Do you want more people to recommend your products? Would you like to maximize word of mouth marketing?
According to a Nielsen, the most trusted promotional content format is “Recommendations from people I know,” at 83%. Branded websites come in second at 70%, and consumer opinions rank third at 66%.
This makes complete sense when you think about it. People will of course trust what other people who have no affiliation with your company say about you, long before they’ll trust what you have to say about yourself. And these recommendations are even more effective when they are made by friends and family, those most trusted of relationships.
Generating more word of mouth is what all marketing campaigns should aim for. Your goal is for people to see your brand’s message, try your product and tell all their friends about it. Or you can just skip the product part and aim for them to share your message. Although it’s less powerful for driving sales than an endorsement based on actual experience with the product, the promise of viral branded content is all about spreading brand exposure.
Let’s take a look at three top methods you can use to grow your brand through online word of mouth marketing.
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1. Get employee support
How many times have you been asked where you work or how work is going?
Almost everyone I know has asked me “How is work?” multiple times!
If people ask your employees this question and they respond that they are happy, it creates a positive impression about your company. Most employees will respond positively, as 89% of employees are satisfied with their jobs; 38% are very satisfied. To get the most out of this ritual, you should equip your employees with the latest news about your company.
Share everything from the latest product rollouts, projects, offers, partnerships and more, through email newsletters and social media. But the problem with both these mediums is that they are already noisy, and your message could get lost. Hence, you should use an employee advocacy platform.
Employee advocacy platforms allow you to share company news, to keep your employees up to date. These platforms also make it easy for your employees to share this content with their own social media audiences, which can increase the reach of your content and brand tenfold. And 50% of employees already post messages, pictures or videos about their employers, so you might as well get involved in the way your brand is presented.
One great employee advocacy platform you can use is Smarp. The web app and accompanying mobile apps make it easy to add branded content to a feed so that your employees stay informed.
They can also directly reshare the content from the dashboard on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and more social networks. You can connect your blog’s RSS feed and social networks so that content automatically appears here.
Employees can also communicate with each other and back to you through the app. This further strengthens company culture and gives you content ideas. Shares can also be incentivised to encourage employees to share more. There’s even a leaderboard to drive up competition, and Smarp’s detailed analytics will help you find the best performing content items, topics, channels and in-house influencers.
2. Get external influencers to share
Influencer marketing is another method to drive up word of mouth marketing, as people trust social media influencers and follow through with their product recommendations. For example, LG ran an influencer campaign by partnering with photography influencers to promote a new smartphone with powerful camera features. Through this campaign, LG reached 3.2 million people, got more than 1.2 million likes and comments – and they sold 200,000 smartphones in just 10 days.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of influencer marketing…
Look beyond followers. Finding influencers with lots of followers is of course necessary, more followers will get you higher reach. But along with followers, you need to look at another metric: engagement. You don’t want to just find profiles that have a high number of followers, but a good amount of engagement too. More engagement shows that people trust an influencer more, and this will get you stronger sales.
Make sure they are relevant. You also want your products promoted by a relevant influencer. Just looking for people with lots of followers and high levels of engagement won’t do. LG got the most out of the above campaign as they only worked with photographers like Fursty.
Have one primary goal only. To get the most out of your campaign, you should only have one primary goal. Your aim should be to accomplish this one big goal only. You can have a couple of secondary goals if you would like to, but you also need to make sure that these don’t cannibalize from the primary goal.
Get them to mention you. If you want to get the most out of your investment into a sponsored post, make sure that the influencers you work with tag your social media page/account in the post. This will convert some of their followers into yours. You can then build a relationship with them too.
Use disclosure hashtags. While creating sponsored social media posts it is important to follow the FTC guidelines, otherwise it will land you and the influencer in trouble like Lord & Taylor. It’s your duty to make sure audiences are informed that what they are seeing is an ad. The FTC asks you to do this by using the hashtags #ad or #sponsored, so make sure to include at least one of these.
A great example of a proper sponsored post is this one by Recipes From a Pantry promoting Iceland Foods. The post promotes one product, the company is mentioned, there’s a lot of relevancy, and they used the #ad hashtag.
3. Run contests
When running contests online, you can ask people to share a piece of content or product on their social media account to take part in the contest. This can generate a lot of word of mouth buzz online. Hence, make it compulsory for people to share a product from your website in order to become contestants.
A solid recent example is the above contest from Urban Outfitters. From the copy in the screenshot, you can see that they asked people to pin the image on the landing page and their top 10 Urban Outfitters home items. This is a great way to drive word of mouth for several of their home items.
After a person takes part in the contest, you can also ask them to share the contest landing page or micro site, to gain extra entries. This will generate word of mouth about the contest.
There are dozens of effective ways to drive word of mouth about your brand and products both online and offline. These methods of encouraging employee advocacy, implementing an influencer marketing strategy and running contests are among the best. Hence, try them out today as you can run them from anywhere and it can work out cheaper than investing in expensive ads.
How do you drive word of mouth about your brand and products online? Have you used any of the above techniques? Please leave your comments below.