, you need to give customers a great experience. This means making it easy for them to communicate with you. You also need to have a product people want.
Even though it’s easy to share things digitally, you still have to put in effort to be referable. Making marketing a team sport can help with this. Remember that everything is marketing, and it’s easier to promote your best self when the whole team is involved. Every customer touch point is an opportunity for marketing.
It’s a great way to improve collaboration andWork out any potential problems with your brand’s messaging. A good way to build your brand is to get experience with it from your front line. It can be very helpful to understand the customer’s point of view and what they expect, so that you can make changes if necessary. It is also important to understand the problems that your employees have, so that you can solve them. This is a good way to improve teamwork and make sure that your brand’s message is consistent.
To improve your brand and culture, remember that they come from the qualities of the founder. If the leaders of the business don’t show what’s important, the ecosystem could fall apart. However, if the brand values are funneled down, the experience should be better for everyone.
Communication is expected
It is important to have good communication in order to provide excellent customer service and make all marketing efforts a team sport.
People want you to be responsive to their questions and needs and want to know that you’re keeping up with their changing needs. But they don’t just want simple, pre-planned answers; they want conversation and a more personal experience. This may seem strange in our current social media-obsessed world, but there are ways you can make modern communication more personal.
Zendesk found that 92% of customers feel satisfied when they use live chat. This is compared to other communication options like voice (88%), email (85), web form (85%), and social media (Facebook 84%, Twitter 77%).
If you want to improve your customer communication, live-chat tools are the way to go. They’re convenient for customers and increase your communication channels. This is especially important because customer expectations are higher than ever.
Understand where your referrals come from
If you want to understand why your customers buy from you, look at the basics like cost, quality, and customer service.
But it’s not only about the essential features you need to have to be better than your competition. Having primary information like price and product is important, but customers will also research your reviews and recommendations. So it’s important to get feedback when you can.
Feedback from customers can help you understand what you need to change and what they are looking for. This will help you get more customers through referrals and trust.
Design your program with the user in mind
To encourage people to spend their social currency, you need to design your referral program idea with the user in mind. This will help you create open channels of communication. To further encourage this, you will need to use design elements that the user is familiar with.
The more you make it easy for customers to refer you, the more likely they will. Providing them with templated messages increases your word-of-mouth potential. Creating the message your customers will share with their friends, including imagery and a brief description of your business, allows your customers the chance to customize the message.
Programs that don’t provide customers with pre-written messages often find that those customers don’t share the program with others. Customers may like the program, but if they have to put in too much effort themselves they’ll likely give up and move on to something else.
The rewards offered through a referral program can be a great motivator for people to take part. In addition, offering rewards can also make your program more appealing and increase participation. People always want to know what they will get out of sharing your business with others. Even if someone likes your business, if there is no immediate benefit to them for sharing, they may not bother.
You can make people more likely to share your content by offering rewards. This also gives users a reason to spend their social currency, because they will be rewarded for sharing. Referral or rewards program software can help you distribute rewards.
Promote, promote, promote
Promote your referral program to ensure that it reaches your target market. Use various marketing channels to get the word out about your referral program.
There is no way to avoid the fact that promoting your program is important. It helps your program get seen. Rob Edell, the founder of Servy, said that “referrals are one of the most important growth drivers,” and that too many companies hide the refer feature in a sub-menu.
The best way to promote your referral program is to integrate it into your customer’s journey. Anywhere you have an interaction with the customer is an opportunity to promote your referral program. If you want to increase word of mouth, here are some ways you can ask for referrals.
Use your email
You can implement a ” ask for a referral” program with your customers, partners, and employees through email. This can be done by adding a fun image to the bottom of every email, or by sending out a dedicated email asking for referrals.
- Ask in your email signature
- Add it to an email drip campaign
- Makes a great CTA
- An image in your newsletter
- Supplement to a confirmation/receipt/thank you email
Social media is one of the most powerful channels for promotion. It provides an easy way to communicate with your audience and promoting your product or service in the places your users already are makes sense.
There are several ways to communicate with your audience on social media, such as direct messaging, commenting, and posting updates. If the information about your program is already on your social sites, this makes it easier for people to join and share. Social media can also be used to increase your social proof, meaning people will be more likely to spend their social currency on you.
