Marketing is a big part of any business, and there are few better ways to market than with the help of other people’s ideas and opinions. Word of mouth marketing differs from of course, naturally occurring word of mouth. While it’s hard to completely control HOW each person will tell others about your business, research shows that there are three general avenues to “manage” HOW wom will tell others about your business: 1. Build a strong foundation of existing clients, and 2.
There are a couple different ways to go about getting the word out. There are traditional marketing techniques such as television advertising, radio advertising, etc., as well as newer forms of advertising like online advertisement via blogs, message boards, podcasts, and other similar venues. While word of mouth marketing can sometimes be more effective in certain industries (such as medical/dental care), it doesn’t always work so well elsewhere. Here are some different ways of marketing your business using other people’s voices.
Word of mouth through social media marketing is a very powerful way to get your name out into the community. Use Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and any number of the different social media networks to tell your friends about your business. Be sure to tell them specifically what you do – no matter how generic you want the “story” to sound. Also, be sure to encourage referrals. If you can find one person who’s referred a particular client, tell them how important they are to your business, and thank them profusely for doing so.
Another great way of gaining word-of-mouth marketing through your community is to offer a referral program. Offer your community a ” Refer a Friend ” incentive program, or create an opportunity for members of your community to trade business cards for a free product. There are numerous examples of free product referrals on the internet. For example, if you run a website that offers free product samples, offer your visitors a link in their resource box that directs them to a page where they can select which free product they’d like, and you’ll gain a new customer.
One of the most powerful ways to build your business is to make your message heard by potential consumers outside of your own organization. You can do this by participating in various forums, giving interviews, and participating in discussions on social networking sites. By participating in forums, you can connect with consumers and professionals in other regions who have similar goals as yourself.
If you’re not promoting your brand, there are literally thousands of companies waiting to take advantage of the untapped potential of viral marketing. One great example of a company that uses viral marketing to market its brand is Livemoves. Livemoves is a quality fitness equipment company that allows its consumers the opportunity to refer friends and family to their site for free. In turn, when the friends and family members of the consumer make a purchase of a Live Moves product, Livemoves pays them a commission. In effect, it’s a win-win situation for both parties: The consumer gets to build a powerful network of direct referral sources, and Livemoves gets to expand into a region where it would be nearly impossible to penetrate using conventional advertising methods.
When you think about how you can get people talking about your brand using conventional marketing strategies, you should keep one thing in mind: Marketing to your mouth is different than marketing to your audience. Getting customers talking to your brand is a much more complex thing than getting customers talking about you. Fortunately, you don’t need sophisticated marketing strategies in order to effectively get people talking about your company.
Simply participating in local free product promotions, including a campaign to bring awareness to a local community or school, can draw hundreds of new prospects into your organization each week. Freebies, like promotional pens, lanyards, t-shirts, hats and bags, can also provide a great opportunity to let consumers “try” your brand before they decide whether to participate in your marketing program or not. Remember to keep your customer’s attention on you at all times, by providing an incentive for them to refer you.