Word of Mouth Marketing

The Power of the Consumer: 2 Benefits of Using Customer Testimonials

Thu Mar 31 2016 08:00:36 GMT+0000 (UTC)
The Power of the Consumer: 2 Benefits of Using Customer TestimonialsWe all know that when consumers consider a new company or product, they turn overwhelmingly to customer testimonials. Not only are current customers more trustworthy in the eyes of the consumer than the corporate marketing team, but they have the best true stories about your products. So what exactly are the benefits of customer testimonials, and why should you use these testimonials to tell your company's story?
1. They make your current customers feel appreciated
The customers who leave a review feel strongly about your product. Most people won't bother if they just think your product is average. Tap into that by reaching out to customers who have left an organic review on your site and ask that they expand upon their experience in a blog or vlog format. This lets your current customers know that you value their opinions and helps build brand loyalty.
2. Prospects feel like they're getting the truth about your products
Even if every single word that your marketing department publishes is 100% true, it'll never compare to a customer testimonial because there's an innate bias against corporate marketing. Supplementing your marketing efforts with customer testimonials helps reinforce that your marketing team isn't leading customers astray. This also helps build the perception that your company values its customers and what they have to say. (And as a perspective customer, you'll feel that your own opinion will also be valued.) Word of mouth is one of the best ways to recommend your product, and publishing customer testimonials is the digital version. Let your current customers know that their experience is valued, and let perspective customers know that you're a company that cares by using customer testimonials.

Effective Customer Testimonial Forms: Everything You Need, Nothing You Don't

Mon Nov 16 2015 08:00:36 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Effective Customer Testimonial Forms: Everything You Need, Nothing You Don'tSo, you want to effectively leverage customer testimonials on your website. Great! You're on the way to strengthening your brand and building your client base, because testimonials are one of the most high-impact ways to convert leads. Video testimonials aren't "salesy"; they don't turn clients off with heavy-handed, questionable advertising; and they build trust because other real people are backing your product or service. And if anything sways peoples' opinions, it's the opinions of others. In fact, some statistics site that word of mouth is responsible for 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. The next question to ask yourself is, how can you create the perfect customer testimonial form, with everything you need, and nothing you don't? The testimonial template you provide your customers is vital in determining the quality of the testimonial, and even the attitude your customers approach it with. While the features of a killer customer testimonial form will vary depending on your product, service, target demographic, and the style of your brand, there are some basic elements that hold true across all testimonials. Here are some tips for crafting a great testimonial form, to gain the most leverage from your happy clients' feedback.
Ask for specifics.
Imagine a video testimonial where a happy customer says, "This product was awesome! I got everything I wanted and more, and the customer service was great." Perfect, right? Well, not quite. While this person is clearly enthused, their feedback really doesn't tell your potential customers any real information. Instead of asking, "Did you like our product?" a question like "What was your favorite feature of our product?" will lead your reviewer to name specific details -- which, ultimately, will be more meaningful to anyone listening.
Create questions that target clients' interests, which might be different from your interests.
When creating questions, it's important to know what potential clients are interested in, what they're curious about, and what's important to them. For instance, clients might want to know: What will happen in their lives as a result of choosing this service or product? What's good about your customer service? What are the outstanding aspects of this service or product? What are its fallbacks? Notice that these questions are all targeted to the interests of consumers. You, as the business owner, might be wondering: How did you find out about my product? What is your background in education and career? Where are you from? How many people have you recommended this product to? While this info might provide valuable information to you, it's likely not going to be as persuasive to potential clients. Even a small amount of less-than-captivating info on a video testimonial can lead to viewer disengagement. You only have their attention for a limited time, so make it count by soliciting only details of high interest in your testimonials.
Cut the filler.
Testimonials are tiny works of art. They are meant to capture and persuade using style, personality, and captivating details. Including filler questions can make the viewer feel like they're watching a boring lecture, rather than a stylized and personal account of a happy customer. Less is more. Three bulls-eye questions will be more impactful than six meandering ones.
Use questions, and wording, that encourages the style you're aiming for.
Want to target millennials? Baby-boomers? Top tier executives? Pick your wording appropriately. The specific wording of your questions can influence whether your testimonials appear hip and fluid, elite and formal, traditional and conservative, fun and artsy, etc. One of the best ways to know if your testimonials are killer or filler is to show them to a test audience. Then, once you launch them, track the impact on your conversion rate, because nothing tells the truth like data. Good luck creating high-impact video testimonials to build your brand!

