With new ways to share information and advertise your business, word of mouth marketing remains the most effective and lowest cost form of advertising. According to a 2013 Neilsen study, 92% of consumers trust word of mouth above all other advertising. While the majority of your word of mouth advertising relies on your clients, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to encourage and facilitate conversations about your business. According to Forbes magazine, that’s where the Three E’s come in:
You want to be part of the conversation about your brand as much as possible. The more involved and engaged you are with your clients (and even potential clients) the better. This means you need to ensure you answer comments, questions and feedback on every marketing channel. The more present you are in your clients lives (both online and offline) the more likely it is that they’ll bring you up in conversation.
Give your clients reasons to talk about you and share their experience with others. Take note that “all press is good press” does not apply here. Aside from providing a great customer experience and exceptional support-making yourself newsworthy will ensure you’re part of the conversation. Organize events, celebrate birthdays or start fundraising campaigns. Anything that requires your clients to reach out to their community is a great way to increase your reach.
Let your clients know that they matter and that sharing their opinions is important. Whether it’s giving your business a review on yelp or providing as testimonial on your website, people love to feel like their opinions are heard and valued. Make your clients aware that they are the foundation of your organization and that you need them. This will give them a sense of pride and ownership in regards to your organization and they’ll be happy to promote it.