Word of Mouth Marketing in the Internet Age
What Is Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word of mouth marketing occurs when your customers do your marketing for you. Each time they share their experiences and opinions of your business and your products / services, they are engaging in word of mouth marketing. As one of the oldest forms of marketing in existence, word of mouth marketing is powerful because it occurs between one person and another. It has been proven that people tend to trust other people over businesses because (in theory) the people they are talking to don’t have a vested interest in the business.
How Has Word of Mouth Marketing Changed?
Like other forms of traditional marketing, word of mouth marketing has taken to the internet like a fish to water and expanded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Thanks in part to social media, it is easier than ever for people to share their thoughts and opinions regarding businesses and their products / services. User-generated content, i.e. user reviews and testimonials, is also one of the ways that word of mouth marketing is branching out and adapting to its new online environment.
If someone has an experience with a business or one of its products / services, they are very likely to share it with someone else in one way or another; social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are one option, as are blogs and review sites. Of course very positive and very negative experiences are going to be shared most frequently, websites like Amazon.com are boasting more and more comments left by users simply sharing their thoughts and experiences for the benefit of future potential customers.
Why is Word of Mouth Marketing So Effective?
AS we already mentioned, word of mouth marketing is so effective because people trust other people more than they do a business. The theory behind this is that a typical person is not going to be trying to either promote or put down a company that they have no vested interest in. Of course this is not always the case as many businesses hire people to promote them and/or put down their competition in various places around the internet, but for the most part the opinions of “other regular people” are going to be much more influential on someone’s decision-making process than a traditional marketing campaign.
Word of mouth marketing also leads to a wealth of information that your business can take advantage of. From taking in what your customers and their loved ones are writing / saying about your business you can learn how to better serve their needs and make them happy with your product / service. You can even use any negative feedback that you find and create an opportunity for positive customer engagement and situation resolution! Take any and all opportunities to interact with customers and potential prospects and learn what makes them tick, and soon you will have your hands full of marketing gold.
What role do you believe word-of-mouth marketing plays in your business?