Source: InviteReferrals

Every business today faces tough competition. Having a good-looking and highly functional website is no longer enough to help you stand out in the crowd. There is a powerful yet mostly untapped area where you can work in this regard. It is called the Word Of Mouth Marketing (or Word of Mouth Advertising).

What is Word of Mouth Marketing?

Word of mouth marketing is a marketing strategy that promotes a brand via personal recommendations. It has been around since time immemorial. However, in traditional word-of-mouth marketing, a word about a brand was spread from one individual to another in the real world. However, modern word-of-mouth marketing is done over social media.

Furthermore, in addition to the naturally occurring word-of-mouth marketing instances, marketers also direct their efforts to drive it. And unlike the traditional ones, the modern one is highly effective owing to the lightning-fast spread of information in today’s hyper-connected world.

The Importance of Word of Mouth Marketing

Source: InviteReferrals

Businesses and brands adopt several best practices and marketing tactics to facilitate natural word-of-mouth promotion. However, running social media campaigns in specific can foster a wide social exposure for an online business. Here are some facts and factors that convey the importance of word-of-mouth marketing.

  • A study says that people trust recommendations from family and friends more than any other form of advertising.
  • Researches have proved that it costs you 5 times lesser to keep an existing customer than acquire one.
  • You can increase your profits by 75% by increasing your customer retention by just 5%.
  • Customers gained via word of mouth marketing spend 200% more than your average customers and bring twice as many referrals as themselves.
  • Additionally, people trust a brand or product up to 50 times more than ads when it is recommended by family or trusted friends.

Thus, people value word of mouth more than any other marketing. So, businesses and marketers should focus their attention on it. For this, they need to know what works and what doesn’t. So, we have penned down the principles of this marketing. Read on.

What are the principles of word-of-mouth marketing?

Source: InviteReferrals

One of the renowned marketing professors, Jonah Berger from Pennsylvania, in his book Contagious shares the secret about the science behind social and word-of-mouth transmission. There he identifies six principles of word-of-mouth marketing

  1. Social currency: Social currency refers to the concept that people who engage on social media sites, review sites, or online forums do so to enhance their recognition, status, or identity. It is this desire to share our experiences and thoughts is a primary reason that has made social media popular. Studies reveal that over 40% of what people discuss online is their relationships or personal experiences. Marketers can take advantage of this by sharing their business-related content that would help people do their jobs better. For instance, if you are marketing a brand of inverter, you can focus your content on how it can improve efficiency by helping you work uninterruptedly. If you are a brand that sells organic produce, you may share about the adverse effects of eating pesticide-contaminated and GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods.
  2. Triggers: People often talk about organizations, brands, and products. Marketers can inject their messaging into these conversations via triggers. That is, ensuring that the experience you share stays on the top of their minds. You can do this by determining your message’s context that will bring about recollection of everyday situations. For instance, if your write-up talks about a brand offering comfortable clothing, someone who has read it will recall it while talking about shopping for clothes or wearing ill-fitting clothes.  She may be triggered to think about improving her quality of life.
  3. Emotion: People share experiences that make them happy, satisfied, sad, confused, angry, or suspicious. Emotion plays a major role. If by reading your content, a reader would feel happy, he probably would share that experience in his circle in anticipation that it would make them happy too. Think of the example we shared about a clothing brand earlier. The content has an empowering effect, giving that individual the feeling that she would feel comfortable in that clothing, which in turn would help her become efficient.
  4. Publicity: Publicity facilitates individuals and firms to get noticed more frequently and therefore being discussed or shared. Big brands like KFC have tapped into this potential. People want to be a part of it, love eating from it, and even are ready to pay more for it than food from its counterparts. Marketers can relate to this by creating valuable and share-worthy content. This will make it more public among your online audience.
  5. Practical value: Offering content with practical value to the readers is a powerful principle of referral marketing. Your value can take different forms such as knowledge, industry insight, or humor. Such pieces of content are likely to get shared.
  6. Stories: Post stories that provide high value to readers, and positions your brand as the ultimate source for more information in your niche. Your stories should be those experiences that you want your customers to share with their circle. And place your brand and the message you want to convey inside that story. This will provide people with an easy and quick way to learn about your brand in a world that is increasingly overwhelming people with information.

These are the six principles on which your word-of-mouth marketing strategy should be built.

Rounding up

People value word of mouth more than any other form of marketing and advertising. However, despite its immense potential, many businesses neglect it. To tap into it, you need to adopt the six principles of the word-of- mouth marketing viz., social currency, triggers, emotion, publicity, practical value, and stories. To get a better grab of each of these, do read the above-given section once more.


Shivani Goyal

Shivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals, which provides referral marketing software that allows businesses to attract new customers from existing customers through referral campaigns.  

Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin | Instagram