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How to put an effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy into action

Initially, you could be convinced that attempting to develop a word-of-mouth marketing strategy would be a non-starter. How exactly are you supposed to do it when word of mouth, by definition, is more casual than salesy? However, the trick isn’t so much to create word of mouth yourself but instead encourage it.

You could do that by subtly planting the thought in your customers’ minds that, yes, your product or service may be worth recommending to other people. So, what steps could you take?

Ask your customers to leave online reviews

Obviously, you don’t want them to post negative ones. However, if you are confident in the quality of your offering, many customers could be inclined to critique it positively as long as you nudge them towards publicly publishing that review in the first place.

You could do that nudging in an email you send a customer a few days after they make their purchase. Just remember: 89% of consumers consult reviews when making buying decisions.

Encourage the creation of UGC (user-generated content)

One reason why positive customer reviews spur increased sales is that these plaudits come across as authentic; in other words, reflecting the actual quality of the product or service rather than strategically put together with the intention of getting more money rolling in.

As many online shoppers also see UGC as authentic, you should think about incentivising its creation. Perhaps you could hold a competition inviting people to submit pictures of themselves benefitting from your brand, or offer free products to social media ‘influencers’.

Launch an affiliate programme

This is how it would work: you would partner with people who are already influential online and give them unique links to product pages of your website. The affiliate would then weave these links into their own online content – for example, on their website and social media pages – as they recommend the products.

When someone buys one of your products as a direct result of clicking one of these links, the affiliate will receive a commission.

Recruit brand ambassadors

This is about getting people enamoured with your brand to represent you through various means – such as by creating UGC, amassing referrals or even holding events where your company’s branding is heavily emblazoned.

People you recruit as brand ambassadors could simply be customers and employees of your business – though higher-profile people, like musicians and athletes, could also join your brand ambassador programme. Anyone who does join could be rewarded with the likes of discounts and free products.

Post content people could easily share

Sometimes, people don’t even have to buy from your brand before they think of publicising it. For example, if you run social media pages in the name of this brand, you could use these pages to regularly post quirky content – like jokes or memes – many social media users would eagerly share with their own followers.

Social media is also a great place to post links to longer-form content – such as articles our copywriters could produce for your website or blog.

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