Why Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy Is the Most Powerful Method for Growing Your Business

Sometimes, marketing can be a risky investment, especially true if you find that you try all the famous tools and strategies, but receive no results. Luckily, one of the most effective marketing strategies is practically free – and that’s word of mouth marketing.

Before making a decision to buy a product or service, people typically ask a family member or a friend for suggestions. They don’t rely on commercials. Word of mouth is the fastest way for people to get information. What is even more important, we perceive our friends’ and family’s experiences as the most trustworthy source of information.

Within the last few years, marketers have focused mostly on boosting the number of social media fans instead of connecting with them. Having a few hundred satisfied fans who love your products is far more effective than thousands who’ve only “liked” your website to win something.

WHY A WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING STRATEGY IS SO POWERFUL

Word of mouth marketing is the oldest and the most original social media platform. It is the most valuable form of marketing proven to drive the highest sales for companies. For this reason alone, no marketer shoulder overlook it.

Whether you are choosing a restaurant, smartphone or a hand cream, you will often highly value a suggestion from a close friend, neighbor or a co-worker. Why? Because traditional marketing strategies such as TV and newspaper ads aren’t as trustworthy as the actual people in your community.

Despite the numerous media platforms available nowadays, verbal communication about a certain product or brand is the best way to expand your business. Once a person passes the word about a certain product to their friends, they are much more likely to become loyal fans and regular consumers.

A word of mouth marketing strategy provides a long-term benefit for your business. When a consumer purchase is based on a prior referral, they often buy more in comparison with consumers who find products through conventional marketing. These consumers usually stick with your products or brand longer than others.

Moreover, when referred consumers communicate with their friends about your products and services, the value of the first referral spreads even more. Naturally, if these consumers are satisfied with your products, building a high quality brand should be your next business step.

Building your brand may be somewhat challenging if you are developing a small business. Brand building may prove demanding even if you have a franchise, especially if your competitors have already established their spot. Luckily, a good word of mouth marketing strategy can help consumers develop a positive feeling about your brand really quickly.

Once you establish your brand, a word of mouth, marketing strategy becomes a valuable method to expand your business and increase your profits. In comparison with the cost of a consistent conventional marketing campaign, which involves newspapers, radio and television, referrals are almost free.

BUILD UP YOUR WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING METHOD

You may have a great product to sell, but if consumers don’t know about it, you can’t turn it into profit. It is always a good idea to keep track of what people are saying about your products online, but there is a lot more to it than just creating your Twitter and Facebook profiles. Effective and successful word of mouth marketing requires serious thinking and lots of hard work.

Social platforms are the easiest way to get in direct communication with your target consumers. Due to the fact that social media has rapidly grown in the past few years, nowadays over seventy percent of all internet users use social media.

Almost forty percent of social media users, have shared brand-promoting content. This includes sharing information about a certain brand or product on their Facebook wall. Such content sharing is highly valuable since it inspires a great mass of people to talk about this brand or product, and eventually become consumers.

TARGET THE OPINION-MAKERS

The success of the word of mouth marketing method can increase even more if you take the time to win over the opinion-makers in your community. Opinion-makers are people who can influence a mass of people and shape the creation of opinions. This includes public figures, trendsetters, bloggers and journalists. They are the active voice in a community – and often speak out and give advice to others.

Since you want to reach as many people as possible, opinion-makers can be of great benefit for your business. They can help you build your brand successfully through word of mouth marketing. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make a list of the opinion-makers that appeal to your targeted audience and include them when promoting your brand.

MAKE AN IMPACT – BECOME A THOUGHT LEADER

Engaging the opinion-makers to promote your brand is great, but becoming a thought influencer is even better. You know what makes your business unique, so go ahead and tell people about it. Get the word of mouth process rolling by communicating with your audience.

You can reach your potential consumers through social media platforms, blogs or even at a conference. Choose the medium that supports your ideas best and establish a strategy to increase your influence in your community. Increasing your personal social influence will help you promote your brand more successfully.

WORD OF MOUTH IS THE KEY MARKETING STRATEGY

Word of mouth should be a key aspect of your marketing strategy. Many companies use a word of mouth marketing strategy, encouraging their happy customers to promote their products. It is crucial to provide consumers with a great product or service, so that they happily share their experience with others.

If consumers are satisfied with the quality of your products and services, they will be willing to share their experience with their close ones. Their family, friends, co-workers and even random people that read their tweets or blog posts, or ask them for advice, will certainly consider their suggestions.

A successful word of mouth marketing method promotes your business and convinces consumers to buy your products. By buying your products, people should be convinced that they are joining special ranks, and that your brand products or services will define their identity in a more positive way.

Whether planned or not, a word of mouth marketing strategy is well worth the effort. It is still considered the most powerful and influential type of marketing communication. If you put your energy into this effective marketing method, your company can become a beneficiary of word of mouth and build a successful brand. Remember that your brand is only as good as consumers claim it is.

Why Inexperience Will Cause Newbie Internet Marketers to Fail

Failure. The one thing all Internet marketers never want to hear. And that is understandable Nobody wants to fail, right?

I have researched some of the reasons why most newbie internet marketers fail. In this article, you may identify yourself – or others you know. This article is not meant to be one of condemnation. It is being delivered so you can identify what areas you can improve and avoid the dreaded “F” word!

First, let me state up front that I mean nothing derogatory with the term “newbie.” Everyone was a newbie at some point in time. It is kind of like being a called a “rookie” in major league sports. Once you have that first year under your belt, you are no longer a rookie. The same for internet marketing. However, a “newbie” could mean a 5 year marketer if that person continues to make “rookie mistakes.” I am using the term “newbie” simply because most new comers to internet marketing are looking for the “quick buck” and most tend to make the same mistakes – “rookie mistakes.”

It is my intention to provide you with the information I have discovered and identified my own shortcoming with as well. I may not have made all of the mistakes I will get into, but I have made more than one of them (I can attest to that)! But I am including a few of the others I have not made (phew!) because I have found there are many people who have made them.

The Number 1 Reason Why Newbie Internet Marketers Fail:

They Do Not Have the Experience

That is pretty clear, right?

Most newbies lack the experience of marketing a product in which they never have a face to face interaction with their clients. Most people understand about face-to-face marketing and the art of “smiling, agreeing with the statements made by the customer, etc.” Internet marketing is a completely different environment.

Experience in this area is the only way to gain the skill set necessary to be successful. Does that mean the newbie marketer is already destined to fail? No. It means the newbie marketer must make the extra effort to ensure success.

By learning the methods needed to capture the attention of the buyer; learning what the potential preferences are of the buyer; learning the reasons why the buyer desires their product; learning how to communicate the advantages of their product to satisfy the buyer’s needs – all without any verbal interaction. Only using the written word (and in audio or video marketing as well – but the newbie will never “see” the client).

This means the new internet marketer must make a concentrated effort to study the market; study the products; study the tactics used by the experts. This takes time and dedication. It means admitting you do not know everything. It means admitting you cannot do it on your own (as least not right away). It means accepting the fact that immediate riches will probably not be flooding into your back account right way.

Now, there are exceptions to every rule. But those exceptions are few and far between. But most newbie marketers (myself included when I first started out) think “they” will be the exception and will reach financial independence ahead of their peers. This mindset will almost always result in discouragement and failure.

What are the ways to overcome this “Inexperience Factor?”

Probably the best way to gain experience is by “doing.” That sounds simple enough, right? But let me explain…

The worst thing a newbie can do is to enter the highly competitive field of internet marketing and think he or she is going to become rich overnight while competing against some marketers who have been doing this for years. The best solution to this situation is to team up with an experienced marketer who can guide them through the first stages of internet marketing and help the newbie avoid some of the pitfalls that plague newbies and drive them from success straight into failure.

