How to Launch Word of Mouth: Four Mechanics for a B2C Startup
The audience’s trust in advertising is declining, and it is less and less a reason for the consumer to make purchases. Personal recommendations, reviews and information about the product on the Internet form trust in the brand, and b2c and b2b marketing strategies become a key factor in the consumer’s decision to purchase.
According to various sources and research on what is b2c sales, 90% of people trust brand recommendations from friends. At the same time, 75% of consumers do not believe in advertising! 95% of people read product reviews, and 61% of consumers use search engines to gather more information about the product before buying.
For the brand to be known and in demand among consumers, and for brand products to be purchased, it is important:
- be online with your consumer;
- create a favorable environment for the audience so that the latter can share information about the brand with their friends, using various marketing tools, like email marketing tools, etc.
What is a word of mouth
According to a McKinsey study, word of mouth becomes the reason for buying in 50% of cases. Word of mouth, or word of mouth marketing, generates twice as many sales as advertising since people are four times more likely to buy a product on the recommendation of friends.
Word of mouth is a form of communication that implies the free and voluntary dissemination of information about the brand and its products by consumers. Thanks to word of mouth, the focus in marketing switches from collecting likes and subscribers to actively searching for relationships with customers and small business leads. Some businesses also offers newsletter and sends them to consumers through couriers like findpostoffice.org. That way, consumers are updated to current offers.
The goal is to create brand ambassadors among a loyal audience. The promotion and marketing of the product are delegated to the hands of consumers, real fans of the brand.
Startups often neglect the practice of word of mouth because of the ossified notion that word of mouth marketing is an ineffective and unmanageable channel. This is a false thought. In the arsenal of an Internet marketer, there are specific practices and levers of influence for organizing a wave of word of mouth. Let’s consider the main ones.
Mechanics of word of mouth for startups
To activate word of mouth, it is necessary to find the consumer trigger. What it will be — a gift in the format of providing a free service, the separation of intangible brand values, emotions caused by the unexpected quality of service — the choice is yours. The main thing to increase the number of business leads is that every decision should be dictated not by guesses or intuition, but by prospecting the interests and preferences of your audience.
- Launch of the referral program
We all have a lot to do and even less free time. Even consumers who genuinely like your product won’t put a lot of effort into recommending you. This means that you have to find simple mechanics and an effective trigger to encourage consumers to leave reviews about your product, and share recommendations and links to your service.
Dropbox demonstrates an excellent example of using the so-called two-way referral program. The service offers 500 MB of additional storage space not only to the user who sends the referral link but also to the one who registers using it. Several years ago such a marketing move allowed Dropbox to increase its user base by 60%.
- Honoring lawyers and fans of the brand
When people who like your product make an effort to share information about your product, it’s worth thanking. Show that you appreciate that consumers have taken the time to do something that directly benefits you. Allow the consumer to feel their value.
Gratitude is not always expressed in money or extra megabytes. Sometimes the best motivation for your users will be to realize their contribution to the overall mission. For registered users, Tesla provides information on how much CO2 has been removed from the environment, as well as how many gallons of gasoline they have saved thanks to the electric car. This creates an additional emotional closeness with customers.
- Development of internal expertise
Make your product team the first bearers of brand values. No matter what field your startup works in, you will definitely have employees who match the profile and portrait of your client. The main thing: no obligation. The more comfortable your employees will be, the better the content will be.
Allow employees to become the face of the product — and you will significantly save on advertising budgets.
- Creating a wow service
Invest in customer marketing as much as you invest in attracting users. Your customers expect you to have a good product, but they hardly expect you to do more than “promised”.
For example, take care of the convenience of the client and offer him delicious coffee while waiting for the manager. Instead of an automated response, call back and personally resolve the issue. Wish a Happy New Year with a fun coloring card that will give the client moments of creativity and a desire to share the result online. With the delivery of the goods, send the customer a welcome letter from the first person of the startup and a description of the values of your brand.
Word of mouth should be considered as a long-term marketing strategy with constant repetition of the brand’s message or story. As for influencer marketing, this tool usually focuses on short-term goals: product launch, service promotion, and the like. Influencer marketing can bring you quick results, but at the same time, it can help the brand by creating a viral effect around it.
At the methodological level, word of mouth validates the product brand through social recognition and trust from customers. At the applied level, the driving force of word of mouth is customers who, on their own initiative, share information about the product, and spread the ideas and philosophy of the product brand.
Word of mouth delegates product marketing to engaged customers who trust the brand. On the one hand, there is a danger of losing control over the advertising campaign. That is why it is so important to carefully analyze the audience to choose the optimal communication formats for it.
On the other hand, it is a growth point for your marketing. Loyal customers are transformed into product marketers.
Word of mouth is the story of your relationship with the client. The better your relationship is, the more you are recommended. Like a snowball, one small pleasant impression of the product, the wow effect of the service forms the user’s need to talk and share his experience with others.