Positive word of mouth (WOM) is without doubt the most effective type of marketing you can receive as a business. Wouldn’t it be great if you could purchase positive WOM just like you can print advertising? What if you could?
I have worked with many clients who claim they have never undertaken any specific marketing, leaving their business to grow solely on WOM. This is fine, but it doesn’t work for everyone, and possibly not the lucky ones forever. Consider this scenario: you’ve finished the point of sale transaction or service offering and you wave goodbye to your client or customer, hoping they’ll walk back in your door when they need another of what you offer. Unfortunately, hope isn’t going to be enough. Yes, they may go and tell one or two friends, but then life goes on, and your customer will potentially forget about you (insert shock horror face!). So what happens when the WOM marketing dries out?
Here are three simple marketing strategies for how you can keep the positive WOM rolling.
1. Remind them how good you are… all the time
What can you do to keep your business at the front of your client’s mind so they spread more positive WOM? Remind them how good you are. You can do this a number of ways; here are a couple of options:
- Direct marketing/newsletter. Keep in touch with a monthly or quarterly newsletter. This is not only beneficial for making sure you stay in the front of your client’s mind, but it’s also a way of introducing new offers or products to your client. The result of this – getting the client back in your door sooner and increasing your chances of continued positive WOM! Try MailChimp as a starting software option.
- Social media. Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn (plus loads more depending on your business) are great ways of consistently communicating with your clients. They again also give you the opportunity to tell your clients more about your business and its expertise, again making sure they keep you front of mind.
2. Extend your network into their network
Extending your network into your client’s network only works on the basis that you have a great understanding of your target market. The principle here is getting key stakeholders or influencers who appeal to your target market to support your product or service will in turn attract more clients or customers to your business through positive WOM. This concept may sound a little foreign, so try these two examples to get you started:
- Guest blogging. On your whiz-bang website, which includes a fantastic blog, consider asking some key stakeholders or influencers to put together a guest blog for you. If you choose your key stakeholder or influencer correctly, their followers should be bang on your target market. The result – their words working as positive WOM directly to your target market.
- Influencers. More broadly, strategically choosing key influencers whose followers are your target market to endorse your brand is a great way of generating positive WOM. This can be achieved by including an influencer in your marketing campaign, or more subtly using them as a supporter of your product or service.
3. Ask them how good you were
At the end of every transaction, ask your client how good you were. Send out a feedback form either electronically or by hard copy. Yes, feedback is daunting, but if you don’t ask for it you’ll never know if you could be doing something better, and wouldn’t you want to know this? The answer is yes… why? So you can do it so well that all your next customers will spread even more positive WOM about your business.
Furthermore, if you do get some fabulous feedback, ask for a testimonial from that client. Now use this testimonial in your marketing and you’ve just created another fabulous method for increasing your positive WOM.
There you have it… so don’t just sit and wait for positive WOM referrals… get out and make them happen!