There are numerous places to gain that type of experience and information. It would take volumes to write about each one. My intent here is simply to make the newbie marketer aware that “you are not destined to failure.” As a matter of fact, failure in and of itself is also a learning tool. Thomas Edison was quoted as saying, when questioned by a reporter as to why he was not discouraged after failing 10,000 times in making the light bulb, his answer was, “Why should I be discouraged? I found 10,000 ways it would not work!”

So it is with gaining experience in internet marketing. You can go the way of 10,000 failures on your own, just so you know not to try it that way again, or you can read about the one or two ways a person who has had success did it and then follow the same path. I’m not talking about “copying” the person (though some advocate that). I’m talking about seeing what your comfort zone is; I’m talking about what “clicks” with your personality, experiences, desires and goals.

Not every method works for every person. If you examine successful marketers, almost all of them utilize the fundamentals but then they tend to specialize in certain areas. Take, for example, a football team. You see the players all decked out in their uniforms and you can rationally say about any one individual, “He is a football player.” And that statement would be true.

But if you look at the individual players and analyze their strengths and weaknesses, you soon realize that some of them weigh 300+ pounds. That person probably is not a wide receiver or a running back. Most likely, he is a lineman. Another is short and lanky and you see him out kicking field goals all practice long. You see a player throwing balls through tires hung at different levels and different yardages – he is probably a quarterback. Each person has a unique set of skills they bring to the “football team.”

So it is with internet marketing. You may not be cut out to be a marketer in the self-help niche. You may be more of a hands on type of person who enjoys working on cars or building houses, making you uniquely qualified to assist others in that niche. People looking for information on “How to fix their car” or “How to remodel their kitchen.” Others may be more uniquely qualified to give “relationship advice.” Others on “How to build a website.”

You see, there are 1,001 different ways (actually more than that) to make a living as an online marketer. YOU have a special skill set that somebody needs to know. And you have the opportunity to share the experience you already possess in that area – and be paid for it! You need to sit down and ask yourself (and give an honest answer), “What do I know that other people always ask me about?”

It could be anything from repairing a clogged drain to fixing a car engine; from hanging dry wall to installing landscaping. Whatever you enjoy doing; whatever you are always helping someone with; whatever people are always seeking your advice on – these are the areas you need to focus. This is probably going to be your niche market. This is the area you will probably be the most successful.

The successful marketers are able to identify what they did wrong and begin to take corrective action to put them on the path to success. Failure to identify weak areas will just mean the marketer is more likely to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

Digital Marketing Lessons From Yoda, Luke, Princess Leia & Han Solo

Marketing inspiration can be gleaned from many sources, and in this case, we look to the famed characters of Star Wars to help us on our way. Let’s review a few pithy quotes from likes of Han Solo, Princess Leia and the great and wise Yoda, and see how they might apply to digital marketing.

LESSONS FROM HAN SOLO

“Punch it.” Take your content to the next level, make it relevant and continually review and refine. In other words, punch up your content!

“Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.” Though most organizations are in it for the profit, the goal of many digital marketing campaigns is to establish credibility and to build an online rapport. This is especially true for considered purchase items. So… focus on educating and helping first, and selling second.

“Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.” If your business is growing nicely, now is the time to invest in new ideas, technologies and resources to continue that growth. Don’t get cocky and think that you can continue to sell and market the same way you did a few years ago (or more).

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” Old school thinking may not appeal to your progressively younger buyers. Innovate and stay ahead of the curve. That said, we never want to use an email “blaster” mentality. Always follow email marketing opt-in best practices.

“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.” Email marketing to thousands of prospects list is a giant leap from a modest list of a few hundred. Keep this in mind when creating new, aggressive email marketing initiatives.

“Great shot kid, that was one in a million.” Any given campaign can prove to be a home run, but consistent, educational campaigns should be the goal for every business.

“Laugh it up, Fuzz ball.” It’s great to have fun with your marketing initiatives, but many B2B businesses should err on the side of professionalism with educational and relevant content. Explaining the origin of Foosball, or the best recipe for New England clam chowder in your business blog is unlikely the best way to engage your audience.