Spark WOM among influencers
If you want to increase brand awareness, getting your products reviewed by credible influencers is a good tactic to use. This is because influencers have the ability to influence their followers’ buying decisions.
Seven out of ten consumers trust influencers’ recommendations just as much as the opinion of real-world friends, according to a study by Sideqik.
Hiring a brand ambassador who regularly talks about your products and services is a great way to get more exposure for your company.
Send products for free
It can be effective to reach out to relevant influencers and send them your product with the hope of receiving a review. Keep in mind, though, that some influencers are constantly bombarded with freebies and might only review your product if they genuinely enjoy it. Therefore, don’t anticipate a review from every influencer.
Focus on micro-influencers rather than bigger names. Micro-influencers are bloggers, videographers, or DIYers with a smaller following. Their goal is to share their expertise by producing tutorials, shout-outs, how-to-guides, and day-in-the-life vlogs.
Connect with a worthy cause
IBM research found that 40% of consumers said they seek out companies that align with their values. Influencers also want to show support for causes they believe in, so associating your brand with a purpose will give influencers additional reasons to partner with you.
In 2020, Starbucks launched the #WhatsYourName campaign to illustrate the journey of a young transgender person who was struggling to embrace their name change. The young person walks into a Starbucks one day, and the campaign illustrates their journey to embracing their name change.
The barista asks for his name and writes it down on the cup. The ad was inspired by people who were transitioning and found Starbucks to be a safe place where their new name was accepted.
Solve a real challenge (yes, even influencers have them!)
The best products are those that solve customer pain points and have a lasting impact. For example, social media users routinely post about the LARQ self-cleaning water bottle. This bottle uses UVC-light to sterilize it, which makes it much easier to stay hydrated while traveling.
Building Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy
Instead of depending on luck to make people talk about your brand, WOM, create triggers that will make people want to talk about it.
Here are some ways to launch your own word-of-mouth marketing campaign:
Set up word-of-mouth triggers
Triggers are memorable experiences or feelings that make people want to talk about your business. For example, a customer who has a great experience with your product or service is likely to tell their friends and family about it, creating word-of-mouth marketing for your business.
Luxury hotel chain Ritz-Carlton is known for going above and beyond for its guests.
When a young guest at a Ritz-Carlton in Florida lost his beloved stuffed giraffe, Joshie, hotel employees not only mailed the giraffe back but they sent pictures of Joshie lounging by the pool, getting a massage at the spa, and driving a golf cart to reassure the little boy that his beloved stuffed animal had been well cared for in his absence.
The giraffe was given a Ritz-Carlton ID badge and was made an honorary member of the Loss Prevention team.
Ritz-Carlton’s viral marketing campaign is a great example of how you don’t need to spend a lot of money or be extravagant to create WOM triggers. Sometimes being empathetic and creative is all you need.
Use visual triggers
Make sure your visual aesthetics are on point so customers will want to take photos and share them.
An “Instagrammable” restaurant is one that provides an aesthetically pleasing environment that makes people want to share their dining experience on social media.
The brand’s #LikeAGirl campaign aimed to break down the negative associations that young girls have with the phrase “Like a Girl.” One of the best examples of word-of-mouth marketing comes from the feminine product brand, Always. The brand’s #LikeAGirl campaign aimed to break down the negative associations that young girls have with the phrase “Like a Girl.”
The #LikeAGirl campaign by the brand pushed for more gender-diverse emojis on mobile and social media platforms. Before, the female emojis on instant messaging apps showed girls dancing in bunny ears or walking down the aisle. The Always campaign introduced new girl-power symbols, like female doctors, athletes, chefs, wrestlers, soccer players, and so on.
Do or create something unique
To take advantage of word of mouth marketing, try selling a unique product, using a different business model, or doing something that goes against industry norms. Making your business stand out in some way will make it more likely that people will talk about it.
In 2019, Dove launched the #ShowUs campaign. They partnered with women and non-binary individuals to create a collection of 10,000+ stock images. These images offer a more inclusive vision of beauty for all media and advertisers to use.
By making people feel seen and accepted, Dove was able to make them feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves.