Word of mouth theory and everything you need to know
Do you know what is word of mouth?
As all of us know that marketing includes so many methods.
So have you ever heard of the word of mouth marketing?
And if heard of it, do you know why it is so important?
Do you know why we should care about it?
And is it useful for your business growth?
As a business owner or someone who works in this field, you must know what is the best way to promote your business.
So before answering all of these previous questions, let us know about the definition and everything related to it?
- The definition
- The History of the word of mouth
- The theory of word of mouth
- Types of the word of mouth
- What is the word of mouth marketing?
- Is the WOMM considered as word of mouth advertising?
- WOM’s Audiences type
- The word of mouth marketing strategies
- How to improve your WOM marketing?
- The advantages and disadvantages of WOM marketing
- Word of mouth marketing in the future
- The conclusion
Word of mouth (WOM) is all about information, which is being passed orally from person to person in an informal way.
It is more like storytelling and it is a kind of a promotion strategy.
In other words, people who have used a service tell friends, family, and strangers about their experience with your brand whether it was positive or negative.
You will know that you are doing the WOM every day without even noticing that.
The History of the word of mouth
In the early 1970s, George Silverman who is a psychologist created what he called ”teleconferenced peer influence groups”.
The groups were designed to attract physicians to talk about new pharmaceutical products.
But Silverman noticed an interesting phenomenon, where skeptics’ opinions on a drug\medicine were effected with the positive opinion from one or two of their peers.
It was very strange because even those people who had bad experiences with that kind of drug changed their opinions after a positive review about that drug with their peers.
Then and after this, the WOM was introduced to the world.
The theory of word of mouth
WOM refers to the oral communication between two people, the listener and the speaker.
The speaker who is in the deep meaning would refer to the product, the brand, or the service.
And the listener’s role is only about believing the speaker when talking about their experience.
And every one of both has a motivation in the WOM process.
The speaker: the motivation can be about self-involvement, like been experienced with a specific thing and they want to talk about it.
Also, it can be a message involvement like an ad and they want to tell everyone about it because of how interesting was the ad.
The listener: the motivation must be that they are interested in what they are hearing from another person.
So from this, we can figure out that the WOM happens because both the speaker and listener want something.
Types of the word of mouth
WOM has a lot of several common types such as:
It is an oral kind of communication like which regularly happens between friends.
Such as messages or emails.
Media creation such as public speaking, performances, graphics, radio, video, and etc.
Digital tools allow people to share and communicate together such as social media platforms.
Reviews of products, services, or a specific experience.
What is the word of mouth marketing?
The word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is an oral or written recommendation by a satisfied customer to indirect convince other customers.
It is considered to be the most effective way of promotion.
According to HubSpot:
About 62% of consumers search online for reviews and information before purchasing a product and a whopping 90% believe brand recommendations from friends.
Is the WOMM considered as word of mouth advertising?
No, and even when it comes to the definition.
Advertising is paid and non-personal communication.
But we are talking about WOMM which is a completely personal and organic way of promotion.
WOM’s Audiences type
The road to WOM’s big success won’t happen suddenly.
It needs time and patience.
The first and most important step in your word of mouth marketing success is knowing your audiences.
And the best way to achieve that is to identify individuals with specific knowledge about your business brand.
It is very important to know the different types of audiences that exist.
Here are the three types of audiences:
Influencers are those individuals in a community who affect our decisions.
Due to their influence, knowledge, and the relationship they have with the products.
They are individuals that spread word of mouth messages about a brand or business to other people in their community.
Brand advocates leave positive reviews about your product.
A brand advocate is anyone who positively supports your brand’s growth.
And this includes:
Customers: Customers who aren’t getting paid to make a review.
Employees: Employees advocate who knows everything about your business.
Their position and the knowledge they have, make a powerful tool to attract customers.
Business partners: anyone who is afflicted with your business makes a good tool.
Customer advocates are similar to brand advocates.
The only difference is that customer advocate is not only satisfied with your brand but also with your customer services as well.
The word of mouth marketing strategies
Like every kind of marketing, WOMM needs well-studied strategies to make the best performance.
So let me shed a light on a few of them.
1- Research your competition
Being aware of your competitors is an important step to be the first.
You need to understand your business and what it has to offer.
In other words, researching your competition makes you have answers for the necessary question that u must have asked yourself like what can you do to be better than your competitors?
2- Find your uniqueness
There has to be something that reminds people of your brand.
Something that will help you to be unique and will attract customers to talk more about your brand.
If you’re just like any other name in your field, your audience might not even remember you.
3- Build a strong social media community
Understanding your targets will make you realize the importance of the audiences’ role.
You need to follow them on the online platforms.
For example, Instagram, once you figure out that they are active on it, don’t hesitate to post videos,
photos, and even stories in order to make them interact with you.
4- Encourage the(UGC)
The UGC is referring to user-generated content.
First of all, you need to know that UGC is content shared and created by consumers.
