Word of Mouth vs Advertising
I’m not even going to question how you trust your friends, especially their experiences more than you would trust ads. It’s given that ads were made to make the products or services look great no matter what, some even use the type of ads that says “9 out of 10 doctors prefer Paracetamol xx for kids”. But because this line has been overused people tend to not believe in it anymore. But when it comes from our friends, we hear an all-out review that’s straight to the point whether it’s a good one or a bad one, and because of that we more likely would believe them and weigh whether the product or services is worth a try or not.
2) Better Targeting
If you want to target people then again word of mouth would work for you better. If you’re selling surfboards, the first thing you would think about is advertising in sites or E-magazines that are surfing related. Yes, there are surfers who subscribe and regularly check but many don’t. So at the end of the day you still wasted dollars on the ad. Now, with word of mouth it’s like a searching device that goes through Social Medias in order to find people who would be interested. People won’t talk about your product to people who aren’t interested. It’s like talking about baby stuff to a person who doesn’t have a baby and isn’t expecting one anytime soon, it just rarely or doesn’t happen at all.
So does that mean word of mouth is really better?
Nope, not really. Word of mouth could be slower than advertising, it’ll take time to tell one person and spread. With advertising it happens simultaneously, if people were lined up for the information it reaches the person at the end, almost as soon as the person on the front. So if you’re aiming to increase the awareness of a lot of people as quickly as possible then advertising would definitely be the right path to take. Now, for word of mouth it greatly depends whether on getting people to share the information and how soon they will do it. It could also be really effective but again it depends whether people are willing to share their experience or not.
But both advertising and word of mouth can work hand-in-hand, ads could stand as a reminder about their experience with your brand and encourages people to talk about it. Or sometimes your customer would talk about your brand then their friend would see your ad which actually seals the deal, you see both could actually work amazing hand-in-hand. So the bottom line is it really depends in what you’re after.
Why should you do word of mouth marketing?
Thanks a lot to technology your customers could do the marketing work for you, and mind you if your marketing campaign is powerful it could keep the buzz going around your company for a while. When your customers take a minute to post your product or services, thousands of their friends can see that post, and most of those who can see it trusts your customer.
Their post could even be shared by people who agree with the post and become viral, especially if the post was created in a well-planed way. But that’s not just where it ends, people who has seen the post would talk about it with their friends, officemates, and family offline, in the real world thus letting more and more people know about it.
2) It makes you reach unreachable audiences
Let’s take the time to imagine a situation where in you have 15,000 fans and followers on your different social media platforms, now 3,000 of them actually subscribed to your newsletter but 500 aren’t really socially connected to you. Now you’re left with 11,500 online reach, do you know how much that reach can touch through word of mouth marketing?
This time let’s say you’ve found 100 brand ambassadors who are really passionate about your product, and each of them have their own network with a thousand people in it. So every time they share about your company, people in their network would know about it and that’s a total of 100,000 per ambassador knowing more about you. And this is all happening without having to pay for additional advertising services that could be expensive in the long run. And even if you check the statistics, people who buy because of recommendations are a lot more than those who buy for other reasons like advertisements.
3) It makes you more trustworthy
So in 2013, Nielsen’s Global Survey of Trust in Advertising showed that 84% of people would trust recommendations more than they would trust other forms of advertising. But why would people prefer recommendations? Simply because it’s on a personal level. Advertisements seen on TV, magazines, online, billboards and wherever else are created to look good and people obviously know that. When a recommendation is given by a person who is unbiased even if they aren’t a family or a friend makes it more believable.
4) Trust is equivalent to sales
When there are more who trust the opinions of other people, your sales would increase more. In the chart above it was clearly shown that people would more likely make a purchase from recommendations than from just text ads. So basically if you have people who are passionate and happy with your company and they share about you through posts and telling their friends, your sales will definitely go higher.?????
5) It reaches new audiences
Everything is different from before, people could even chose what they get exposed to. Just think about the international “do not call” list, and even on Spotify and Netflix, their subscribers can choose which advertisements they could see your customers could even choose not to see any ads at all. And here comes word of mouth where you could reach people that aren’t reachable through ads and other forms of marketing.
