Word-of-Mouth Marketing: The Intelligent Way to Market
Word-of-mouth can be a powerful tool. A fundamental trait of humans, seemingly instinctual, is the desire by humans to share their experiences. When tapped into, this tendency can be a powerful force for a company. With all the different ways of communication that exist in our society today, it is very important to know what you are doing when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. Marketing by means of word-of-mouth is based largely on three things: Your reputation as a business; your business culture; and, the way your customers are treated. With this on the line, the messages that you spread must be honest and clear.
If you want to inspire this type of marketing, your performance needs to be extraordinary. Keep in mind that being both extraordinarily good, as well as extraordinarily bad, will inspire your customers to start talking. So, make sure that your performance gets you good press, not bad. You want your customers to feel important and taken care of. If you want them to share your message, you have to be sure to come through on your promises. If your customer’s experience is positive, then their stories will be positive.
When it comes to your presence on social communities, the goal should be to be present. Your customers expect you to answer immediately. To that end, it is vital to have a team of well-trained representatives. It is their job to respond and provide high quality content.
The goal should always be to inspire fans, not to buy them. If they feel like they are being manipulated, you will lose their trust. Learn what is important to your customers and what types of rewards are going to motivate them. Once you have this information, you can provide them with ways in which to reach those rewards.
Members of your social community expect you to deliver trustworthy, helpful content. This requires research on your part. Find out what your customers want and what they feel is important. If you rely on what you think they want, you may find yourself completely off base. So, use the valuable tool of social networking to connect with your customers and let them tell you the content that they want.
Remember, your customers are people too. So, what matters to people? They want a good deal. They especially want what they receive to touch their emotions. Your content should add worth to their hopes and dreams. The more that your fans feel like they benefit from your content, the more they will feel the need to share it with others. The virtual world is another thing you can take advantage of. Virtual games have taken the world by storm, and provide a unique advantage to their creators.
While you go forth with this technique of marketing, there are a few things that you should to try to avoid. For example, you should never employ sneaky or under-the-table strategies. If your audience doubts—even for one second—that you are trustworthy, you have lost them. So, never leave any space for them to feel manipulated. For instance, if you are connected with a blogger, make sure that you are up front about the relationship. Your clients know that your ultimate goal is to sell your product. So, if you try to hide that fact from them, then they are going to feel tricked and lied to. Don’t let that happen. Be transparent and up front.
When you put these strategies into practice, you will find word-of-mouth marketing to be a force for good and not evil.