What is word of mouth marketing?

Service Business

Many people associate word of mouth marketing with randomly posted links or false opinions on the Internet ... They couldn't be more wrong! Word of mouth marketing, also known as gossip marketing, is a popular tool for the silent promotion of goods and services. How to run a successful buzz marketing campaign?

Whisper marketing, rumor marketing, buzz marketing - many words, one action

Word of mouth marketing takes advantage of the human need to search for social proof of rightness. When we want to buy a product or service, e.g. on the Internet, we are happy to look for feedback on it. Reviews of bloggers and videobloggers, statements of specialists, sponsored articles - all these ratings will probably appear on the first page of the search in response to a phrase entered in Google.

As the report 'Falsifying Opinions on the Internet. Consumer experiences ”from a survey conducted in October 2020 by PBS Sp. z o.o. at the request of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, as many as 93% of respondents look for opinions about products before making a purchase. It is worth taking a closer look at the answers, because as many as 1,003 people over 15 years of age participated in the survey. Interestingly, as many as 68% read reviews outside the online store. The main places to look for reviews are internet forums and product comparison websites. For 52% of respondents, the evaluation of a product left by another user is very important when shopping online.

A properly prepared word-of-mouth marketing strategy makes the skilful suggestion of a brand, company, product or service trigger a discussion. This, in turn, increases the likelihood that one of the commenters will be someone from the immediate vicinity of your potential customer, and the information about your offer will ultimately reach the person who will use it.

In this way, buzz marketing can improve sales, but you should systematically observe and analyze the developing discussion. The most popular places on the web for gossip marketing are internet forums and blogs, more and more often its scenery is also social media. Access to each of them is free.

How to conduct buzz marketing activities?

  1. Choose naturalness. Start by talking about a specific topic, such as how to reduce bills. When you get a few statements about controlling your home budget, mention the tap aerators. When several Internet users speak about such a way of saving water, you tell about a specific brand or product. You can speak for example as a brand ambassador.
  2. Try to join the conversation instead of starting a new thread. This will make your statements even more natural.
  3. Be ethical. Never write negatively, much less untrue, about your competition.
  4. Choose neutrality in assessing the promoted product, service, company or brand. Exaggerated optimism or, even worse, perfect knowledge of the product you are probably thinking about purchasing, would surely make your e-interlocutors suspicious.
  5. Enter the gossip marketing strategies into a broader marketing strategy. An effective advertising campaign can be supported by buzz marketing, but it should not be limited to "gossip".

Types of word of mouth marketing

  1. Influencer marketing, in which influential people on the Internet play the first fiddle, e.g. bloggers or youtubers. However, it is important that the influencer's business profile matches your promotional needs. If you promote an aerator, the dispenser is unlikely to reach your target group. Someone who writes about thrifty or ecological life probably will.
  2. Viral marketing, increasing consumer engagement through content that is willingly shared on the web. Real-time marketing (RTM), exemplified by content with viral potential (commenting on current events), is one of the most interesting examples of this type of marketing.
  3. Affiliate programs and referral systems make both parties considered winners. Your brand or product enjoys greater interest among consumers, and a satisfied consumer gains profits (free samples, discounts, etc.) by recommending a brand or product.
  4. Evangelist marketing, i.e. activities that quickly increase customer loyalty. The buyer quickly becomes an ambassador of the company or event.
  5. Product seeding - using influencers to test and promote, mainly products. However, there are collaborations aimed at, for example, disseminating information about an event or a brand entering the market.
  6. Cause marketing, which consists in supporting specific social groups. Activities of this type affect the positive image of the company or brand.

Tools for running buzz marketing campaigns

Conducting word-of-mouth marketing requires a great deal of intuition and the ability to empathize with the user. From the marketer's perspective, it is also very important to improve the search for conversations about a product, brand, service or company. What tools will be helpful?

First of all, Mediatoolkit that finds the right conversations quickly. The tool will search approximately 100 million social media profiles and websites. Another is Brandle, where, among others, you will find people in whose hands you can hand over your gossip marketing campaign. BuzzSumo makes it easier to create engaging content and find popular topics currently covered on social media. Also reach out to the resources of Sotrender, which facilitates the analysis of social media activities and tracking the actions of competitors.

Create your own content and search for user reviews

The key to any successful campaign is the right plan. You need to think not only about what and how to communicate, but also how to reach your audience. In the virtual world, it is relatively easy not only to start or develop a discussion, but also to notice, highlight and share the opinions of others.

First of all, encourage your customers to evaluate the product. After the purchase, you can, for example, send an e-mail with a request for a short review of the product, or even for an opinion on the entire purchasing process. Such messages are sent, among others, by DOZ.pl and Empik pharmacy chains. Make sure that everyone who visits your store thanks to word of mouth marketing can see customer reviews. It is good to present them in a transparent way - the average in the form of stars at the top of the product card, and a longer review at the bottom of the page, below the description.

Track your customers' activity. Interact with blog reviews and social media opinions. Share, comment on and like user-generated content.

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Make sure you contact influencers whose target group is similar to yours. Consider any discrepancies and possible reaction from your audience. An interesting example is the cooperation that Żywiec Zdrój established in 2018 with Martyna Wojciechowska. The traveler and journalist was supposed to promote drinking water, but Internet users quickly accused her that encouraging a healthy lifestyle was contrary to advertising water in plastic bottles. The post comparing the environmental damage caused by plastic and glass packaging, which Martyna Wojciechowska posted on Facebook, only added oil to the fire.

(Source: https://czaplicka.eu/martyna-wojciechowska-i-zywiec-zdroj-w-plastikowych-butelkach/)

Also, try to stay ahead of the competition and go beyond the usual framework with your offer. Thanks to this, your product will be talked about! Do you need examples? The inscriptions under the caps and caps of Tymbark drinks are an ingenious detail that makes the opening of the drink more pleasant and is the trademark of the brand. Staying with the drinks, Coca-Cola opted for personalized cans and a label on smaller bottles. Packaging with 150 of the most popular names in Poland and eagerly used funny nicknames reigned for several months on store shelves.

(Source: https://marketingprzykawie.pl/artykuly/polot-sie-puszka-zacheca-coca-cola/)

A skilfully conducted buzz marketing campaign can have a positive impact on brand awareness and sales results. It is important that all activities are carried out sensitively - neutral and non-pushy. Watch the competition, listen to the voices of current and potential customers, use the reach of influencers. Find out that word of mouth marketing really works!