It’s no secret that the oldest form of marketing is still word of mouth. If asked, many small business owners might say they still rely on word of mouth to get found, be seen and sought after in today’s marketplace. The basic premise of word of mouth marketing relies on people telling other people in their network about experiences with the products and services they have purchased. However, what happens when word of mouth is not working? How do you create and maximize chatter in a way that is both beneficial and profitable for your business? How do you do this without breaking the bank? Below I’ve listed some strategies to help you maximize word of mouth marketing so it works more effectively for your small business.
1. Use Social Media
In the 21st century the Internet has dominated the way we can consume information. Social media has in many instances replaced people having water cooler office conversations and even telephone conversations. More and more people are congregating on-line to discuss events of the day. These days people go on-line to tell their friends, followers and fans about their shopping experiences with local and national retailers and businesses very easily. With that said, it makes total sense to utilize social media as a platform to spur word of mouth conversations to benefit your business.
One social media platform in particular makes it very easy to maximize word of mouth advertising very fast. Twitter has a tool called Quick Promote that allows you to get your content out to more people in a short amount of time. Whether you’re live-tweeting an event or simply noticing rather high engagement on your feed, Quick Promote is an economical way to get more exposure for your content on line. Of course Quick Promote is a paid advertising feature on Twitter. However you can choose your audience, geographic area and spend level. The Quick Promote feature is very similar to the “boost a post” feature on Facebook.
2. Equip Your Network with Promotional Materials
Back in the day when you wanted to get the word out about a business with a limited budget, you would make flyers and pass them out to your friends and customers. Now all you have to do is create an electronic image in digital format such as; .jpeg or .gif and simply email it to your network. The great thing about digital images is that they are easily shareable. When you use digital images to promote your brand or business and encourage your customers to share it, many of them will do just that. And when they share it, they most likely will do so via email or social media. The advantage for you is the ability to leverage an inexpensive advertising mechanism and turned it into digital, word of mouth marketing.
3. Network with other Business Owners
Networking is a very tried and true form of creating word of mouth advertising. The more people you meet, who know what type of business you’re in and what services you offer, the more they are able to refer business to you. Having a clear and concise elevator pitch when you meet new people helps them to remember you, your company and the thing you want to be known for. Networking offers you a unique opportunity to make an impression on a new group of people who will hear your brand message in person and potentially tell others about your business. This is word of mouth advertising 101.
4. Send Thank You Notes and Letters
A simple thank you card, note or letter is a lost art these days. It doesn’t take very long to thank your customers for doing business with you. The biggest reason to send a thank you message to your clients is to let them know how much you appreciate their business. When one of your clients receive a nice thank you message from you, more than likely it will help you to stand out in their minds. Of course when we stand out in the minds of our consumers they are more likely to talk about us to their friends and network.
5. Track and Measure What Works
Knowing where your ideal clients congregate will help you to track the amount of chatter you get whether it may be on a media platform or physical setting. You should know where your customers came from, how they found you and how long after they found you did they wait to contact you or patronize your place of business. This information gives you critical advice to help you determine where you should spend advertising dollars.
As you can see, there are many ways to leverage word of mouth advertising to get people talking about your business. The key is to be creative and do not simply sit back and wait for people to talk about your business. Be proactive and control the message and method so you can make your word of mouth work.
Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear how you have used word of mouth advertising to promote your business, brand as well as your products and services.
Leave a comment below.
This article was written by Lori A. Manns. Want to use this article for your website or blog? No problem, here’s what you must include:
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Lori A. Manns is an award-winning, marketing expert, sales coach and business strategist who works with small business owners to help them elevate their brand, get more clients and grow revenue. Lori A. Manns is CEO of Quality Media Consultant Group and founder of the Trailblazer Business Academy™ where advancing entrepreneurs go to learn business growth strategies the soulful way. Lori is also the creator of Sponsorship Sales Secrets System;™ that shows you how to get more sponsors and sales for your business, guaranteed. To purchase consulting services on marketing, advertising or sales and, learn how to increase your revenue and grow your business; please visit the contact us page on www.qualitymediaconsultants.com.