3 Tips to Master Word of Mouth Marketing

Suzie Sievers // Jun 17 // Insights



People recommend five to nine brands per year. Is your brand one of them?

Word of mouth marketing has continuously proven to be the most influential and trusted form of marketing. Thus it is vital to a brand’s health to master WOM and keep their consumers talking about their brand. However, as David Shing, AOL’s Digital Prophet, pointed out, “people only recommend five to nine brands per year.” Make your brand one of them with these tips from the experts at this year’s Interactive Day San Diego (IDSD).

Tip 1: Ditch the personas

We all have met Sally, the consumer profile that defines your brand’s target demographic. Sally has made her way into brand books across the globe but as marketers gain more and more data on consumers each year through digital tracking, it is clear that Sally and the rest of her clique of cliché personas are no longer specific enough to accurately define a brand’s true target audience. Keynote speaker Dennis Yu of Blitzmetrics encouraged brands to look beyond the stereotypical personas we have come to rely on and instead focus on collecting up individuals. To be successful, brands need to recognize that communities are built of individuals and drill down to target influencers.

Tip 2: Build long-term relationships

While other speakers touched on consumer engagement, Rand Fishkin, founder of MOZ, tackled it head on in his lecture “Why Content Marketing Fails.” He began his presentation with a caveman impersonation (complete with Fred Flintstone costume) that highlighted the illusion that if a consumer clicks through to a brand’s website they will automatically buy into everything the brand has to offer. However, this is not reality as most consumers will not sign up for your email, like your Facebook page, or buy a branded mug upon finishing up reading your latest blog post.

Rather than pushing for immediate action from the consumer, brands should focus on earning a consumer’s trust and familiarity. Although consumer engagement might not have an immediate ROI, by doing so, a brand will gain a fan and build a loyal customer base. As word-of-mouth continues to reign as the strongest form of marketing, it is essential that brands build relationships with their consumers. The top brands have solidified their customer base by building experiences that can be passed on to a consumer’s extended networks. This consideration will prove to be vital to a brand’s health as platforms such as social media make it easier than ever for consumers and brands to interact directly.

Example: Zappos will browse through your Instagram and offer customized style advice to fashionistas who tag their selfies with #NextOOTD.

Source: Zappos Instagram.

Tip 3: Amplify Your Content

As Dean McBeth of W20 stated, “it’s easier to make a surfboard than to make a wave.” Any brand can put out content, but that does not guarantee the content will catch on with a larger consumer base. Interactively, waves result from target influencers amplifying content. However, this is not as easy as it sounds.

It is not enough for content to simply have a clear brand message. Content must be placed in front of a brand’s circle of influencers to gain traction. Rather than trying to appeal to a broader audience, focus on your more defined customer base. These people will be your megaphone as they become inspired by your content. Before publishing content, it is important to answer “Who will support and amplify this? Why?” to ensure a greater chance of digital amplification.

If brands take these three tips into consideration when developing their marketing plans and content strategy, they are guaranteed to improve their WOM marketing. Do you agree with these IDSD speakers’ tips? What do you think are the best ways to get your brand recommended?


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