Learning From the Best Word of Mouth Campaigns

Mon Sep 08 2014 16:17:42 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Best Word Of Mouth CampaignsWhat can we learn from the best word of mouth campaigns? Quite a bit if we're paying attention! More than anything, successful campaigns can show us what we're doing wrong, and how we can improve our efforts to harness naturally occurring conversation and turn it into a marketing asset. The best campaigns show us where our focus should be For a lot of brands, social media is viewed strictly as a numbers game. Increasing likes and shares goes over well with bosses, sometimes without the engagement to back them up. The best word of mouth campaigns require engagement to get consumers talking. Instead of halfheartedly updating Facebook once every few months, your brand needs to keep up a reliable presence where you interact with consumers by replying to comments and questions, starting discussions, and letting them know they're being heard. There are plenty of tactics brands can use to increase their numbers quickly, but all the likes in the world aren't going to mean anything if you aren't following it up with actual engagement. What do you want them to be talking about? We all know that consumers do a lot of talking without needing much of a prompt, but the best word of mouth campaigns are able to direct the conversation by grabbing onto a theme and allowing it to take off. There's no secret formula or trick to determine what they should be saying. The key to putting out a successful concept is understanding your audience so you know what's relevant and likely to keep them talking. This requires doing your homework, and being tuned in to who they are and what will appeal to them. Put more effort into giving consumers platforms where they can speak out  Consumers want to know they're being listened to. It's up to you to demonstrate that what they have to say is an important part of what your brand does. Some of the most popular word of mouth campaigns, including Lays "Do Us a Flavor" and Dove's Real Beauty Sketches, have taken off because they inspired consumers to get talking, and in the case of "Do Us a Flavor", the opinions of consumers was put first when selecting a chip flavor. Allowing consumers to have a direct say in what's happening with your product or service can yield awesome results, while giving them reason to care about what you're up to.

The Approach That Allows You to Make the Most of Word of Mouth Campaigns

Fri Aug 29 2014 14:29:30 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Word of Mouth CampaignWord of mouth campaigns can seem a little daunting if you're just starting out. No matter where you're at, there are some tips that'll always be relevant to what you're trying to do. Here are ours, for your next word of mouth campaign.
Where do you want conversations to be happening?
Most of our attention is on the type of word of mouth that's taking place online. In the past, before Likes and shares, these conversations were happening face to face. Consumers communicated directly about what products they were using, and passing along important recommendations. It's great when these in-person convos take place, but where else would you like them to be happening? Ideally, conversations online are taking place in a space of your choosing. If most of your target audience is hanging around Twitter, or sharing their thoughts about your product on Facebook, that's where you need to be. If you want to encourage conversations about your brand to flourish, you need to be tuned in. That means keeping someone on social media duty. If you want to be proactive with answering comments, questions, and messages, someone's going to have to be there to get it done. It's not enough to occasionally poke your head in to check how many page likes you have. To keep conversation going, you have to keep up an active presence.
Give people something to share
When we love what a brand does, there's a pretty good chance that we'll share updates without an incentive. But if you're still in the early stages of word of mouth marketing, or if you're still working on growing your audience, you're going to want to offer something that makes sharing worth their while. Incentives aside, you're also going to need to have content, and a social media presence that encourages sharing. If you haven't put much focus on content and it's looking a little lackluster, you're going to have a hard time getting anyone to share or interact with your brand in meaningful ways. If you want more meaningful shares, give the people something share-worthy.
Recognizing and working with influencers
Influencers can be anyone from consumers, to a trendsetter. These are the people that can get the word out about your brand in highly effective ways. It's up to you to identify and prioritize potential influencers, and understand who's the most beneficial to what you're trying to do. A good example is you reaching out to a blogger, someone that you have met in a business setting, or is well known in your industry, and asking them to write up a review of the latest feature you're rolling out. In return, you promote their blog and what they do to your own audience. Before getting in touch with this fictional bloggger, you need to make sure their audience is one made up of your target group. You also need to see how they compare to other bloggers, and their reach. The goal is to work with someone who stands out as being very beneficial to your brand. Don't rush to pick these people. It takes some investigation and thoughtful planning.

