Get your customers to market for you

Word of mouth is still one of the greatest factors for people to purchase your product. Learning to leverage it for your products and company will help convince 92% of consumers reached. 

According to Nielsen:

92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.

It's something that marketing executives see as important, but don't feel like they've mastered it. Consumers trust this type of marketing, and they consider it a more believable form of advertising, so marketers continue to improve generating word of mouth.

 
 
74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.
— Ogilvy

Need more convincing? There are plenty of statistics backing up the importance of word of mouth marketing.

Also, there are large companies, even younger companies, that have succeeded in building their companies by using word of mouth instead of a large marketing budget. DropBox, Zappos, and Twitter all used word of mouth to grow rather than relying on dollars.

So, with a minimal budget and a drive to get people in-the-know about your product, or service, how can you drive word of mouth?


How to drive word of mouth

Find your advocates

Start with the people you know and that will help support your business. These are people in real life that can tell others about what you're doing and why it's great. Look for family and friends to reach and talk about what you do.

By talking to them about your business, you're adding yourself to their consideration set when they hear someone in need and can refer them to you. Explain to them what you do and why so they have a place of reference for anyone they speak with. Maybe leave them with the place you want future customers to go, like your website or address.

Start with 10 people who are your personal cheerleaders. After you've spoken to them (preferably in person and not a mass message) about promoting your business or product then think about the next group you can reach out to. Maximize your personal network.

 
 

Ask people to share your message

Once you've spoken to your advocates, ask them to share your message or to interact with your business. If they love you and your product, this shouldn't be a large request. They should want to help you succeed.

Especially when launching, use this tactic to increase your reach without using a large budget to amplify your voice. Some budget behind a launch, to boost or advertise, would be ideal. But you can start building buzz the old fashioned way with people first.

You can start with something small like sharing a Facebook post, forwarding an email, or tagging a friend in an Instagram post. The small start will make them more open to future requests.

Make an ask of your tribe

If you have a solid base of followers, ask them for a favor. It can be through social media or in person. Ask them to like or follow you on social media or subscribe to your newsletter. Find a way to continue interacting with them.

If these are the same people you've already spoken with and asked to share your message, go a little bigger. Psychologically, people are more inclined to say yes to a larger request after saying yes to a smaller one.

If this is a larger ask, give a reason why you are asking them for this. Explain why it's important for them to complete the action: showing their support, so you can continue to get funding, etc.

User generated content

User generated content is a larger request that needs to be incentivized. Offer people something in exchange for their time and effort creating content for you. This is a great way to extend the word of mouth since people will be sharing in their own network about your products or company.

Some potential ways to gain user generated content:

  • Give free items away to influencers for their social posts
  • Offer a giveaway
  • Offer a discount for engagement

How else have you increased word of mouth for your products?