LESSONS FROM YODA

“Patience you must have, my young Padawan.” Marketing, including digital marketing, takes time and patience. Execute, Measure, Refine. Execute, Measure, Refine. There is no substitute for an experienced digital marketing professional. Don’t trust your digital marketing to a novice or treat it as a part time job to be completed by a salesperson, producer or account manager when and if they have time.

“Mmm. Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing.” Though it must be very embarrassing to lose a planet, forgetting to include a working call to action link can be embarrassing too! Double check all your links before launching campaigns.

“You must unlearn what you have learned.” Just because something has worked in the past doesn’t mean you should continuing doing it in the future. Sometimes you need to step back and assess marketing initiatives, even if they’ve been successful in prior years and for many years.

LESSONS FROM LUKE SKYWALKER

“It’s not impossible. I used to shoot womprats with my T16 back home.” Laser like focus can be invaluable for marketing campaigns. Defining a target market, determining a buyer persona, creating a prospect scorecard and ensuring that your company has a robust prospect list are all crucial to effective and efficient marketing. Whether you’re targeting womprats or trucking executives, make sure you have the data and methodology in place when embarking on your next campaign.

I’m Luke Skywalker. I’m here to rescue you.” Are some of your marketing initiatives going so poorly they need to be rescued? How are you determining which plans need to be rescues versus those that need to be jettisoned? Marketing initiatives need to be reviewed on a regular basis, and culled when they are beyond rescue.

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” My father founded this company, so I’m going to run it the way he did. As companies transition from fathers to sons and daughters, there are important elements to keep, and many to throw away. When it comes to marketing, look at what has produced recent ROI, and look at innovative approaches for future ROI. A simple example might be the website your father (Jedi or otherwise) created ten years ago. It might have been great then, but the time has come and gone to create a new, mobile responsive website.

LESSONS FROM LUKE DARTH VADER

The force is strong with this one.” Once you earn a positive digital reputation, the force will be strong with your company, and can remain strong with high quality content and consistent communication.

“It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.” Though ruling the galaxy may be beyond the scope of your business, you can dramatically increase your book of business with innovative marketing initiatives, leading edge tools and the talent to execute them. Considering outsourcing certain marketing initiatives to compliment any missing in house staffing or skills. Outsourcing can be a more effective solution than internal staffing for many organizations, especially smaller businesses.

LESSONS FROM PRINCESS LEIA

“Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Though marketing can often be daunting for many companies, particularly small businesses, it’s not as hopeless as it might initially seem. And there usually isn’t just one silver bullet that will solve a problem(s), but rather many options which can provide successful outcomes. When initiatives are going poorly, start with the basics such as market, profile, persona, delivery options, etc. Use A/B split testing (or multivariate split testing) to better optimize messaging and calls to action.

“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?” Just because your budget is small doesn’t mean it can’t be effective. For example, leverage less expensive tools and platforms to expand reach. Use LinkedIn long form publishing as opposed to paid press releases. Cross pollinate your digital content by using free or inexpensive social media platforms. Small businesses and startups can use sweat equity when they have insufficient capital available.

“I have a bad feeling about this.” Well this one seemed quite obvious. If you don’t have a good feeling about your marketing campaign or initiative, think out of the box (or “poke the box”) and try something new. How about whiteboard videos, or a social media based referral program, infographics for digital content, on demand webinars, a new app, or pod casts. There are so many tools and technologies available today, there is something for companies both small and large.

LESSONS FROM OBI-WAN

Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” If at first you don’t succeed, measure, refine (or overhaul), and execute. Repeat!

Marketing inspiration can be gleaned from both traditional and innovative sources. Businesses need to embrace innovative marketing ideas and new technologies. And if your business is looking to “punch it” when it comes to marketing, you may wish to consider outsourcing some or all digital marketing to a professional and proficient marketing agency.