Some sources state that as much as a staggering 85% of business comes through word of mouth!
It is an effective, not to mention cheap, form of marketing that is truly priceless – the power of a personal recommendation is far more valuable and credible than any paid form of media will ever be.
Many larger businesses have tried and failed to force word of mouth using try hard mass media campaigns. It almost seems like something that can only come naturally without trying. But the fact is, you do need to try and there are effective ways of improving the spread of your word of mouth.
How to Grow Word of Mouth Marketing Step 1: Ask for it!
“Ask and you shall receive” is definitely still true today. Your current colleagues and contacts are already so caught up in their own agenda that, even if they absolutely love your product or service, they probably just forget to mention you. Simply asking lets them know it is important to you and infers that you would do the same for them (but make sure you actually back that up!). If you don’t feel comfortable sending out a mass email with this request, bring it up casually in your next meeting or phone call as a ‘by the way’ mention. And in the age of social media, the options go beyond face to face referral to asking users to post a photo of the product in use on Instagram, to check in to your location on Facebook, to tweet a short recommendation or even to share a solution with a professional looking for options on LinkedIn.
A good alternative to bringing referrals to a head is by running a special event where your contacts can bring a friend. Whether it is a free week in a gym, an open day or a lunch, you can almost guarantee that everyone brought forward using this method will be a solid prospect, after all – would your current contacts risk the embarrassment of bringing a friend or colleague somewhere they will have a terrible experience?
How to Grow Word of Mouth Marketing Step 2: Reward Your Referrers
When you’ve done all the asking you can without sounding like you’re begging, you can expect some referrals to come through, so then it’s time to move on to step 2. A reward can be anything you would like it to – a gift arriving unexpectedly, a % off voucher for the referrer or for them to give to a friend, taking them out for a meal, a rebate, or simply a thank you card. Whether you choose to make it known that you will offer rewards or not depends entirely on your