Word-of-mouth marketing continues to be important for businesses.

16 ways to capitalize on a word-of-mouth marketing campaign

Word-of-mouth marketing is the informal exchange of information about a product, service or brand between people who know each other, such as family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, or even respected people you don’t know directly. With the rise of social media and other digital communication channels, WOM has become even more important for businesses. In this article, we will explore the science and effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing and provide tips for B2B influencers on how to harness its power.

Testimonials are a classic way to create perceptions of authentic value to customers and clients. Testimonials are basically powerful word-of-mouth marketing, which continues to be very important in the marketing sphere.

Sample testimonial:

16 ways to capitalize on a word-of-mouth marketing campaign

Other thoughts for both offline and online word-of-mouth marketing campaign are:

  1. Stimulate and collect testimonials and endorsements from customers, experts and opinion leaders or influencers such as media personalities, life-style commentators, etc.
  2. Use the internet to amplify word of mouth. Use email, blogs, Facebook and Twitter to regularly communicate with customers and other contacts, and engage them in conversations.
  3. Market seeding programs. Give the information or the product to influencers, trend setters and opinion leaders, who actively seek to be in the forefront of trends. Sales are driven by influencers who notice the trends and get their friends to join them in adopting the trends. Get them to recommend within their sphere of influence. They like to influence, so encourage them to tell others.
  4. Ask for recommendations and referrals at all points of customer contact, especially when the customers’ expectations have been exceeded. This especially applies to after-sales service.
  5. Support existing customers in telling others. Provide support (information, events, telephone contact numbers, website) for customers who want to get their friends to buy the product or service.
  6. Leverage existing recorded word-of-mouth content. Spread the testimonials of existing customers through brochures, articles, ‘advertorials’, video excerpts, websites, emails, and social media, etc. Be tactful about this – don’t overdo it. Try to find human interest or newsy angles to engage your audience.
  7. Customer networking program. Bring customers and prospects into a formal or informal network, such as a customer club, to spread the word.
  8. Preferred customers. Reward current customers to make them feel privileged.
  9. Advisory and user groups. Bringing customers into advisory groups stimulates their enthusiasm and makes them feel important. This applies especially to websites that provide advice and tips.
  10. Create case studies and human-interest stories supporting the key messages, and communicate them through the media.
  11. Place the product in places that will imply third party endorsement, ie in cooperative local businesses, retailers, especially where the product can be given to the business owner as a gift.
  12. Create events, including fun events, that will spread word-of-mouth information – seminars, parties, product launches, publicity, conferences, etc.
  13. Brainstorm with employees for ideas to promote the product or service by word of mouth.
  14. Organize employee communication programs to encourage employees to engage in word-of-mouth activities. Involve them in the development of scripts or agreed wording to use.
  15. Use customer satisfaction programs to stimulate word-of-mouth support, then use the results to create further word-of-mouth support.
  16. Monitor rating services, especially online consumer rating services, to determine what improvements could be made to the product or service that would create higher ratings for it.

These tips provide abundant potential for astute communicators to take the initiative and play a sizable role in the planning and implementation of word-of-mouth marketing activities. Almost every stage of the process offers opportunities to make an impact. What can you do to capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing?

Don’t forget B2B marketing

Word-of-mouth is effective in B2B marketingc as well as consumer marketing. In fact, B2B buyers are even more likely to rely on recommendations from peers and colleagues. According to a study by Demand Gen Report, 97% of B2B buyers say that user-generated content, such as peer reviews and user forums, are more credible than other types of content.

One reason why word of mouth is so effective in B2B marketing is that it helps to build trust and credibility. Discussed in a 2023 article, B2B purchases are often complex and involve significant financial investment, so buyers are naturally more cautious and risk-averse. Recommendations from trusted sources can help to reduce these concerns and reassure potential customers that a product or service is the right choice.

Another reason why WOM is effective in B2B marketing is that it helps to generate leads and build relationships. B2B buyers are more likely to engage with companies that have been recommended by their peers, and they are also more likely to become advocates for those companies if they have a positive experience. This can lead to a virtuous cycle of referrals and recommendations that can help to grow a business.

Further reading

You may find this article to be useful as well: “Word-of-mouth marketing is potent for communication campaigns.”

Article updated in 2023.

Photo by Leyy on Unsplash.

Kim Harrison

Kim J. Harrison has authored, edited, coordinated, produced and published the material in the articles and ebooks on this website. He brings his experience in professional communication and business management to provide helpful insights to readers around the world. As he has progressed through his wide-ranging career, his roles have included corporate affairs management; PR consulting; authoring many articles, books and ebooks; running a university PR course; and business management. Kim has received several international media relations awards and a website award. He has been quoted in The New York Times and various other news media, and has held elected positions with his State and National PR Institutes.

Content Authenticity Statement. AI is not knowingly used in the writing or editing of any content, including images, in these newsletters, articles or ebooks. If AI-produced content is contained in any published form in future, this will be reported to readers.

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