The Word of Mouth Marketing Ideas That Get Results

Thu Aug 21 2014 16:18:21 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Word of Mouth Marketing IdeasWhat's behind the success of word of mouth marketing? There are several key word of mouth marketing ideas that are responsible, components that together influence the buzz around your brand.
How to get started
The easiest way to get people talking? Ask. Bring consumers into the conversation as equals, whose opinions matter, and they'll walk away feeling good about being heard while being treated like an insider.
Addressing the fear of negative feedback
One of the biggest fears about this type of marketing is the negativity that might come up. If you have concerns about opening the floodgates to some serious negativity, consider why. If you're at your absolute best with customer service, and operate your brand ethically, and with customer experience at the forefront of your priorities - you shouldn't have a problem, right? Any fears about amplifying negativity have more to do with concerns about the way your brand is being run, than with the misconception that people are more likely to share negativity than their positive experiences.
Make customer service a priority
If you want happy, thrilled word of mouth - you're going to need to keep the focus on customer service. Getting people to like and trust your brand isn't as easy as pulling off a few solid campaigns. It means that you're going to need to prioritize the interactions you have, and commit to making customers feel good about those interactions, and getting the job done. Many brands out there aren't on top of their customer service, and you can tell, whether you work with them directly, or hear about it. If you can break the mold and surprise customers with how well you take care of their needs, they're definitely more likely to not only stick with your brand, but go out and tell others about it.

What We Can Learn From Successful Word-of-Mouth Campaigns

Thu Aug 14 2014 14:39:56 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Successful Word of Mouth CampaignsThe success of a word of mouth campaign hinges mostly on one key factor: customers! Who else is going to drive conversation surrounding your brand, if not the people most familiar with what you do? Let's take a look at a few successful word of mouth campaigns, and what they can teach us.
The well behaved kids discount
Restaurants in particular can get into hot water when employees post messages on receipts. There have been more than a few cases in the past year alone, when employees have written messages that they probably assumed would go unnoticed, but ended up making local and national news. One case where things went mostly right, is the well behaved kids discount. Carino Japanese Bistro ended up on Good Morning America, and benefited from a slew of articles, after a couple checked their receipt after a Mother's Day meal. They noticed that a "well behaved kids discount" with $5 off their bill. They thought it was a cute gesture, and posted it to Reddit, where it exploded with close to 3,000 comments in one day, alone. There was some conversation about whether it was a good idea, and if families with loud kids, who wouldn't get the discount, was a good idea in terms of future marketing. For the most part, talk centered around the idea being a cute one, and garnered a whole lot of unintentional word of mouth marketing for the bistro.
Breast cancer awareness
The Facebook breast cancer awareness status game is pretty well known. In October, during breast cancer awareness month, you'll notice an increase in odd Facebook statuses from friends. Sometimes it's as simple as a color, or a statement that makes zero sense when purposefully posted without context. This idea isn't one you're going to want to mimic. The people participating are in the know about what it's for, but everyone else ends up a little confused, and in terms of actually raising awareness for the issue - it leaves a lot to be desired. Just because it's well known, doesn't mean it's that effective, or couldn't be greatly improved upon.
Learn from Zappos
Zappos doesn't just talk the talk about customer service, they walk the walk. The online retailer is thriving, thanks in no small part to the loyalty of customers, who go out and talk about the great experience they've had. It's been reported that the site gets 75% of new customers from word of mouth, and it's no wonder, with the ongoing dedication to the needs of customers.

Understanding the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing

Fri Aug 08 2014 09:23:11 GMT+0000 (UTC)
The Power Of Word Of Mouth MarketingPlenty of brands are trying to understand the power of word of mouth marketing. Despite the fact that word of mouth happens organically among consumers, there are still questions about how to harness those conversations, to provide momentum for marketing efforts.
What we know
50% of people say that word of mouth plays a direct role in their purchasing decisions, with a reported 92% of consumers trusting recommendations from family and friends more than any other type of advertising. We already knew there was power in these kind of casual discussions surrounding brands. This can mean anything from conversations taking place among family, to Tweets and Facebook comments that focus on interactions that have taken place. The good news is that 66% of brand mentions are positive. But what about the other 34%?
What we can improve
Instead of fearing the reported 34% less-than-flattering buzz of conversation, the key is to position your brand so you are inviting feedback, and also providing a platform for those conversations among consumers to take place. The power of word of mouth marketing has to do with the fact that it happens all on its own, and will continue to do so, whether brands tap into it or not. It's something that can happen anywhere, and inspires trust because it's coming from people we know, outside of a brand operating to frame themselves in the best light. Successfully tapping into the power of word of mouth means engaging in active listening, and working with consumers so you're not the last to know how they feel about your brand and what you do.

