Earned Media, Relationship Building
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Most people in digital marketing know that content is omnipresent, which can put your brand at a natural disadvantage. Because there’s so much other content floating around the web, it’s difficult to get ahead of the pack. However, the concept of raising brand awareness becomes much simpler when you recognize that it rests in the hands of your customers.

There are a number of reasons why customers choose to ignore a brand rather than engage with it, ranging from visually unappealing content to unclear branding. However, the biggest factor that discourages customer engagement is failure to engage. When you begin interacting with your customers, word of mouth (WOM) marketing takes over.

Word of mouth marketing is by far the most lucrative method for spreading your brand, and it’s particularly helpful in the B2B community.

“In B2B you can increase WOM marketing between executives and entrepreneurs by providing outstanding customer support and customer success,” says Alex Chaidaroglou of Weekly Growth, a website dedicated to the growth and marketing of tech startups.

“Going above and beyond to make your customers succeed with your product or service can bring them this ‘Wow!’ moment, where they become true fans of your brand and share it whenever the opportunity comes up. It might not be seen on social media so much, but it will definitely be in their conversations with other professionals.”

If you’re looking to improve WOM marketing in your company to facilitate growth, here are a few suggestions.

1. Surveys

One of the first and most effective steps to take when promoting WOM marketing is learning who is most likely to share your brand with others. Chaidaroglou recommends asking your customers questions to promote brand sharing, and surveys are a great place to start.

The survey can be made using a survey generation company like SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics, or it can be generated and sent through email. Ask questions such as, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our brand to others?” The information from this one question will be a gold mine for boosting and targeting your WOM marketing campaign.

2. Customer-Generated Content

A study performed by Search Engine Land in 2013 shows that 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. It is hard to dispute that customer-generated reviews, posts, videos and other types of earned media can help to sell your brand far better than traditional advertisements.

3. Offer Exclusive Deals

Show your customers that you value them and their business by offering exclusive deals. The feeling of being part of something exclusive is appealing to any customer.

An example of a successful, exclusive deal might include providing a first-look at new content on your website. If it’s a topic they’ve shown great interest in before, this type of “private” interaction will make them feel valued and appreciated. This is a feeling they’ll be quick to share with friends and family.

4. Stay Relevant

It’s rare to see someone recommend a company that only posts outdated, non-applicable content. When you position your company as a leader in conversation over the news and growth of your industry, you become someone customers can trust.

In order to become relevant and stay that way, post breaking news as it happens, not a few days after. Be sure to recap popular posts and use social media to make your content known and discoverable. Making yourself an authority within your industry will help drive customers new and old alike to your website and motivate them to share with others what they find when they arrive.

Word of mouth marketing can be highly effective and relatively inexpensive if it’s part of a larger integrated content strategy. These four tactics are just a few ways to get started garnering word of mouth buzz, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Keep experimenting and, most of all, keep building strong one-to-one relationships with your customers; the buzz about your brand will naturally follow.

 

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