How often have you purchased a product based on a family member’s or friend’s recommendation? How many times have you learned about a service that people are talking about on the Internet and decided to give it a try? Without realizing it, word-of-mouth marketing has just worked its magic on you. It has been around for a long time even before other forms of advertisements graced your TV or computer screens.
Word-of-mouth marketing is a free type of promotion that can work either way. Simple as it may seem, it can easily make or break the reputation of your business. To make sure that it will work in your favor, getting the right information across is vital. The information needs to travel accurately – no additions or omissions.
When conversations travel from online to offline, then online again, there are a few points to consider so it will remain authentic and seamless. Before anything else, creating enough buzz is the first step you need to take. It is important to understand word-of-mouth cannot only be encouraged but also facilitated. This means you can control the information to attract customers and generate enough interest to keep people talking. This takes a lot of thought and planning.
Use brief yet catchy statements so people can easily remember them even after their computers are turned off. Also, be careful about using words that can carry a lot of meaning. It would be best to use simple words that are easy to understand and have only one precise definition. The problem with complicated statements is that it can be translated in different ways and might lead to inaccurate perceptions.
Influential individuals can have great reach. Aside from their valued opinion, they have specific knowledge and a specific following.
To keep the conversation going with such individuals, posting regular updates will be essential. Often, these updates can spark a conversation offline and get more people interested. For the seamless transition from online to offline, provide information that is simple to understand, educational and relatable. At this point you can present real-life client testimonials or experiences to highlight a product’s features or how well a service is done. This is how you can compare your offerings with your competition and let people know what sets you apart from them. This can create a good flow and will encourage others to share their own experiences.
Forums, Yahoo Answers and LinkedIn Answers
Take the time to research how, where, and when opinions and views are shared online. Take advantage of popular sites or forums and join in on the conversation. You can provide information or answer inquiries and also educate others on valid information about your company or services.
Reviews can also be your best marketing tool. They can provide a perspective that other people may find helpful. Remember that although online exposure is valuable, the ability to take the attention and interest offline is just as important. If you want to be an effective marketer, you need learn how to improve and amplify the potential of word-of-mouth marketing and create a strategy focused on developing and measuring word-of-mouth.
Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word-of-mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz. She facilitates online visibility services and word-of-mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy, http://buzz2bucks.com.