The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing

Wed Jul 16 2014 14:38:57 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Secrets Of Word Of Mouth MarketingWhat are the secrets of word of mouth marketing? Nothing too tricky if you keep in mind your end goal for what it can accomplish for your brand.
Know where your brand stands
Before you decide that you want to throw yourself into word of mouth marketing, you need to take an honest look at what's being said about your brand. You want to go in with your eyes wide open and have an understanding about not just the average customer experience, but perceptions and preconceived notions that exist about the product or service you offer. This also means not being afraid of feedback. Too many brands are either terrified to hear anything negative, or are apathetic to what's being said. Whether you fall in the first or second camp, it can seriously hold you back from actually benefiting from what consumers have to say.
Facilitate conversation
Your brand's not going to be dominating the conversation when you engage through word of mouth marketing. The best thing you can do is facilitate the conversation that's going to be happening among consumers and the clients who want to share their experiences with your brand with the world. An important way that brands are choosing to elevate the voices of their clients is through video testimonials. Text testimonials aren't anything new, but introducing video has allowed viewers to connect and relate to the person speaking about their experiences. Testimonials are just one way to elevate other voices when they share about your brand. No matter how you go about it, the goal is for you to make feedback a priority, to hear from consumers and allow them to engage in their own conversations that you can be part of.

3 Word of Mouth Marketing Advantages

Thu Jul 03 2014 04:13:52 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Word Of Mouth Marketing AdvantagesThere's a lot of buzz around word of mouth marketing advantages. Like it or not, there's conversation taking place out there about what your brand does, and how well you do it. Some brands shy away from the idea of tapping into word of mouth conversation. The main concern seems to be that, in doing so, they'll open the floodgates to reveal criticism and negativity about their brand. Truth is - whatever's being said, there's a lot for you to learn and work with from what's being said. Here are just a few of those advantages.
Naturally occurring
Word of mouth marketing isn't a new phenomenon. There's a lot of conversation about how it's taking place through social media because it's new and exciting for us to watch and discuss, but word of mouth's been happening for a long time. Casual conversations about products and services has been taking place not just online, but in homes, stores, and pretty much anywhere people gather and interact. The point is, on or offline, these conversations about your brand are happening. It isn't a trend that'll pass, but something that'll continue to grow and change with technology. The good news is that it allows you the opportunity to decide how you want to make the effort to tap into what's being said so you can connect with your customers.
Marketing consumers trust
With 89% of consumers stating that testimonials are the most effective content, we know for sure that consumers like hearing from one another. There's more initial trust between consumers than between consumers and a brand they're unfamiliar with. Allowing them to share information about your brand and whether it's a worthwhile investment, while facilitating some of that conversation, is a sure way to earn trust.
Bettering your product
Feedback is vital for growth and improvement. Plenty of consumers share what they love about their favorite brands. From excellent customer service, to a product that hasn't disappointed them - they slip it into conversation or share it through social media. Plenty of brands get a little nervous at the idea of negative feedback getting out and circulating. With 66% of brand mentions being positive, negativity isn't as widespread as your might fear. What's more, any negativity toward your brand or product should be heard by you. How else can you improve if you aren't tuned in to the experiences of your clients? The best thing you can do is take any feedback that isn't glowing praise and use it to implement changes that your users will appreciate, which will also go a long way in cementing loyalty.

4 Word of Mouth Marketing Tips

Tue Jun 24 2014 09:53:32 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Word Of Mouth Marketing TipsIf you've been looking for word of mouth marketing tips - your search is over! Let's get back to basics and talk about what exactly drives your word of mouth reputation, now and in the long run.
Understand the part you play in your reputation
It's important to realize as a team how you're shaping the reputation of your brand. If you've heard some negative comments online or in person, what areas do they target? If it was an unfriendly team member, product/service malfunction - all of these things are fixable and speak to bigger problems at hand. Same goes for having an outstanding reputation. Good or bad, reputations are results-oriented. If you're uplifting your team by rewarding hard work and inspiring them to not only be good at what they do, but challenging them to do better - will come back to you.
Acknowledge and thank customers
Where would we be without our loyal customers? Nowhere. Don't just roll out the welcome mat when you're trying to woo new clients. Continue making them feel special and going above and beyond for the people you work with/for. Many brands take customers for granted and forget the basics about making them feel valued and appreciated, which can have them heading for the door.
Provide top notch customer service
Instead of going on the defensive after a bad customer service encounter, always strive to be on the offensive. Offering the best service means anticipating needs and doing everything on your end to make sure the average experience of your clients is a good one. More importantly, it also means understanding when you screw up and taking the appropriate steps to keep the same mistakes from becoming a bad habit. A lot of customer service can feel impersonal and lackluster, which doesn't reflect well on your brand and the relationship it has with clients and prospective clients. If you fumble or encounter an example of an encounter between your team and a client that could've been handled better, own up to it and apologize as the first step toward righting things.
Actively seek feedback
Let your clients know that you're looking to hear from them. Follow interactions up with a quick, painless survey or questionnaire. Take things a step further by following feedback up with meaningful change. Making their voice heard so they feel valued is one thing, but actually going ahead to make changes shows that you're looking out first and foremost for the customer experience.

What Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics Reveal

Tue Jun 17 2014 15:25:06 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Word Of Mouth Marketing StatisticsWord of mouth marketing statistics reveal some of what we already know about the relationship between consumers and the brands they love, with a few surprises. One surprise might be just how much consumers are relying on word of mouth feedback before investing in a brand.
The numbers
52% of customers won’t buy from a brand they don’t trust, with 56%having no problem openly criticizing the companies they don't trust. 89% of consumers say that testimonials are the most effective. It's a form of marketing they're way more likely to trust, especially when they can see and make a connection through video testimonials. 81% of buyers are influenced by social media posts about brands from friends.
We know that word of mouth marketing is trusted by consumers
It shouldn’t come as a great shock that consumers trust other consumers. Whether it’s friends or family they’ve known all their life, or just a fellow consumer who takes the time to create a video testimonial that’s posted online- we know they’re more likely to trust what they hear from fellow consumers about the brands they take an interest in. The conversations that takes place informally, outside of campaigns on and offline, can have a huge impact on the way your brand is perceived. Chats in the grocery store, around the grocery store. For better or worse, depending on whether or not you feel your brand is on top of its game, those conversations are always a direct reflection of customer experience. The good news is that you absolutely can meet with consumers in the middle. If your marketing strategy is one that takes into account the power of communication between consumers, you’ll do a lot better than if you were to build campaigns that don’t take their feedback and opinions into account. It explains why viewers respond so well to video testimonials, and other video that helps bring consumers into the conversation. Not only that, but by making changes based on any type of feedback, you're showing that your brand is looking to provide the best customer experience possible, something that any consumer can appreciate. There isn’t a brand out there that’s immune from a customer service snag or two. Bad reviews are going to happen, but if you’re open to having a space for your customers to communicate, not only will it improve your word of mouth marketing, but you’ll see more trust from customers, which can be hard to come by.

3 Benefits of Word of Mouth Marketing

Thu Jun 12 2014 13:09:20 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Benefits Of Word Of Mouth MarketingThe benefits of word of mouth marketing
Putting the focus on what consumers have to say about your brand can mean relying less on advertising that your fans aren’t as easy to trust. We’re all used to being bombarded by images, text, and ads asking for our trust without giving us much reason to. Word of mouth marketing can seem a little scary because it means handing over a certain amount of control over to the people who are interacting with your brand. They’re the ones who are going to be driving that conversation, getting the word out about how they feel about what you do and why. If you feel super nervous about giving them that control, it could be an indicator that you have some internal work to do to make sure your brand is operating at its best.
Making meaningful changes
Word of mouth marketing is all about hearing real, honest feedback about what you do. Part of the fear I mentioned about giving up control has to do with potentially hearing some of the negative things people have to say. None of us like hearing about screw ups, especially when they’re being talked about publicly, But that fear shouldn’t be holding you back from engaging and benefiting from word of mouth marketing. If you’re initial response is to be terrified of the kind of feedback you’re going to receive, it probably means you have some work to do on your brand. There is a huge plus side to hearing the good, bad, and ugly about your brand, and that’s the way you can address what needs to be worked on. Being open about taking feedback and making positive changes will bolster faith in your brand and what you do. Which leads to the next point.
Fans know you care
The importance of your team’s willingness to take constructive feedback and turn it into an opportunity to grow and make changes can’t be overstated. Negative comments or a poor run-in with your brand all demonstrate changes that need to happen. When your team acknowledges the problem and then actively works to solve it, you’re showing that you care about the experience of your customers, and actually making them the priority. This strategy requires dedication to excellence. It’s all about making promises you deliver on and understanding how you can do better for your brand, and the people who matter most - your users.