In order to achieve this step you have to create a unique hashtag to know the content created by customers,
incentivize creating and sharing photos, videos, and gifs on social media platforms,
offer a free gift or launch a sale on your products.
5- Share customers’ reviews and rate your products
Their reviews help in measuring your performance.
Allowing customers to do that me them more comfortable with your business’s policy.
When it comes to rating your products, this is a tip which only depends on your business’s plan.
Maybe your plan allows you to give your customers the ability to rate your products.
For example, a tech company that sells several products will absolutely need to rate its products.
6- Add a human touch
Marketing and customer service may have become easier nowadays,
with all the new strategies and methods, but don’t let these modern tools fool you.
The more people getting connected to your brand the more recommendations you are going to get.
We want these recommendations to be positive ones.
To build a strong connection with your audience, you have to let them know that they are dealing with
a brand that has a personality and not just a robot that has the answer to all the questions.
Your customers are real, and So Are You.
7- Invest in your customers
Word of mouth marketing is based on customers’ recommendations to each other.
The best way to get these recommendations is through positive brand experiences,
and that will only happen through a good customer service policy.
It is also a good step to turn your customers into loyal brand advocates.
You could give customers special offers, and always pay attention to their bad feedback,
and try to respond to it by solving the problem.
As a result of all of these reasons, Customer service is always an excellent investment.
How to improve your WOM marketing?
From the previous tips, you can easily analyze that WOM is so personal as well as being an organic
kind of marketing.
It is organic because people who promote your brand, they do that because of their passion for your brand.
So you need to ask yourself a very important question which is what do you have to do in order to
improve your WOM strategy?
I have the answer to it.
1- Develop your right message
Go after what makes your brand unique and different.
Figure out how you want people to be talking about your business.
Pick the right news and posts to share with your audiences.
2- Be whenever your followers are
By followers, I don’t mean those who are only following you on social media only, but also those who are following your brand in general.
You have to show them that your brand is caring about satisfying its customers.
Being active with them on social networks is so important, so is being active with them in the actual markets.
Your customers will appreciate your efforts and return the favor back by the good feedbacks and reviews.
3- Give your advocates the power
As you know and it is something that you must be sure bout, that your customers will talk about your
business whether with positive or negative things.
All you have to do is to encourage the positive side by getting to know your loyal advocates and thanking
them for supporting your business.
Also, you can value them by creating such groups on social media for your latest news, exclusive deals,
special offers, and the reviews about your different products.
The advantages and disadvantages of WOM marketing
Like everything in the business’s field, the word of mouth has its advantages and disadvantages.
Today, many business owners employ word-of-mouth marketing specialists to build their customer base.
So let me identify you with the most common advantages and disadvantages.
It makes people understand: customers who always buy products from your brand and loyal to your site, are always having an idea of what they are doing and what you are offering them.
They understand everything because already someone told them before.
It builds trust: when it comes to buying products, people usually trust someone who gives, them a positive review about the brand because they believe that the person was satisfied
with the brand’s services or the products being sold.
According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report:
92% of buyers say that they go for recommendations from friends and family over other forms of advertising.
It is not expensive: It is an expected result of an organic method.
Compared to the amount of money being spent to run an ad campaign in print, on television or
even those ads on social media platforms.
It builds your brand: this is a huge advantage especially to small businesses that are trying to take place in the market.
Using WOM marketing helps to build positive recommendations about your business.
It Spreads Slowly: today and with all of these digital marketing tools, the WOM marketing spreads
a little bit slower than other marketing strategies.
It takes time for you and brand advocates to tell others about your brand, the products, and the services.
Limited consumers base: with word of mouth marketing you only market to a limited base of customers,
which comes from you, your employee advocates, and your loyal customers.
Negative reviews Effect: the ugly truth is that WOM marketing suffers from bad reviews as much as it
benefits from the good ones.
People tend to believe personal experiences without even trying to check if they are true or not.
So pay attention to what negative comments are being told and try to solve this as fast as you can.
Word of mouth marketing in the future
Regardless of the current superpower for marketing on social media, starting from facebook likes, and the followers on Instagram, and yet we never know what is going to happen in the future.
Surprisingly, WOM marketing will be the only kind of marketing that will count.
According to a recent study,
Only 7% of word of mouth marketing is online, meanwhile, 93% of word of mouth is actually happening offline.
This is so logical because you take action on the social networks when you hear a good recommendation
about in from your friends, from your family, or from someone who has direct personal experience.
So all of the marketing forms owe their success to the WOM.
Word of mouth marketing is a kind of traditional marketing that we have been practicing for so long without even noticing.
It is completely an organic form.
WOM has three kinds of customers who support the process of its growth.
The strategies in WOM are so important and setting up a good plan for it really helps in the growth.
Improving your word of mouth takes a lot of time and patience.
Like every kind of marketing, WOM has advantages and disadvantages that you must put on your consideration
while planning for your brand.
WOM is the essential base for marketing in the future.