6) It makes your value high and the cycle continue. Basically it’s common sense; your repeat customers definitely love your brand so they’re more likely to spread the word about your brand. But it’s so much more than that, once your repeat customers become brand ambassadors they give you new customers and they are usually the ones that are more loyal and become more long-term. In the long run a lot of them would even become an advocate for your company, and this is a cycle that goes on and on with the newer ones.
It’s given that marketing is powerful and there is a lot of different type of marketing that is very powerful, but none is as powerful as the word of mouth. The more buzz you get to create around your brand, the more success it would give you and that all starts with people who really enjoy your company and is passionate in becoming your ambassador.
How to Use Word of Mouth Marketing
Make sure that you aren’t just collecting consumers but you’re connecting with them as well. Yes, you could gain millions of followers but that’s not going to matter of you don’t connect with them and stay active. If your followers aren’t your fan then they would unlikely be there to help you grow, what’s worse is that they’re just there and clogging your fan base. What you want to aim for here is quality over quantity, the real supporters and fans over the number of fans you have. And sharing information through word of mouth work like magic in influencing other people. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it could be a way to reach people you can’t reach.
1. Making Yourself Interesting
Make sure that you’re always fun, interesting and good in the eyes of your supporters because this will make them want to share your content. They will feel confident to share the information that you share to them to their family and friends.
2. Creating a Trigger
Can you connect or hook yourself with something majority of your consumers use, do, or enjoy? You have to make yourself memorable to your consumers in order to make sure they remember you and talk about you in a good way.
3. Having value
Once you get the chance to establish yourself with a person, word of mouth will come out and conversations between group of friends about your company will happen. For instance you might remember an experience in a fast-food chain, but you can definitely remember a memorable experience in McDonalds. You also know an officemate who loves McDonalds and you share your experience with them because you’re sure that they know about McDonalds and you know they’ll value it. When you share valuable info, you become valuable too. And two good ways to become valuable is having a good customer service and product.
4. Provoking Emotions
Provoking an emotions go hand in hand in creating value. People would more likely share and talk about something they have emotions for. No one really shares something normal, an experience that’s just okay and nothing different or didn’t make them feel any emotion. People share things that have made them happy or even upset to their friends and family. And even if you look at review sites, most people talk about are their good and bad experiences and not just the normal okay experience.
Word of Mouth Marketing Terms
- Buzz Marketing-/ Astroturfing- this is when the focus is to let customers talk about the product by creating and spreading them. Through online traffic this makes more people aware of the company. Influencers are usually the ones who do this and they usually use eye-catching images and videos to grab the attention of more people.
- Viral Marketing- this is like a sister of WOMM, it’s when the products or services you offer get shared to everyone that your consumer contacts. Viral marketing is like a wildfire spreading, it happens really fast and will definitely catch your attention.
- Blog Marketing- in this case a blogger shares what your company offers through their blog and to their followers. Bloggers usually creates a review or add them in their favorites and their followers share that information to people they know.
- Social Media Marketing- this type is really dependent on word of mouth marketing. And it works great because it has the ability to reach more people that aren’t part of your followers. And as I’ve been repeating over and over again, if information is shared by people you can trust then it has a higher value.
Tying in Referral Marketing
Almost all of the marketing strategies include word of mouth, even referral marketing. Referral marketing is just like word of mouth and it’s what helps getting more customers. When we speak about referral marketing, it is marketing that’s based with sharing to friends. But there’s still a difference. Referral marketing has the ability to track conversions, you can also see who is bringing in more customers, and there is an incentive involved. But don’t get me wrong, marketing strategies aren’t competing against each other and none is really better than the other, I’m just pointing out that in almost every marketing strategy, word of mouth is somehow involved.
A good way to judge a marketing campaign is through its credibility, and that it’s measurable, social and respectful. When you incorporate this, you have better chances in establishing yourself as an admirable brand with respect and that will make people want to talk and interact with you. When it comes to advertising vs word of mouth it will all depend on your needs, but they could also work hand in hand. In this list you’ve learned why it’s ideal to use word of mouth marketing and how to use it; I wish you the best of luck when you decide to apply it in your marketing strategies.