Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is still considered a powerful marketing tool by many business owners. However, with marketing taking a strong turn towards digital trends in the past few years, is there still a place in the modern marketing world for this old-school methodology?
Although there’s some definite value in WOMM, it shouldn’t be used alone. Here are some of the reasons why WOMM can be helpful, and how you can integrate it into your existing digital marketing strategies.
The effectiveness of WOMM
I remember when marketing was done entirely by word of mouth. Business owners would rely on clients to pass along glowing testimonials of their work to friends and family as a means of getting new clients. However, it’s undeniable that the potential to reach more of your target audience has accelerated with digital media.
So, how effective is WOMM today? Some business owners and news outlets actually consider WOMM to be the “original social media” as many consumers believe the word of friends and family over the word of a marketing campaign. With that in mind, I think that it’s important to continue encouraging current and past clients to spread the word to their network.
On the other hand, WOMM limits how wide of a reach you have for potential new clients. Digital marketing, when done right, will expose you to a wider target audience. Online marketing doesn’t just help you reach a global marketplace: it facilitates interaction between you and potential clients, as well as builds your brand loyalty by allowing potential clients to get to know you better.
A powerful combination
The rise of influencer marketing is a perfect example of a hybrid of WOMM and digital marketing. Integrating the best of both worlds, an influencer can enhance the perception of your brand by having a wide reach, high credibility, and the ability to communicate your business’ unique value to your target audience. Since influencers speak to their audience about their authentic perception of a brand, and promote the brand’s benefits, influencer marketing essentially operates as a digitally updated form of WOMM.
Although many online influencers are celebrities, you don’t have to be famous to be a credible influencer: more importantly, you need to have the ability to reach a wide audience, form a connection with them, and promote a brand.
By putting a “face” to the name, you have a better chance of establishing a more human connection with your target audience, and get them interested in working with your business.
What’s Next For WOMM?
Although you may find that you won’t have to rely entirely on verbal referrals, WOMM can continue to offer value to your marketing moving forward. Approximately 86% of consumers read online reviews, which means that reviews should be an essential aspect of your business strategy.
While working with clients, I recommend encouraging them to provide online reviews of their experience with your company. Posting something on social media about the service or project your company has done for them is an elevated way of using WOMM with a larger reach, as that client is now speaking to hundreds of people at once, instead of the traditional form of 1-on-1 WOMM.
Although WOMM may seem old-fashioned to some business owners, it can be a huge asset when used in conjunction with digital marketing. For more information on how you can update your marketing strategy, contact CreativeWorks Marketing today!