Everybody knows somebody that's a no-nonsense, die-hard devotee of their favorite sports team. In fact, you might even be that somebody yourself.
I'm talking about season ticket holding super fans all gussied up in their teams apparel from head to toe when it's not even game day.
What interests me most about these fanatics is how and when they're dedication to their team came about.
Although some may argue me on this, you're not technically born a fan of this team or that team. In reality, everyone starts as a neutral party until someone else introduces them to their team. Whether your old man is a Giants fan, or one day your friend showed you a play made by the Packers that just sold you, all it takes is the right introduction.
This type of transition is a result of word-of-mouth marketing, a communication-based marketing technique that relies heavily on the progression of information from person to person.
While many businesses feel that word-of-mouth marketing is out of their hands entirely, there are several techniques that they can employ to get the ball rolling with a little more momentum.
For some businesses word-of-mouth marketing takes off organically, for others sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction, which is why we've decided to look into these 3 tactics to kick-start your businesses' word-of-mouth success.
Practice Strong Storytelling Techniques
Think about the stories that people tell around a campfire. Those spooky old myths and hidden legends are a product of word-of-mouth marketing.
In a noisy, crowded online atmosphere, it's not easy to grab someone's attention, and it's not uncommon for some of your content to fall victim to the perpetual scroll button.
Storytelling is a technique that allows businesses to bring together all of the individual parts that go into making them, and their product or service what it is, and why it the way it is.
Stories are the centralized driving force of word-of-mouth marketing. If you manage to move one person with your story, their is a strong possibility that that one person will go to work the next day and tell their co-worker, who will go home and tell his wife, who will then tell 5 members of her book club, who will proceed to post it to their Facebook page, and so on.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Referrals
Beyond your own network, the networks of your customers are home to an entire expanse of untapped opportunities.
If you're handing out quality customer service, and you have at least a handful of loyal customers, I'm certain they wouldn't mind giving your business a referral.
While it doesn't hurt to ask, be sure you express to your existing customers what it would mean to you and your business if they we're to refer you to someone. Let them know that you are grateful for their business and their contribution to the advancement of your brand.
While some businesses choose to build a referral agreement into their contract, there is more than one way to go about it. Next time you receive a compliment from one of your customers, consider following up with them in regards to a referral. Simple as that.
As long as you're not pushy, there is no reason to be timid about the asking process. The power of referrals is unmatched, and they have the potential to advance word-of-mouth discussions as they raise awareness about your businesses' products and services.
Establish Ties With Industry Influencers
When it comes to word-of-mouth marketing, think about which mouths in particular have the potential to reach the largest amount of people. These are the people that have the ability to expand the potential of your word-of-mouth marketing efforts the most.
While it isn't easy to catch the attention of just any industry influencer, they are not untouchable.
In reality, many of them are regularly engaging on social media, attending industry events, and producing interactive content like webinars. They don't call them industry influencers for nothing.
With this in mind, reaching out to them on social platforms is a great way to get started on making a connection. Use your businesses' account to retweet, and reply to their posts as a way of expressing your initial interest in their industry contributions.
Do a bit of research and seek out any events that they may be hosting, attending, or contributing to in some way. A great example of this would be Twitter chats. It's common for businesses who host popular Twitter chats to invite an industry influencer to participate in the discussion, so be sure to seize opportunities like this to make a connection.